I don’t know whether I can sit here in the growing light of
dawn and finish writing and e-mailing this column before the battery in my
computer either runs out of juice or the kind folks at B.C. Hydro fix whatever
has left me sitting in the relative dark of its powered-down screen.
I guess you could say I’m pessimistic about my chances. The
gauge at the corner of the screen incessantly counts down the time to darkness
and with just over two hours to go, finishing is a long shot.
Ironically, my pessimism does not mean I’m a pessimist. Au
contraire. If I were a pessimist I wouldn’t even be trying. I’d have decided
— when I reached over to turn on my bedside lamp and nothing happened
— the task was a hopeless one. I’d have rolled over, gone back to sleep
and called Mr. Barnett later this morning to discuss a rerun of something I
wrote long enough ago no one would remember, earlier this year for example.
Quite possibly, the simple act of trying to beat the battery
may very well make me an optimist. A cranky optimist since I’m attempting it
without coffee but an optimist nonetheless.
This would come as no surprise to me. I believe I’m both a
cockeyed optimist and a hopeless romantic. That I am also deeply cynical and
highly suspicious of the motives of those around me is not as difficult a
juggling act as some may believe. In fact, the stasis resulting from balancing
those disparate traits is much easier to achieve and maintain than is any sense
of equilibrium if one finds oneself drinking both whiskey and wine in the same
Let’s face it, you can’t be a ski bum in an era of global
warming without being a raving optimist. And you can’t be a columnist in a
post-literate, on-line culture that, increasingly, is unable to focus on
anything longer or more complex than a soundbite without being a hopeless
Still… there are some of you out there — and you know who
you are — who believe both Pique and especially this page are mired in
negativity. In fact, there are some of you who seem to be a bit lathered up
about this perceived negativity and think it runs counter to what you’d like
Pique’s mission to be: spreading sunshine and bonhomie around like it was cheap
To this I say, (Insert raspberry noise here!)
I am, quite frankly, astounded sometimes at what a positive,
upbeat, cheerleading kind of guy I am. In unguarded moments, looking at the
world around me without the benefit of my rose-coloured glasses, I don’t think
I’m being nearly negative enough.
I mean, I’m almost giddy about our current council finally
finding their voice. I’m overwhelmed they managed to shepherd the sledge hockey
arena to its well-deserved white elephant graveyard. And even though it might
be negative of me to add I’m sorry they’ve been forced to do so much of the
shepherding in secret, having been put in a position to do business with such
disreputable characters as VANOC and the attendant levels of government, I am
nonetheless very positive about them taking a stand and reiterating our
commitment to not drive ourselves into a hopeless debt hole to accommodate the
circus coming to town.
I’ll be even more positive if they manage to keep their heels
dug in on the unconscionable expansion of the athletes’ village. Gee, I even remember
a time when we were all so positive and naive as to believe we might house the
Olympic™ athletes, hangers-on and members of the extended Olympic™ Family
within our existing lodging stock. Oops, that didn’t sound as positive as I
meant it to.
I’m really, really, really positive about the Mothercorp’s new
chairlift to the top of Piccolo. While I’d personally rather hike to the top of
that peak, I’d rather not hike out of the depths of Boundary Bowl every time I
snag some turns in there. Putting a chair on Piccolo was a great decision, way
better than the alternative of sticking one atop Flute as was feared. Leaving
most of the bowl as tree or gladed skiing is something else a guy can feel
Of course, it doesn’t completely counter the cynical pessimism
surrounding Joe’s decision to sell out to the money sharks or the unconscionable
profit grab embodied in the Evolution development but what the heck, why dwell
on the negative, right?
Remaining uncharacteristically upbeat, I could extend pats on
the back and attaboys to Mayor Ken and supporting cast and crew for fighting
the good fight to delay the SLRD’s approval of the Green River Estates’
expansion and to get Rear-Entry Campbell to make good on his promise of the
boundary expansion legacy. It’s hard to keep from thinking we’ll still be
fighting for boundary expansion long after the homeowners at Green River
Estates are turning the eponymous river brown with their effluent and it’s even
harder to keep from being cynical about the integrity of the SLRD in light of
the developer’s “gift” of two-and-a-half million bucks but I’ll save those
thoughts for a more negative column.
I’m almost beside my self with optimism about the muni’s
intention to relaunch Whistler 2020. I can’t wait. Since the first launch was
somewhat stealthy I’m looking forward to a lot of fanfare and maybe even some
concise positioning of our award-winning plan and, with luck, some idea of what
it all means to those of us who live here, what we can do to make it a living
reality instead of an obscure document. Heck, I’ll even bet the relaunch might
include that really cool Simcity kind of program the consultants promised us,
the one where we could twiddle the inputs and see what kind of community we’d
end up with. We’re still going to get that, aren’t we?
And finally, like so many other positive, don’t-worry-be-happy
kind of folks, I can dismiss out of hand the unbelievably negative letters to
the editor in last week’s paper. What a bunch of negative whiners. Where’s
their community spirit? How can they possibly suggest employers pay their
ungrateful employees even more? How can they think of moving away from here
just because they can’t find affordable places to live or have to work a couple
of jobs just to have a chance to enjoy the lifestyle they could enjoy if they
didn’t have to work a couple of jobs to afford to live here? Aside from simply
being negative, there couldn’t be any truth to their complaints. Could there?
And in case you’re wondering, I didn’t make it before my battery ran out. But the electricity did eventually come back on. Talk about the power of positive thought.