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Chasing the Nimitz

Terminal City
December 12, 2002

On Tuesday, Mayor Larry Campbell and his COPE majority city council made good on their campaign promise to allow Vancouverites the chance to vote on whether or not they wish to play host to the 2010 Olympics.

Those who oppose the Olympic bid can be divided into two camps: one group is comprised of people can clearly articulate why our tax dollars would be better spent on things like hospitals, schools and all that stuff; the other group is comprised of a bunch of stupid, thumb-sucking hippies and other mealy-mouthed malcontents who are dissatisfied with their lot in life and are constantly on the lookout for someone to blame for their misfortune. I hate hippies.

One of the biggest reasons I stopped involving myself with orthodox political activism was because I was always surrounded by blissed out, flea-ridden, earnest, PC hippies who would incessantly prattle on about ecotopia and bang their stupid fuckin’ drums all day. I had the terrible and undeserved misfortune to be in a Zodiac (the little rubber boats that Greenpeace made famous) with a hippie, when we were chasing the USS Nimitz, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, in the Strait of Georgia, one fine summer day in late August, 1990.

The Nimitz is one of the world’s most perfect killing machines, a testament to everything that is perverted and just plain wrong about the human species. If the Captain of the Nimitz decided to do so, he could have completely destroyed Vancouver is less than a minute. But, for all its might, the Nimitz was running from us and she was hauling ass. When an aircraft carrier – loaded with close to 100 nuclear weapons, 80 or so fighter jets and about 5000 sailors – is running away from three people in a 16 foot rubber boat armed with nothing more than a can of spray paint and a stencil of a radiation symbol – you suddenly understand just how wrong the bastards are about everything they purport to believe in and how little faith they have in their convictions.

Military men are as macho as they come, so the idea of being chased around by a bunch of wild-eyed anarchist yahoos was not sitting well with the US Navy – Hell, they still hadn’t gotten over being mocked as a bunch of closet cases by the Village People, in the 70s. As much as they wanted to, they couldn’t kill us. And they did not want to allow us to “tag” the Nimitz, as we had done to almost every other nuclear-armed warship that came near Vancouver since ’86. Greenpeace had, in fact, harassed the US Navy all around the world and continually embarrassed them on the front pages of the world’s major newspapers for several years and things were starting to get ugly between us.

A few weeks earlier US Navy SEALS had attacked a Greenpeace Zodiac in Spain during a similar protest. The SEALS slashed every pontoon on the boat and it went blub, blub, blub, down to Davey Jones’ Locker. We were informed that this was going to be a regular tactic, from there on in.

Normally I’d have been riding shotgun with my buddy Fagin, aboard a crazy little 19’ rigid hull inflatable that we called Megadeath. Megadeath was the scourge of the west coast of Canada for the US Navy and the Yanks knew, feared and hated him (Megadeath could never be referred to as “her”). There was nothing on the water that could touch Megadeath and there was nobody more insane behind the wheel than Fagin, especially when he’d had a few – and we were always in the habit of knocking a few back before heading out to do battle with the syphilitic scurvy knaves on the high seas.

This was going to be high drama on the high seas and the wiser people in Greenpeace understood that it would be best to have the media in the fastest boat – the one least likely to get caught – and that it would also be wise to have just one drunk on board with them, meaning I was 86ed from Megadeath and plopped into one of the smaller Zodiacs with some hippie and my friend Louise Blight, who could handle a Zodiac as well as anyone in Greenpeace.

Sure as Hell, it was chaos in the Strait. The Nimitz launched several of her helicopters to help the SEALS, whose Zodiacs were bigger and faster than ours. There was a good chop on the water and we were damned near being bounced into the drink every twenty seconds or so. Determined fuckers that we were, we were getting close to the Nimitz, when one of the helicopters came roaring down on us from our port side. The ‘copter wasn’t more than twenty feet above the surface and it was coming hard, from about a mile off. Louise turned hard to starboard, which was exactly what the Navy boys wanted her to do.

A SEAL Zodiac was screaming toward us, out of the sun, no more than twenty feet away and the fuckers had their knives out. In a split second the SEAL Zodiac had skipped over a wave and landed on my back. I turned, pushed them off and screeched something to the effect of, “Fuck you, you motherfuckin’ fuckin’ fucks!” Then the hippie, who I’d never seen before that day, started yelling, “Mellow out, dude. This is about peace, man. You’re being violent.” I wanted to push the stupid fuckin’ hippie overboard.

Hippies were always a problem when I was with Greenpeace. In January ’91 we brought 5000 people to Las Vegas for a massive protest at the Nevada nuclear test site, where we had 800 people arrested in one day. A lot of those 5000 people were bongo banging, Drum smoking, sage burning, hand holding, reggae listening, micro bus driving, patchouli smelling, Birkenstock wearing, tofu eating, wheat grass juice drinking, dread locking, hacky sacking, garlic stinking, nothing doing, flee bearing, free loading, nitrous sucking, Jerry Garcia worshipping, too-stupid-for-welfare hippies with names like Tree, River and Sunshine. The whole time in the desert I had an almost overwhelming desire to beat their fuckin’ heads in with my Easton H 5000 Stif Flex aluminum hockey stick (hey, you can take the boy out of Thunder Bay, but…). But then I remembered I was in Mairka, and in Mairka even hippies have handguns. Part of my job was to make sure we got every person we sent over the fence to get arrested back from law enforcement authorities. I, of course, didn’t want some of them back, so I tried to convince the Wackenhuts, who’d been hired by the Pentagon to round ‘em all up, to keep a few of them. I even gave them a list of the ones they could keep. Well, they didn’t want ‘em either, so I took ‘em back and tried to ignore them for the rest of the trip.

The only people I hate more than hippies are communists. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to help them, once in a while. One of the articulate people who will be campaigning against the Olympic bid is COPE city councilor Tim Louis. Louis says that he cannot and will not back any proposal that will drain so much money from the public purse without an extensive cost/benefit analysis. The second-term councilor argues that the cost/benefit analysis that has been conducted on the bid is far from extensive and further states that the figures given by the Bid Corp. simply do not stand up to scrutiny.

Louis says that the Bid Corp. has not budgeted enough money for contingencies. British Columbia, Louis points out, has a long history of cost over-runs when it comes to various mega-projects that have turned into white elephants in recent history – fast ferries, and northeast coal come to mind, immediately – and there’s no arguing Louis’ point.

The idea that the Olympics will mean a substantial boom for BC’s tourism industry is, at best, a dubious prospect, according to Louis. Again, Louis has a point. But the Olympics can mean a boom in tourism dollars, particularly for Vancouver, if we can give Olympic tourists a reason to come back by transforming No-Fun-City into FUNcouver before 2010.

When I spoke with Louis on Wednesday, he told me that he will abide by the result of the vote, regardless of the outcome. A simple 50% + 1 will be enough to get Louis to, “do everything in my power,” to either win the bid, or crush the dreams of 2010 cheerleaders. Should the NO side triumph it will make the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision a little bit easier. But, a NO vote would not automatically destroy our chances of winning the games. If councilor Louis thinks the games are a horrific idea – which he has not said (or, at least he did not say to me) – and he wants to bury the idea and do so quickly and definitively, he can do so easily.

Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman killed Hogtown’s hopes of hosting the 2008 summer Olympics with one ill-advised statement that was made within earshot of a reporter who probably tripped over himself trying to file the story. Lastman was on his way to Africa for an IOC meeting when he let loose a quote that would make you think he’d been out tying one on with Ralph Klein on his way to the airport. “What the Hell do I want to go to a place like Mombasa for?” Lastman asked. “Snakes just scare the Hell out of me. I’m sort of scared about going there, but the wife is really nervous. I just see myself in a pot of water with all these natives dancing around me.”

I found Lastman’s statement hilarious. I’ve never been a PCer and if you think some of the things I write in these pages are out of line, you should hear the shit that comes out of my mouth when I’m drinking with friends. I’m not going to cry over the misfortune of a town that I have never liked anyway and I don’t think Lastman’s cannibal phobia should have cost Toronto the 2008 summer games. But there is no denying that the mayor of Hogtown’s gaffe eliminated his city from consideration.

So, I put it to Tim Louis straight, “Are you willing to ‘pull a Lastman’ to sink the bid?” Louis, being very PC, quickly pointed out that Lastman’s quote was racist and that he would never stoop so low, no matter what the “reward”. But nobody has to spew any mildly racist diatribes to fuck the IOC off and I’m going to prove it. Here’s a letter for you councilor. All you have to do is retype it, sign it with your own name, send it off to the IOC and make it public.

Dear IOC:

Fuck off! We don’t want anything to do with the sorry-assed, multi-billion dollar scam that you run. Why the fuck would we want to put millions and millions and millions of dollars into your pockets, just so you can fly around the world, living like the God-damned, fuckin’ Sultan of Brunei? Kiss my ass! What kind of suckers do you think we are? Do you think we’re a bunch of backwater bumpkins like those hicks in Utah?

You worthless bastards have been taking backhanders from money-grubbing swine who are trying to bilk their own governments out of billions of tax dollars and getting away with it for far too long. If there was any justice in this world you’d all be doing serious time for fraud with the scum from WorldCom and Enron, instead of snorting coke off the thighs of 12- year-old hookers with your ill-gotten booty.

It is obvious to anyone with a triple-digit IQ that you are trying to hoodwink and bamboozle us out of billions of dollars that we need to feed, clothe and house people. Gordon Campbell is so spellbound by the shell game that your big-titted floozies are playing on him that he is willing to let our people die in hospital waiting rooms in order to pay your fuckin’ bar tabs.           

The Olympics, as they are run by you hyenas, have absolutely nothing to do with the “Olympic dream” you purport to strive for. You couldn’t care less about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. It’s not about whether you win or lose or how you play the game, to you fuckers. It’s about how long you can avoid getting a real fuckin’ job and doing an honest (do you know what that word means?) day’s work.

If you have the nerve to even show your faces in this part of the world, I will personally hunt every last one of you down and sodomize you all with a soldering iron. If you still haven’t gotten the message let me repeat it for you – FUCK OFF! GO FUCK YOURSELVES! FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON!


Tim Louis

Vancouver city councilor.


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