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October 31 - November 6, 2002

UPFRONT ...................P4

Mario Tellez: Mural artist from Nicaragua who has been involved in the international Painting Peace project, an initia- tive of the Edmonton-based Change for Children Association. He was part of the group (artists from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Canada) responsible for the mural on the downtown Salvation Army building. He is also a project leader with Funarte, a governmentrecognized mural- ist brigade in Nicaragua that teaches art to children.

What is the importance of murals in your country? We used to have a bad dictator- ship period, and a time when the US government brought many bad memories. Much of our pop- ulation was living in poverty and uneducated. With the new popu- lar government, many artists from around the world came to p. It was through murals é that the government could : janicate with a mostly

iterate population, For ple, to support a vacci- ition campaign they could murals. Now you see a of western influence in t culture such as female types and American

ce. We tise murals sremind ourselves of our and our past.


How did you get involved?

A group of international artists came to my home town and start- ed mural workshops for children, They challenged us to think about our rights and what was important to us through art. I was eleven when I started and it was amazing because art was only accessible to the very rich before.

Any chance that one of your favourite artists might be Diego Rivera?

Yes. Although he was a Mexican muralist, he and David Alfaro Siqueiros had the same ideals as us. With the murals they fight to make the people understand that it is not normal that they don’t have education and that it is not normal not to be able to own the land they work. They recognized that unlike paintings, w hich are made for people with money and kept privately, murals are seen on the streets by everyone. The teward of making murals is to see people on the streets stop and talk about the mural.

Would you like to add anything else?

I think that I was saved by the muralist project in Nicaragua. A lot of youth have taken up crime and drugs. This has changed my life. It has introduced me to peo- ple willing to think about peace and social justice. | want to work with children now and help them, to give them the opportu- nities that I got.


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ose” UPFRONT 2.2 ee Ee

Brave New City

“We can, at most, give you a seven: -dollar show. The rest is just pure charity.” the Molestics’ Mike Soret

IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE LIKWID Lounge, and it’s, what hour twelve of this hangover? I really want to

fully enjoy this, the final see-ya-later to this cozy club wherein so many 200d /bad times have been had, but my full enjoyment is being hampered by the after-effects of last night's full enjoyment of the final see-ya-later to the Suburbs next door.

Holy crap, that was a party... retro- style. Gin & tonic, double gin & tonic, triple gin & tonic and a couple dense- packed bowls out on the corner in the Telus Hotbox—a phone booth with the phone conveniently ripped out so that one additional, critical stoner can cram in and share the joy. A god- damn convention of zombies... the James T. Kirks back from the grave, the Brewtals back from the grave, the Molestics back from the grave Moronic mosh fun and the Ol’ Airplane Spin, a wet & drunken tongue-kiss from a girl I’ve never seen before, followed up 20 seconds later by a punch in the back of the head from a girl I’ve seen many times. Fuckin’ rock & roll.

5 a.m. finds me “waking up” hud- dled and half-frozen in the backdoor mudroom of some friends’ suspi- ciously low-rent (there’s a ghost in the basement) downtown mansion, snuggled up to the recycling bin and the empties. I hope my friends are OK; one had an asthma attack, I think, and another disappeared into the coat-check with a bunch of out-of- town gangsters. They were pretty sneaky, didn’t look like a gang, but... matching shoes. I only noted this detail ‘cause I was laying under the pool table and their feet were right at eye level. The “out-of-town” part is pure guesswork. So now I sip my charity Caesar and enjoy the Molestics, a band I’ve loved since I heard them thirty years ago at the Anza Club in Vancouver. What a slurring, groov- ing, and spectacularly hoser-classy way to give this room the sweet kiss- off, a hung-over farewell delicately

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“Make love not War”

counterpointed by an empty wallet, a wrenched knee, a stick 6f pickled asparagus and a beautiful eribbage pariner.

By the time you read this, the site of the New City Compound will be a silent and snow-blanketed ruin wait- ing for the bulldozers and subsequent office-conversion. But New City isn’t really a place, it was a people. Or maybe, an association of diverse peo- ples... a bunch of tribes. Yeah, tribes; like a music-loving drink-swilling Israel with a will to party and the New Temple has already been raised up, just a short desert-trek down Jasper Ave.

But I’ve got a good feeling about the new New City. The stage is built and quarterback-ready for its role as the rock-supporting centrepiece of 628 million dollars of extravagant renovation and redecoration. That old Palladium space will never know what hit it, because the old Palladium space wasn’t sentient unlike the revamped New City, which has four networked Cray supercomputers at the back of the beer cooler running the lights, handling security, and con- templating its own existence. The gilded go-go cages, imported from the ‘60s via time machine at enor- mous cost in human life, have been hung. The decadent private theme rooms ( Hawaiian”, “Greek”, and “Meat Lovers”) all with hot and cold running booze and panoramic views of the action below, are stocked & staffed and ready for rental at $500,000 a night. The Native burial ground underneath the property has been re-consecrated and exorcised, and the new establishment has the full support of the vengeful spirits, just as long as the tobacco keeps com- ing.

As they say in Japan: “Wan, tu, sree, fo! Mazzafakka! Rokku ando roru!”

(Rare NIGRRD any lener-core

The Righteous

and the

Righteous: The 65 scientists who set Ralph Klein straight on global warming Don’t confuse him with the facts: in his quest to dismantle the Kyoto Accord, Ralph Klein has made it clear that he doesn’t want to get into a debate about global warm- ing. Temperatures have always fluc


tuated, he says, just like when we came out of the ice age thousands of years ago, so why bother with the science? “Was it dinosaur farts? I don’t know,” a modest Klein said to laughter at a fundraiser earlier this month. That's why 65 Alberta scien- tists decided to, uh, clear the air. They’ ve written an open letter to Klein, explaining that, contrary to what's said in the press, there's over- whelming consensus about climate warming within the scientific com- munity. Their solution: implement Kyoto, warts and all, as a first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They’ ve even offered to act as con- sultants on climate warming for Ralph Klein if he ever needs a sec- ond opinion. But that’s something they probably shouldn’t hold their breath for.

Wicked: Council flying in a speak- er to tell us how we can bea “char- acter city” You know, it’s really hard to be sympathetic with City Hall’s budgetary woes when they * piddle away our money on little pro- jects like this. Last week Council approved Councillor Janice Melnychuk’s motion to spend five grand to fly up some woman from a daffy, feel-good coalition called Character Counts. The idea is that she would speak to community groups and councillors about how we can be a “character city” what- ever that means. Character Counts, a non-profit collective made up of schools, charity groups and munici- palities, strives to “fortify” six thor- oughly Oprah-fied pillars of charac- ter: trustworthiness, citizenship, respect, responsibility, fairness, and caring. “Frugality” missed the final cut. If only departmental budgets could be so lucky.

You hypocrites

Last issue, your column The Righteous and the Wicked gave praise for city hall creating tougher smok- ing bylaws. Later in the magazine, I noticed a two-page pullout adver- tisement by du Maurier arts. While I understand and appreciate that SEE Magazine is a forum for various left- ist writers to voice their opinions, it seems rather hypocritical for you to accept funding from a tobacco com- pany while fighting against tobacco. Eric Bowling

No-smoking bylaw tramples smokers’ rights

Something happened down at City Hall in the last little while that has me a bit miffed. More than miffed really, more like pissed off and in the mood to grab a can of gas and a big box of Ivory snow flakes and start burning big ugly expletives in the front lawns of some of our elected officials.

Bill Smith and company decided not to leave well enough alone and called a Citizen’s Non-Hearing on proposed changes to the city’s smok- ing bylaw. This hearing was imme- diately followed by a motion to

drive the one third of the population that still smokes over a cliff and into the sea, So much for “proposed” changes. Anti-smoking activist Les Hagen and his merry band of body nazis have worked their evil magic, brainwashing city council into think- ing that it’s not good enough to usurp restaurant owner's freedom of choice on their own property. Now we need-to push the envelope and ban it any place where more than two people can gather in any sort of pur space. Bars, ne , bingo alls, even the neighborhood cigar store would be deemed a no-smok- ing-you-degenerate-bastards zone by the sheer fact that they’re a “pub- lic place.” I was recently in Vancouver, the home of overbearing no smoking ordinances, only to find a couple of restaurants where you couldn’t smoke cigarettes. But if you cared to, you could retire to a comfortable room in the back and smoke all the dope you wanted. Of course, this has a lot to do with the live-and-let- live attitude that the Vancouver City

Police have with regards to dope smoking, but the point is that I'm way better off to spark up a big blunty in some Whyte Avenue eatery and wait for the cops to come than I would be smoking my Players light. The pure economics of it boil down to a $250.00 fine from the city bylaw guy for cigarette smoking, or a $100.00 fine for misdemeanor dope smoking in a public place. In San Diego (another fascist, no-smoking enclave) they actually had undercov- er vice cops sitting in bars trying to get people to light up just so they could take them down. Maybe that’s how the city cops could finance that fun new helicopter Bob Layton got for them. Sure the drug and prostitu- tion problem could run amuck, but hey, smokers are easier to spot and rarely shoot back. We smokers have" no backbone, so when the charities! start to complain about revenues being down and the comer pubs start declaring bankruptcy, we'll gladly take the blame. I just have to say that I hope all the Clockwork Orange no-smoking centers make up for the tax revenue lost by making this Orwellian nightmare a reality in our fair city. Thanks for giving us the business Bill!

Ross Maitland

100) 9 AS a a Se: A 3S

What a waste

Critics blast province for keeping Swan Hills toxic waste plant

ALTHOUGH THE ALBERTA GOVER- nment has said they’re “out of the business of doing business,” they'll be running the Swan Hills toxic waste plant for years to come to much opposition from critics. After trying to sell the plant outright, the province has decided to keep the facility, contracting out its operations to Earth Tech Inc. for the next ten years.

New Democrat leader Raj Pannu says the decision is a waste of money. He points out that the plant has cost taxpayers over $440 million dollars since it opened in 1987. It was recently revealed that the plant lost $8.5 million in the year ending last March.

“This government needs to recog- nize that it made a mistake and that they made a decision that was per-

haps politically driven rather than based on environmental and finan- cial considerations. They need to take action and mothball this plant,” says Pannu.

The plant was originally built to process large quantities of PCBs within Alberta. But by 1993, after the waste was processed, Alberta was considered to be PCB free. That's when the province lifted their non- importation policy and began to truck in toxic waste from other provinces and countries.

“(The government] says it’s a ser- vice but a service to whom? To Mexico, to the US, to whoever else around the world looking to send us their waste?” asks Pannu, “The plant has not been operating to capacity and is dependent on imports from other countries. When did the gov-

Fight the no-fun bylaw

DRUNK AS AN UNCLE, |ONCE GOT A fine for peeing through a fence, a colourless Ghostbusters stream into that toxic waste zone, right under the since-censored KKKokanee mural on Whyte Avenue, such a brazen act of fool drunkenness. The swine fast put me in Death Star binders, pushed me onto a bench, HARD, his system still beating with adrenaline from speeding up on his bike, my first brush with physical overkill from someone in uniform. Did I have a boner? Not telling, baby.

But whatever, I got what I deserved, and MFGIT and I went and had a celebratory toke-laugh, no harm done. “Improper Disposal of Waste,” the ticket read: another gas- om totally empty lot saved from

e tyranny of pee.

He can seize your bike for up to 60 days at his whim too. No argument. Or the handcuffs come out, trust me.

But maybe the fine I paid went to pay for gas which fuelled a car which carried the who stopped some nut from smacking his wife around. I like to think so. Because I'd just as soon jizz blood onto the Gretzky statue than think it helped spawn the kind of bullshit the city is

The first thing that really flicks your eyeball is the law about biking. Want to ride across the Hawrelak grass on your way home from the Blues Fest? Better get ready to pay a fine of $100 or more. Subject to the discretion of whatever cop is on your ass, of course, and whether or not he just might have an agenda to keep, you know, being paid or fly his chopper around or have a bigger gang of thugs to beat down Asians in the hellzone known as WEM’s upper parking lot on a weekend or...

Oh, and he can seize your bike for up to 60 days at his own whim, too. No argument. Or the handcuffs come out, trust me. Other things you can be fined from $100 to $500 for (actually, up to $10,000), again depending on the firmly legal and logical standard of any random cop’s mood, are: peeing in the woods like his parents.could; mov- ing sand from one area of a play- ground to another; scaling a tree at the Leg; climbing any building; eat- ing berries; setting up a tent; gather- ing in groups of more than 50 ina park without a fucking ge pick- ing a flower; carrying a hunting knife; tossing a Frisbee in a non-des- ignated zone; spreading cremated remains (but you can drop ci ashes); walking onto the field at Commonwealth or the Trapper park; and chainsaw murder. Whi I'm all for the last one, and even the ee tariff for wrecking a tree, thi thing is so going to get pig-

ernment of Alberta take on the responsibility and develop the social conscience to become the pollution cleaner of the world?”

But David Bray, a spokesperson for Alberta Infrastructure, plays down the imports of toxic waste.

“We consider Alberta to be nearly

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PCB free. That's not to say that it’s all gone. We do take PCBs from other provinces from time to time. We can charge more than we would charge within Alberta for PCB elimination. That goes back into the plant and subsidizes the treatment of the waste,” says Bray He also argues that opposition parties are missing the point when they complain about costs. “There's a cost to clean- ing the environment as there is to city garbage collection and sewer treatment. | would argue that making money is net necessarily the point. It would be nice if it broke even, and it may eventually. But I think it’s a small cost to clean up the environment,” says Bray. Myles Kitagawa, from Toxics

Watch Canada, argues that the Swan Hills facility is too | maintain. The facili tory of mishaps, including a couple

rdous to

of explosions and instances of PCB


The issue is that Swan Hill [is] designed to [handle] the worst of the worst. It’s not a sound ecological

policy to be treating large volumes of persistent toxic substances in the same location, unless you're desig nating it a national sacrifice zone, says Kitagawa

Debby Carlson, the Libera ronment critic, argues for smaller incineration devices that are portable and more safe.

If we're importing toxic waste from the US or other countries, every mile it travels increases the chances of there being some sort of spill or a dump. We need to decom mission the plant, clean up the site and bring in portable technology that would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly.”




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GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVI- dence we've all heard or read about in the arrest of the Persian Gulf War vet John Allen Muhammed and his “stepson” John Lee Malvo in con nection with the maniacal sniper killings, we apparently are faced with nother tragic case of chick ens coming home to roost

Although most combat ve don’t turn into sociopaths upon completion of their tour of duty, I'd be a fool to think military training doesn’t come with terrible psycho- logical consequences for the combat survivor and harmful social conse quences for the rest of us

Ever since I was a kid I've been extremely con- cerned about the violence in the world around me That, coupled with heavy doses of Jesus, Martin Luther King and Gandhi studies, I've been trying to penetrate the mysteries of peace and security for virtually all my life

My study was aided by a book called On Killing, written by retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a former Army Airborne Ranger infantry offi- cer and West Point Academy psy- chology and military science profes- sor. The book was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and is required reading at Wes* Point, the U.S. Air Force Acaclemy and in peace studies pro- grams in colleges and universities across the country

As a scholar, lecturer and author considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on the roots of violence and violent crime, Grossman is also the director of the



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Home to roost

Washington sniper’s callousness reflects his military training

Killology Research Group, whose mission is to highlight ‘the psycho logical cost of le aming to kill.”

The other day I came across a news account of a talk Grossman gave in April 2001 in which he described the four “killing enabling, methods” used by the

military that are mirrored in our mass media today brutalization, classical conditioning, operant con- ditioning and role models. He said that brutalization and classical con- ditioning methods assaulting American minds everywhere are most evident in action-adventure movies where a horrible act is fol- lowed not by a quest for justice but for vengeance “the evildoer’s death.”

“The people who do just want jus- tice are seen as wishy-w vashy They're just in the way,” he said,

exposing the foolishness of war hawks and their verbal attacks

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‘The result is we have become a nation full of people who are going to make others feel their pain Whenever you feed death and vio- lence and destruction to your chil- dren, you rez ap | what you sow in about 15 years,” he added

This all swirls through my

Only partially to blame...

head when thinking about the sick heart-mind of the sniper and another Persian Gulf War vet, Timothy McVeigh, who referred to his vic- tims as “collateral damage.”

When Colin Powell, a good and intelligent military leader by most accounts, was asked about the death

toll of Iraqis following the Gulf War, he responded: “Tt’s not a number I'm particularly ly interested in.” Of course, Powell isn’t even in the same catego- ry as McVeigh or the sniper. But to

talk about these things in te rms of

“good guys” and “bad guys” is clearly overly simplistic. We're deal- ing with something much deeper here.

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Platte nuns affiliated with a peace group called Plowshares. Last week, they were arraigned ina federal courthouse in Denver, charged with obstruction of the national defense of the United States and injury of prop- erty of the United States.

These are the same charges that Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were charged with in connection to the embassy bombings in Kenya a few years ago.

The nuns’ crime? Recognizing that while wealth doesn’t always trickle down as supply-side econo- mists suppose, Values certainly do. So the Sisters took a pair of bolt cutters, cut through the fence of a

missile silo in Well County, Colo. poured some of their own blood on top of the silo as a dramatic reminder of what these weapons are used for, and then prayed until they were arrested. Facing a possible 30 years in prison for their nonviolent direct action, they refused an offer to be released on personal recog- nizance because the bond requires them not to participate in any fur- ther demonstrations. As a matter of conscience, they couldn’t accept the offer. A pretrial conference is set for Dec. 13. A support rally for them is being held in front of the Georgetown, Colo., jail on Nov. 10.

It strikes me that there are only two kinds of religion in this world today the religion of violence and the religion of nonviolence: Which religion do you adhere to?

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Sometimes when I'm walking down certain city streets it really smells like poo. Why? ;

Indeed, an assy, sulphuric smell assails the nostrils of citizens in such places as 74st Street and 86th Avenue, 109th and Jasper, and around the bridge over Mill Creek Ravine. When. shallow sewers from our homes dump. sewage, the goop drops almost.80 feet into a larger trunk sewer system, and gas gets trapped: When the foul vapours build up, they're released through the man- hole covers, befouling our proud city streets. It's a common problem to most cities, especially those with combined sewers, like ours that trap rushing rainwater.

The good news is that we won't have to hold our noses forever. Kurt Sawatzky, manager of the city’s Drainage Services, says the city has already neutralized the stench in some sewers, with more to follow. As part of a pilot program, stench-killing carbon filters and giant fans have been. installed in the Kenilworth neighborhood to depressurize the

- sewers: they Seem to have worked.

Mill Creek sewers will get attention later this year, except that they will be treated with biofilters, a more ’envi- ronmentally friendly raaibon filter

“made from: ives anton ~ Sawatzky says the Carbon’

like “packets of coffee that you put in your coffee filter. Like water that drips through to make coffee, the air has to go through this carbon layer and get cleaned.”

But if you thought a used, day-old coffee filter was nasty, show up early on the day when sewer workers have to dredge up the biofilter for its peri- odic cleaning. The smell will destroy your mind.

It's a thankless job keeping our col- lective shit together and Sawatzky's drainage department never receives praise: “We only get to worry about complaints.”

Such is the life of our waste gate- keepers. In our books, they can't ever be paid enough.

What’s your burning question? E-mail


NEKO CASE reinvented herself from a garage rock drummer (Vancouver’s Maow) to a critically acclaimed songstress.

Case Study

The many sides of Neko Case

NEKO CASE Friday, November 1 At the Rev


There are few musicians as multi-

faceted and talented, who can hold their own across such a varied field of styles. She is a multi-tasking cre-

ative force to be reckoned with be it through her solo work (most often credited with Her Boyfriends), in the hayseed sing-song duo The Corn Sisters (with Carolyn Mark), her guest-star spot in Vancouver super group The New Pornographers or her strikingly distinctive pho- tographs.


With her first two solo albums (the spry The Virginian and near- masterpiece Furnace Room Lullabye), Case announced herself as a major interpreter of songs largely written by others. Few voices are capable of displaying enough depth and range (in Case's case, an equal ability to move mountains or lull sheep into slumber) to mark a new rendition as the version by which all others will be judged. Case is one of the few vocalists whose personal re-configu- rations stand equally as tall as the originals, whether by Ron Sexsmith

(Furnace Room's “We've Never Met,”

for which Case grabbed a co-writing, credit), Loretta Lynn (whose “Rated X” Case converted into a high- octane romper with The Sadies on a rare 7”) or Tom Waits (Case’s “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis” very nearly steals the song out from under Waits’ feet)

Shortly before the release of her newest album, Blacklisted, Case com- piled and recorded a short set of a few old and new favourites. Released as Canadian Amp, these ghostly “kitchen recordings” trans- formed works from sources as var- ied as Mike O'Neil (formerly of East Coast pop-smiths The Inbreds), Neil Young and Sook-Yin Lee. Case out- lines her intentions as primarily edu- cational.

‘L wanted to learn how to proper- ly engineer a recording,” she says. “1 had been making records for years and | thought it was ridiculous that it was still a mystery. | had a bunch of songs that I didn’t write that I wanted to record, so it was the per- fect time.”

Besides moving Case behind the control console, Canadian Anip also serves as a mark of transition the shift from translator toa genuine solo voice.


After cleaning the slates, Case started in on Blacklisted, her first release made up almost entirely of her own compositions. Left with a veritable pick of the litter, Case’s backing band (for the first time, not credited at all Blacklisted is attrib- uted solely to Case herself) includes a list of luminaries as varied as Howe Gelb, Calexico and members

of old compatriots The Sadies. As a personal statement, it’s a brave and attention-grabbing leap. From the sparse and fragile “Outro With Bees” (little more than piano, distant cello and breezy acoustic guitar astride a simple vocal hook so sim- ple and direct it’s ageless) to the rambling “Things That Scare Me,’ Blacklisted has all the beauty of Furnac n Lullabye, but comes from an entirely solitary source

Case has always sounded slightly lovelorn, but Blacklisted gives the impression of a far deeper loneli- ness. Considering her workload, it’s not all that surprising. Balancing duties between The New Pornographers (currently in the stu- dio touching up the sequel to last year’s Mass Romantic), and Blacklisted’ s rigorous touring sched- ules, means little time is left over for a life away from the microphone

“No boyfriend, family or home life. That sounds rather pathetic... 1 guess I'll have to rethink that one.”

Despite its dip in mood, don’t mistake Blacklisted for a note of defeat.

“T think I just want it to comfort people,’ “It’s a hopeful record, even though it’s often quite sad. I personally had a gratifying experience making something with my friends that I felt proud of. That really is what it’s all about, as cliché as that may sound to jaded people like me.”


Touring full-time with a brand new band (‘The Boyfriends have never been one band and that seems to confuse people, so I dropped it The band I have now are full-time, and they didn’t care for it too much,..”), Case promises to keep up the hectic schedule she’s maintained the last few years for the enjoyment of nobody except herself.

“T’m not going to choose (between projects),” she says. “I’m not looking for ‘stardom’ anyway. I’m in all those bands because I work hard and I want to do what I want with my free time not that there's much of it. That sense of competition is what made me a musician and not a football player or a lawyer.”


Case adds.

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WHAT CAN | TELL YA; THANKS to the positioning of the earth, moon and sun, November is looking kinda dark and frigid. But, there’s a solid month of live stuff comin’ to keep us all warm and cozy in rooms that hold {ittle or no natural light, so relax and enjoy... and cuddle

Tomorrow night (Nov 8th) Daisy Blue Groff