I am Occu-puck: The hypocrisy and denial of the Calgarian people – Mandi Schrader

10 Dec

My apologies to anyone offended by the use of the word hypocrisy in the title. As soon as this was posted a bunch of people said to me, “YOU are a hypocrite!” And they are quite right, I am. It’s a tendency we all share and part of human nature. But we can learn from our mistakes and become better people, a better city and a better country, and that’s what I’m trying to say in this post. 


The other day I noticed that this blog had received 100 hits linked from a discussion forum on the Calgary Flames fan site Calgary Puck. I thought “weird” and visited the forum to find out why.

Unsurprisingly the thread where the link was posted contained the usual unoriginal statements we have all heard in criticism of Occupy Calgary. I joined the discussion for a brief time and eventually left in disgust. The disgust was not based on the site members’ criticism of me personally or even of Occupy, but the suggestion repeated by several members that the sculpture gifted to the city be melted down and made into various items. A group of people claiming to respect hard work and skill suggesting that we destroy the product of someone else’s hard work and skill disgusted me and I let them know it.

Occupiers have been trying for 2 months to shine a light on human rights violations in the name of profit. We have been criticized for damaging a public park, flouting bylaws etc in the name of a better world for all humans.

Let’s take a moment to consider the Red Mile phenomenon of 2004 where over 50,000 people participated in a celebration which actually did cause huge disruption and expense to the city. Hockey fans occupied 17 avenue for over a month. Police resources were largely dedicated to one area of the city. Girls flashed their boobs in public. The road was eventually blocked as partiers showed no respect for vehicular traffic. You couldn’t even walk down the street without getting bumped and jostled by fanatical, red painted maniacs. You could hear the sound of chanting and yelling from 10 blocks away and I’m sure residents of lower Mount Royal got no sleep the entire time.

Yet Calgarians are actually proud of this, despite the drunken idiocy, public nudity and disrespect for people just trying to get to work. This event was commended because it was peaceful. So peaceful many people were afraid to go anywhere near it. Some people claimed that their use of Olympic Plaza was disrupted by the tents pitched in one corner not even blocking footpaths. I say, gimmie a break.

During hockey season there are few places I can go without encountering blaring TVs and screaming fans. Yet if complain of my inability to enjoy my favorite hangouts because of hockey, I am told shut up. Deal with it. Get into the spirit!

Hockey is a time honoured Canadian tradition and despite my dislike of the sport I can respect that.  I suggest we need a new Canadian tradition: resolute determination to uphold human rights. I suggest that instead of cultivating a reputation for being cute, backward hockey lovers we work to become world leaders in finding solutions to poverty and inequality. We are a great country and already well on our way. Let’s make it a priority at the citizen level.


50 Responses to “I am Occu-puck: The hypocrisy and denial of the Calgarian people – Mandi Schrader”

  1. Michael December 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    I think you have a good point Mandi. I’m a hockey fan, but I’m starting to take exception to the full blown bare knuckle fist fighting that is so cheerily condoned. Where else is that allowed? You’d think this was ancient Rome or something. Meanwhile our MLAs are getting fantastic 7 figure golden handshakes for selling our province out to American oil companies and cutting social services. Alberta has become a corporate plutocracy.

    • idnami December 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      Exactly! I freely admit that I don’t understand the game of ockey or most sports but I think if you want to watch a fight that’s wat martial arts and boxing are for.Like like both of those for the artistry and skill. I ralize very sport has artistry and skill but team sports aint my thing. I was listening to a debate on CBC today about fighting in hockey and they were saying some people believe interest would go down if they took it out! It ought to be able to stand on its own I think.
      “fantastic 7 figure golden handshakes for selling our province out to American oil companies and cutting social services.” Is just about the most concise way I’ve ever seen it put! What would happen if all of us stood up and spoke out against that?

      • R December 13, 2011 at 9:15 am #

        Please point me towards a document that demonstrates a Calgary MLA receiving a $1,000,000+ “golden handshake” from an American oil company

        • Michael December 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

          check out the front page of Friday’s Herald. Stelmach is getting $1,008,000 + as a good bye present from the taxpayers of Alberta. What did he do to deserve that? Cut over a hundred million from Alberta’s education budget?

  2. Braden December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    More of a bystander, but I found it amusing you used Nazis as a comparison or detraction from an opinion. There’s a common logical fallacy called association fallacy. TVtropes puts up a very layman’s version of it under Hitler Ate Sugar (Wikipedia lists it under Reductio ad Hitlerum, which is specifically written as an assosciation fallacy related to comparing someone’s actions to Hitler or Nazis). The concept that something is bad because a bad organization did it is silly. TVtropes aids in making this point even in their title…Hitler ate sugar. By the same logic you implied against user CaptainCrunch, sugar is therefore bad.

    • idnami December 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      I suggest that it would be a very bad thing if that statue were destroyed as a sulky “fuck you.” to Occupy. I suggest that art and creativity are sacred expressions of humanity and the suggestion to destroy the product of someone’s love, work and creativity shows an extremely dangerous attitude. One if reflected by city officials would terrify me. Honest to god. Maybe it only is because I am an artist but ther is really something very evil about that to me. Not to mention disrespectful and wasteful. If our society thinks it is ok to destroy works of beauty, that society is profoundly sick.

      • Braden December 13, 2011 at 11:02 am #

        I have no qualms with you stating that it would be a waste to destroy a piece of art in spite. That’s an opinion and stating that an opinion is wrong is extremely poor form. I prefer the thing auctioned off by the city and money used for something, such as clean up or funding for other causes. That result avoids its destruction and allows the city to remove an asset that it has little use for.

        Again though, where I found it interesting was when you turned to rhetoric of Nazis. To call it inheriently evil BECAUSE Nazis did it was odd (which was all you did…you provided no other reasoning against the melting of it). Maybe it was done quickly and with limited time to support your case (I don’t know the circumstances behind your post), but it is certainly implied by the lack of other arguments in that post that it was evil purely because Nazis did it…which is where I saw some disconnect in reasoning.

        • idnami December 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

          So I reacted emotionally to a situation which made me boil over with rage at a group of people who had largely been dicks to me the whole short time I dealt with them. I have already explained that I snapped and while I don’t excuse it I think it’s not past understanding. I’ve been trying to stand up for something important that affects us all and have been met with pettiness and spite at every turn. When the idea was raised of melting down the statue something inside me went “ENOUGH already!” You want to burn some books while you’re at it? Go for it. I am not sticking around to listen anymore.

          I am an artist. To me art is sacred. You may not see it that way and that is fine but if you REALLY want to push my buttons disrespecting the work and effort of an artist who had sincere intentions is a good way to do it. I hope the city is far sighted enough to graciously accept it as a gift.

  3. Every Game Matters December 11, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    I’m a flames fan an I’m still drunk from lastnight.

  4. Anonymous December 11, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    .” I won’t waste my time on people who think that is funny or acceptable. Calgary is a worldwide cultural laughingstock thanks to things like that.”

    Mandi….you dont have the first freaking clue about the “world”, nevermind how Calgary is viewed by others. In fact, Calgary doesnt even register “worldwide”, so to suggest others think us a laughing stock is…well….laughable.

    You think suggesting a meltdown of the art piece as “disgusting”…and thats fair enough you are entitled to your opinion. But then you became just as ‘disgusting” as those who disagreed with you about it by suggesting they are all rednecks and whatever other term you used….well guess what, you are no different because your tolerance is no better than theirs.

    Ergo…you lose.

    Your passion to change the world and help humanity is both endearing and commendable, but the way you believe it should happen and the way you treat those you NEED to help you do so is both ingorrant and intolerant and will lead you to a giant abyss of ineffectiveness. Grow up.

    • idnami December 11, 2011 at 11:07 am #

      As I said below, If you were subjected to two months worth of abuse and name calling for trying to stand up for what you believe is right, you would snap at some point too. I am not perfect. I am not bullet proof. I have been dying to tell these rude ignorant people off this entire time. Does it somehow discredit the entire Occupy movement that one of its participants voiced her disgust at a crappy attitude toward art on an internet forum? Or that an Occupy participant can be kind of a bitch sometimes? I hardly think so.

      What do you know about what I know about the world? I’ve done a lot of traveling and engage in online discussion internationally as well. I’m not 10 years old and I don’t live under a rock. So Calgary is insignificant enough that most people outside Canada couldn’t find it on a map. Those internationally who know about Calgary think hockey and cowboys. And within our own country it is even worse.

      I “lose” what? The argument? My cause? The respect of hockey fans? Let me tell you something. I don’t NEED the help of people who have a fixed opinion. Because they never will help. And now I accept that so to hell with them. And it isn’t about helping ME anyway. If you want a better world, get on it, with or without Occupy. If you want to sit around and stew in your own negativity and then pat yourself on the back for it, be my guest. I’ve had enough of playing nicey nice to people who respond with abuse.

      • R December 12, 2011 at 9:25 am #

        What you seem to be unable to grasp is that you’re not only turning off those with a fixed opinion, you’re turning off those who could have been swayed to support your cause. Acting like a petulant little child has become the calling card of occupy globally, and it’s lead me to become someone who supports many of the aims of the movement but is deeply resentful of the way those aims are being pursued. Your little foot stomping act, and those of other ‘occupiers’ hasn’t furthered those aims, in fact it’s shifted the focus away from them and onto your pathetic little fights over where you can setup a tent.

        • idnami December 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

          So tell you what. The purpose of Occupy is not to gain support for itself, but to raise awareness of he way our government and the banks and corporations work together at yor expense. If this bothers you and you would like to do something about it, do it. You don’t need to be part of this movement to take an interest in justice. Just do it. I personally do not need supporters. ALL I want is to show people what going on out there. If you think I am an ill-equipped messenger then go do your own research and take your own action. What is important is that we don’t hide behind an insignificant municipal battle over tents to avoid facing the real problems.

  5. Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm #


    BYLAW 1 – OCCUPY 0

    • idnami December 11, 2011 at 2:23 am #

      I really love how Calgary Puck has been the second highest traffic source on this blog for almost a week. Who needs a hobby?

      • Braden December 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

        Actually, I think that’s a testament to how large Calgarypuck is. The number of redirects from the curious base of the site overwhelms most other interest it seems.

        What is your #1 hit?

        • idnami December 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

          #1 fluctuates between occupycalgary.ca and Facebook. Then there are the 400 something subscribers but they don’t register in the referrals. Today occupycalgary.ca is at the top and facebook is a few hits under Calgary Puck. When I first started seeing that referrer in the stats I freaked a little because I only know one person who posts there and they aren’t someone I would want to encounter again so I decided to see what was up.

  6. Nyk aka Satya December 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Hear Hear i agree!

  7. Every Game Matters December 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Flames fans are just bitter they will miss the playoffs for the 3rd straight year.

    • Stephen December 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      Canadians places hockey on the same level as Christians do about Jesus. It is beyond criticism and will condemn anybody that does so. When you “dared” to challenge hockey fans about their thoughts on the statue, you stepped across that mystical and invisible line that so many hold dear to them. Sports fans are fanatical and hold the belief that only they can understand the supernatural significance of the game. Their opinions are sacred and beyond reproach. Maybe I am not a true Canadian in their eyes because to me hockey is just a game – no more, no less. Personally I could live the rest of my life without ever seeing another hockey, football, baseball or basketball game again. The beauty of art and the stimulation of music is what I hold dear. The statue is a piece of beauty and should be treasured as such. Any offering to the people of Calgary that helps to eliminate the red neck label that we have inherited should be embrased.

      • idnami December 11, 2011 at 8:05 am #

        I used to date an insane hockey fan who actually told me I was a bad Canadian for not liking the sport! I can totally respect people liking what they like but does it have to be forced down our throats? I think it’s a little absurd the way many Occupy tactics have been condemned when far more obnoxious ones are condoned in the sacred name of hockey.

  8. Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    You said that members of Calgarypuck were Nazi in the fact they wanted to melt down a statue, then mention melting down the Stanley cup.
    You stress that people overlook the stereotypes of the occupiers being diry, smelly etc…and yet have no qualms stereotyping your very own city as being a bunch of rednecks.
    In fact in your last paragraph you state you respect the time honour tradition in hockey, then go on to ridicule it by calling it backwards.
    All of these take away from your article; if you could attempt to be more consistent in your logic and not rely on emotion you’re articles would become more credible.
    Hope it helps!

    • idnami December 11, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      I’ve lived in this city for 17 years and in some ways it is very backwards, very redneck, very proudly ignorant. Do you realize that even Edmonton supports its arts and culture scene better than we do? That’s right. Edmonton. Calgary likes to go around calling itself a world class city but you know what? The world doesn’t think so. Can we change that?

  9. mama mary December 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Hahaha! 🙂 hockey is the national distraction,er,i mean….entertainment

  10. Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Listening to your drivel would make anyone drink, and drink heavily.

    As much as I know that drinking kills brain cells, I’ve just found a cheaper alternative, your statements are killing my brain cells and not costing me a cent.


  11. brain damage flames fan December 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Flames fans are mostly alcoholics

    • Dan December 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      If you set the bar any lower I don’t think bacteria could slip under.

  12. Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm #


    You guys should just stop while you’re behind.

    Stereotypes and hypocritical thinking does not suit you.

  13. brain damage flames fan December 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    The average flames fan isn’t a deep thinker. His only really thinking about about many brain grenades he can pound in three periods of hockey. If they where deep thinkers they wouldnt still be cheering for such a shit team.

  14. Jay S December 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Stuff like this may be why the rest of the world views Calgary as a city of redneck idiots with no culture beyond a perpetually losing hockey team and pretend cowboys showing off their shiny new white hats and ignorance. Thanks for being such shining examples of Calgarian wit.

    I’m done talking to you people. Enjoy your absurd self importance. Over and out.

    – From the author on CalgaryPuck

    • idnami December 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      The statue is a beautiful gift and unfortunately thanks to the type of sentiments that comment was in response to we ARE viewed that way. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is.

  15. Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    This will probably get deleted as you pretty much showed in CalgaryPuck that you’re a hypocrite of the highest order, you got exposed as a fool when you tried to debate about Walmart and economics when its clear that you have no clue. You insulted the city of Calgary and its citizen and then you put in a comparison to Nazi’s for good measure.

    If your going to change the world, maybe you should work on changing yourself first.

    You came across as ignorant small minded and intolerant. We were willing to listen to you and debate you, you stooped down to insults of the worst magnitude and stereotyping of the highest order.

    I really hope that you don’t represent all occupyer’s. but you’ve literally given your group a black eye with you’re actions on CalgaryPuck and you’re ridiculous blog entry here.

    • idnami December 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      May I ask what is ridiculous about pointing out that Calgary taxpayers have an easier time accepting a giant hockey party than a small protest?
      I cited Wal mart as one example and the analysis of their standards showed that those standards are mostly lip service. I’m not an economist but the conversation remained civil on my end until I could not hold back my outrage at the suggestion that we destroy a piece of artwork because we are pissy at the people who presented it to us. That IS disgusting and I am not afraid to say so. I won’t waste my time on people who think that is funny or acceptable. Calgary is a worldwide cultural laughingstock thanks to things like that.

  16. allan parker December 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    more brilliant sugestions from the programed masses. Nice response mandi.

  17. Annette Lengyel (@KeepItReaL57) December 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I suspect all that beer has left a large segment of the Calgary population brain damaged. You can’t expect reasonable thinking and thoughtful discussion from people who can do barely more than grunt.

    • Dan December 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

      Yes, we’re so stupid we need the folks at Occupy to enlighten us. Someday you’ll grow up and realize that just because people don’t agree with you, doesn’t make them stupid.

      • Annette Lengyel (@KeepItReaL57) December 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

        nothing personal

        • eddy83 December 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

          How can you say anyone who likes hockey is brain damaged then excuse yourself from rebuttal by saying “nothing personal”?

          Get over yourself.

          • idnami December 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

            When did I say anyone who likes hockey is brain damaged? I have lots of friends who like hockey. There’s a big difference between liking hockey and beinga raving fanatic about it.

            • eddy83 December 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

              This wasn’t directed at you. It was directed at Annette Lengyel.

              Also, the “Red Mile” was an assembly of people supporting the Flames. Sure there was some revelry that went over the top but for the most part people were just enjoying themselves. Any group that gets together is going to have some people doing stuff that is frowned upon by the majority. You wouldn’t want a whole group of people to be clumped up as one. That wouldn’t be fair right?

              • idnami December 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

                It went beyond over the top. The comparison I made in this post was simply if it was ok with Calgarians that a huge crowd of maniac fans had a massive drunken party that shut down a major street for over a month in the name of hockey, which definitely cost taxpayer money that they are so fond of going on about, why was it NOT ok for 20 people to take over a corner of a park in the name of democracy?

  18. Dan December 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    It’s humorous how riled you got by the melt it down for Knight Rider lunch boxes comment, which was a fairly obvious joke. Also nice work comparing us to Nazis, you should google Goodwin’s law.

    • idnami December 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      I did, and that’s hilarious actually. However the suggestion of destroying artwork is a pretty fascist idea. You want to burn a few books while you’re at it? I can handle people crapping on me for my ideas, but art is sacred. Seriously. Have a little respect for the artist’s time and expense.

      • Dan December 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

        If we were really Nazis we would have kept it for ourselves and hid it in a vault in Switzerland.

      • Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

        But the suggestion was clearly in jest. I understand it is tough to tell sarcasm on the internet, but this was clearly an attempt to bait an emotional response…which suceeded

        • idnami December 11, 2011 at 8:50 am #

          I’m sure it was… Tell you what. If an entire city calls you names and deliberately misreads everything you try to do for 2 months, your snapping point WILL come I’m sure. We get endlessly crapped on, mocked and abused just for being part of a movement that JUST STARTED and is trying to do a good thing. You know what? we are human like you. We aren’t saints or messiahs and there is no reason why we should be. So I finally told a few people what I think of them. Big deal. Looks like someone doesn’t like the taste of their own medicine.

          • Rob December 12, 2011 at 9:49 am #

            Seems to me the only thing that got crapped on was the innocent sidewalk in Olympic Plaza! Anyways I actually really like the sculpture. I think very visually appealing. That said I don’t think it should be displayed with the Occupy Calgary ‘message’ or with the narrative about democratic rights being trampled on. I believe this mainly because the combination of the sculpture stunt and the ‘Heart of the Beast’ narrative is both untrue and laced with an underserved sense of self adulation. No one at the province or at the city is stopping continued protest, just squatting in the park after hours. If what you stand for is that important why not get up everyday, get on the train and show up at Olympic Plaza and continue your protest, just without camping overnight or demanding that it’s within your rights that the city provide you with free electricity, condoms, expensive community forums et al.

            • idnami December 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

              I want to make it clear as a non-camping Occupier I don’t agree with any actions that could not be self-sustaining… and I said so to the campers numerous times. I am working on finding a church that will let us rent their basement for weekly meetings. Meanwhile this blog is 100% free and legal, which hy it has always been my focus as the most readily accessible and user friendly way for people to talk about these issues and educate each other.
              I also had nothing to do with the statue but I love it and I very much hope the city treats it with respect.
              The importance of the issues is in no way diminished by the misguided actions of certain individuals to bring them to your attention. The 2008 Canadian bank bailout cost taxpayers $69 billion. That works out to $2000 per Canadian. I ask again,does that bug anybody? It bugs he hell out of me but every time I say so the conversation seems to derail back to tents. Well it was 4 years ago and $69 billion is a very faraway kind of figure.
              Today I recieved he following message and am trying to get more details. “While at the courthouse this morning I met a very nice lady with a good job who was evicted on saturday by a bailliff because her landlord was being foreclosed on…They gave her 2 days notice to vacate and didn’t give her a court order but changed the locks on her home and forced her, her husband and 2 children into the street.”
              If this is true then this is a very close, personal, local example of an inhuman system right in our own city. This MATTERS. It matters mor than bylaws and tents. This is an outrage. This is what we are dedicated to fighting in every way we can. I am not saying “help me.” I’m saying very urgently, look. Don’t look away.

              • Rob December 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

                I don’t even believe you know even the half of what that ‘$69 Billion bailout’ was even about. You cannot even describe to me the mechanisms upon which it was paid out, for what purpose, and the macro effect it caused or saved. I could probably drop off the financial statements of one of the big Canadian Banks and you would hunt and peck and find a number and a narritive that you would believe to be sinister, but in reality you’re not able to comprehend financial statements. This is actually the main reason why your movement is looked down upon is because you’re a bunch of uninformed people who derive incorrect conclusions as a result of the limits of your intellect, education, and experience. Your arguments are invalid and that would be the case whether or not you supported those or actually took part in camping off hours in Olympic Plaza.

                • idnami December 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

                  Wow, good thing we have you here to tell us our arguments are invalid. That will save us a lot of time formulating them. It is amazing that you can read my mind and tell me what I can and cannot comprehend as well. You could make a lot of money at the carnival with a talent like that. Can you also tell me my age and weight?
                  If you type “canadian bank bailout” into google you will come up with a number of conflicting responses, but take just a little bit of time and you will find it documented right on the Government of Canada website. The stated purpose was “to maintain the availability of long term credit.” This may be a valid reason but I think that is a heck of a lot of money to go chucking around without consulting anyone. Did you know that Iceland held a referendum on bailing out their bank and the people voted no?
                  There was immense pressure on Iceland to bail out the banks and this was given as a condition to their being part of the EU.
                  That is what democracy is for; to give people a choice about what is done with their resources. Iceland is now independent of international banks and their economy is stable. When the Euro crashes, as it is about to, Iceland at least won’t fall with it.
                  I’ve cited sources all over the place on this blog. The references are out there if you can be bothered to find them. But you won’t will you? Especially not if the results might be uncomfortable to think about.
                  This country is becoming a democracy in name only.


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