This is Vancouver

I don’t discuss politics or finance, but I think sociology is fair game.

Couldn’t help but notice the “friend” who posted the most sanctimonious and self-serving Goodguy-badge sorta stuff about fighting the power of Wall Street and supporting the “99%” all day today in regards to the Occupy Vancouver protest just posted that she’s now at the Market bar at the Shangri-La Hotel drinking cognac and Grey Goose.

For those of you who aren’t in Vancouver, that’s pretty much the snootiest, most expensive cocktail lounge in the city.

So… eat the rich in the afternoon but come 9pm it’s time to desperately try to pass for or pick up one of them? Not only that, but make sure everyone knows damn sure that you drink your Grey Goose at Market? And it has to be Grey Goose, because it’s French and it’s expensive.

I actually have nothing against the drink itself, it’s more the hanging your identity on that being the kind of vodka you get sloshed with. And for someone so anti-corporation and anti-brand, well…

Here’s a hint: the real millionaires and billionaires don’t drink at Market and they don’t advertise their money, that’s a delusion of the middle class. Ditto the assumption the rich guys drink Grey Goose or wear Burberry or whatever other conspicuous brand identification you wanna stroke yourself to—maybe if they’re nouveau riche, which is to say middle class that struck it big. But that’s how it is here in Vancouver: everyone wants you to think they’re rich.

This is Vancouver, folks. Protests for the sake of having something to bitch about in the land of milk and honey. And if someone points out the protestors are themselves fairly privileged, suddenly they tell you you’re missing the point and this is all about the poor in the Third World when five seconds ago no one gave a fuck about the Third World and all the signs are bitching about “I can’t get ahead!” not “Poor kids in Uganda can’t get ahead!” And most of the arguments all boil down to how much it sucks that you have to work hard to succeed, as if it was ever any different in the 150,000 years our species has existed.

If the middle class is getting fucked, they’re fucking themselves. Any discussion about economic factors putting the squeeze on the middle class needs to include an honest and unflinching look at consumer spending habits and choices over the last 50 years. And I say this as someone who just laid out a grand on yet another synthesizer I don’t really need, but wanted. (I paid cash, though. As if it matters.)

This is the city where losing a stupid hockey game gives you carte blanche to trash the joint like a two-year old on steroids just so you can steal expensive handbags from the Bay in the name of equality.

Where you can drink your hooch twice as expensively as any other bar in town and be five times holier for it because you “walked in solidarity” that afternoon with a bunch of other spoiled brats, taking pictures of the signs to post them to Facebook from your thousand-dollar top of the line iPhone so that everyone will know you’re “concerned.”

Where the average shithole box of a condo is 5-7 times the average annual income and you spend all of your money servicing this ridiculous debt yet looking down your nose at someone who chooses to rent within their means because you think you’re “investing.” So of course you put your iPhone and your cognac on your Visa so you can have it now and pay for it never. No one saves anything. No one really invests. No one figures out that if you have $36000 a year in income maybe you shouldn’t be spending $50000 a year. The 1% never forced you to buy new toys, that was your own greed and lack of impulse control.

Where you buy that overpriced condo and the first thing you do is get a loan to renovate it because, “OMG these countertops are so ugly! I want granite!” And you toss out a perfectly good big screen TV because you want a wall-mounted flat-screen instead. Cause it’s cooler. And then you whine about how hard it is to make ends meet over your $6 latte.

Where all the soccer moms have $200/month Botox habits to match their plastic-surgery sculpted bodies so vulgarly displayed in Lululemon yoga gear and where you go to yoga to stick your ass in someone else’s face, not to reach any sort of spiritual enlightenment. Where the wife has a low-paying part-time job because she doesn’t like working and bitches at her hubby to get a raise if he questions how much she spends on more useless knick-knacks for the house, more shoes and handbags, and how much her daily wine habit is costing. And when he divorces her she expects him to get a higher-paying job so she can get more alimony to go to Mexico with her new boyfriend.

Where everyone eats organic not because it’s any better for you (maybe it is, maybe it isn’t) but so they can bitch to their friends about spending $8/kilo on imported grapes.

Where you talk a lot about freedom and rights and you support harm reduction for heroin users with your nifty little InSite bumper sticker on your hybrid vehicle but upon moving into your new condo you immediately find the one cigarette smoker in the building (whose condo is far, far away from yours) and you immediately start a terrorist campaign to get the strata council to evict him. You also post updates on how the war is going on Facebook so everyone knows you care about public health and clean air.

Where everyone insists they’re all about nature and inner beauty but they’re the nastiest ugliest people beneath the façade.

My brother bitches that Vancouver is trying to be Los Angeles in the depth of its shallowness, but really I think Vancouver has now out-LA’d LA.