Monday, May 15, 2006

In the days of Goose Loonies and ITV...

This week's guest editorial comes courtesy of Fish Griwkowsky, local Russian cat photographer and columnist for the Edmonton Sun (Personally, I thought the paper sagged after they ditched "Love Is..." but I'm still a big fan of Garfield and the Bio-dex). Included is a picture of an Oilers' fan pyramid, 1980s-style.

“Fuck the police.”

Yeah, I can understand why hundreds of people might be chanting that. Let me just offer my condolences. To all you kid retards who want to freak out and scream for hours in public because of a hockey game – you have my revved empathy. It’s only fair. Me and your unemployed dad’ve done it what feels like 100 times, but the best memories surge back from the mid ‘80s, when we used to take the party to Jasper Ave., when embryonic Whyte was all Burlesque stripper Palace, pot-reeking Comic King and the first vegetarian restaurant in Alberta, Studiobeet. Mmm, sure miss their onion milkshake.

But you should have been on Dynasty street! This is back when we won the Cup frequently enough that we didn’t riot every single win. Though my friend Brad pushed a mailbox over and it spilled letters all over the fucking road. And there was a human pyramid featuring headbangers and your aunt that collapsed, and some fat guy that looked like a young Ralph Klein turned out to be the dude that drew those Ballonimals cartoons in Penthouse. After, we all went to Maxwell Taylor’s and planned “heists,” and some gay waiter chased me down the street because I – well, I stole things.

Anyway, life being shit I can’t write about this after Wednesday, May 17, so I don’t get to know what happened in Game 6 when we better have goddamned won. But all I can think about is what fuckups the cops have evolved into again. And after showing such PR promise, enough to recruit an army.

The basic premise of their error here is an absolute misunderstanding of what’s at stake. Namely, our memories, including theirs. Do you recall the 2001 Olympics, when Canada won gold in hockey? We’d “recently” had our notorious Whyte Ave. riots, which came about because the police blocked thousands of baseball park drunks from crossing the High Level exactly as long as it took them to get furious, then let them loose. Anyway, Olympics: CBC had live coverage of every city in Canada jubilant with thousands and thousands of metro massed at the global win – Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and, oh, hey, what’s this? Ghost world. Edmonton was shut down by its cops. No one was allowed to do anything but fucking shop, and it was past closing time.

And now, there are photos in our dailies of police smacking transparent shields into a young girl’s face while they demand law, order and respect. My simple question is: why can’t some of you fucking idiots figure out a way to let us party till we drop, and not advance on us like Romans, smashing your batons into shields? Are you as dumb as that crowd, as reactionary? On Sunday night early on, cops were still hassling people with flags on sticks, even jaywalkers. On Friday before, after the best game in a decade, they beat the shit out of a total pacifist I know, earned an enemy for life and brought me back into it. This guy is so nice he didn’t raise his voice describing how he got the gash on his forehead and the swollen face. Passed from the cement to boots to the head, he sat in a paddy wagon with a guy “leaking all over the place,” suffering from dog bites. Like, with meat taken out, he later witnessed in the hospital.

I don’t dream of using the tone of some heartless conservative prick, and for all you police who smile at us and talk to cute girls/boys and enjoy the overtime, great job and all my love. But my heart is closed to these tac pigs who talk about “toys” when describing weapons that hurt people, staring at their little maps with a saliva drip as the chopper keeps the neighbourhoods awake all night.

Though we did tip a bus or two, Jasper Ave. used to run safely amok, and here’s how. That’s right, I’m not *just* going to bitch. Do it Vegas style, wall it in. Shut down Whyte to cars *immediately* after a winning game and make it foot traffic only - on the street. Put all officers with their backs against the buildings they’re there to protect, at an advantaged height, as well as on the central meridian to pull little drunk monkeys off trees. Plenty of sight lines to each other. And instead of looking all stern and shitty, laugh and dance around a little, like the police do in Vancouver. Some of you are already doing this! Embellish your uniforms. Then, announce at regular intervals with megaphones that by, say, 3:30 a.m. everyone PLEASE must clear the street. And bus in chicks in PVC cop outfits to flash their tits at the pornographers who’ve turned this mayhem into a capitalism fable they’ll be burping up the rest of their lives. Just kidding about that last one. Maybe. Or why don’t we all just head to Jasper Ave. again? Thanks to parking rates eviscerating our downtown core for decades, there’s basically nothing left there to wreck, anyway. And go, ye Oilers!

31 comments:

Quack said...

Why should we shut down a street after every winning game? Show some class people. I'm a big fan of the Oilers and celebrate wins as well. I also live just off Whyte Ave and can tell you it's embarrassing to watch what goes on. And Fish, I was at the same post-Cup parties you are talking about - this is different now. These near riots aren't even for a series win. Just an excuse for drunken assholes to see themselves on tv.

The riotous types have proven they cannot handle themselves in public, so why provide a major thoroughfare for their entertainment, at the expense of the residents and shop owners on the strip? Are persons like Fish going to foot the bill for all the police that are needed, now that people can't control themselves? Last time I checked, getting stabbed wasn't part of a controlled party.

mike w said...

Well, clearly the police need to come up with a better plan than low-level harassment of harmless drunks while they wait for the 40-50 true assholes to get drunk enough to start fires.

I wonder though, what the difference is now between Jasper in the 1980s and Whyte Ave today? Whyte Ave is, everyone agrees, an idiot magnet. Is it just way too many bars concentrated in a three-four block area?

PS: looking at the photo reminds me of about everyone I've ever seen working at American Apparel.

Eau de Chacin said...

I'm no fan of the EPS (the "S" is for "sting operation" - check your rearview, Sun reporters) but I'm also no fan of the truckloads of Whyte Ave retards ferried in from Testosterone, Alberta on DUI'ed F150s every Friday and Saturday night. It's a hick-based Israel/Palestine problem, and to complete this wildly inappropriate analogy, Whyte Ave is the Gaza Strip. How do you pick a side when everyone involved deserves a stern backhand slap?

Point being, I figure the Ave should be fenced off, and access granted only to those wearing Oilers merchandise and a Klima-esque Jofa helmets to prevent against (further) brain damage.

mudcrutch79 said...

...I'm also no fan of the truckloads of Whyte Ave retards ferried in from Testosterone, Alberta on DUI'ed F150s

I thought we were friends? I come from just north of Testosterone, Alberta.

I've had it with you skinny effete Edmonton liberals.

Eau de Chacin said...

yes, but you're not retarded, and I've never seen you in or around a pickup truck, nor have I witnessed you shivving another human being in celebration of a victory by your preferred local sports franchise. You're an Anne McLellan among Myron Thompsons.

mudcrutch79 said...

yes, but you're not retarded,

Wait till the second semester grades are in before saying that.

...I've never seen you in or around a pickup truck,

My preferred mode of transport and once I stop walking everywhere, I will ride in one again. With a gun rack.

...nor have I witnessed you shivving another human being in celebration of a victory by your preferred local sports franchise.

Really? You want to come over and watch the game tomorrow night? All Oiler wins punctuated with knife fights!

Eau de Chacin said...

Yeah, I'll be there...and likely wearing the Ride the Lightning sleeveless from the pyramid picture. I think I actually used to have that shirt.

RiversQ said...

mike w said...
I wonder though, what the difference is now between Jasper in the 1980s and Whyte Ave today? Whyte Ave is, everyone agrees, an idiot magnet. Is it just way too many bars concentrated in a three-four block area?


As near as I can tell, just about every damn medium to large sized city in North America has at least one area similar to Whyte Avenue. Heck, Atlanta's got a couple of them and it's four times the size. I think it's much ado about nothing because it's not that special.

If there really is a problem, then it has more to do with the persons involved than anything else. Therefore it's either Edmontonians or the EPS. Surely it's a little of both, but if I had to choose I know where I'd place my bet.

RiversQ said...

Also, I can't believe eau de chacin just called mudcrutch79 "an Anne McLellan among Myron Thompsons."

Wow.

The very definition of a backhanded compliment.

I don't know MC79 very well, but I imagine that backhand felt more like a kick in the junk. The fact that he left it sitting there is shocking. ;)

Eau de Chacin said...

I could've said Svend Robinson.

mudcrutch79 said...

I don't know MC79 very well, but I imagine that backhand felt more like a kick in the junk. The fact that he left it sitting there is shocking. ;)

The description is probably apt, albeit insulting. Some things cannot be refuted in public fora but have to be resolved with a celebratory stabbing.

This thread is probably going to come back to haunt me if Eau de Chacin gets stabbed coming to or leaving my prostitute infested neighbourhood.

fish said...

I love that Svend Robinson is coming up.
Just to boil the thing down to its essence, it's a given the mongoloid brigade will show up after every win, unlike the old days. Therefore, we need smart planning and I'd put forward far less fight-goading tactics to control them. Posted rules, for example. Cops on horses! Who doesn't like cowboys over spandex-jacked bike cops?
If tens of thousands of people show up but there are only FOUR charges laid, should teenage girls be getting hit in the face with police shields? Or is there some level of overreaction? Most of the stabbings last Friday were far away from Whyte. But why is it that the major vandalism always hits after the cops make their move? This "show of force" attitude doesn't scare drunks - it makes them fight.

As far as who should pay for all this, anyone charged with breaking something or littering is a start. But that's why I say put the freaks in the middle of street, with the cops positioned in front of all the breakables and store fronts. There's only so much damage a streaker can do to a curb with his penis.
o<

Anonymous said...

anyone who takes part in these idiotic celebrations has to know what they could be in for.

anything that happens to anyone in these unstable situations shouldn't be taken as surprising. you can avoid it by not being part of it. if you want to be a part of it, that's great; just don't tell us that you never saw it coming. (it being a baton, knife, beer in the face, insults by random passers by, other bad things)

Coluch said...

Cops along the store fronts is a great idea, but you'd obviously have huge gaps between each officer, and those gaps would be called "smashy-smashy-holes". Unless you have about 21984y3874 officers standing side-by-side that is. And yes I know that there's a 'y' in that number, it's my new way of expressing impossibly large numbers that are somehow just shy of infinity. Heh.

The only thing that saddens me about being an oilers fan, is that their province is 100% conservative, and this kind of policing fits right in with that type of governing. To the hicks that get face smashed, I say sleep in your beds (of police brutality), you made 'em.

To the innocent face-smashees, I say Go Oilers! A cup win WILL ease the pain.

Colby Cosh said...

The only thing that saddens me about being an oilers fan, is that their province is 100% conservative, and this kind of policing fits right in with that type of governing.

Yeah, clearly Stephen Harper is to blame for our out-of-control police force, and not 30 years of left-dominated city government, or the city's 83% non-Conservative legislature caucus, or an entirely Liberal-created and mostly Liberal-appointed justice system. You've burrowed to the heart of that problem like a star-nosed mole on crack, my friend.

Colby Cosh said...

(I do think the 'y' is a nice touch though.)

Coluch said...

Liberals are fucking arse-holes too, I agree. But admittedly, conservative policies are a bit harsher when it comes to policing and the general good treatment of humans. Surely it's not exclusively or even directly responsible for the 'police-problem' in Edmonton either, I was just sayin' yo. The overwhelming majority in Alberta is one that I stongly dislike more than my strong dislike for all the other possibilities - which, if there was a unit I could quantify it with, would have a 'y' in the number.

Dennis said...

I wonder if that lady in the middle is still hot.

She looks like a sexy Erika Christensen.

Halfwise said...

Huh? Suddenly this is about politics? This is a hockey blog, FFS.

People should party as hearty as they want, whenever they want, as long as they will stand up for their own consequences, including getting whacked on the head by a cop for being drunk and disorderly.

You can't tell me that winning some mere non-clinching game in the playoffs somehow entitles us to street violence and that police ought to just stand back and let boys be boys. I'm with Quack on this one.

Pleasure Motors said...

anyone who takes part in these idiotic celebrations has to know what they could be in for.

That has to be up there with "The button under the hood" as one of the dumbest things anyone has said on this blog in the last while. So, anyone, including say myself, whose celebration consisted of walking down the Ave cheering and trying to get in the Black Dog (then walking back when that failed) should realize that, in addition to my walking, I might get clocked in the face with a police shield, because it's "unstable." Look, if I decide to start throwing shit through windows, or calling out cops, yes, I should "see this coming." But WOOOing and high-fiving, even if it is in a large group, hardly warrants the baton (never mind that we "shouldn't be surprised" when we get stabbed). Jesus, it's obvious why you didn't want to put your name to that BS.

Also, John and Cosh, if either of you could explain to me how Conservative or Liberal has anything to do with our suspect police force, I'd love to hear it. I think it's more the fact Edmontonians are shockingly complacent, and as such haven't done anything about the police slowly abusing their absolute power to the point where it's now almost the norm. There was a bit of a reset with the Kerry Diotte thing, but the force still has a decent number of problem assholes who think a badge makes them above the law, not part of it. (This is in no way to excuse the actions of the drunken jackasses who cause trouble on Whyte, but I didn't hear left-wing or right-wing ideologies being used to explain that.) If either of you could enlighten, please do.

Anonymous said...

I'd look upon your comments with suspicion were it not for the fact that on the 4 total occasions in my lifetime that I've called 911 (twice while witnessing serious violence) in Edmonton I was basically told to f-off. The last time I was driving by three guys beating the shit out of a girl up against their SUV on the side of the road and the EPS operator's response was "why should I believe you?" In that moment I knew that I, a law-abiding citizen, could no more rely on the police to protect me. The worst part is in Canada it's a greater crime to protect yourself than to beat and rob innocents.

case said...

let's just remember. all the analysts said the oilers wouldn't make the playoffs and now they're admiring our grit and now predicting a game six win. these riots are a reaction to this. ok, well maybe not, but alot of people in edmonton like 2 things. booze and hockey. people that like hockey without excessive booze are married with kids. don't get mad at us for being what you used to be, funnier and more prone to acts of destruction. i love the smell of a little anarchy in may. it's been a while.

Loxy said...

alot of people in edmonton like 2 things. booze and hockey. people that like hockey without excessive booze are married with kids.

Interestingly enough, there are also people who like hockey with excessive booze, who are not idiots.

Yes, there are issues with how the cops are dealing with the situation. But how do you stop the situation in the first place? Rivs mentioned that Atlanta has several whyte aves... well, dispersal among locations probably does help. When there is only one place to go in Edmonton for the masses, of course it bottlenecks.

And the idiots follow the crowd.. too bad the crowd is going to Whyte.

fish said...

Pigs what break people for breaking *things* are hypocrites. Sain't Nazi Russia, last time I checked er out. The only good cop is a good cop.

Coluch said...

YArr! I'll be honest, I know nothing of the police situation in Edmontonia. NOTHING AT ALL!! Nor whyte ave., nor local issues of anykind, nor anything. Alas, politics has nothing to do with it, or me, or anything anymore... just a buncha jerks in suits that henceforth, shall not be mentioned by me in this blog!

If the cops are gonna beat on anyone, it should be TSN's resident douchebag Pierre McGuire... as Case pointed out "all the analysts said the oilers wouldn't make the playoffs and now they're admiring our grit and now predicting a game six win".

To McGuire - I've got you in my sights turkey!

posted by the blog-commenter formerly known as John Collucci

mudcrutch79 said...

Nice touch of informality Collucci. The next step in becoming truly at home here is advising Chris! on pleasuring the lovely Kristine.

Anonymous said...


That has to be up there with "The button under the hood" as one of the dumbest things anyone has said on this blog in the last while. So, anyone, including say myself, whose celebration consisted of walking down the Ave cheering and trying to get in the Black Dog (then walking back when that failed) should realize that, inaddition to my walking, I might get clocked in the face with a police shield, because it's "unstable." Look, if I decide to start throwing shit through windows, or calling out cops, yes, I should "see this coming." But WOOOing and high-fiving, even if it is in a large group, hardly warrants the baton (never mind that we "shouldn't be surprised" when we get stabbed). Jesus, it's obvious why you didn't want to put your name to that BS.


i didn't put my name in because I don't have a blogger account :) my name is edward and my email is jeekyu@gmail.com if you want to know.

and i'm going out on a limb here by saying this, but maybe, just maybe, after a guy sees what's happened through media/history covering previous events like this, or their own 1st hand experience, then that person should be prepared for the worst in that sort of event. when riot police are on the prowl and there are 15 cops per block, then yeah, you sure as hell aint walking around in fucking disneyland. stupid fucks like you who come out and say that they were totally blindsided by what happened to them in an obviously volatile sitution should not be given a speck of sympathy.

anyway, if you want to continue to live in your fantasy world where drunken/retarded oafs abound and cause no harm, hey, be my guest.

mike w said...

>if you want to continue to live in your fantasy world where drunken/retarded oafs abound and cause no harm, hey, be my guest.

Yeah, Dave, you stupid fuck!

>name is edward and my email is jeekyu@gmail.com if you want to know.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Coluch said...

Chris!: invent the sexual version of 'the Picard manouver' and "make it so".

Dave and Edward: San Jose WANTS us to turn on each other you know... it's the focus of their strategy now. Don't give in.

Pleasure Motors said...

To hell with playing into their plans, I have a point to make. That point is, there's a huge difference between the petty vandalism, broken beer bottles and puddles of puke that can be "expected" every time a large group of drunkards gets together and police beatings/shiving a guy in the stomach. As I said, I feel no sympathy for people who bait the cops (or start the barfights that generally leads to shit like knifing, for that matter), but to suggest that your average inebriated reveller should expect to encounter knives and batons for nothing more than celebrating is over the top, especially when six out of the seven win celebrations were more or less knife/beat down free.

Will dumb shit happen? Of course, but again, police beatings and stabbings are well outside of the dumb shit norm--right now, the odds of that kind of dumb shit are, at most, 14% probability, judging by our incident-to-celebration ratio. When that number hits 50, I'll start blaming the innocent bystanders, but until then, you shouldn't EXPECT to get shit-kicked for being part of a fairly well-behaved crowd.

Anonymous said...

Man, Chris! and Mike are lucky that they don't live in Edmonton right now. I'll bet the EPS is running the name "Pleasure Motors" through all it's databases.