Thursday, 6 June 2013


A thrilling event happened yesterday. I received  a little green Louis Vuitton plastic box from the City. It was to recycle my food scraps and to carry bones, egg shells and stuff like that  to the Green Bin all of which could ultimately be recycled into musical instruments. 

A planner published in the  Georgia Straight has criticized our Mayor for diverting attention from important, long term planning issues to Street Parties which she suggests are used to raise money for VISION. There are two sides to the issue: Shall we plan or shall we dance?

As a planner and a musician it is a tough choice. Planning has its moments but I have a higher dream. It is to play a tuba and flute duet.  There is only one piece composed for  that combination. It is the  Titl  serenade. Titl was a composer determined to bring together, the Tuba, an Ill Wind that no one blows good,  and the sublime flute. I would love to have a city wide festival. The Titl serenade could be played at any intersection in Dunbar. The Mayor plays the tuba. I play the flute. We could both play on recycled instruments as they do in Paraguay.

                                TITL SERENADE FOR FLUTE AND HORN

Just after we got our Louis Vuitton hand held recycling box,  my wife, by a strange coincidence,  received a personal email from the Mayor bringing truly glad tidings!

He said that VISION  was at the half way mark and they had another half term to do even more good to us. He explained that street homelessness had declined over 61%.

That's not all. 

They have delivered loads of rental housing much of which will become occupied when they get the landlords to get over their aversion to tenants and actually rent some of it.

He noted that "Vancouver is getting greener every day, but we must work with our partners to invest in rapid transit, including on the Broadway corridor --scope of our cycling and pedestrian transportation networks. We also need to build on VISION Vancouver's record of unprecedented support for the arts and Vancouver's vibrant world-class creative sector...To keep Vancouver moving forward, we're counting on your support, ideas and engagement****HELP US BUILD A PROGRESSIVE VANCOUVER - DONATE HERE."

As I continued my reverie about playing the Titl Serenade duet with the Mayor, on a recycled plastic water-main flute and  the Mayor on an exhaust pipe tuba, all of which was triggered by my green Louis Vuitton   garbage carrier, I was distracted  by a poisonous posting from the  Georgia Straight.

That ankle biter paper had  the effrontery to run a critical article. The author, a planner, criticised the Council because they were not consulting enough on this or that 30 year official plan or anything else. They were also guilty of turning things over to Metro Vancouver in a "regional context" statement.  (As if there is something wrong with taxation without representation.)  

And then the author even attacked our Mayor because he wants to get everyone out in the street and dance! Not just a neighbourhood dance. A full frontal entire city dance, neighbourhood by neighbourhood

For a good example of a neighborhood dance in Paris that we could do here:

Well the planner is wrong. These  stressful times demand release:

  •  We all fought for the right to recycle our food scraps in our green bins. 
  • For years we have cried out for well designed person-hole covers. Now we have them.
  •  We have demanded urban forest removal by means of adorable lane- way houses.  We have 500 already and more trees to go.
  • There will be lots more stress on the way to an underground subway to Paradise.  
  • And if that is not enough we must Increase the population to 10 million so we can support high speed trains like the French TGV  that could allow the newcomers  to commute to Kelowna in 45 minutes. 

Check out this to appreciate a train that moves at  578 kph 


What  the Nabobs of Negativism (to coin a phrase)  forget is that there are solid historical precedents for what our Mayor wants to do. In ancient Rome they offered bread and circuses. More recently, in the Middle Ages after the black plague, the surviving Villagers held what were referred to as "dancing manias." 

They  jerked around in the streets like zombies until they dropped.  Michael  Jackson's, “Thriller” and Harry Bellafontes “Zombie Jamboree” had their roots in Europe's dancing manias of the middle ages. So well choreographed street parties are exactly what  I would expect of a city that leads the world in the arts on top of which happens to be the greenest city in the world. 

The Mayor does not need my advice, but here is my prediction. The Mayor will invite Chris Christie, Governor of ”, New Jersey, (the“Garden State) to the Street Dance.  Christie would choreograph and dance a street version of   George Gershwin's  Lets build a stairway to paradise”  Christie  could take all the  streets he wanted.  (Gershwin was a New Jersey Lad.)

After that Gregor and Governor Christie, with their invited constituents  would start at opposite ends of the City and join in a chorus line of  our cities' respective songs: “In the Boardwalk in Atlantic City” and the far superior Vancouver Song by local composer Mike Sims.

                                    New Jersey Governor Christie

I would sure rather see all that then sit through another jargon laden, insufferable planning or zoning meeting in which flocks of planners, who don't think because they already  know, tell me how I ought to live. The Mayor is right: Lets Dance.


  1. Glissando Remmy8 June 2013 at 11:23

    Thought of The Day

    "Funny, witty, informative... simply Baker on Vancouver."

    Can't get over how much I enjoyed your well informed, well written satirical piece, Jonathan!
    Starting with the Luis Vuitton green (what else) receptacle, to playing the Titl serenade in Dunbar in duet with a city hall tubist, to watching the constipated grins on the faces of those French engineers reaching 574.8 km/hr (why, and what's the rush, the same shit is going to wait for us at the end of the line, any line, regardless of the arrival time...), to the dancing Governor... what a treat, what-a-treat that was! Thanks.

    Here's Da Mayor playing the popular "Tuba is just another word for Abstinence":

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

    1. So, I take it you would like a part in "Stairway to Paradise"


    2. Glissando Remmy9 June 2013 at 00:03

      LOL! Only under one condition! If a dozen of ladies just like those surrounding Georges Guetary, will be waiting for me at the top of the flight of stairs. Call me "A Canadian in Par(ad)is(e)"! :)

  2. Nice. What Glissando Remmy said.