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A set of wankers

August 16, 2007

I’ve heard it said that cities get the graffiti they deserve. Toronto’s anonymous “I Love You” artist (rumoured to be actually a forlorn, lovesick adolescent, but never mind) is a good example, at least to me. I do love this city. The challenge facing Torontonians, really, is to find a way of living in such an adorable city without ourselves becoming completely insufferable with self-satisfaction. It’s a tough one.


It seems like the one really unlovable part of the city, though, is my workplace, the University of Toronto campus. This area — and I really mean the collegiate heart of the campus — is everything that the rest of the city isn’t — aesthetically conservative (dominated by gaudy architectural replicas of Oxbridge or Ivy League buildings), unwelcoming, unsexy and, above all, completely for sale.

Each summertime, me and thousands of others are annoyed and inconvenienced by the intrusion into our workplace by enormous film crews. Hollywood films often get made in places like Toronto because there’s a cost issue that makes filming in Canada a lot easier than the U.S. The university tends to be used because its pseudo-antique buildings are ready-made stage sets, and because every corner and cranny of the university is for sale to the highest bidder. I recently enquired about using a piano in a university building to make some quick recordings. I was told that I’d be charged $120 an hour for the room, plus $100 an hour for the piano (which is part of the room), because my recording would be “technically a commercial venture”. Clearly they haven’t heard my music.

Anyway, back to the film crew that’s currently preparing some enormous turd of a film to deposit on your multiplex screens in the near future. It could be argued that it’s commercial ventures of this sort that allow the university to fund my research — although it’s strange how in academia you’re supposed to feel constantly grateful to be paid for your work, in a way that would be unheard of in almost any other line of work. Very well… I thought that since they’re filming us, at the very least I ought to photograph them filming us.

I present: a set of wankers.


It’s a film, OK?


It’s obvious that they’re wankers because they don’t know the difference between an umbrella and a dustpan and broom.

Hang on a minute…

Yes, I love you too.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. C.P. Trigg (of the board of trade) permalink
    August 17, 2007 1:28 am

    Were you there when they wouldn’t let us play on back campus because they were setting up the lights for that Don Cheadle film? I believe the picture was about civil rights.

    Film is an over-rated medium anyway.

  2. Heather permalink
    August 17, 2007 2:36 am

    Why are they filming “The Incredible Hulk” in Toronto???

  3. August 17, 2007 11:59 am

    Because I’m in it.

  4. August 17, 2007 2:04 pm

    Anyway, I heard that Tim had a run-in with them. But Tim has a run-in with everybody.

  5. Jaclyn permalink
    August 18, 2007 1:24 am

    During the winter of 2005, a Robin Williams movie was being filmed at University College. One weekend, they took over exactly the part of the building me and my coursemates needed to work on a robotics project.

    Granted, we went where we wanted, filming be damned, but I was wholly unimpressed by the film’s seeming priority over my education.

    Sometimes, it’s like I never left Los Angeles.

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