Yeah, this is nothing like Hollyhock

Post by Mike Klassen in


Diners on the hunt for ethical chicken – a scene from Portlandia

When I first saw the amazing Dream of the 90s video from the new cable TV program Portlandia, I just about fell out of my chair. Needless to say I had to find this program at all costs when it debuted last Friday night. While the reviews seem to have been tepid for the first episode, Portlandia tickled my cerebral cortex just enough that I was laughing out loud.

After the opening scene which features the above 90s Dream sequence, we arrive in a restaurant where a couple drill the server on questions about the origins of the chicken they are about to order off the menu. Was it free range? Did it eat organic food? Who were its owners? What was its name? And so on...

To me this is sort of a Vision Vancouver world on steroids. If free range politics and backyard chickens are da bomb for you, Portlandia allows you to guffaw at what we seem to be experiencing here in Vancouver City Hall.

Of course, Portland is kind of considered as a southern capital of Cascadia (with Vancouver being the northern). A pronounced embrace of alternative culture is one of the city's many charms. It's delightful that the show's creators have found a way to have some fun with it.

The scene above is the same couple from the restaurant, but now they are out at the farm where the chicken – named "Colin" – was allowed to roam before winding up on a plate (see the video). Colin's homestead was so much like Hollyhock, Cortes Island, and everything it seems to stand for (minus the polygamy, of course), I couldn't resist sharing this bizarre bit of TV with our readers.

Another side-splitting scene in Portlandia episode one features actor Steve Buscemi trapped inside a feminist bookstore, his punishment for using the washroom without buying something first. The program cast features Fred Armisen, a Saturday Night Live alumni, and the wonderful Carrie Brownstein, who is best known for her post-punk sounds in Seattle's Sleater-Kinney band.

We've not talked much lately about our oil export-protesting pals situated 150 kms off the coast of Vancouver, but you can be sure that Hollyhock will continue to be a traditional topic of discussion here on during 2011.

- post by Mike


Yeah, I don't think Hollyhock has espoused to be like bountiful B.C. if that is what you are getting at.

But if you say these vids are there to mock, do you think the majority think it so? Or do think that a good portion of Vancouver's demographic rather are wearing these good natured vids as a badge of honor?

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Sustainability is not something we can shrug off and ignore, it is important, and the sooner we make changes consciously as a whole, the less the pain will be when we start feeling the limits close to home.

I say close to home because there are many places on earth where the limits are well known; the people live awful, sick lives because their environment isn't as nice as ours on the west coast. Remember that it is North American and European 5 Earth Lifestyles (and militant imperialism) that have caused the horrific disease of places like, say, the Niger Delta, and that our cheap vacations and big houses come from somewhere.

The undemocratic processes by which Vision has been swindling and bullying the people of Vancouver has nothing to do with the wisdom of creating our own healthy, delicious, affordable food supply. Organic free range backyard chicken eggs. We should care about that. Food isn't trivial! It is a source of much joy, pleasure, wealth, and not least our physical survival.

I see some positives in these ideas getting on television, in any form, or course. It's damned expensive to get a message on the tele, and so many people really don't read things like independent news blogs because frankly they don't care who's telling them what.

I hope that by making fun of the vanguard of our return to a healthy society we can come to accept that interacting with such folks is inevitable and at worst a mild annoyance to those who think differently.

I certainly don't buy into the magical thinking of hippie-dippy types, just as much as I don't believe the dominant magical thinking of our culture that doing pointless work to get money to buy some really, really expensive luxury item will make people happy. People want rewarding work, some free time, a home and neighborhood that's safe, enough food on the table, and good relationships with people.

Our illustrious Mayor is the same big-money sleaze that power and politics attract in our country. More humble and civic minded folks have accomplished massive transformations in short time of fractured, sick communities to whole, healthy ones. This is our goal. Putting some money into the occasional project that has benefits that can't be measured in money (you should know, you're a writer!) shouldn't be sneered upon so broadly. I should hope that the NPA (or some other alternative? are there any? you tell me? Hell, you could run for mayor.) get back in, and also that they would promote the use of bicycles (but not forget pedestrians and transit users) for all of the practical reasons that there are, and not avoid such things just to appear in opposition.

As a journalist with a slant, you don't need to do that either. Sure, hate these guys because they're thieves, liars, and pricks in the pockets of people who don't care about those living under their policies. That doesn't say a thing about bicycles.

I have admired your dogged reporting since I started following you in September. You are a credit to our city and you are helping to make it a better place. Keep up the good work, but please, separate the idea of sustainability and Gregor and the gang. The first we need more of, make it grow! The second needs a thorough weeding, and some whole new seeds planted. That organic analogy, that's not Hollyhock, that's your good hard working neighbours who take pride in where they live and how they do it. I hope I've convinced you to remember that, and thanks again for your good work.

So they demanded to know the chicken's name?

Proof their parents did too many drugs or their jockey's are a couple of sizes too small & cutting off their brain's blood supply.

@dongo. You don't have to worry about anyone taking away the free range chickens and local food just because someone wants to tease the sometimes obsessive culture that surrounds it. Local food is a good thing. The morality of food, as this clip suggests, can sometimes be a little obsessive.

Out of curiosity, what does "Hollyhock, Cortes Island, and everything it seems to stand for (minus the polygamy, of course)" mean to you? Wouldn't it be great to have a TV show sending up Vancouver!

This looks like a cult group. I wonder when they guy will start serving up the Koolaid.

This is silly. I expected better.

Ironically, that's what most Vision voters are saying about the incumbent mayor.

The Thought of The Night

"Vancouvers' House Rich, Property Tax Deferring Multi Millionares, Pitiful Public Pickpocket Artists,their hands raised, eyes looking sad, voice trembling when saying 'S'il vous plaît, Monsieur' when asking for yet another monetary break of their frugal existence."

An image so candid that it would make a DTES destitute's heart melt and hurt with sorrow and then, he/ she will happily give back a percentage of his small welfare check so that the Property Grant Threshold could be raised a bit more, for the timid Lane House builder, Backyard Chicken raiser, Burrard Bike Lane rider, Farm Market browser, Hemp T-shirt wearer, so they could,in return, run or walk in a Crapathone fund raiser of sorts.

'Free the Chicken not the Turkeys!' I say.

These Mike, are the people we are talking about. Hollyhock or Portlandia? Who cares? As if it matters, they are the ones who got it made,the epitome of 'stuffed' versus 'starved'.
If you know what I mean...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy

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