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James Strocel

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No, I will not untick that thing in your Facebook profile. [Sep. 28th, 2011|08:41 pm]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

facebookfreeservice1 300x210 No, I wil not untick that thing in your Facebook profile.

Since the new facebook layout took hold, the sky has fallen, terrorists have invaded, stock markets have crashed, and I have started to see statuses like these:

Dear all, Please do me a favor and move your mouse over my name here, wait for the box to load and then move your mouse over the “Subscribe” link. Then uncheck the yada yada yada, Mark Zuckerberg’s molesting my precious data-bits, kthxbye

 

Tell me this. When did we all become such info-snowflakes?

What is it about our lives that is so special, so precious, so secret on facebook that if it was ever “made public” we would be locked up in the bowels of the Ministry of Love for re-education?

And why are you going on Facebook to be private anyway? Most facebook users have at least 150 friends. If goes out on your status, chances is are it’s not a secret anymore.

Most of this controversy is over the news ticker on the right hand side of the facebook screen. It gives a real time view of what comments and likes your friends are making on the site. People are worried about this because their movements on the site can be tracked.

First, I have not done this thing. For anybody. If I do it for one, then I have to do it another 325 times. My time is more valuable than that.

Second, that ticker is made of data that has always been collected on Facebook. Ever since you first logged on. Why are we getting excited because the data is now organized in a usable fashion? That’s computers do!

Do want to know who’s following your movements on that ticker? Me. Yes, me. And it’s a good thing to, because if I want to know what you’re doing at any given time, that means you have a social life. Honestly, if you have something to tell that you don’t want posted on the New York Times, ring me up and I’ll take you out for coffee. We can share your gossip, have a laugh, and who knows, I might even be able to make you some money. I’ve been making all my income for the past two years this way and I can’t tell you how many cogs in our economic machine have ground to a halt because people in BC just don’t know how to pick up the dang telephone.

 

 

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Selling in Person [Sep. 20th, 2011|07:00 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

Anybody can send away to city hall for a business license, but you never feel like you are your own company until you have to go on the road for it.

There is no sales team to gather orders. You can’t depend on your website’s contact form to gather leads. You know that an ad in the local paper can’t pay for itself.

There is just you, yourself, numero uno, picking up those business cards, establishing that rapport, and making those connections. The people you meet might be your friends for decades to come. Meeting people in the flesh says that you are willing to put in the time and effort to solve your customers problem. You are present and at their service. It might be all you have right now, but it also might be all you need.

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Passion is Temporary, Courage is Forever. [Sep. 6th, 2011|07:00 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

CowardlyLion 229x300 Passion is Temporary, Courage is Forever.Passion. It’s become a cliché now. Find your passion and you will succeed. Follow your passion to greatness. Your Passion is all you need! Passion, passion, passion! Is passion really all we need to get through life? I think courage is much more important. This is why I want to tell the story about a man of great passion. He was literally a beast, bursting with passion. Of course, I’m talking about the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.

When the Cowardly Lion was just a cub in the Land of Oz, he had already found his passion. He walked up to his parents and said to them, “Mother, Father, I want to be the King of the Forest. I want to be big and strong. I want to make a difference out there.”

“Son,” said his parents, beaming with pride. “You could not have picked a better path for your life. You belong to a long line of Kings of the Forest. It’s an honourable profession. The salary’s good, the medical benefits are top notch, and you’re assured a pension! They even have a union, you know? You will be set for life, my boy!”

So, the Cowardly Lion headed off to jungle university to get his degree. He took a wide range of interesting courses “The Lame and the Sick: Culling for the future”, and “Poachers: How to send messages and keep the forest clean with their entrails”. The Cowardly Lion worked long and hard at his courses. He couldn’t even be bothered with the local political goings on. Something about the Munchkins having a real Witch of a Mayor. The Lion didn’t care. It wasn’t his problem. Someone needed to keep those little buggers in line.

Soon it was graduation day, and the Lion, degree in snout, marched proudly down to the forest to collect his union card for King of the Forest, local no. 342. He was ready to be top predator, a mean, lean, killing machine. He entered a grove of trees filled with a group of sombre older beasts who took the young graduate aside.

“Mr. Lion, sit down a sec. I have some news.” A Grizzlier than usual Bear said. “You see, we’re having a little trouble with the management back at the Emerald City. They say they can’t make their pension payments, but we got some guys here who put 30 years into this forest. If we don’t fight them on this, there’s no hope for you young guys coming up. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make a few…concessions. I don’t think we’ll have a position for you this year as King of the Forest. Perhaps later, after a few more years of experience, you’ll get your chance.”

The Cowardly Lion was heartbroken. He was so poor, he could even afford an apartment in the forest. He had grown weak and scrawny from a diet of all instant ramen. His student loans made him terrified of the phone. Because of the Union by-laws, he wasn’t allowed to chase so much as a field mouse. Experience? Where was he going to get that? He went out for a walk by the Yellow-brick road to gather his thoughts, when all of a sudden, he saw a strange sight.

There was a little girl walking down the road. On one side of her, there was a man made of metal, and on the other there was one made of straw. And right by the little girl’s feet there was a small black animal that he had never seen before. It wasn’t a deer, a zebra, or like any kind of animal covered by the Union by-laws.

He thought, “Well what do you know? A loop-hole! Here’s my chance to do my job as King of the Forest! I’ll muss up that little ball of fur good, and they’ll accept me for sure!”

Giving his best roar, the Lion jumped out on to the road. The straw man was no match for him, and the Tin one made a terrible noise as he quaked in his boots. He was about to pounce on the little animal, but the little girl stood in the Lion’s path and gave him a big fat slap!

The Lion just realized what he had tried to do. He had just picked on an animal weaker than himself. This isn’t what he trained for. This isn’t what a King of the Forest was supposed to do. This was the doing of big fat coward. It was all too much. The Lion began to cry.

The little girl (whose name was Dorothy) took pity on the Lion and said. “Don’t cry Mr. Lion. You just need to find some courage. We’re all looking for something, you see. The scarecrow’s trying to find some brains, and the Tin man is looking for a heart. We’re going to see the Wizard in the Emerald City to see if he could help. You should come with us!”

The Lion had lived in Oz for years and had never actually been to the Emerald City. He took Dorothy up on her offer. On the way there, he found ways to help his new friends. When he roared, the other beasts wouldn’t bother their little troupe. Whenever there were chasms in the Yellow Brick Road, he could carry his friends on his back and jump across the other side. When they got to the Emerald City, the Wizard told them that to prove themselves worthy, they had to bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. The Lion always wanted to be the King of the Forest, but he had no idea he would get so involved in politics!

The Lion found himself crossing a haunted forest, sneaking into a heavily guarded castle, and even fighting an army of flying monkeys! At the end of it all, the Wicked Witch was dead, Dorothy made it back to Kansas, and the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion were made Kings in Oz.

So you see, Passion isn’t everything. Passion can give us direction, and it can give us Joy, but what if we can’t follow our Passion? What if we have obstacles in our way? That’s when we need courage. Courage stays with us through those obstacles. Courage makes us soldier on when things get tough. We’ve still got a lot of Wicked Witches out there. There’s Climate Change, Terrorism, and a Global Debt Crisis, just to name a few. We’ll need courage to tackle them all. But you may be thinking, The Lion didn’t have any Courage! He had to go to the Wizard to find it! That’s true, he did. But on his way, he found friends to walk that Yellow Brick road with him. He found himself solving real problems that he would never have had to deal with as a simple King of the Forest. All he had to do was take that first step. You see, there’s a reason I think Courage is more important than passion. Unlike Passion, you don’t need to find Courage. If you just decide to look for it, Courage will find you.

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Pax Part 3 Education Through Play [Sep. 2nd, 2011|07:00 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

IMG 2720 300x225 Pax Part 3 Education Through Play

You must choose carefully the panels that you want to see at Penny Arcade Expo. You’re not going to to find a quiet indie games Q & A to chill out and learn something interesting. Every panel lines up at least half an hour before the doors open. Sara knew which panel she wanted to go to as soon as we got into Seattle. It was called Education Through Play. Since she is a teacher, this was right up her alley. We didn’t know what would be discussed here, but we joked that if we played our cards right, maybe her professional development money could help pay for our hotel.

As PAX Panels went, this one was especially packed. The room must have been filled with at least 400 people. Late-comers were being turned away from the door. The panel had started late because several of the panelists from the east coast had been grounded by Hurricane Irene.

The first speaker was James Portnow, CEO of Rainmaker games and writer of the web series “Extra Credits”. He started talking about how the American Education, which was based on the 19th century Prussian model, could no longer cope with the challenges of today. We all know the educational potential of games. No one has ever had to sit a 10-year-old down to memorize all 150 pokemon. If we could somehow harness this emotional power that games have, we could have a world where the United States is first in Math, Science, and Literacy.

The speech was a barn burner. The audience was on their feet. The question and comments line snaked all the way back to the door. You could feel the energy crackling in the room.

It was then that I realized why so many people had come to Penny Arcade Expo. It wasn’t to see the latest games, It wasn’t to play in the tournaments, it was for validation. Outside of that convention hall, the work-a-day world believes without hesitation that games are frivolous and decadent, and by extension so are the people that play them. Here, everyone was a gamer. Games bring joy and meaning at PAX. Why wouldn’t you want to change the world with that kind of passion?

I hope everyone in attendance at the Education Through Play panel realized just how important they are. The change we’re seeking through video games isn’t going to come from administration or school board approval. It’s not even going to come from passion or good ideas. This change is going to come from the hard work at every level of the education system. It’s going to be the teachers who incorporate the games into their lessons, the IT staff that help them set everything up, the parents who recognize how the games have awakened a passion for learning in their child and demand that kind of instruction as they progress from K-12.

We just don’t know how games will work in the classroom…yet. Next year, I hope to see a panel or even a series of panels focused more on the practical applications of games in education. We can have all the validations we want, but at the end of the day, it’s the individual that brings the bright ideas to the table and creates a new reality. Because as Ken Robinson said, “when kids walk in the classroom and you close the door, you are the education system.”

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Pax Part 2: Tanto Cuore [Aug. 31st, 2011|09:15 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

tanto cuore 300x167 Pax Part 2: Tanto Cuore

The most fascinating game at PAX was not to be found underneath the life-sized statues of dragons, wizards, or space marines. No plasma screens depicting high octane gameplay were found at this bright pink little booth. Instead there was a picture of a young chamber maid with long blond hair and frilly white apron. This was my first encounter with deck-building card game, Tanto Cuore.

In Tanto Cuore (Tawn-tow Kwo-ray) you are placed in the role of a Lord of a large mansion. The object of the game is to hire maids until you have the most capable staff in the land. All of the maids have their own unique abilities that affect the flow of play. You build your staff with resources like “Love” and “Actions”. You can also hinder your opponents by causing their maids to get sick or pick up bad habits.

As I played the demo, I could just hear the gnashing of teeth over the nature of the game.

What’s this? You’re “buying” young girls with “love” so they can “serve” you in your mansion. It’s sick! It’s perverted! It’s negative gender stereotyping!

Even so, it was mostly women who were checking out the booth. The promo bag – which you could only get by buying the game at PAX – was mostly being carried by women, and my female friends were talking about the game, saying how cute it was.

When people decry games, movies and other things that feature pink, lace, and good manners, I wonder what kind of society they think they are building. Are we really better off when Barbie, Hello Kitty, and the Disney princesses are only mention in the hushed tones of heretics? Do we want everybody to just wear business suits and boss each other around?

Tanto Cuore is a welcome departure from more traditional card games. Instead of summoning monsters to do battle with each other, you are assembling a group of young ladies that can put together a household filled with love and prestige. It feels a lot like Settlers of Catan in the building aspect, but because there are so many cards in play, you feel like you have more leeway in your strategy. It’s not a collectible card game, so everything you need to play is contained in one box. I can see how it would be controversial, but the art is beautiful, the gameplay is solid, and my wife has found her gateway drug to complex tabletop games. Today Tanto Cuore, tomorrow Magic the Gathering! (Yeah, right!)

Tanto Cuore can be purchased online at Cardhaus Games and other fine games retailers.

 

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PAX Part 1: 5 Easy Ways to Survive Pax Prime [Aug. 29th, 2011|03:51 pm]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

Photo on 11 08 29 at 12.27 PM 3 300x199 PAX Part 1: 5 Easy Ways to Survive Pax Prime

 

If I was going to attend only one convention this year, I decided it would be Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Washington. PAX did not disappoint. It is truly a nerd prom of epic proportions. There were giant displays from all the big publishers, video game tournaments, table-top games, and above all, thousands of fellow gamers to enjoy it all with. That being said, it’s a big convention. If you’re not careful, you could be swept a way in a tide of bodies smelling of old sweat and despair. Here are a few ways to make your PAX experience less zombie apocalypse and more geek apocalypse…whatever the hell that is.

1. Forget Trying To Play Triple-A Titles

Unless you’re a fan of standing in line for 5 hours or more, steer clear of the larger publisher booths. Sure, you get to play Skyrim, but you’re giving up at least a quarter of all your available expo hall time to do it. My friends were only able to play Mass Effect 3 through some drunken blackmail. Just enjoy all the new gameplay videos on the big plasma screens and check out the stuff at the indie booths, which are frankly a lot more interesting.

2. Bring Your Own Food

When dinner time rolls around at PAX, there will not be a restaurant, cafe, convenience store or hot dog cart without a line winding around the block. Make a stop at Costco on the way down to pick up some non-perishables and guard that stockpile like Mad Max. However if you’re like me and you didn’t pack enough, you can hit up the bakery desk at the Cheesecake Factory. The lineup for their restaurant hides a tasty salvation from the lunch rush mobs

3. Do Not Look For Swag, The Swag Will Find You.

It’s easy to get antsy about swag when you arrive in the afternoon and the only program schedule you could find was sticking out of the trash. Fear not. PAX turns Seattle into Tokyo for the weekend. The companies attending are desperate to get your attention and get you telling everyone else about them. You can get swag for playtesting, standing in line, or really pathetic puppy-dog looks. Swag is everywhere.

4. Trust The Enforcers

With over 85,000 attendees, there was no part of the convention center that wasn’t absolutely choked with people. If it weren’t for the professional management and the bravery of their volunteer enforcers, the attendees would have resorted to cannibalism within hours. As a veteran con-goer, I’m more used to a more “populist” form of crowd control. This generally means volunteer management, which means the inmates are running the asylum. Lines are hours long, and they are separated and mooshed together haphazardly in a futile attempt to make them go faster. PAX has none of that crap. They cap their attendance, and their staff is well versed in the art of mob-mancy. So, relax. They will get you to your panel…eventually.

5. Able-Bodied Attendees Seen Taking The Elevator To The 2nd Floor Of The Sheraton Hotel Will Be Punished Through Summary Execution.

The Sheraton was kind enough to give their upper floors to PAX attendees, which sounds nice. There’s also an elevator that skips floors 3-20. Also nice. What’s not nice is when you’re trying to make it back to your hotel room while drunk, hung-over, or sleep deprived and you think you’re going all the way up but SCREEEECH!! Not so fast, Sunshine. Someone was too lazy to take the escalator that was literally 10 FEET OVER from where I just became 10% more nauseous. If you are disabled and can’t take the escalator, I understand, but for the rest of you, show some consideration, okay?

 

 

 

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I Play Video Games Socially [Jul. 12th, 2011|10:21 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

kof94 1 I Play Video Games Socially

“Hi There, this is James from V2S Web Design. Do you want to play video games sometime?”

Now, what would you think if you picked up the phone and heard that sentence? What images and scenarios are taking place in your mind? Are you thinking of a business owner who’s trying to network? Or like me, are you picturing somebody in a cheeto-stained silkscreen t-shirt, living in an apartment (and with a catbox) that hasn’t been cleaned in 8 months?

I don’t know what happened, but I can remember a time in my life when video games were a social lubricant. See, we didn’t play King of Fighters ’95 just to watch Mai Shiranui’s 32-bit bosom tremble with victory. It was a time for me and my friends to talk about anything from girls, to school, to Hong Kong action flicks. Some of my best gaming experiences were with my old friends from high school. One time, we stayed up until 5:00am playing Metal Gear Solid. We only made it past the first battle against Sniper Wolf, but as far as I was concerned, that journey had made us all Bros.

10 years later, I own my own business through a series of career mishaps. Between all the bookkeeping, the marketing, and the care and feeding of clients, my opportunities to play video games with my friends are vanishingly small. Still, my social life is even more important now than it was when I was younger. If I don’t set up bonds of trust with people in my community, I might not see a paycheck at the end of the month. To make matters worse, all of us adults are so gosh-darned important that we can find any excuse we need to bail on a coffee or lunch meeting. No one I know in my industry partakes in the traditional business activities, like golf or racquetball. Phone-calls can be just awkward. “Hi there, I’m not calling you because I want money, I just wanted to hear your manly voice over the phone.” As for meeting up with non-local clients, forget it!

But Lo and Behold, there’s a technology out there that allows me to spend time with other people without necessarily having them be present. You don’t have to travel anywhere, you don’t have to buy any bulky equipment, you can even talk to the other person while performing said activities using voice-chat. What is this strange new device? Sign me up!

That technology, my friends, is video games.

According to Jane McGonigal’s essential book, Reality is Broken, over 60 per cent of top executives are playing casual video games to unwind and get a sense of productiveness in their day. How productive could those games be if they actually played them with colleagues and potential partners? Games form essential social bonds with people. You can find out how they think under some types of pressure and how they express emotion. Even teasing and trash-talk are important social milestones. They allow people to say to each other “I could hurt you, but I don’t want to”. It sets the stage for a whole host of complex social interactions.

So why, for the love of God, aren’t we doing this more often? Why do we subject ourselves to multi-player experiences that are as sociable as a morning commute with 12-year-old drivers? Why can’t we adults set aside time to get to know each other this way? You don’t even have to compete against each other! There’s such a thing as on-line co-op, where you can be on the same side against the Zombies, the Alliance, the Falling Jewels, or whatever else catches your fancy.

Our social ties are just going to get more and more important, especially in this economy. If you believe that the world isn’t run from the local golf course, then I’m afraid you’re in for some grim reality upside the head. Competence does not matter as much as your ability to work with people and enjoy their company. If the conspiracies of the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, or Stephen Harper on the golf courses of the world have got you down, it’s time we took to Azeroth and started making conspiracies of our own.

I really want to know your thoughts on this. Is there a stigma against playing video games together after age 25? If not, why don’t we do it more often? I’ve got three copies of Borderlands:GOTY edition from the Steam summer sale. You might get one if you can help me find the answer in the comments.

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Richmond Night Market [Jul. 11th, 2011|07:00 am]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

Last Saturday, Sara and I decided to take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Richmond night market.

IMG 0379 768x1024 Richmond Night Market

The actual market site is in the back of some import warehouses. It took a bit of finding, but for me that just adds to the anticipation. You won’t be able to find it unless you truly believe!

IMG 0380 768x1024 Richmond Night Market

Mmmmm, Yakisoba and Octopus Dumplings!

IMG 0381 768x1024 Richmond Night Market

Now that Angry Birds has penetrated the carnival game market, can we officially call it over-exposed now?

IMG 0384 1024x768 Richmond Night Market

I’ve never seen quite so many tiny loli-goth hats in one place…

IMG 0388 1024x768 Richmond Night Market

These girder structures looked neat.

IMG 0387 768x1024 Richmond Night Market

Traditional flowers will eventually wilt. Stuffed animal bouquets will always look fresh and adorable!

IMG 0385 1024x768 Richmond Night Market

There was also a Richmond Night Market Idol contest going on. This contestant was only seven years old!

IMG 0390 Richmond Night Market

This rookie contestant was just belting out a rendition of “MacArthur Park”!

 

IMG 0392 768x1024 Richmond Night MarketiI bought you a deep fried snickers bar, but I eated it. It was delicious, but make no mistake: Deep fried candy bars are a dessert made of Pure Evil.

 

IMG 0391 1024x768 Richmond Night Market

The market was soon choked with people. According to the website, the market sees about 20,000 visitors a night! Vancouver is criminally underserved when it comes to street food. I’ll have to come back if I want to sample more of it.

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The Promised Story [Jun. 20th, 2011|03:59 pm]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

As I promised, here’s the story I’ve been working on all month. I make no excuses for its quality, I reached a few points of “flow” while I was writing it. It was a good exercise, and I’ll probably do it again some time.

Anyway, enjoy!

“Children of Orichon, I bid you welcome to your new home!”

The head master’s robes fluttered in the harsh sea wind. We were all huddled together on the dock, trying to avoid the sick that took at least 10 of our fellows. We had left port in Maradon with 30. Though the chill reached down to my very soul, the air smelled good. It smelled clean. Thanks to Orichon, indeed.

My name is Tuck. It is only one I have. A year ago I lived across the sea in an Saint Rifov’s Orphanage in Maradon, the capital of the Empire. It is a crowded place, teeming with the refugees from the war with the demons in the East. Even in so far in the Empire’s borders, the cities are within the walls of great keeps to protect the people within from the beasts without. Sometimes shanty towns are built on the outside, but they don’t last long.

Saint Rifov’s was forced out of its tenement because the rents were too high. Like the Empire, we found new hope in the colonies to the West, across the sea. The headmaster continued his speech.

“We will be making our way through this new colony of…” He adjusted a pair of spectacles on his nose. “Newlandia. Hm, not very original, is it? You have been assigned to different family farms along our route to the western border. Those who have not been assigned at the end of the journey, however unlikely, will return to the port and await further instructions from the local diocese.”

He wrenched the spectacles from his face. Some of the boys suspected the headmaster had spent some time in the theater. “Take heart, Children of Orichon! This maybe a savage New…Land, but be certain that you are providing a service to the Empire by populating her new colonies. Single file please, take hand in hand, and no talking!”

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Stanley Cup 2011: The Game, The Riots, and The Future [Jun. 16th, 2011|11:03 pm]
James Strocel
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Originally published at www.James-Strocel.com. Please leave any comments there.

idontwanttoliveonthisplanet 300x169 Stanley Cup 2011: The Game, The Riots, and The Future

My Reaction to Last Night's Events

After 17 years, I let myself believe again. We had the best offensive line in the league, and stepped over teams that would have crushed us in seasons past. The ghosts of ’94 were finally about to be erased. But alas, it was not to be. And to add insult to injury, the streets of Vancouver were once again plagued by rioters.

Losing the game was one thing, but I couldn’t handle watching the city being used as a commercial for tear gas and nightsticks. Reports were coming in about gangs of teens and twenty-somethings from as far away as Surrey “gleefully” rushing to the riot areas. I decided to declare a personal media blackout for the day. I wouldn’t read any news reports or facebook statuses related to last night. Just as those police officers wanted the crowds to disperse and move on, I wanted life in general to do the same.

A clean living room and an organized office can do a lot for a broken heart. I decided to poke my head out and survey the aftermath. Vancouver was now a joke on the world stage. Even my wife’s grade 6 students were disgusted and that crowd will argue over a missing pencil. Fortunately there were many citizens as well as police trying to stop the destruction. There were many volunteers the next day to clean up the mess. The boarded up windows were covered in messages of support and regret.

I hope they arrest and publicly shame every last person who was making trouble downtown that night. It’s funny how people freak out over the privacy issues mobile phones and facebook. Right now it’s almost being used as a form of street justice. This technology is the only way we’ll catch these thugs. I know public flogging’s out of the question, but I wonder if banishment is considered a cruel and unusual punishment. Please go to www.identifyrioters.com and see if you can pick out any faces.

Now, as for the game itself. I’m in no position to figure out the deciding factor because I am by no means a regular hockey fan. There were a lot of conspiracy theories flying around that night. There was the Rome suspension, Raymond’s injury, and the fact that the son of the head NHL disciplinarian played for the Bruins.

As Gary Bettman, the NHL Commisioner stammered and sputtered in front of a booing Vancouver crowd, I wouldn’t have minded if a quick bout of US hyperinflation had him changing his home address to the back of a ford station wagon.

But let’s think about that for a second.

If Bettman suddenly wasn’t NHL commissioner, perhaps by getting hit by a schoolbus full of bantam league hockey players, who would take his place? It wouldn’t matter. The US has more population and more economic power to keep the league going.

Where’s our population and economic power going to come from? Where is that Canadian NHL commissioner and owners who would bring the game back to its home country and make billions while doing it? Is it some internet tycoon thinking of selling his business to a bunch of Silicon Valley VC’s? It could be one of those postal workers on the picket line, sitting on some product he built in his garage but can’t take to market because the post office is the only way his family can get benefits. He could be in the same room as you. Anybody with a plan and the will to carry it out.

At the end of the day, conspiracy theories are nothing but excuses. If it’s going to take more Canadian owners in the league, then let’s make more Canadian owners. Let’s build this country up so we can have our game back. Instead of complaining, rioting, or otherwise about our Cup-less team, let’s make a Stanley Cup in Vancouver happen, just like our Canucks built the best offensive line in the league. GO CANUCKS!

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