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Laurence 'the Brain' Cameron takes another stroll on Vancouver's east side shame
Is this the worth we put on people? Ultimately it is-  Dec 19, 2007

From: Glen P. Robbins-I like Laurence Cameron's vignettes of the stark ugliness of our collective shame-poverty-drugs, the fact that at the end of it-no matter how we want to cheer, elected people, and others in power, don't actually give a shit. They say they do, but they don't. Another holiday in the suburbs listening to too many soccer moms and their (often) pathetic husbands talking about shopping and material possessions. I'm not angry, and I am not judging, part of the criticism is aimed right back at me, (I know the drill).
I have never, at any Christmas EVER heard a conversation where the people talked about destitute people. It isn't depressing. It just is. To fix it, we must embrace that this is so and not just do a little volunteer work or donate to the usual suspects, when we should all take a trip down to Sam's Town (and everyone else). Remember, do nothing, care nothing, and you will receive the same consideration. Wake up tomorrow and tell yourself you will help, really help. We are our brothers (and sisters) keepers.
Here is what Laurence Cameron is looking at:
Vancouver’s Earth and Sky blend together on days like these. You could turn the photograph upside down and IT would still look the same. Cold. Dreary. Wet. Full colour black and white, whether you like it or not. Your camera can’t make this scene pretty. These snapshots, from Canada’s Poorest Postal Code, can’t be “photoshopped”.
Sorry to disturb you again- but its time you took another long, hard look.
So what has changed in the many months since we last visited the infamous Downtown East Side? Well, for one thing, one of the killers of some of Vancouver’s missing women has been jailed. But who truly believes Willie acted alone? And just how much safer are thEse mean streets with Pickton in jail, even if he was solely responsible for the heinous crimes he was found guilty of? Ah, things don’t look very different to me. In fact, it looks like business as usual down here.
Some of the faces have changed. The Grim Reaper has rotated some of the locals out and brought in new recruits to replace them. There are different folks doing the crystal meth dance these days. Have you ever witnessed that? Whoa! The contestants on “So You Think You Can Dance” have nothing on these people! Strange, alien writhing replaces basic motor skills and control. It transforms the body into a bizarre marionette with the Slow Painful Death Theatre puppet master pulling the strings.
I once watched a young Asian fellow attempt to go from a standing position to a sitting position. Ya, that’s all. Just trying to sit his ass down on the cold, dirty pavement.
In the Main street west “T-lane” between Hastings and Cordova, he looked like a scissor lift running amok. Hydraulic fluid replaced by wicked, killer, poisonous drugs It must have took him nearly 5 minutes just to touch ground. I kept waiting for him to just fall over but, to his credit, he managed to make his way to the ground ass first instead of head first. It was like watching footage of a car crash being played back in reverse. Gravity was not this man’s friend. But he beat the odds, snuggled up to some garbage and counted his blessings, such as they were.
But the first thing he did when he was safely back on terra firma was pull out the pipe and smoke another rock. I guess you gotta dance with who you brung.
Maybe the upside down photograph is a good image to leave you with. Appropriate because the line between Heaven and Hell is a little blurry down here anyways.

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