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: Sterling Campbell Cover Art: Shawn Beatty
In our western society, the majority of citizens are fortunate enough to have more than we need (though many get sucked in by seductive advertising and engage in the never ending game of consumption, without ever attaining an ultimate state of material fulfillment). Our relative prosperity as citizens of middle class western society enables us to have an abundance of choices in life; the freedom to choose our political and religious views, moral beliefs, what we desire to consume, how we live. We truly have won the global jackpot. With great wealth comes great responsibility There are two types of people: those who go through life without much thought to the consequences of their actions as an individual and their part in shaping society. Alternately there are those who seek to investigate commonly held truths and deconstruct dominant ideologies that maintain injustice; those who live by their beliefs, recognizing their inherent power as citizens to aid in moving society towards a more socially just world. Those in the former category; this article is not for you. You will forever continue to go through this world without a thought for consequence, eating buckets of KFC and engaging in aggressive meathead behaviour, such as keying the “Give Peas a Chance” bumper sticker on my car, and using the “but it tastes good” excuse for not supporting animal rights. Unfortunately those in power in our society depend on the selfish, idle and the apathetic, to maintain the status quo. For those who consider themselves to be an intellectual of sorts, concerned with social justice and possess an open mind, I ask you to consider the animal rights issue. Do you truly think it’s justifiable to cause animals pain in order to turn them into food? And if not, what is keeping you from engaging in change? The meat industry relies heavily on spectacle; effectively separating us from reality. In our culture we’re incessantly bombarded with constructed images which create completely false impressions of the world around us; shaping our beliefs. The meat industry is the ultimate example of separation perfected: keeping consumers from having to face the truth. When you buy that package of meat containing an image of a pleasant little farm
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with rolling green pastures, it is the furthest thing from the reality of where that product came from. The average consumer will never encounter a factory farm. So what is the reality? It’s pigs in cages so small they can barely move an inch their entire lives, covered in feces, torn away from their young who, in a natural existence as highly social animals they would nurture and have close relationships with. The reality is massive ponds full of pig crap, destroying our environment and seeping into grounds and waterways. The reality is sick animals denied veterinary care, full of hormones living in breeding grounds for disease. This isn’t merely the case in “bad” factory farms. It is simply how the factory farm functions: maximizing profits, producing animals as commodities with no regard for their rights as sentient beings. Farm animal brutality has been normalized. It is rationalized by such statements as “eating meat is natural”, “it’s the way it’s meant to be”. Simply put: if we treated dogs the way we treat “farm animals” it would be considered a crime. The worst part: farm animals have feelings too. In fact, pigs are cognitively significantly more intelligent than our favorite animals: cats and dogs. How can you be an “animal lover” yet contribute daily to the suffering of animals? This takes me to the state of farm animal rights in Canada. Most assume they are sufficiently humane. Not so my carnivore friends. In fact, Canada lags behind other western nations; holding on to outdated factory farming techniques, such as the cruel practice of “holding pens” for swine. Pigs become literally insane, chewing each other’s tails off, twitching and rocking back and forth from immobilization. Transportation regulations have yet to be updated to more humane levels. Animals in Canada are transported up to 52 hours straight without rest, food or water. Crammed into trucks with little protection from cruel Canadian winters, many animals freeze to the sides of transports. Just like humans, animals have physical and psychological needs in order to live decent, healthy lives free from pain. They are not objects designed for our exploitation. Factory life: conveyor belts, crammed pens, enduring pain and neglect, is not suitable living conditions for living creatures.
Do humans need to consume meat? The average meat eater gets twice the amount of protein needed, which can lead to an array of health issues. Contrary to common belief, a vegetable based diet is considered the healthiest diet for human beings. Veganism has many health benefits such as a significantly (approximately 40%) reducing the chance of heart disease, along with a decreased risk of cancer and obesity. Think it’s too hard? I made the switch at a young age. I have never felt deprived in any way. In fact, most vegetarians and vegans I know say they eat a more varying and delicious array of foods since converting. You can even have the world’s healthiest and tastiest cruelty-free poutine. It’s not all salad and tofu! Any regular meal can easily be converted vegan; with the added benefit of being lower in fat. As rationalists, we can recognize there are scientific truths and non-truths. Can we go further and determine there are moral truths and non-truths? Certainly moral truths are subject to opinion to a certain degree. However, as a society we have decided that dogs have the legal right to decent lives, free from torture. How then can we rationalize the mistreatment of other like-animals? When examining the ability of animals to experience physical and psychological pain, their cognitive intelligence and awareness of their surroundings, and furthermore when we take into account their social needs as sentiment beings, can we not conclude that factory farming is animal abuse on a massive scale? A pig is a dog is a cow is a chicken. I’m an animal, you’re an animal too. So what do you believe is right? And when are you going to start living according to your beliefs?
When it comes to naming things, the name of the thing should lend itself to, in a positive way, the nature of the thing. That is why you would not name a synagogue after a Joseph Goebbels, you don’t name a daycare centre after Jeffrey Dahmer, you don’t name a women’s shelter after Robert Picton, and you don’t name a hospital after the goddamned bubonic plague. Guess what else you don’t do? You don’t name a library after Ontario’s most famous enemy of education, Mike Harris. Since Nipissing University has named its new library after our former Premier, whose record on educational issues was unquestionably dismal, so much so, that one might reasonably suppose that he had an abiding hatred of education, that informed all of his policy decisions; it is fair to call the integrity of those responsible into question. Why did Nipissing do such a thing? If it was only for money, it was for the wrong reason, and hence the University has not only tarnished its image, but diminished its integrity. Well there may be multiple other reasons, and one of them might be that they thought “The Harris Learning Library” is a suitable name, but we’ll never know, because there was a million and a half wrong reasons involved. The University, in their press release, did not go so far as to say that it was appropriate to name the library after Mr. Harris, they merely pointed out how important it was to the project to have that 1.5 million dollars, the amount the naming privilege cost Mr. Harris’ benefactor, billionaire investor Seymour Schulich. This elderly billionaire, Seymour Schulich has made most of his money through speculative investing. When you make your money this way, what you are doing is attaching your money, like a wealth sucking parasite to a pre-existing business entity. The business enterprise is a legal structure that organizes the wealth generating ideas, and labour of working people. The speculator has added nothing to the enterprise (remember that speculation is far different than funding a start up) that he is betting on. His success is attributable to intelligent gambling. In gambling there are winners and losers in a zero sum gain. A speculative investor, is not a net contributor to society, he has not generated his wealth using admirable techniques such as working or developing ideas, he has won his money from someone else. When a man makes his money in this way, and he gives some of it back to worthy causes, such as libraries and educational institutions, is it fair to admire him less than a person who does the same thing with money that he has earned? When a man commits an act of generosity, it is more respectable when he does so anonymously, or when he insists on recognition? Seymour Schulich gives a lot of money away to schools… very often (if not always) on the condition that the school is then named after him. For example, there is the Schulich School of Business at York Univeristy, there is the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario, there is the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, there is the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie, and last but not least, there is the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. Each of these honours was bought and paid for. In Canada, universities, including the Schulich Schools are funded by tax dollars, and while not everyone is glad to pay their taxes, it is some consolation that our tax money goes to a good cause. We tax payers find it easier to identify good causes when they look like good causes, smell like good causes, act like good causes, and are named like good causes. I would not immediately assume that something named after Mike Harris or Seymour Schulich would be a good cause. I do not disagree on a conceptual level, with selling naming rights to things like hospitals, schools, and libraries. It is a good way to suck money out of people with a lot of money, and an ego to match the size of their pile of cash. However, there should be limitations. The honour should not be open to those who, in character and actions do not properly represent the nature and spirit of what is being named. I can see why someone like Seymour Schulich might want to do Harris a favour, and pony up some cash to buy him an honour. After all, Harris, who is famous for tax cutting, mostly cut taxes for giant corporate interests, and the extremely wealthy, such as Schulich. For the privelege of naming this library, he should have had to pay for the whole thing, and provide an endowment good enough to fund its operation forever. That way, taxpayers wouldn’t have to endure the insult of paying to help immortalize him and his buddy. Naming a library after Mike Harris, after how he took the funding axe to education, disrespected teachers, cut a whole year off of high school education, forced the public to fund religious schools (a dramatic waste of public money for the selfish purpose of getting him the Catholic vote) is not all that different than naming a blood bank after a vampire. I would not donate my blood to the Dracula Blood Bank, and I don’t want my tax dollars going to the Harris Learning Library.
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Dizzy in Love asks: I’ve been going out with this girl for 2 months, and the connection has, in my mind, been amazingly mind blowing. I have never felt this even in the long term relationships I’ve been in. Two days ago, I was telling her goodbye, and told her I love her. I didn’t plan it, it just came out. I got silence. She finally told me that she has never told anyone that she loved them. Did I just screw up? Ideabong says: Ouch, I’d have to say that, indeed, you have screwed up. It may be too late to salvage your style, but let’s go through the motions anyway. First, I’d like to consult the indispensible Oscar Wilde, who says : “He who loves the more is lost”. What he is saying is that rarely if ever, are two people equally in love, and that the person who is more in love, will suffer from it. The reason is this, in our culture, love, in the romantic sense, is an act of acquisition. Love seeks to possess its object. The person who loves the more, has more to lose, and the love becomes insecure. The pain associated with it becomes more intense until the other sees nothing but a desperate clinging barnacle with no style. You need to change the plan, and I can help with that, but first, let’s discuss your method of delivering the love message. You did not choose an intimate moment, perhaps during the post-coital bliss, whereby, it might have been appropriate to reveal one’s feeling of love for the first time. Instead, you chose the cowardly sneak attack. It is appropriate within the context of a committed relationship in which a mutual love has been established to say “I love you” before hanging up the phone. What you did was kind of like a combination between a hit and run, and a fishing expedition. It shows desperation, and believe me, she noticed that. I won’t bother telling you to save yourself by doing the old cut and run, because you won’t do it, so I will explain how to save the sinking ship. It’s a long shot, but just maybe you can pull it off. You will need to go way out of your way to demonstrate that you could take it or leave it. Bail on plans with no notice, and afterward, send flowers, but be careful not to apologize or explain. Don’t bring them, send them. There is a big difference that I don’t have time to explain, so just take my word for it. Stop planning your weekends around her, let her know when you have no other plans, and leave the scheduling issues to her. If she makes time, you have hope, if she doesn’t, you can be absolutely certain that the writing is on the wall. And, last but not least, if the previous steps have not resulted in her casting you off, on nights that you have no plans with her, try the ole late night booty call. If you need to tell her what you’ve been up to, say something like the golf game went really late, which cannot explain why you are calling at 2 AM and how you spent your evening. It creates mystery, which is important. If the booty call works, and you have established a mystery about your activities, and she is scheduling around your availability, then you have regained the upper hand. The only drawback to this plan is that it does not lay the foundation for a loving and respectful relationship; you already blew that with the premature “I love you”. Noseplugs asks: I belong to a church group, and one of the ladies practically bathes in perfume, some of the ladies have actually quit because of this, due to allergies (one even had to go to the doctor). Should I tell her that her perfume is making us sick? Ideabong says: I am unfamiliar with the internal dynamics of groups of church women, but one assumption that has always served me well, is that you all join such groups for the purpose of getting your noses in each other’s business and hen-pecking each other half to death. Rather than correcting my original assumption, I will make a further assumption… that you do not belong in a church ladies group, as clearly, you are unable to get your nose in this smelly woman’s business to do a little pecking at her. Perhaps you should quit the church group. Another assumption that I felt pretty comfortable with is that a church lady would never ask a bong for advice; that assumption has been discarded.
Girl-lover asks: I‘m a lesbian and am into girly girls. I myself am also pretty femme and was thinking the other day if I were to get married one day would we both wear traditional dresses or would one of us play the male role and wear a tux? Ideabong says: having a same sex marriage these days is hardly a situation in which you need to cater to other people’s ideas of what a traditional wedding should be like. You are likely to scandalize those closed minded traditionalist people regardless of what you wear, so you may as well go all out and wear exactly what you want to, stopping short of a nazi uniform, or diapers or whatever else might compromise the dignity of the event. Since there is no tradition to adhere to it, I do believe you and your partner should focus on fun, and celebrating each other. Why don’t you choose each other’s attire? A.S.H. asks: Is the rest of the population worth meeting? Do I need to leave Nipissing? Ideabong says: No and Yes. Not everyone on the planet deserves the honour of knowing you, and the people that do deserve it, will be happier knowing that they are in a semi-exclusive club. You do need to leave Nipissing at some point, if you haven’t already. The perspective you gain will help you realize that all the finest characters are, in fact, in and about the Nipissing area.
It was the 3rd Wednesday of December in 2009 at Cecil’s when Dany Laj last took a North Bay stage. There would not be much disagreement amongst those in attendance, that they saw one of the best rock shows in recent memory that night. Since then, Dany has been working to further establish himself on the Toronto music scene, regularly gigging at venues such as The Press Club, The Dakota Tavern, and Graffiti’s. Also, he has recently completed a 6 song EP called “The Match”. On September 17, Dany Laj and The Old Youth will return to play 100 Georges. Although, for the sake of his music career, he now calls Toronto home, his roots are in the north and his connections to the north remain extremely strong. Before heading to the city, Dany lived in, and belonged to the music scenes of Kirkland Lake, North Bay and Sudbury. Of course, it all started in Kirkland, as he grew up in a family with a strong musical tradition. “After dinner, the table got cleared, moved out of the way, the family sat in a circle and the instruments came out. The entire family was involved with music in some way,” Dany relates. His first band in Kirkland Lake was called Swank, whose line up included another ex-citizen of Kirkland Lake, Chad Newton. After Dany failed to crack the line up of a band he wanted to join, Prime Tension, he heard Chad Newton outside of school talking about how Swank needed another guitarist. Dany would not to be foiled again in his attempt to join a band: “I kind of swindled my way in by saying I knew scales and stuff… which I really didn’t, but I really wanted to be in that band. The next thing I knew, I was playing my first show with Swank at the Polish Hall in Kirkland.” Another major musical counterpart was Joey Clement, a talented musician and songwriter, with whom he played in Too 4 Flynchen. The pair eventually outgrew Kirkland and went to Toronto in another of Joey’s bands called The Awesome Team which was on the verge of making it. By the time The Awesome Team was signed by a label, Dany had already gone back to Kirkland to reconnect with his roots. This is when he started writing songs for himself. Sometime in 2003, Dany moved to North Bay, to once again join a band with Chad Newton, The Intesteens.
This band consisted of Dany Laj (guitar, vocals), Chad Newton (guitar, vocals), Clint Mallete (drums), and Brett McNeaul (bass) who all emigrated from Kirkland to North Bay during the Kirkland invasion of the early 2000’s. They went on to become fixtures on the North Bay scene, and released an album on Shocknova Records which was owned by Jake Naylor, also a North Bay resident formerly from Kirkland. After the departure of Brett and Clint, Dany and Chad brought The Intesteens on a cross country tour with a rhythm section borrowed from Form One; Nathan Gray (bass), and Mike Brushey (drums). It would be their last tour. After the untimely demise of The Intesteens, Dany moved to Sudbury to form The Old Youth with Julie Houle (vocals), and Steve Joncas (bass, vocals) and Luke Sellen (drums). North Bay native Russ Jack, formerly of The Drones, eventually replaced Steve Joncas on bass. This band was a regular headliner at The Townehouse, achieving critical acclaim and considerable success with an album called “Lost in Dust”. After the untimely demise of The Old Youth, it was time for another roots discovering pilgrimage to Kirkland Lake. There was only so much that Dany Laj and the Modern Day Citizens - the band he formed there could do in Kirkland, so Dany decided it was time to go where the music industry was, Toronto. Not surprisingly, in Toronto, Dany is collaborating with old friends and band mates from Kirkland. On the upcoming EP “The Match”, Joey Clement (drums, vocals) and Chad Newton (bass, vocals) are both involved. The EP was recorded in Parkdale by Dave Misener, who happens to own a cottage outside of Kirkland, and mixing was done in Guelph by former Awesome Team bandmate Dan Beeson, who is originally from New Liskeard. For this upcoming EP, Dany also worked with Toronto musician Lori Hirst who sang on one of the tracks. The manifestation of The Old Youth that we’ll see in North Bay will be Chad Newton (bass. vocals), Sean Dignan (drums), Erika Werry (keys, vocals) and Sara Fitzpatrick (fiddle) . Playing at the George is a perfect fit for Dany Laj and The Old Youth. No venue is more dedicated to supporting original music than is the George, and Dany is perhaps one of the hardest working promoters that the North Bay music scene has known. The knock on
North Bay bars is that they don’t bring in enough original acts. However, Dany sees his role as entertainer from the perspective of the venue owner. These are businesses and are interested in making profits. He knows as an entertainer, his job is to bring people out, and make sure the bar does good that night. So, when Dany plays, expect a party. As a musician, not only is it important to promote your own shows, it is also important to support the efforts of other musicians who are playing original music. If you don’t show up for shows, don’t be surprised if people don’t show up for yours. “You do have a duty. If you want there to be a scene for original music in whatever city you live in, you have to get out and be at shows even when you aren’t playing. I’ve lived in North Bay, and I understand the struggles that the North Bay Scene faces. It works when people are showing up, and fails when people stay home. It’s that simple. The bars will book original music when they think the people involved can be successful for the bar.” It could be looking up in North Bay in terms of access to original music, with the return of Drew Vendetti and the re-launch of Organ Grinder. North Bay can look forward to seeing acts like C’mon, and The Sadies, in the not too distant future. Given Organ Grinder’s track record of success, Drew is not having any problems finding venues that are eager to work with him. “It’s good for North Bay to have Drew back with Organ Grinder. If you support Drew’s shows, he’s the kind of guy that will help your band out in any way he can. I know this because I’ve dealt with Drew years ago. He knows how to promote, and works with people that support the scene. He’s successful because of it.” Recently having turned 30, Dany has a long musical career already behind him. He also has a long musical career ahead of him, as his dedication to making music drives everything he does in life. The new EP, is currently available on the CBC Radio 3 website, and will be released on CD and vinyl in the near future. If hard work and the quality of the product have anything to do with it, the sky is the limit for M. Dany Lajeunesse from Kirkland Lake... oh ya, by the way, come out to the George on the 17th, it’ll be a party.
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Tracy asks: I just started dating this guy and I’m really attracted to him, but he says he doesn’t perform oral sex ever. He says it’s ‘too subservient,’ and he doesn’t like the taste. He definitely likes to receive it, and I kind of like to give it, but I feel torn. Is this normal? Or is this guy a jerk? Ideabong says: what is normal in this situation depends on what you are used to. If it was normal for you to be with guys who don’t like dining at the Y, then his attitude is normal, but if that was the case, you wouldn’t be writing the Ideabong, so clearly, for you this is not normal. Is the problem for this guy really the taste? If he hasn’t sampled the offerings, then how can he know? Since the rejection is not something that you are accustomed to, then I would assume that what you are serving is closer to sweet nectar than essence of rancid sea critter. So, maybe it is because he really feels like he is subservient when your thighs are blocking his hearing… which might be reasonable if he didn’t expect your “subservience”. If oral sex has become the theatre of a power struggle within your relationship then you have a major decision to make, do you want to be controlled or be in control? My advice is to grab that SOB by the ears and put him to work. K.K. asks: How do I tell my husband that I want more kids? Ideabong says: the mere fact that you are asking this question means that you suspect that your husband doesn’t want more kids. I am wondering why he doesn’t want more. How many do you have now? How many more is “more”? The act of procreation would be a truly joyless affair if your husband needs to be convinced to participate. Perhaps he would enjoy sex for pleasure more than he would like working to make you pregnant. I see the biggest danger of this situation being about a month long stand off whereby you guys are miserable and fight all the time, and share no intimacy, before he gives in and gives the more kids idea a thumbs up because there is no other way to make you happy (and get you into bed).Therefore, I recommend surprising him, thereby avoiding the unpleasant process of bringing him to heel, besides, he’s going to cave anyway. G.H. asks: My boyfriend told me that he thinks he is becoming more mature because before he used to want a good looking girlfriend but now that is not so important to him. Personality is more important for him now. Ideabong says: you just got insulted. The fact that you are bringing this to my attention, and looking for direction probably means that you haven’t already straightened him out properly. Go find that guy right now and slap the taste right out of his mouth. Any dude that doesn’t think the stars have fallen from the skies and are currently shining through your eyes is not good enough for you. You are beautiful and you know it.
Shygirl asks: Dear Ideabong, I am 29 years old and I have been painfully shy my whole life, to the point where I have panic attacks around strangers and people I don’t know very well. I can even get shy uncomfortable around people that I do know. It almost feels crippling at times, especially as I’m getting older and career wise. I feel very limited to what jobs I can do because I’m afraid that I might have a panic attack. Do you have any suggestions that might help me stay calm and get used to socializing? Please, I could really use your help. Ideabong says: You did the right thing by getting in touch with me Shygirl. I happen to have similar experience in my past, so I feel your pain. When I was a very young bong, I played hockey. I had very good skills, and played very well in practice and amongst friends, but something happened to me in actual games when I touched the puck… I froze. I couldn’t see anything but the puck, and everything else became a blur. As soon as I had the puck… I felt like all the attention was on me, my vision closed in, and I was too nervous to take a shot, or make a pass. It made for some hockey bloopers I can assure you. I was constantly wondering why I could play really well amongst friends, but not against a team of people I didn’t know, in front of a crowd of strangers. I realized the whole problem boiled down to the difference I perceived between people that were my friends and people I did not know. I realized that in all likelihood, there was no difference at all, the people I did not know would have been my friends, had I met them and gotten to know them. It became clear to me that strangers are just people I hadn’t made friends with yet. I could not think of any reason that strangers would see me any differently than my friends did, who had taken the time to get to know me, and liked me for exactly who I was. Once I was able to see strangers as friends I hadn’t met yet, I was fine. It takes some work to make this breakthrough though. What you need to do is think about how your current friends see you, especially what it is that they like about you. If you need to, ask your friends to remind you of what they like about you, and why it is worth being friends with you. Do this until you truly believe it. When you no longer doubt the wonderful things your friends say to you, and about you, you will remember that strangers are no different, on average, than your friends. Your friends hold the key, and I suspect that you have friends that would be only too eager to remind you of why they treasure your friendship. Take care Shygirl, and remember how amazin’ you are. Bill S asks: I just came across an email address for an old girlfriend – one I treated very badly. Now both she and I are currently happily married, and I don’t want to get back with her, but my conscience has been bothering me. Should I write and apologize? Ideabong says: First off, I’m not sure what you mean by “treated badly”. Did you beat the crap out of her? Or, did you merely break her heart? Because I’m confused by the vagueness of your question, let’s get this one into the capable hands of Oscar Wilde. He said: “I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.” He also said: “Illusion is the first of all pleasures”. There is nothing worse than someone coming out of your past, and destroying your illusions about it, and people do tend to create illusions about their pasts… it’s how people stay sane. Regardless of whether you laid the boots to her, or whether she suffered from a case of unrequited love, if she is currently happy, she is likely to be over it. If she has forgotten about you, as a bad memory, you’d open up her wounds with the apology that she may not need for her own sake. Therefore, on that level, before proceeding, be sure you aren’t doing it for your own selfish reasons. If you are… don’t. Tyrone V asks: Am I crazy, or are they all out to get me? Ideabong says: Both. You will require a tin foil hat and a lightsaber to get along in this world. Good luck.
We don’t see the SAB bus driving around these parts quite so much anymore, and consequently, we don’t hear the driver of that bus leaning out the window, yelling something obscene and then driving away under a hail of his own voracious laughter so much either. One’s imagination might run wild with speculation as to where he is and what he is doing now that he no longer calls North Bay his home, but no one would doubt that wherever and whatever that is, it would somehow involve allowing Northerners somewhere to live the rock ‘n roll dream vicariously through him. In fact, the avatar of Northern Ontario rock, for those who don’t know, now lives with his family and a surprising number of pets on a farm outside of Pembroke. There is more than one decaying old SAB bus to be seen on this farm, with their exhausted odometers, and vinyl decals still representing a who’s who of SAB supporters. But those buses are not the only manifestation of rock ‘n roll that one is likely to encounter on the SAB farm, there is also SABSTOCK. Every summer, in early July, thousands of people from all over the Pembroke area, and sometimes beyond, gather on the farm, for a weekend of camping, rock ‘n roll, and some SAB-inspired debauchery. As with any SAB audience, it is composed of every type of person imaginable - a veritable cross section of humanity - but they all seem to have one thing in common... a funny story about SAB that they are eager to tell. That shared experience is what seems to bind the people that go to SABSTOCK into a cohesive social unit, one that over flows with an uncommon determination to celebrate. It doesn’t seem like a long time since SAB relocated to Pembroke, but in that short time, SAB has become a cultural institution there. A plethora of highly talented young bands from the area, to whom the entire Saturday afternoon was devoted, look up to him as a mentor. A large number of volunteers make the whole thing work, from greeting concertgoers, to providing security, to constantly working to keep the grounds clean. The preparations themselves, which included improving last years’ stage, bringing hydro to it, grooming the campground and concert field, and promoting the event, could not have been done by anyone that didn’t have an entire community behind him. If SABSTOCK continues to grow at its current pace, it will soon rival Voyageur Days. One thing that will always distinguish the two rock festivals is that Mattawa’s legendary figure of Big Joe Mufferaw, does not wear a Billy Bob’s t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off and a top hat, unlike the legendary figure out in Pembroke. However, they both do wield a mighty axe.
The art scene on Main Street is exploding. It is anchored by the WKP Kennedy Gallery, with both Art on Main, and the White Water Gallery moving to bigger, better locations. Recently, 187 Gallery has joined the mix, and is doing exciting things, showcasing both local, and international artists. 187 Gallery is North Bay’s first integrated Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery, as it is co-located with Deluxe Custom Tattoos at 187 Main St. East. Earlier in the summer, it all began with a show called “Tools of the Trade” which featured original work by internationally known tattoo artists such as Chris Hall, Matt Ellis, George Brown, Rich Hanford and Phil Kyle. The theme was art pertaining to the tools of a tattoo artist’s trade, which are hands. The second show was Mechanics of Pain, featuring the photography of Andrew Vaughn. It was based on a concept by Polly Hatter, and documented the journey of a tattoo from beginning to end. The tattoo that Andrew photographed was executed by Shawn Beatty. These photos had impact, especially for people who were about to get a tattoo, as they showed in extreme close up detail the interaction of needle and skin. Penetration, ink and blood were rendered in remarkable detail in these excellent photos by Vaughn. The photos “made people step back a bit” says proprietor Polly Hatter. Currently showing at 187 Gallery is “Through the Socket”, featuring “all things skulls” by local artists, such as Tara Sharp, Jess Bureau, John Baker, Polly Hatter, Shawn Beatty, Marty Lacombe, Peter Sloan, Andrew Vaughn, James Sroga, and Judith Ingwersen. The show opened on August 27, and the reception featured music by Montreal band No Face Left. The show will be hanging until September 27. Polly and the crew at 187 Gallery have great plans for future shows. The next one is already generating a lot of excitement, as renowned Canadian artist Angelina will have an opening at the gallery on October 1. The artist will be present at the opening reception to do a meet and greet and sign autographs. There will be some limited edition exclusive prints and some original sketches for sale. Angelina will be showing some never before seen paintings as well. Featuring artists from all walks of life and from all over the world, the next show “Killers” will open on October 30. The theme for this show is serial killers. 187 Gallery is a welcome addition to the art gallery scene in North Bay, as clearly, they are willing to take on subject matter that is a lot more edgy, adventurous, and dark than the more conservative galleries would normally explore. It’s also the only gallery that, not only displays art, but has artists available to create art ... right on you.
SAB effigy in Pembroke store window SAB on stage with Pembroke’s next generation of musicians
SAB entertains the gathered masses at SABSTOCK 2010
words and photos by Tony Loeffen
Every politician, when asked, will identify “serving the community” as his motive for entering politics. I can’t remember the last time I believed fully it, therefore I can’t believe I bothered to ask Craig Bridges that question. But I did, I got the answer, and surprisingly, I believed it. Two days later, I still believe it. Go figure. This is what he said: “I actually want to do something worthwhile for this community. This is my home, and I want to make sure that, when my kids finish school, they will want to live here. When I finished high school, I ran, and I was never going to come back. I was gone for 15 years, and I lived all over the world. All of a sudden, my wife and I started having a conversation about children, and where we should raise them. I told her there is this little place called North Bay, and it is great for raising kids. But, North Bay has to be more than that, it has to be a place you want to stay, or come back to after university or college.” I met Craig at City Hall to discuss his candidacy, who he is, and some local issues. The life he leads, the values he champions, and his informed, open-minded viewpoint, left me impressed. Craig was born and raised in North Bay, but left after graduating from West Ferris Secondary School. He returned in 2001, with his wife, with whom he has two sons, because North Bay is a great place to raise children. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Bachelor or Education, and Masters Degree in Environmental Studies. Here are some highlights of his career and community involvement: he is a teacher with the Near North School Board, the past President of Greening Nipissing, Project Co-ordinator with the Home Ownership Affordability Partnership, a Public Member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, a small business owner, and a youth soccer coach. Basically, Craig Bridges is involved in the community, in the right way, for the right reasons. He is the kind of person that makes the ideal neighbour, and if you find yourself drowning in a lake, he’s also not a bad guy to
have around. Last spring, Craig, and his nephew Brendan Demaline, rescued two people and their dog from the extremely frigid waters of Lake Nipissing. It’s not something that he is likely to bring up on his own, but I read about it in the Nugget, so I asked him if the type of person who risks his life to save two other people’s lives is the kind of person people should want as a city councillor. With characteristic modesty, Craig replied: “No, that’s just the kind of person who happens to live on the beach and watches stuff.” The fact that the two people whose lives Craig saved are out knocking on doors with him during this campaign says it all though. This is not the first time that Craig has run for public office. He ran under the Green Party banner in the last federal election. When asked if the fact that his name has been planted in the public mind, and his environmental credentials established in that last election, represent an advantage for him, he responded that it shouldn’t as there are no parties in municipal politics. He is quick to point out that he has friends of every political stripe, from staunch conservative to NDP supporters, in addition to his Green Party friends. Craig believes that even people from different parties tend to agree on many more things than they disagree on, and especially in municipal politics it is important to put those ideological differences aside and work with people from the other levels of government. “I think this last city council could have had a better relationship with the provincial government. There seems to be a lot of stone throwing. To me, that is not productive, and it certainly has not benefited this community. City council’s job is to look out for the best interests of our city, and if that means shaking hands with someone you would never vote for, then shake hands”, Craig says. When speaking of his run for the Green Party, Craig wants to make it very clear that his environmentalism is pragmatic and business friendly. He points out that his Masters degree in Environmental Studies has a focus on corporate management and finance, and
therefore fits nicely with his Bachelor of Economics. He says: “If you tell people they have to be broke to save the planet, they say, great, but not me first.” Further on the subject of the last city council, and environmental issues, Craig has an interesting perspective on the Tweedsmuir Park compromise, which did nothing to satisfy the neighbours of the soon to be diminished park. “The original plan was terrible, and they got guilted into changing it, but it is still terrible. When you design a park, that is closed off from all streets, and has no sight lines, and can only be accessed through three narrow pathways, that is not a very good park. No one designs a park like that these days. They are not safe. When people realize that this park is a disaster, it will be too late to make it surplus land and sold off because there is no access to it. So, this plan not only destroys the present park, it destroys future options.” Craig thinks that public consultation should be done prior to making a decision; you don’t just make a decision and then decide to follow through with it only if the amount of animosity it generates stays below acceptable levels. The one thing that struck me the most, and it only occurred to me after my conversation with Craig had been concluded, was that when I asked Craig a question about local issues, I did not get some kind of bottled, generic answer. He showed no inclination to boil a complicated issue down to a slogan that he could use to sell me an over-simplified idea he has about it. I don’t doubt that he when he says it is appropriate to consult the public before making a decision, that he means it. When I asked him a question about an issue, I wound up in a conversation with him about it, and he was just as curious about my ideas, as I was about his. This was extremely refreshing. Not only do I now believe it is possible for a person want to enter politics to serve the community, but Craig Bridges has defied a lot of the other assumptions I have about politicians as well. Tony Loeffen
ART AND MUSIC SCENE COVERAGE COCKTAIL TIME
REALITY by BOB KISMET
SOLVENT contra NUGGET
Bake Sale, Face the Hate
Justin Robinson / Bake Sale
and Unleash the Archers
Nathan Shore / Face the Hate
September 9, 2010 / Highland
Steve Rothwell / Bake Sale Guy Poulin / Bake Sale Steve Rothwell / Face the Hate
Andre Cote / Face the Hate Mike Selman Unleash the Archers Zahk Hedstrom Unleash the Archers
Brittney Hayes / Unleash The Archers
Josh Seddon / Face the Hate
Nick Ianiro / Face the Hate
Brayden Dyczkowski / Unleash The Archers
Scott Buchanan / Unleash the Archers