Friday, September 28, 2007

Speed bumps

Post updated below…

A performing arts centre isn't in the cards just yet until "the private sector and the provincial and federal governments kick in as much as two-thirds of the estimated $60-million cost," local politicians announced yesterday with some regret, imagining that culture and creativity depend on their rhetorical and revenue interventions. Although city staff are "not convinced the private sector will kick in $20 million," the simple act of declaring it as a possibility, no matter how remote, will transform it into enough of a prospect to keep the arts centre on the agenda for continued planning and investment. Less remote, of course, is the possibility that a provincial or federal government will at some point find a public relations need for a funding announcement in London… and every other city eventually until the net effect on taxpayers in London is the same. No stake will ever be driven through the heart of this beast, because it doesn't have one…

But $20 million, or at least vague commitments to an amount close enough for politicians to go ahead, is not so unlikely an event to transpire. In what has become the ordinary run of business here in London, investors realize that they can buy into the public relations goodwill of any politically-motivated project while taxpayers bear the burden of risks for debt and operating costs (remember the John Labatt Centre). If there were any sound financial prospects to be found at all in a performing arts centre like the one politicians hope to erect in their own image, investors would be buying stakes in their own model instead.

Check out this on-line poll on the London Free Press that, as typical, requires the reader to interpret not his own response but how it can be used against him.

Update, September 28: Another London Free Press on-line poll has been spiked by someone with enough troops and motivation to blitz the optics of the results — not for the first or second time. Poll results were consistently trending at about a 70% "No" response from the evening of September 26 when the poll was first published and up to at least 1 PM on September 27, with about 400 votes at that time — fairly standard for the newspaper's on-line polls, which regularly attract between 400 to 600 responses. This result was captured at approximately 12 AM September 28:

Speaking of the Free Press, is there any sight more humiliating than people begging on the front page of a daily newspaper for other people's money without having the courage to ask them directly for it?

More: teens who don't pay property taxes are solicited for "cool" ideas with what to do with property taxes in downtown London. Hurrah!


Elaine said...

For a city council that won't allow economic growth, and doesn't have enough sense to attract business, they are mighty ambitious.

I was listening to the radio a spell back, and some guy who was investing his own money, was trying to turn the old Imax theatre into a performing arts center.

Perhaps they could study that for a few years to see if it will bust at the seams with patrons.

I can't see it happening myself, just because the city will put every obstacle they can think of in his way to deter him from making it a success.

Flying Squirrel said...

Before Londoners think about a performing arts complex, they should take a look at their inferiority complex regarding the arts (and, well, pretty much everything.)

At the wonderful LOLA festival (if you didn't check it out, you missed out -- it was a surreal event unlike any other)most observers said something like "Wow, this is really great event, especially for LONDON" and "It's really great that LONDON of all places could put something like this on."

The answer is that LOLA was a great event PERIOD. Londoners need to stop qualifying everything with "for London" and appreciate the great acts and art for what they are.

I hear these types of comments echoed in any discussion of the arts in London. It's the same deal with CanCon. Great music will stand alone without someone saying "But it was made in Canada, and they have a hard time in the music industry so we should give a boost."

Wherever there are people, there will be art. So stop qualifying it with where it's produced and get out and enjoy it if that's what you're into.

Jake said...

The IMAX theater was another arts boondoggle this city bought into and it didn't even last ten years. The thought of it becoming a PAC would never fly. It isn't located in the downtown and we all know the arts crowd would vomit at the thought of having to drive east of Adelaide Street to the Fairgrounds. The only 'vibrant culture' in that end of town is that of the venereal disease-carrying prostitutes who 'work' there.

Elaine said...

That is true. No way would any of the hoity toity crowd be seen down there without a disquise. Couldn't take their wives there in case their ho's and drug dealers recognized them, and thought it was just another regular business night. That would be embarassing.

I did notice they are trying to spin the performing arts center to the people living downtown, as its saviour. Telling them it will clear up the skank and pimp problem.

When I read last week that they appointed all those useless knobs to the creative city taskforce, they were up to no good. I knew it had to be a joint effort to bullshit the taxpayer, and suck money out of the government for their doomed project.

It is not going to go.

Anonymous said...

From: Butch McLarty:

flying squirrel wrote: "Wherever there are people, there will be art. So stop qualifying it with where it's produced and get out and enjoy it if that's what you're into."

While it's true that wherever there are people, there will be art, it doesn't mean that it will be excellent or outstanding art and art is not always good.

There's plenty of lousy art and precious little good or outstanding art.

While evaluating the quality of art is subjective,most people know when they run into the Real Thing.

Part of London's "problem" (Elaine and other doom and gloomers aside who continually argue with extreme exaggeration and hyperbole, without a hint of journalistic rigour or even common sense) is that it's 120 miles from Canada's largest city.

The reality is if you're any good in the arts and you want to make it a living at it, you cannot stay in London.

In effect, Toronto creams off the best of London's artistic talent, with the U.S. creaming off the best of Toronto's artistic talent.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but that's the well-established trend.

Elaine said...

journalistic rigour????

damn I am so insulted.

Not everyone can own their own website for $22.00 a month and pretend it is a bonified journalistic rigour.

More like that site you have is suffering from rigour mortise.

You might as well get some of those fake birds with the bobbing heads, and teach them how to type. That is about as much thinking and stimulation you get over at alt.

I am with the flying squirrel, if you are good, if it is in you, it will just be.

Flying Squirrel said...

Butch -- thank you for perfectly illustrating the attitude I was trying to articulate!

I have lived in London, Toronto, and Guelph. You may dispute me on this but I never once heard any Toronto penis-envy from Guelphers. And they have a very unique music/art/literary scene.

The reality is if you're any good in the arts and you want to make it a living at it, you cannot stay in London.

That statement is not a useful attitude and will only become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's a vicious circle. I find most Londoners are united by one thing -- their love of hating London!

Elaine said...

You know what this city needs to put us on the map? I thought about it allot.

We need a right-wing flaming queen as mayor. We need someone who is fiscally responsible but a whack of fun, and has their mind open to everything. Someone we could read about in the paper everyday and smile. That would make everyone happy here in London.

Anonymous said...

From: Butch McLarty

Elaine, you are a flying squirrel, forever looking for a pair of nuts to gnaw on!


fying squirrel said: "I have lived in London, Toronto, and Guelph. You may dispute me on this but I never once heard any Toronto penis-envy from Guelphers. And they have a very unique music/art/literary scene."

Hey, I don't have penis-envy for Toronto. I can't stand the place and avoid it as much as possible.


flying squirrel said (quoting me): "The reality is if you're any good in the arts and you want to make it a living at it, you cannot stay in London."

"That statement is not a useful attitude and will only become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Useful attitude? Hell, I don't care if you think it's a useful attitude or not. It's simply the truth. And I'm not interested in sugar-coating anything. I'll leave that you. Some talented artists (and I mean "artists" in the widest sense) have stayed in London because they were "homers" but it cost them dearly -- as in hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe more, over their lifetime.


flying squirrel said: "It's a vicious circle. I find most Londoners are united by one thing -- their love of hating London!"

You got me all wrong squirrel. I love London. In fact, I signed on as an Ambassador for London at (I think that's the URL). I've done plenty to promote things in this city in the past and will continue to do so in the future. I believe in criticizing where criticism is due and giving praise where praise is due. That's how things get improved -- by being honest.

On the other hand, ol' elaine there hates everything, poor girl. It's like having a terminal case of the Blue Goofus (where your butthole turns inside out).

Elaine said...

Oh you are so full of shit Butch. Lots of things I like, just not great big waste of taxpayer money that the leftards like to spend on stupid ideas.

I like that song," I don't recycle no more, I'm not a global warming whore," by the Hippy Smpathizers. I like newyork cherry cheese ice-cream. I like being sassy and driving you nuts. I even like you.... when you are not in leftard mode.

Flying Squirrel said...

But never answered the real question...what do you think of the performing arts centre proposal??

Elaine said...

I can answer for Butch. I know that leftard from the inside out.

"Being recently appointed as one of the thousand ambassadors of London, because they needed a fucking army to try and sell this great big waste of taxpayer money to the citizen's of London, I think it is just a peachy keen project."

"Not a doubt in my mind that in 200 years the performing art's centre will be paid off, and making a $20.00 a year profit for the city."

Anonymous said...

Squirrel, so that's the "real question," is it?

I haven't seen any performing arts proposal, just some vague stuff in Quebecor's Daily Jerk-Me-Off.

London demolished the best site and venue for a performing arts facility -- the old Century 1 and 2 Theatres on Dundas Street that had combined seating for approximately 1,600. It was an old movie and vaudeville house.

Depending on the location and costing, I may support one.

Elaine, you fucking hate everything and you know it. You're London's biggest fuck-tard on the Internet. Nobody else even comes close.

And you toss labels around like you are a moving part in a Campbell's Soup factory.

Labels are for drooling half-wits and other assorted brain-damaged dipshits.

By inappropriately labelling everything it helps your noggin' to remain in semi-conscious cruise control. Wake up, Elaine!

Start thinking before you shoot the slippery mucous thru your blowhole. That way you get to retain some credibility.

Right now you're like your hero Stephen Orser. Couldn't even get a seconder for his motion at the last meeting of the ETC, even though his bud Spud Polhill sits on it too.

Orser hammered in Polhill signs a few elections back, they're both Liberals and Stevie O. did Polhill's bidding trying to unseat Armstrong -- but even Polhill wouldn't second Orser's motion.

What's that tell you, Elaine? You too must be related. The Orsers are originally from squid-jigging country just like you. Probably interbred years ago, spawning young 'uns dumb as a bag of rusty hammers.

Anonymous said...

How's that for putting that broomstick jockey in her place, eh?

basil said...

Stop complaining about arts in London and go see Kelly Wallace's drawing exhibition at the Art Exchange Gallery in Wortley Village. It is on display until October 13.

basil said...

Elaine said...

Butch, you sound a wee bit perturbed. Even hypocritcal.

Orser won the Ward 4 seat, what is that telling you? All that preening and pimping for your candidate, and it blew up in your face.

Talking about hate, you went out of your way, and still do to try and destroy Orser and other members of council who don't agree with the socialist agenda. I have never seen anything quite as dirty and sneaky as the way alt london operates to try and push through their socialist agenda.

Welcome to the world of politics Butchy old boy.

Someday Butch perhaps you might catch up to me, sometimes you even come close, but not often.

Anonymous said...

Geez, Elaine, it was Steve Orser who won in Ward 4? Thank Sweet Jesus for that because there's not much worse than seeking public four times and losing all four times. I suppose if you spend $50,000 on signs, eventually you'll land you know where.

Maybe those billboard-sized signs did it, eh? What were they, eight-feet by four feet? And east enders are suckers for red-and-white billboards on their front lawns (Liberal sign placements).

Hey, I've known the man well since 1987 and we've been close friends at times. When it comes to policy and stickhandling his way through the thickets of municiapl government, though, let's just say that he's no Bobby Orr.

Another example: Last ETC meeting he tried to have Harold Usher, the chairperson of the committee removed, but nobody would back him up.

Why? Because Usher wouldn't let Orser go off into the rhurbarb by bringing matters into the discussion that weren't on the agenda. That's the chair's job. To get out of the building before 4 a.m.

Real smart move on Stevie's. A real diplomat. It was so embarrassing watching this spectacle, I had to stare at my shoes frequently.

Destroy him? Christ, who got his arse thrown in the can for three days after the election and then couldn't go home for seven or eight months? Made the front page of the Freep three days in a row.

Wasn't me Sugar Scoop.

Unfortunately, my old bud Steve is perceived as a careening loose cannon by his council colleagues and nobody wants to go near him on any issues. And if you can't pull nine votes on your own hobbyhorse issues, guess what?

Does "useless as tits on a bull" ring a bell?

He and Paulie Van Meerbergen should start a new club and call it the "Lone Wolves," but they only agree on a few side issues, such as proving who's the biggest patriot and panderer by letting the world know how much they "Support Our Troops."

i.e., I support out troops so much, I'm ... I'm .... going to make the ultimate sacrifice. I'm going to order $3 decals go on all City vehicles at taxpayer's expense! If that doesn't prove I love this country nothing will!

Funny how neither one of them had those decals on their private vehicles before the debate at silly hall.

eng said...

And you toss labels around like you are a moving part in a Campbell's Soup factory.

Best insult today!

Elaine said...

It was offered by citizens of London to pay the $1000.00 for the yellow ribbon decals.

Butch you whining about $1000.00 for the decals is ludicrous. You have no qualms about them wasting millions on a performing arts center, that if it comes to be will raise our taxes considerably.

You don't like Paul Vandeman, because he is one of the few on council, who understands the money they are wasting, is taxpayer money. He understands the importance of economic growth. He understands that is what makes a city vibrant, and lures entertainment venues.

So Orser and his wife got in a fight, cops were called, charges were dropped.He was not convicted. Shit happens.

Orser will do something for that area. He might not be a scholar, but he has something the other candidates didn't have, tenacity.

Elaine said...

Butch, now that you have taken on the role of brown shirt....I mean ambassador, for London city council's socialist cabal to push through the performing art's center, will we see it reflected in your website alt London?

While the schmoozing and ass kissing of our city council socialist cabal is done to a high degree by alt already, will that ass kissing be extended to all members of council?

To be a good ambassador you got to kiss everyone's ass, and make it look all flowery and sunshiney.

Perhaps you could get a couple of copies of the Londoner and study them, to set you in the right direction.

mariposa said...

A very simple solution:

For those who want a performing arts centre, then try actually working for it. Get off you fat concert-going backsides and do some fundraising to pay for it. Stop expecting taxpayers to finance your entertainment.

Jake said...

Excellent comment Elaine. These leftist at alt London and city council bitch about spending a little for "Support our Troops" decals, but not a peep about $60 million on a PAC. Just highlights their breathtaking hypocrisy.

If history is any prediction of the future, these socialist clowns will take it too far with increasing taxes, controlling development, and funding elitist arts projects like PAC and "Creative Cities Task Force" that the electorate turfs them. That was exactly what happened when Jane Bigelow was mayor in the 70's when she started taking London down the exact same path: She built that ugly museum at the forks and the electorate had enough of her anti development crusade.

Anonymous said...

With elaine and Jake as spokespeople for the political right on this blog, no wonder you bozos can't get any traction anywhere in Canada.

elaine's missing half her marbles and Jake is a lame-brain, tin-horn dictator as evidenced by rhetoric and his pic.

Regarding paying for the decals on City-owned vehicles, Polhill, Orser and Miller all offered to help pay for them but never did.

Funny how that works. Talk but never deliver.

Just like Orser continually campaigned, if elected, to be Ward 4's FULL-TIME COUNCILLOR. Even promised to either shut down or sell his junk business.

It never happened. He's been working his rags, bones and bottles truck all along. Just missed three days when he was in jail, trying to shake off the hangover and piece his memory back together.

His first move on the Standing Committee (ETC) he sits on was to push for licensing his junk competition -- other junk haulers.

Is that what you call "tenacity" elaine?

Other ETC members thought he'd sold his junk business so they didn't think he had a conflict of interest.

Then after the dinner break during the following council meeting (conflicts are declared at the start of the meeting, not half way through) Orser finally declared a conflict of interest on licensing his competition, admitting that he's still running his junk business.

All council members shook their heads in disgust and disbelief, wondering what turnip truck Orser fell off of.

Regarding one-trick pony Paulie Van M., it's good to know that he's your hero as well, elaine.

The poor guy never makes a new motion to correct something he doesn't like, he just asks for it to be called separately so he can vote against it. Think "Useless" with a capital "U."

But then, he probably knows that, like Orsovain, he could never get a seconder even if he passed around hundred dollar bills at council like confetti.

elaine, if you had your way you'd:

1. Chop down every tree in London.
2. Pave over every square inch of earth.
3. Spray pesticides everywhere until nothing was alive.
4. Blow up London whicle cackling like a demented hyena.

Yet you purport to be "pro-life." just like Hitler was purportedly "pro-Germany."

Funny thing, though, when your other hero Adolf was done, Germany was a pile of burning rubble. I guess that's the way Satan works, eh?

Elaine said...

Butch, you sound really perturbed now.

How could anyone get a seconder on council unless they were anti-economic growth? The few thinkers may not be able to stop the socialist cabal, but they can make it not as easy for them.

No doubt Orser will make a few mistakes, he is a rookie afterall.

I think you are very wrong about Paul Vandeman. There are many that admire the fact that he realizes that it is taxpayer money, and not play money, that city council is wielding the sword over. People are sick of the waste of taxpayer money that council throws around like druken soldiers on their pet projects.

The message is getting out there that the socialist cabal at city hall do not want economic growth, and therefore are doing everything in their power to stop it.

Just thank goodness there is a site like the London fog to keep an eye on the wasteful spending, and utterly silly antics of London city council.

Elaine said...

When I read this in the morning, I just shook my head. Does this council have no end to the money they are willing to waste? I don't give a fiddler's fuck if your comfortable sitting there in those overpriced seats or not, nor does the rest of the citzens of London. Not like you are buying new bedroom furniture for your house, with your own money.

Council chambers upgrade pondered-lfp

"Frankly, it's a poor council chamber and we have known that for a long time," said Controller Gord Hume, adding that's the consensus among controllers.

Hume said there've long been complaints that people seated in the chamber's public gallery can't hear councillors speaking at their horseshoe-shaped table. -lfp

Gordo, we can hear you as you spout off your stupid ideas on how to waste taxpayer money. Yes, it would be preferable if you were all standing up against the back wall facing forward with blindfold's on.....but that is just a dream, we all have when you bring up your ambitions to waste our money.
But Armstrong said he's not opposed to a report on upgrades because poor acoustics is a problem. Council should also look at replacing the chamber's chairs, he said.

Council bought 33 chairs in 1998 at a cost of $35,000. Although billed as ergonomic and adjustable, Armstrong said the chairs are anything but.

"You sit back and they snap forward," he said.-lfp

Well exxxxxxxxxxxcuse us Billy-boy, if we the taxpayer thinks it is a good idea that you are awake during council meetings.

If it were up to me I would equip the chairs with tasers to be activated by the taxpayer everytime one of you wing-wangs said something stupid.

That whole place would be jumping then wouldn't it? Get some action out of you guys. You'd be thinking before you voted to do something real dumb.

Honey Pot said...

ha, dismissed, I assume. Males. Dismiss away, I have bigger fish to fry. It has been a slice.

MapMaster said...

Dismissed? You mean in the other comment thread? Don't think so, I only addressed the "tard" insult out of all the ones going back and forth between you two because it was the only one that might have had some merit behind it. None of Butch's insults were worth responding to, but I suppose I shouldn't have bothered responding to anything in the first place.

Butch McLarty said...

elaine, Sugar Scoop, please don't go. We need to know the Voice of Reason from the London Psychiatric Hospital on a regular and ongoing basis.

No one else can provide that better than you.

We need to know what the nutjobs are thinking during the full moon.

Come back Little Sheeba, come back!