"No? Just me? This guy knows what I'm talking about."

Every neighbourhood for everyone

For close to twenty years now, the struggle against displacement & for inclusion in Vancouver has primarily been about “anti-gentrification”; and a lot of really good, important work was done under that banner. But anti-gentrification is, by definition, a defensive strategy — and, all too often, it becomes about making sure that an ever-dwindling group of city blocks simply stays too shitty for people with money to want to take it. But the real problem with this city & its history isn’t primarily to do with a few blocks in the DTES; it’s about the huge swathes of town under lock & key against anything but detached, single-family dwellings, which protect enormous, untouchable cantons of multigenerational wealth. This incredibly important & victorious resolution by Christine Boyle lays out a different strategy: one that says, “Fuck it, we’re not going to settle for a few blocks. The WHOLE city belongs to everyone.” This should be the future of the fight for equality, access, & inclusion in Vancouver.

We will mostly lose 🤷🏼‍♂️

Okay, Gindin & Panitch are brilliant, & the book is worth reading, & I love that Canada has this Marxist heavyweight duo — but these two also have an incredibly annoying habit of using the phrase “building capacities/capacity building” in the same way the writers of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles used to have Donatello say he would “reverse the polarities” of such & such a thing — it’s basically meaningless, but does a major amount of heavy lifting to move the plot forward. One of the most consistent mistakes made by very smart people on the left is to assume that our side hasn’t won because we haven’t “figured it out” yet; we accordingly sink into recriminations & pedantry. But the reason the left has trouble is because we’re the side of people who have less — less money, less power, fewer weapons, fewer well-placed friends. That’s just how it is. We’re going to lose most of the time, just like we always have. But we keep fighting because to stop would be to abandon our dignity & our humanity, & because every now & then we win one. It’s a downer, but them’s the breaks. If you wanna win a bunch, play for the capitalists; make like LeBron & get traded to the Lakers.

We lost on electoral reform. It’s done now.

This totally sucks, but it’s definitive, & the conversation is over. Electoral reform is not going to happen in B.C., or in Canada, anytime this generation. It was a mistake to have the premier be the face of the campaign because it allowed what should be a supra-partisan issue to become one of NDP versus Liberals. Lots of big strategic changes need to happen on our side now, the most urgent of which is healing the urban-rural-Indigenous divide between natural NDP constituencies. What makes that even harder to do is that we now need to make a real bid for left-wing Greens to join, or vote for, the NDP (they’re not going to want to). This totally fucking blows but we lost, it’s over, & it’s time to admit defeat & get ourselves ready to keep fighting within the existing framework.

Hey, a new website!


Jump into the late 1990s with me!

The “Taco Nazi” lives!

Check out the incredible work that Atomic Cartoons have done, animating the Taco Nazi track from my album ‘Fatherland.’

Not mourning Dave Barrett, but organizing

I was honoured to join the many hundreds of people in East Van this afternoon to pay tribute to the greatest premier in BC history, one of the greatest premiers in the history of the country (along with Tommy Douglas & René Lévesque), & one of the great leaders of 20th Century socialism. In less than three years as premier, Barrett’s government raised the minimum wage, banned corporal punishment in schools, saved farmland from real estate development, & created the public auto insurer, the BC Cancer Agency, the Human Rights Commission, & the BC Ambulance Service, from which he had a memorial Honour Guard. His story is an essential & invaluable one in this historical moment, as we try to re-radicalize social democracy as a vehicle for building socialism. Dave Barrett, el Allende del Norte, presente! Ahora, y siempre! ✊🏼🌹

Barry Crimmins, presente

We’ve lost a giant. Barry Crimmins was an unbuyable, untameable comedy legend who resisted not only political & cultural repression, but was also unassimilable to the market that they serve. There was no harmless, marketable version of Barry Crimmins. Unlike network “satirists,” he resisted bloodthirsty tyrants and the architects of genocide, rather than goofing around with them. He led a life of incredible pain, but he left a legacy not only of his own work, but a community of comedians whom he helped to bring together. He elevated the craft. Opening for Barry Crimmins was a great honour for me — and he was unsentimental, irascible, & grouchy the whole night; still, he offered a warm kindness after the show. He was in a lot of pain that night, physical & emotional. He was real. Read his wonderful book, or watch the documentary his friend Bobcat Goldthwait made about him, to get a sense of who we’ve lost, & how much he did. Barry Crimmins presente, ahora y siempre. Rest in well-earned peace. ✊🏼🎤❤️