By G.D. Maxwell
The third year of the new millennium was a disaster - naturally and politically. Fires, floods, drought, enough snow to kill a record number of people in avalanches but hardly enough to make a decent ski season, an over-reaching under-achieving premier, a vainglorious war fought on the flimsiest of pretenses that toppled a dictator and left a hole in the international social fabric, the departure of a Liberal Prime Minister and the arrival of. who knows what, and the next baby step toward having a local sustainability plan if not tangible sustainability.
After a year like that, it warms the soul to celebrate outstanding local achievements. So quick Watson, the needle, er, envelopes for this year's Maxie Awards.
Mountain Kulture Awards
Best On-Mountain Improvement: All day breakfast at Dusty's Backside at Creekside. In the post Southside Deli era, no one in town can touch what Stu and Tyler are whippin' up to fire the inner shredder. Quality and value - what a radical concept, so un-Whistler.
Keep Yer Hands Off My Stack, Jack: Whistler-Blackcomb pens a deal with the BidCorp to ensure they receive compensation at least equal to that of the average earnings of the three seasons leading up to 2010 when the circus comes to town and disrupts what we've all come to think of as, well, life. Good for them. Now, how about the rest of us?
Seeking Sense in Senselessness: To the seven who died on Durrand Glacier, the seven more who died at the foot of Cheops, the 15 others who died in less newsworthy avalanches, the four who died when the bridge washed out and our friend Dave who just ran out of luck. So many lessons to learn, so little time.
Politics as Unusual Awards:
Whack-a-Mole Redux: The World Economic Forum rears its ugly head again as boosters from the Vancouver Board of Trade get down on all fours and beg for a bone. What part of "Thanks but no thanks" don't you guys understand?
Timing Is Everything: To Whistler Council for moving public questions to the beginning of their meeting. Hate missing the occasional bunfight but it's better for both of us if I sleep at home.
The 0.145 Solution - formerly the Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds Award: To Slash Gordon, of course. For a man who brooked no moral turpitude as opposition leader, Slash sure got a major humanity implant when it came to forgiving himself for drunk driving. In my book, 0.08 is legally drunk, 0.10 is missin' the urinal drunk, and 0.145 is leavin' the bar with the ugliest. well, with anyone who'll leave with you only to find you can't get it up drunk. Two martinis and two glasses of wine? Still having problems distinguishing truth from lie, eh Gordo.