" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

February 26, 2008


What is creativity? Maybe creativity is when all of the sensory input you receive during a day comes together in the wierdest way, (usually for me it happens when I'm standing in a shower), and it gets reincarnated mash-up style with very surprising elements that are kind of silly. I think that's creativity. One definition of it, anyway.

Today, I was watching this guest, Sebastian Horsley, on The Hour. He calls himself a Dandy. He's a British artist, born rich, never wanted to work, has spent more than 100,000 pounds on hookers and was even crucified because he wanted to experience it. That's right, he was nailed to a cross. He said it was the one day he wasn't on prescription drugs. What was he thinking? He's now not sure what to do with his 46 year old self in the next half of his life: Act 2. And, once you've been crucified, for the experience, I can see, can't you, how it could be just a tad challenging to find your next challenge.

He was sitting there being interviewed by George (my boyfriend) Stroumboulopoulos in the studio overlooking the Thames. He had on a top hat and his self deprecating armour and I thought to myself, look at that, here's a guy who has just created a persona. He is his persona. That's what he does. We're all pretending he said, we're all covering up something but some of us are blatant about who we are, and some of us are, well, lawyers! Or something like that.

Then Ricky Gervais was on and he was talking about fame and how ridiculous it is and how in a recent study when they asked 10 years olds what they wanted to be almost all of them said they wanted to be famous. It didn't matter what they did, they just wanted to be famous.

Then, lately I've been hearing those words "affordable housing" and those are two words that are really getting on my nerves. I hate it when the media latches onto a term even though the term is referring to a non-existant reality. There is NO affordable housing unless you're living as a squatter in the forest. Is paying $1,000/month for a 750 sq. ft. box affordable? No, it's a total rip off. Are houses that sell for more than a million affordable? Are mortgages amortized over 40 years really affordable?

So all of these thoughts were just seeping in barely consciously and I thought to myself instead of looking for a job, wouldn't it be an interesting exercise to create some personal art installation around that lie, that myth, that non existent reality referred to in the media as "affordable housing".

I was thinking that it would be so cool to get one of those big empty boxes that big motherf....ing fridges get delivered in and paint it up like a little house. Drag your little box in front of wherever Gordon Campbell lives (not on his property, on the sidewalk in front of it) and then get dressed up like you do when you're trying to find a job and sit there. Why is some middle-aged woman who looks like she's going to an interview sitting in front of a fridge box that's she's painted to look like a little playhouse?

The key is that you'd look really respectable and "normal" so it would really confuse people. Set up a video camera. And, have a little kid's chair beside you and see what people have to say to you around the term "affordable housing". Create a media event. And then invite people who have something to do with housing in Vancouver. Invite Vancouver realtor/developer Bob Rennie. Jim Green. Invite the head of Canada Mortgage and Housing. Invite the head of Cooperative Housing. Invite Rich Coleman, the guy who wants to build a city on Riverview lands. Invite that realtor, Spice Lucks, just because her name is nuts and courageous. Invite one of those people who live on old boats, squatting, in False Creek. And then don't bother talking to them about affordable housing. Talk to them about their own houses. Get them to talk about the houses they grew up in, the ones they live in now, the memorable ones.

Because even homeless people, must have some pretty distinct memories about the houses they once lived in.

Which brings me to the house I grew up in. But, that's tomorrow's story. Maybe.

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