Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Have we learned nothing from the 60s UK demolitions?

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The urban planning disasters of the 1960s in Britain. We think we have learned from them, but have we?

Start watching the video at 14:00 if you don’t want to watch the whole documentary, which is a sort of myth-busting look at the 60s in England. There’s a fantastic segment on brutalism, the influence of le Corbusier, and the question of who benefited from the wholesale destruction of English towns and cities in the 60s.

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Bush: terrorist No. 1

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

A friend and I arrived in Paris in 2005 at the tail end of a an anti-Bush, anti-war protest in the Bastille. This poster had been left behind and I kept it. Bush was in Paris to comemmorate, ironically, the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The war on Iraq (that edition of it anyway) was in 2005 only two years old.

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Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is sociologist Harvey Molotch: like a handsomer Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street
“A city and, more generally, any locality, is conceived as the areal expression of the interests of some land-based elite.”

Harvey Molotch‘s seminal 1976 article “The City as Growth Machine”—which is still applicable today—just happened to be published the same year of the UN Habitat Conference on Settlements that took place in Vancouver (and is the subject of my upcoming book).

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Most Canadian mainstream newspapers endorsed the far-right ruling party. Which lost.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Most of us Canadians, and certainly any Canadians who read this blog, are overjoyed to have thrown out the party of far-right, tar sands social conservatives who have benighted this country for so long. Goodbye to the xenophobic, misogynist, Islamphobic, climate-change-ignoring, environmentalist-hating, Koch brothers-friendly, medieval holdover known as Stephen Harper. How wonderful it was to hear his concession speech, which someone on Facebook described as “best speech by a robot” while someone else just commented “smarmy goblin.”

We threw them out despite the fact that the vast majority of the corporate newspapers in the country backed the Conservative Party of Canada, running unavoidable wraparound front page ads on every paper the weekend before the election and printing glowing editorial endorsements.

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Whoa Canada

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Whoa Canada is a film by the young activists who brought us “Shit Harper Did” during the 2011 federal election. It’s a really unsettling tour through the Canadian security state, with great cameos by Edward Snowden, Pam Palmater & many others, all gathered together in one excellent compendium. Check out the phalanxes of cops and guns that the government will produce against a bunch of kids with cameras and giant inflatable eyeballs.

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Sunday, October 11th, 2015

We have never had a sadder federal election. The incumbent Conservative Party has used a racist, race-baiting strategy we normally associate with other places. The  racism that has been whipped up will take a very long time to dissolve. A full of the population, or nearly a third, have proven themselves to be idiots, racists or more likely both.

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