The word is that Vancouver has become
Dullsville. No better, perhaps, than
Freezing Prairie, Sask. We are no longer
going to public parties, getting boozed
up at English Bay, or ogling the girls
on Granville Street.
These laments — in other terms —
have reached officialdom. “We’ve got
to come together as a community. We can’t
allow ourselves to slip into a
backwater,” says the head of the
Vancouver Board of Trade in commenting
on the city’s waning spirit.
What set off this Jeremiad was the
prospect of the Grizzlies NBA team
moving down to more salubrious climes in
the U.S. Tears had also been shed about
Benson & Hedges no longer putting on
their Symphony of Fire on the
waterfront. Several other major events
are likely to slide into extinction,
including the Indy car race.
While the rest of the world from
London to Sydney put on magnificent
Millennium shows at New Year,
Vancouverites stayed home, oohing and
aahing over foreign wonders and sipping
a guilty beer or two while watching TV.
If they hadn’t already gone to bed,
Ever obedient in the mass, they paid
attention to a police warning that they
should stay home and be good. Which they
“Don’t think you’re going to
come downtown and party on the street,”
announced Constable Anne Drennan on TV,
the PR girl for the cops. “If people
come downtown on New Year’s Eve, they
better have some place to go.”
So why have we become a flock of
sheep? An “expert on popular culture”
at Simon Fraser University says we are
now suburbanites who like to stay at
home watching the box rather than going
I have news for him. It ain’t that.
It’s the pall of political
correctness, aided in no small part by
sociologists, the media and other
We have become a fun-hating bunch of
New Puritans who are afraid to say boo
to the politically correct goose;
citizens of Wimpland who collapse at the
thought of being called “racist” and
other bad names.
An early example was the fuss in 1972
over a huge and famous picture in the
lobby of the Hotel Vancouver that showed
the Indians greeting Capt. Vancouver on
his arrival here, one or two of whom
The hotel was being renovated and the
picture was to be donated to the
University of British Columbia. Hoots
and howls of rage. It was an insult to
our native brothers, etc. So the pic
ended up in some basement on the
Atlantic coast. By now, it’s probably
been given to the inhabitants of Tierra
del Fuego. Or burnt.
20 years ago, the last fun-filled Lady
Godiva ride took place at UBC. Lesbians
and other rad-fem freaks deplored this
awful affront to women.
Goodbye, Lady Godiva.
Rugby teams have been hauled over the
coals for using “racist language” in
their dressing rooms. Humorless human
rights maniacs lurk in wait for the
wrong words. Obey, obey obey! Be pure.
Think no bad thoughts. As was recently
claimed, B.C. leads in keeping the
multitudes on the straight and narrow.
God bless the NDP.
Goodbye to Capt. Vancouver, too, and
not only in pictures. On the 200th.
anniversary of his getting here there
was no celebration because the mayor of
the city that bears his name thought the
Indians wouldn’t like it. It’s a
wonder we haven’t changed our name.
Writers in The Vancouver Sun have even
suggested that the name of the province
be changed. “British” Columbia is
bad for you.
In this new Vancouver, circuses are
not welcome on account of how they’re
not good for the animals. Or so it is
claimed. Which reminds me that when
bear-baiting was outlawed in England, it
was said it was done not for the pain it
gave to the bears, but for the pleasure
it gave to the audience.
Our last killer whale in the
Vancouver Aquarium is to be sent away to
San Diego. It too gave too much pleasure
to the audience, including the kids who
would scream with delight when it and
its mates jumped around and splashed
Smoking is pleasure for some, which
is why, really, no other place in Canada
has adopted anti-smoking regulations in
the restaurants quite as
enthusiastically as we have. The
weed-lovers never bothered me, a
non-smoker. But they bother the
politicians, who are bothered by the
pure, and sheep run where barking dogs
tell them to run.
So who can blame Benson & Hedges
for nixing their Symphony of Fire? Why
should they spend millions amusing
Vancouverites when Vancouver kicks them
in the ass?
The Vancouver Sun has just come out
with a rah-rah editorial headed
“Let’s chase off the blues and
have a ball.” Sure. As long as it’s
politically correct, which that brave
rag is in spades.