Over the last week of October I was called a pig by my landlords when they attempted to illegally renovate a section of tiles in my kitchen, causing the ceiling to fall down. I was a pig because I wouldn’t clean up the dust, which they couldn’t guarantee was not asbestos. After barraging my roommate and I with insults and eviction threats, my landlords followed up with a sickeningly sweet text message saying we should “start fresh.” They obviously sent that after Googling the sections of the Residential Tenancy Act quoted by my housemate, and realizing that we are informed and empowered.
I’m writing this anecdote into Discorder Magazine recognizing that our reader demographic — and all demographics unfortunate enough to be navigating the Vancouver rental market right now — are being disrespected in similar ways every day.
Listen up, Big Money! You praise emerging entrepreneurs and creatives for building a culture around and adding value to your investments, but you treat us like shit. Or, at the very least, you enable a hostile housing market that treats us like shit.
Renter-readers, always remember that you have rights as outlined by the Residential Tenancy Act. Look it up online, and contact the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) if you have questions or emergencies.
There are several articles in this month’s Discorder that promote different avenues of social engagement and advocacy; Courtney Heffernan interviews Sydney Ball, coordinator of the reimagined Media Democracy Days November 15-19; Christine Powell talks all-ages venues with Heidi Holland and Kat Kott, who recently revived the Safe Amplification Society; and Shebli Khoury sits down with James Black Gallery curators Misery Fields and Zandi Dandizette, whose live-in studio space is destined for condominiums.
A farewell is in order for wendythirteen’s Thrashers shows at Funky Winkerbeans. Another venue shuts its doors to live music. What a surprise.
As I write this Editor’s Note, I’m fired up! I’m angry! But it’s good. I feel change coming.
PS. Discorder is hosting a showcase of local and emerging hip hop Friday, November 18 at the Media Club, featuring So Loki, Missy D, R.O.M.I., Something August, Spotty Josif and Freeman Young. Tickets $10 in advance on brownpapertickets.com. Come check out this lineup, with artists suggested by So Loki and Crimes & Treasons, and support indie publishing while you’re at it! (Unfortunately, this event is 19+)