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The new new new journalism: David Byrne blogs on Mayor Gregor

March 3rd, 2009 · 11 Comments

Check out what the former Talking Heads member and now independent musician had to say about Vancouver’s mayor in his blog here.

I thought he might mention Gregor’s stellar performance in the audience, where he waved his lit-up Blackberry, instead of a match or lighter, to show his enthusiasm during Byrne’s recent concert here in VAncouver. But no, it’s all about public policy. Read on anyway.

Categories: City Hall Talk

  • SV

    Can’t wait for citycaucus to tell us why talking heads now suck.

  • LP

    I love TH. Lots of great stuff. Is there a better song than Psycho Killer?

    Lets keep in mind though that most musicians that have been doing it as long as these guys may have a lot of perspective from traveling the world, but they also may not have graduated high school and have been living in the warped reality life of popular musicians.

    The day we start listening or agreeing with public policy from the likes of Mr. Byrne, Bruce Springsteen, or Snoop Dog we have some problems.

  • Stephanie

    Perhaps we are inclined to listen to Byrne because he appears to be thoughtful and measured. Our public policy discussions would be well-served if our local “experts” took a rhetorical cue or two from him.

  • I see Mr. Byrne got away with taking a photo inside the gallery, something I was almost asked to leave for doing with the staircase.

    Aside, what a great writeup of his visit. Sometimes it takes fresh eyes and clear writing to remind you of what’s right under your nose.

  • gmgw

    “The day we start listening or agreeing with public policy from the likes of Mr. Byrne, Bruce Springsteen, or Snoop Dog we have some problems.”

    LP’s smugly idiotic comment reflects the typical conservative line on liberal activist entertainers. It assumes that if someone performs on stage or screen for a living, they should be denied the right to speak on public issues, since we all know that most entertainers are by definition brain-dead, drug-addled cretins (or even worse, liberals). Some may indeed match that description (but then I can’t remember Snoop Dogg ever uttering a single word on public policy, unless it was to argue for loosening the restrictions on marijuana and porn), but the intelligence and insight of Byrne, Springsteen, Bono, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Peter Garrett (former lead singer for Midnight Oil and now Australia’s Minister for the Environment) and a few others are a cut above the average toiler in the fields of show business. David Byrne’s reportage of his conversation with Gregor makes some excellent points on the dangers of unrestricted growth. Being from New York, Byrne has seen its effects first-hand, and if our inexperienced and naive Mayor had half a lick of sense, he would have expressed his gratitude at receiving sage advice and a warning from someone who lives in an actual world-class city, a city under siege, instead of in a pretentious, hedonistic developer’s playground like (worldclassmyass) Vancouver. But noooo… Poor little Gregor’s going to be eaten for breakfast by the local developer “community” when they eventually get back to business-as-usual.

    It’s bemusing, sort of, to see how conservatives don’t shout down, for instance, Jon Voight, when he gets up in front of the Republican Convention and rants about the dangers of liberalism. I mean, Voight’s a movie star, guys; how come you cheer him on but keep telling Sean Penn to shut up ’cause he’s just a know-nothing actor? Do I smell some world-class hypocrisy here?

    One more point that needs to be made: Like some of those activist showbiz types, Jane Jacobs never got a degree in planning or in public policy, but there have been few people in the past century whose expertise in both topics was more widely acknowledged. It’s not always what you learned in school that qualifies you to speak to a topic of public interest. Sometimes all that’s needed is a keen eye and a nimble brain.

  • Gassy Jack’s Ghost

    Just we need: more blogs about buildings and food.

  • Gassy Jack’s Ghost

    Ooops, meant to say….

    Just what we need: more blogs about buildings and food.

  • LP


    I left actors out because it was too obvious to slight with the governator on the loose.

    Labeling me a typical conservative or that my concern with musicians offering their opinion on politics and policy as typically conservative is no different than your typically smug, I know better than everyone, leftist toxic bile.

    Speaking of idiotic……..

  • Travis

    I love how easy it is for almost every argument to come down to conservative vs. liberal. Maybe it’s because we have been saturated with the polemical nature of U.S. politics. Maybe it’s our nature to seek out those who are opposed to our point of view and attack them just for being opposed. Whatever the reason, the longer these labels are attached to people, the longer we hold on to this us vs. them mentality, the longer it will be before we are able to really get things done and improve our world. Note that I am not blaming one side or the other or the other (because there is always more than two sides to every debate). I am just really sick of this categorization. It smacks of nothing more than ignorance, for everyone.

  • MB

    Social liberals who are also fiscal conservatives must have split personalities.

  • Darcy McGee

    No, MB, they usually just have a lot of money.

    It’s amazing what wealth can do for one’s desire for lower taxes.

    Not that I would know, having been dead some 140 of these years. My taxes are lower than you’d ever imagine.