Section 98 – Open Source Entry #5 – I believe in the power… of you and I
Vancouver Poet Laureate Brad Cran on the Canadian Women’s hockey team’s post-game celebration.
by Aislinn Rose
The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are over, and although there was some protesting and censoring, it seems to have come off as a relatively controversy free affair. For this creative process we’ve been keeping an eye on things ever since we first heard about “free speech zones“, and rights activists being detained on both sides of our border. We are, after all, building a show about civil liberties in Canada, which leaves room in each iteration for pressing civil rights issues at the time of each production to be addressed within the context of similarly difficult moments in the history of our country.
We became interested in these stories about activists being detained at the Canadian/US border, and then I came across a piece by Vancouver Poet Laureate, Brad Cran who, incidentally, declined to participate in the Cultural Olympiad due to rules he believed muzzled free speech. In his piece entitled “2010 Handbook for Entering Canada”, Cran takes a look at these border crossings from the perspective of the border guard. Sort of.
In an effort to stay true to this concept of “Open Source”, I am reaching out to you for contributions to the “source code” of Section 98. That’s right. I want you to read Brad Cran’s piece below, and then send us what you think we should do with it. It can be in script format, or just in the form of a completed idea or concept. You can email all of this to the “info” address at the top right of the website if you’re the shy type or leave it as a comment below!
Our creative process has evolved a lot at Praxis Theatre – evolving from working exclusively with text-based tools to create new work, to also incorporating and experimenting with ideas and using the workshop process to develop them into theatre. You’ll see the results of those recent efforts on March 13th at our work in progress HATCH presentation. (Did I mention tickets are on sale now? No? Tickets are on sale now.)
Please take the time to read the Handbook below, and then send us whatever comes to you. How might you put this story, this issue on stage? How would you make it theatrical? Have you considered how it might fit into a show that is also covering civil rights issues of the 1930s and 1970s? In keeping with things open source, we may incorporate your contribution into our presentation (so be forwarned), we may save it for a later iteration, or we may determine that it doesn’t fit into what we’re developing. Either way, you’ll be acknowledged, credited, and thanked appropriately.
Without further ado, here it is: Brad Cran’s…
For Howard White
Are you bringing any fruits or vegetables into Canada?
Have you visited a farm in the last 30 days?
Are you now or have you ever been a member of a group that disagreed with government?
Do you intend to ride the zip line?
Do you approve of product placement in movies?
Do you like my uniform?
Are you bringing into Canada any currency and/or monetary instruments of a value totalling CAN$10,000 or more per person?
Have you ever assaulted a police officer with a stapler?
In describing my uniform, would you say that it a) inspires respect or b) breeds contempt?
Have you ever dreamed of shooting a fascist dictator off a Spanish balcony?
Do you approve of John Furlong?
Can you give me an example of the words in your head and how they might be used while in Canada?
Do you vote?
Are you now or have you ever been a person who carries MasterCard?
Were you aware of the Oka uprising, and if so, whose side were you on?
Remind me again about the zip line.
Do you read poetry?
Do you believe in homelessness as a right of the people?
If you were Canadian, and if it were possible to do so, would you vote for John Furlong?
Does the colour of your socks match the colour of your pants?
Do your children own an effigy, stuffed or otherwise, of the Olympic mascot?
Our premier rode the zip line. Did you see that? It looks awesome.
Please arrange the following terms in order of preference, starting with the least important: Health Care, Education, the Environment, Homelessness, Logo Placement at Sporting Events.
Do you now or have you ever owned a copy of Raffi’s Baby Beluga?
Do you own a cell phone?
Are you carrying any printed matter that illustrates same-sex love?
Are you bringing into Canada any firearms or other weapons?
Did you know that each year, more Canadians trust RBC Royal Bank® for their mortgage solutions than any other provider?
What is the total monetary value of the goods you will be leaving in Canada?
Let’s go back to my uniform for a minute, you gotta admit it’s pretty fucking awesome.
Do you or have you ever listened to Democracy Now?
Can you finish the following sentence? Baby beluga in the deep blue ______________.
What colour is your heart?
Do you believe in global warming?
Have you ever purchased No Name brand products? You know, the ugly yellow ones?
If while in Canada you were tasered, would you be upset or go into cardiac arrest?
Do you support an international unelected and roaming fourth tier of government as set out by a non-existent charter of the
If your government acted against the principles of democracy, would you be compelled to action or would you just tell your
friends you are miffed?
Do you ever experience emotions stronger than miffment?
If someone you knew spoke up against your government, would you a) listen or b) think that was a little weird?
Which of the following does not fit? Osama bin Laden, Louis Riel, Chris Shaw, Gordon Campbell.
When asked, will you keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly?
How long will you be staying?
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I should tell you there’s a lot of interesting stuff to read on Cran’s Poet Laureate site, including his take on Shane Koyczan, the slam poet featured in Vancouver’s Opening Ceremonies. Here’s Koyczan performing “We Are More” in 2007.