An unusual letter to the editor about the transit plebiscite

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      Usually when people write letters to the editor, they don't hesitate to sign their names.

      But today when I checked my mail slot, I found an unsigned missive neatly folded into an envelope with no return address.

      I've decided to post it below unedited, just in case any of the commenters might like to respond.

      To the editor of The Georgia Straight:

      There is no chance of being listened to, but in service of merely not making Vancouver less livable, overweaning, costly and pan-developmental; in the name of not augmenting the already gluttonous real estate bubble; in the hope of not throwing the city into bankruptcy with this paunchy poncey Ponzi scheme being cooked up in the name of 'transit'—could we please vote against this anti–Jane Jacobs capitalistic pap on the public dole?

      Dare one say there are better things to do with visionary planning than pumping-in populace to wreck neighbourhoods and local economy (without the slightest attention to cultural effect or the maintenance and creation of a heritage environment in any sense save 'bigger, more expensive for individuals, and more economically bubbly').

      The region itself is underserved by fast, cheap transportation between Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria, by way of making the triangle a cultural-economic park. An interchange of this sort would boost the real value of existing organizations and business in a way cognizant of a future actually worth having.

      Given a choice between bigger (and more cretinous) transit and none at all, a vastly more amenable city would result from a repudiation of further aggrandisement in the direction of creating a Fritz Lang movie out of a place that deserves to be lived in, not merely built up into a Tower of miscreant Babel and a totteringly unsustainable house of cards.

      Why sign it, who cares?



      Evil Eye

      Feb 2, 2015 at 6:20pm

      Yup, that just about sums it up.


      Feb 2, 2015 at 7:36pm

      Well said...I think

      Guilin Fish

      Feb 2, 2015 at 8:26pm

      I think this letter is a mid-term project for a creative writing course.

      Susanne Shaw

      Feb 3, 2015 at 3:23am

      Did this writer propose any solution beyond obfuscation for the nation? Who the hell is Fritz Lang? Maybe I need more tea...

      /Lee L

      Feb 3, 2015 at 9:49am

      Yep. Pretty much describes 'sustainable development'.

      As for transit...we should vote NO. We should stall until more of the MILLION people the YES proponents say ( with panic ! ) will be arriving here in the next couple of decades actually arrive. Then.. they can help us pay for that public mover technology which, by that time, might NOT be huge, heavy buses clogging the roadways. It might actually be light carbon fibre driverless shuttles that run on nat gas. Trains, after all, are technology of the 1700s.
      It might be that the virtual workplace will become the norm and large numbers of people will not need to commute every single day but will just log in at the breakfast table most days.

      Maybe the MILLION won't be arriving after all.


      Feb 3, 2015 at 11:32am

      If you don't like the idea of continual development, you must deal with our monetary policy.

      All of the money in circulation, call that P, comes at interest---so we need to pay back P + I. This is done by borrowing more money, call that Q, which comes at interest, J. So now we have Q + P with which we must pay back P + Q + I + J. So we must borrow R, which comes at interest K. Repeat ad infinitum.

      Monetary policy is what drives the destruction of environnment; well-heeled "liberal progressives" can talk all they want about the environment, but without an altenative monetary system, what's to be done? Even on the civic level, Vancouver needs to continue developing to increase revenue, to pay off the debt it has undertaken.

      The sad thing is that a country like canada could go it alone with a national monetary policy---but that will never happen because all good well indoctrinated canadians know that internationalism is best and that nationalism is evil.

      dave in langley

      Feb 3, 2015 at 1:09pm

      If this letter was in your mail slot, delivered by Canada Post, where are the Canada Post markings indicating it has gone through the postal system. If the letter was dropped off at GS offices, why would the person have put postage on it. This looks like a 'plant' and a journalistic shenanigan.

      Charlie Smith

      Feb 3, 2015 at 1:16pm

      Hi Dave in Langley,

      I found the letter in my mail slot at work.

      You're right. There is no postmark, so it must have been hand-delivered.

      The stamp is of a "ghost train".

      I did not plant the letter there. I don't underline words and I certainly don't write like that. I don't even know what the letter writer meant with his reference to a Fritz Lang movie because I've never seen any of his films.

      My guess is that someone dropped it off at the front desk and that's how it was placed in my mail slot.

      Charlie Smith


      Feb 3, 2015 at 3:31pm

      I won't pretend to have understood that letter but I will just add that the Fritz Lang reference is to his silent film "Metropolis" (Germany, 1927), which is considered to have been *the* template for most dystopian, speculative Science Fiction films to this day. It is a great film, and I salute the letter writer's cinematic reference. I really cannot comment on the rest of that letter.