By the Editors
David Beers grew up in San Jose, California where his father was a satellite test engineer, and moved to Vancouver in 1991. His book Blue Sky Dream (1996) documents the utopian hopes and subsequent failures of the Silicon Valley version of the American Dream. He served as senior editor at the San Francisco Examiner, Mother Jones and the Vancouver Sun. His writing has won the American National Magazine Award and, twice, the Canadian National Magazine Award. After Vancouver Sun management fired him over an opinion piece in support of freedom of speech post-911, in 2003 he founded and was editor in chief of The Tyee, a much-awarded “progressive” online magazine. He lives in Vancouver.
Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and former video artist whose work focuses on sexual politics, aesthetics, emotion, acting out, bad behavior, and various other crevices of the American psyche. Along with her latest book, Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes To Campus, she’s the author of Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation; How to Become A Scandal; Against Love: A Polemic, and a few others. Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern, where she mostly teaches filmmaking.
“Hello, Canada. Tonight has been a hundred and fifty years in the making.”
With his earnest eyes and that well-tailored smile, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau speaks to Canadians through a YouTube video on the Canada 150 website. The occasion is New Year’s Eve, 2016. With Confederation’s sesquicentennial looming on July 1st, this year has been rebranded by the government as #Canada150.
In the fall of 1994 we had been in our new offices in the Lee Building at the intersection of Main & Broadway for close to three years. The old office was above Guys & Dolls Billiards, across the street, and was sort of funky. But the new premises were more impressive. Cleaner and seemingly more organized.
You don’t work for a literary magazine for the money. You work for a literary magazine for the fringe benefits. And one of the advantages of working for a magazine like subTerrain is getting to attend a professional development symposium—you know, for free.
Before Vancouver’s Main Street became a Portlandia branch plant there really wasn’t much reason to spend any time on its sidewalks. There were no single-origin coffee shops, craft-beer meccas or faux rec-room restaurants. With the noble exception of Neptoon records, and a couple of places along Antiques Row, it wasn’t much of a shopping destination either. No shops trumpeting local designers, organic materials, locally sourced handicrafts and oddball wares. Twee was pretty much absent on Main back then. Irony too.
For those lucky enough to have survived it, the worst thing that happened in the 20th century was the malaise that defined it: the ubiquitous and relentless attempt of every political power to terminate public discourse, as reaffirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush at the Malta summit on December 3, 1989. Only weeks before, the world had witnessed the fall of the Berlin wall, as West and East Germans engaged in a spontaneous populist movement to tear down the symbolic barrier that had divided not only them, but also the rest of the world.
subTerrain started out as a dream, an idea of literary rebellion, a shadow-self calling out to be born. It was 1988, the nascent days of desktop publishing, and truly a transitional period in the world of print. For the first time in the history of printing, the means of production were actually in the hands of the masses. Armed with only a Personal PC, a “typesetting” software program (not some expensive commercial typesetting equipment such as a Compugraphic machine) and a laser printer, virtually anyone could produce a professional looking publication.