Smokestacks & ProgressSunday, June 25, 2006
The image of progress fades and changes. As a boy when my British made electric train took me to the Buenos Aires suburb of El Tigre I would always watch for the tall smokestack that was attached to the Nestle plant that hugged the tracks. It was very tall and made of brick.The best part was that I could smell burning chocolate. In the 19th century a English cityscape full of smokestacks and smoke loudly proclaimed the age of coal.
Some 17 years ago the Georgia Straight ran an article on cuts at the Vancouver General Hospital. Things have gotten a bit more complicated since then. Try to figure out the current name of this hospital facility. It will be as difficult as trying to tell the difference between Trans Link and Coast Mountain Bus Company. The days of VGH and BC Transit are gone. That's called progress. Gone, too is the impressive smokestack of my picture. I remember that my subject was a mentally unstable patient who volunteered for the cause of showing what hospital cuts did to health care. I remember, too, that a hospital guard tried to throw us out even though we took the picture on the city sidewalk.