The Big Ideas Issue (2008)

Whatever the future has in store for our city, it’s likely we’re in for some big changes. And big changes start with big ideas. We contacted a bunch of local luminaries and visionaries and asked them for their big ideas for the future of the city.

Here’s what we got.

Recycling made easy less difficult

I know, I know: You really want to recycle those freakin’ newspapers and these friggin’ cereal boxes and that flippin’ infinite stream of yogurt containers. But this whole “environment comes last” attitude exuded by, well, every level of government in the province makes it so much easier to just toss it all in the garbage. And since almost everyone else throws theirs away, maybe yours won’t be so noticeable in the Robin Hood Bay landfill. How will anyone know it’s your old Commodore 64 in there, right?



Yeah, the premise sounds boring, let’s face facts. Who would want to pump quarters into a game where you had to deliver newspapers? Half of the kids who were spending said quarters likely earned them delivering newspapers. But like so many titles back then, it had to be played to be appreciated. Kids realized quickly that hucking newspapers at all sorts of destructible objects, pissy neighbours, and ghosts was well worth their hard-earned cash.


Lori Butler is the secret ingredient to the culinary-challenged of St. John’s. Since 2006, Lori has been designing meal plans and preparing fresh and frozen meals for her clients through her personal meal service, Chef Over. She’s recently cooked up a new image for the business, renaming it Moltar Bia.

Stopping the sprawl

How the heck do you put a stop to sprawl? Is it even possible to stop, once it has started? These questions seemed to be of grave concern to our beloved Big Idea contributors, so we consulted to local experts to see if there’s any possibility of stopping the Sprawl Monster in its tracks.

Out from under Eric’s shadow

“It’s just been getting better and better and I’m playing with musicians I really like and that tends to keep it really fun,” says Julie Doiron. “It’s less of a battle of trying to win over an audience and more of having fun playing with the audience.”

The Juno award winning, New Brunswick-based singer-songwriter hasn’t played St. John’s since 2000, but will be performing at the George Street United Church on Dec. 12.

Field Notes

Idlers drummer Curtis Andrews says he “loathes the recording industry,” but he’s coming out with his first solo album anyway. “I never planned to record my music, just perform it if possible,” he says. “There is so much that is not music that is involved with making records, and it makes people’s heads become too big and their perception of themselves gets out of whack.”

Dumphy review: “Coast Is Clear” by In-Flight Safety

In-flight safety? No such ting! If the plane’s going down you’re shagged—unless you’re Dumphy. Dumphy’s always ejectin’.
Flyin’s all right, but if Dumphy has one more bottle of Old Spice body spray ripped off at security he’s goin’off. Can’t be havin’ that.
Nah buy—dis band’s on pretty weapon. Coldplay can lick it. Corner Brook represent!
— Donnie Dumphy

Cornbread stuffing

As the dark days close in, as the frigid north Atlantic winds find their steely way down the backs of necks and up coat sleeves, as the pre-holiday madness fills up calendars and drives the citizenry to distraction, there’s one thing that can make it all right.

That thing is a nice dinner of roast chicken.

Jamie Skidmore

You are a teacher of young theatre artists at MUN, what are their main concerns regarding theatre here in St. John’s? “I was speaking to a student yesterday who perceives the theatre scene in St. John’s as very closed and insular. I don’t think this is the case, but I also think young actors and directors need to make their own theatre for a while before connecting up with established organizations.

The Basilica Clock Tower

In the days before wristwatches and cell phones, the Basilica towers were our temporal authority. The western tower had a sundial, the eastern tower its clock and bells. Up until 1905 the bells would ring out each night in November at nine pm. Parishioners were expected to stop what they were doing, drop to their knees and recite Psalm 130, De profundis.

Thieves Like Us – Play Music

As you might infer from their name (adopted from the 1984 single by New Order) their sound is heavily influenced by new wave, synth-pop, post-punk and seminal electronic artists (think Suicide, or Kraftwerk only not as quirky as the latter). The album’s eleven songs are characterized by repetitive programmed hooks and minimal arrangements that are more atmospheric than dance-inducing, which ultimately make for one cool record.

Julien Donkey-Boy

Harmony Korine’s bold follow-up to the post-modern American gothic, glue-sniffing masterpiece Gummo (1997), is an inconsistent, but highly intriguing piece of work. …The DVD offers some deleted scenes and a making-of featurette that are not essential, but definitely worth checking out.

DIY: Light my fire

Have a few table legs you’re not using for anything in particular? Are you sick of pretending to recycle your cardboard and old copies of The Scope?

Why not burn ‘em?