Remember Me?
Home Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Rants An opportunity to vent about a "not so good" Edmonton experience.


Go Back   Connect2Edmonton > C2E Features > Rants
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-05-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
Sonic Death Monkey
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Downtown
Default "Dirt City" - another disparaging Edmonton nickname that needs to die

I've noticed a tendency for all the artists and musicians in this city to refer to Edmonton as "Dirt City". First time I saw it was one of those guerrilla art murals on the hoarding surrounding the Arlington a few years ago.

Latest article in Journal:
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/trave...354/story.html

Google brings up further examples:
http://www.martyrmagazine.ca/2012/04...-in-dirt-city/
http://www.dirtcityfilms.com/about
http://banners.vueweekly.com/article.php?id=6250
http://www.vueweekly.com.ws031.alent...e.php?id=11029
http://vueweekly.com/style/story/spr..._brown_season/

I'm thinking Vue is to blame for spreading this moniker, maybe. I have a feeling the nickname has very little to do with spring cleaning. It's just a pure lack of pride of this city, a dislike of being here. And seeing that many of these artists and musicians eventually move to other cities (e.g. former city poet laureate Cadence Weapon), maybe that's true.

If I was a despotic Mayor-King and saw the "Dirt City" moniker used, I would cut off their arts funding ha ha!
__________________
“You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012
Sonic Death Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
Municipal Man of Mystery
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Downtown
Default

Alternatively, it could be a point of pride some people might have in being from (what they see as) big bad ghetto Edmonton, like a way to get street cred. "Oh yeah, you grew up in the Bronx eh? Well III grew up in northeast Edmonton! It's hardcore, so that makes ME hardcore!"
Municipal Man of Mystery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
farway
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Default

I must say I don't disagree with SDM about the name Dirt City that has been used lately by local artists/musicians. However I want to mention that despite the name, what these people are doing for the city is pretty great, and I think the name Dirt City, Dream City is supposed to have more of a positive impact than a negative one.

From the Edmonton Journal article about Dirt City, Dream City:
"What is public art’s responsibility — if any — to directly serve the culture or politics of where it’s placed? An ambitious project of outdoor art installations in the Quarters district in the east part of downtown will wrestle with this question in late July. Fifteen local artists selected by the Edmonton Arts Council are working under the guidance of New York City’s Kendal Henry, an artist, adviser and self-described “outsider” who specializes in sensitive and provocative placement of public art in transitional neighbourhoods. “I’ve been easy on them so far,” Henry jokes, hoping the creative workers lean toward the thought-provoking and even uncomfortable."

This project is one of the first initiatives in the revitalization of the Quarters, and it may not be as big as a Hilton Hotel opening, but the purpose of the project is to bring people to the area and start talking about what is going on here. And I think this is a great way to do it. It looks like the name Dirt City, Dream City has already started people talking..

As mentioned in the article, there is a workshop today (Saturday May 5) at the ARTery from noon to 5 for the public to talk to the artists and hear about what we will be seeing in the Quarters later this summer. I suggest people go and tell them how you feel about Dirt City.
farway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
KC
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Default

Many artists lack a clarity of vision.
KC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
edmontonenthusiast
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: edmonton
Default

Sometimes you guys can be a little too sensitive. It isn't like this is a blunt "I Hate Edmonton" thing. I personally see it as a sort of "Term of Endearment," especially in the thing mentioned in the Journal article, where it isn't just "Dirt City," but rather "Dirt City: Dream City." Not to mention these artists that you say have a lack of pride in this city negotiated with Pattison and the Boyle Street community to help put on a 1-month arts event to add a little something to the Quarters. I'd say that's a lot more than most on C2E have done to help the community there.

I know the VUE had a article about Dirt City Fashion and it was definitely tainted with a little negativity, but the VUE also has many nice things to say about Edmonton as well. Besides, if these artists really hated Edmonton, don't you think they'd have headed for Toronto or Vancouver, or at least Calgary (similar cost of living)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Municipal Man of Mystery View Post
Alternatively, it could be a point of pride some people might have in being from (what they see as) big bad ghetto Edmonton, like a way to get street cred. "Oh yeah, you grew up in the Bronx eh? Well III grew up in northeast Edmonton! It's hardcore, so that makes ME hardcore!"
Which is really quite sad considering NE Edmonton, relatively speaking, is not scary in the slightest. Ghettos don't even exist in Canada, and I can only think of 1 or 2 genuinely bad areas in all of Canada. We really have it quite good in Canada, despite media portrayals of Western cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver (Toronto and Montreal too, a bit).
__________________
----

Last edited by edmontonenthusiast; 06-05-2012 at 10:59 AM..
edmontonenthusiast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
Sonic Death Monkey
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Downtown
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by edmontonenthusiast View Post
Besides, if these artists really hated Edmonton, don't you think they'd have headed for Toronto or Vancouver, or at least Calgary (similar cost of living)?
They already are leaving. Guess where Cadence Weapon is living now? It's not Edmonton.
__________________
“You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012
Sonic Death Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
Levko13
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton
Default

Ironically the one's complaining calling Edmonton Dirt City are the artsy type demanding more money and moving away because they can't get jobs here... Yet if they were as redneck as everyone else the would have no problem with Edmonton and finding jobs...
__________________
Levko
Levko13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
Municipal Man of Mystery
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Downtown
Default

Everything is relative. Ghettos in the US got nothing on ghettos in Mexico and Jamaica, which in turn got nothing on ghettos in South Africa and Somalia. By Canadian standards, Edmonton has some pretty rough areas, but that offers some great street cred and material for artists and musicians.
Municipal Man of Mystery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
edmontonenthusiast
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: edmonton
Default

^ You're right. Relatively, in a global sense, Edmonton is pretty damn safe. People who say otherwise either haven't traveled much (or at least have little knowledge of other places) or are doing it to look cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmontonenthusiast View Post
Besides, if these artists really hated Edmonton, don't you think they'd have headed for Toronto or Vancouver, or at least Calgary (similar cost of living)?
They already are leaving. Guess where Cadence Weapon is living now? It's not Edmonton.
Good for them! You and others need to get over the fact that not everyone loves Edmonton. Not everyone loves Calgary, either. Same for Toronto, New York City, LA, London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Shanghai.

Besides you could make the argument that if they don't like Edmonton, they should leave. Well, looky there, they just did!

Edit: And yes, I realize Edmonton has a little bit higher a proportion of Negative Nelly's around, mostly due to ignorance of what Edmonton offers, and we need to work on that, but still.
__________________
----

Last edited by edmontonenthusiast; 06-05-2012 at 04:53 PM.. Reason: Little
edmontonenthusiast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 05:18 PM   #10
bulliver
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Old Strathcona
Default

Open your eyes. Edmonton is a dirty city. Dirt parking lots downtown. People throw their garbage everywhere. We dump tonnes of sand on the roads every winter. It makes the place dirty. Maybe start thinking of ways to mitigate those issues rather than blaming the local arts media for telling it like it is.
__________________
Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...
bulliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
overoceans
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: asia
Default

This song has apparently become a well-loved anthem in the city it references. Despite its many unflattering references to said city(including its most infamous serial killer), and the fact that the band had never even lived there.
overoceans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
JamesL
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Westmount
Default

^^x2.
JamesL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 06:01 PM   #13
JamesL
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Westmount
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
It's just a pure lack of pride of this city, a dislike of being here. And seeing that many of these artists and musicians eventually move to other cities (e.g. former city poet laureate Cadence Weapon), maybe that's true.
I'm not convinced that it's really right to accuse Rollie of not liking it here -- his music has been very overtly Edmonton-centric in its lyrics, exhibiting (imo) a certain pride of place. He even says the point of using a term like "Dirt City" is an act of defensive pride:

Quote:
Let's start with the name: “Dirt City,” few know this is a sort of underground nickname for Edmonton. Why do people call it that?

It’s a self-deprecation thing, putting down the city before other people can, a way of wearing that “dirt” as a badge of honour. It’s a very Canadian thing, being proud of harsh winters and hard work and all that.

So, why did you name the album Hope in Dirt City?

It’s derived from a poem I wrote around the same time called “New Strathcona (Dirt City).” The poem is a rallying cry for young Edmontonians, a way of feeling good about the city despite the negative aspects of it. A lot of the album was written while in Edmonton and feeling existential dread, snowstorms in April and all that. It’s about positivity in the face of darkness.
http://avenueedmonton.com/blogs/cade...e-in-dirt-city
JamesL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #14
The_Cat
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
Default

When I read stuff like this, it really shows how immature Edmonton can act at times.
__________________
"Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.
The_Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
24karat
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Edmonton - Blue Quill
Default

I've never heard that term.
__________________
Fly Edmonton first. Support YEG
24karat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 08:14 PM   #16
Sonic Death Monkey
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Downtown
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
Quote:
Let's start with the name: “Dirt City,” few know this is a sort of underground nickname for Edmonton. Why do people call it that?

It’s a self-deprecation thing, putting down the city before other people can, a way of wearing that “dirt” as a badge of honour. It’s a very Canadian thing, being proud of harsh winters and hard work and all that.

So, why did you name the album Hope in Dirt City?

It’s derived from a poem I wrote around the same time called “New Strathcona (Dirt City).” The poem is a rallying cry for young Edmontonians, a way of feeling good about the city despite the negative aspects of it. A lot of the album was written while in Edmonton and feeling existential dread, snowstorms in April and all that. It’s about positivity in the face of darkness.
http://avenueedmonton.com/blogs/cade...e-in-dirt-city
Thanks for digging this up.

Clearly if you're aren't let in on the joke then it won't be interpreted as such.
Now the Deadmonton Horror Festival, that was clever!
__________________
“You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012
Sonic Death Monkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 12:08 AM   #17
The_Cat
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sherwood Park, AB
Default

Okay, I get it now. I think this is great.
__________________
"Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.
The_Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #18
Dusty Bear
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Levko13 View Post
Ironically the one's complaining calling Edmonton Dirt City are the artsy type demanding more money and moving away because they can't get jobs here... Yet if they were as redneck as everyone else the would have no problem with Edmonton and finding jobs...
There's a lot of ignorance in your comment. Most "artsy types" I know work "real jobs" in addition to pursuing their art. The ones who move often do so for more opportunity. Attitudes like yours are not helpful.
Dusty Bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #19
SP59
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Sherwood park
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Bear View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levko13 View Post
Ironically the one's complaining calling Edmonton Dirt City are the artsy type demanding more money and moving away because they can't get jobs here... Yet if they were as redneck as everyone else the would have no problem with Edmonton and finding jobs...
There's a lot of ignorance in your comment. Most "artsy types" I know work "real jobs" in addition to pursuing their art. The ones who move often do so for more opportunity. Attitudes like yours are not helpful.
The 'redneck' portion of the comment doesn't merit the same scorn?
SP59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 09:43 AM   #20
Dialog
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
Open your eyes. Edmonton is a dirty city. Dirt parking lots downtown. People throw their garbage everywhere. We dump tonnes of sand on the roads every winter. It makes the place dirty. Maybe start thinking of ways to mitigate those issues rather than blaming the local arts media for telling it like it is.
You do a great job of making us look slightly less dirty through your work!
__________________
A small town is a vast hell. —Argentinean proverb
Dialog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #21
moahunter
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
Open your eyes. Edmonton is a dirty city. Dirt parking lots downtown. People throw their garbage everywhere. We dump tonnes of sand on the roads every winter. It makes the place dirty. Maybe start thinking of ways to mitigate those issues rather than blaming the local arts media for telling it like it is.
I agree. Given the situation, I don't understand why litter laws aren't more stringently enforced and with higher fines. The revenue could be spent on publicity campaigns and clean ups. Better yet, make people who are caught littering, have to do community service removing litter.

The Arts community is simply reflecting the reality that Edmonton, sadly, is a dirty city, which is bizare given all the good efforts at recycling and similar - the image tourists see when they arrive undermines all those efforts.
moahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #22
Frank Wilson
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Default

Three times a day out walking the dog I always pick-up four of five pieces of litter every walk. And it does not matter where we walk, down the alley, street, or ravine. Our boys are doing it now too, really everyday should be "clean the park/street day".

It does irk me more to see litter/trash in natural areas; however, you only have to go about 5 meters off your property to find some, might as well pick it up and find a can. If all of my neighbours would do the same our blocks would be quite nice. I only know one other couple who does the same. I don't have a problem with biodegradable things like apple cores, banana peels etc.

After living overseas in winter a Northern winter city we sure noticed a difference coming back. Yes, friends and family who've come to visit have all commented on this.

Last edited by Frank Wilson; 09-05-2012 at 10:52 PM..
Frank Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #23
bulliver
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Old Strathcona
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dialog View Post
You do a great job of making us look slightly less dirty through your work!
Ha ha, thanks man

Quote:
Originally Posted by moahunter
Better yet, make people who are caught littering, have to do community service removing litter.
Great idea...mandatory 10 hours of garbage duty for each littering offense. Problem is, most people are smart enough not to throw trash with a cop right there, so catching litterers is difficult.
__________________
Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...
bulliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #24
SP59
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Sherwood park
Default

If they put in one tenth of the effort in stopping litter as is put into nabbing speeders they would probably start getting results.

Great points and suggestions moa.
SP59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.