Why You Will Never Win a High Speed Chase

Posted by  | October 16, 2013 | 

Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan
Formerly published in Unhaggle.com 

vwtouareg-road-blockFirst off, you’re not Vin Diesel and life is not a movie. In our unscripted world, there are just too many things working against you if a high-speed chase is your choice in escaping the law. Plain and simple, you won’t win. But if you dare tempt fate, turning your speeding ticket into a felony might be your best-case scenario. A car can be after all a dangerous weapon.

What You’re Up Against, The Pursuit Vehicles

At a glance, there is nothing spectacular about a RCMP pursuit vehicle. Yes, they have the common police paint job, flashy lights and sirens. But it’s the interior that makes pursuit cars superior to civilian cars. First off, they have engines with more horsepower to compensate for the additional equipment and also to keep up with suspects’ cars.

The common (yet declining use in service) second generation, Ford Crown Victoria has 4.6 L Modular V8 engine. The Dodge Charger Pursuit (the likely replacement to Crown Victoria) has 292 hp, 5.7 L and V8 Hemi engine. The Ford Taurus, another common pursuit car used by the RCMP, can have up to 3.5 L EcoBoost V6, 365hp. Also, an external oil-to-engine-coolant and heavy-duty radiator help pursuit vehicles reach up to 211 km/h (131 mph). Pursuit cars are constantly being reviewed to get the most benefits for taxpayer dollars and reduce carbon footprint… even a smart car?

Pursuit vehicles might have advanced modification, but the real reason you won’t escape them isn’t because of the speedy cop car, it’s also everything else on the road. Even if you are driving a speedy new car with the ability to outrun a Police Interceptor, odds are, someone will see your erratic driving and inform the authority. You’ll hit roadside debris, another car or a pothole—that’ll end your escape pretty quickly.

High Speed Pursuit Strategies

North American authority takes pursuits seriously. With 350 death in the States every year caused by high-speed chases (30% of those innocent bystanders), most pursuit protocols call for the officer to avoid this dangerous form of arrest as best as possible—but often it only works with the suspect’s cooperation. Multiple techniques are used to stun the driver.

A common one is known as The Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) also known as The Tactical Vehicle Intervention. This technique requires the pursuit vehicle to make contact with the fleeing vehicle, by striking it behind the rear wheel. With enough force, the pursuit vehicle will cause the suspect to lose control and spin out. The road must be cleared for police to execute PIT safely, or in the safest way possible.blockade

There are several methods police use to avoid and halt high-speed chases. And if you are like me, you will remember all those blockbuster movies you’ve seen. You know, those with police cars barricading, creating a roadblock causing the fleeing vehicle to stop or to turn off the road, damaging the car in the process. Although this is becoming less popular pursuit intervention technique as it puts several officers in harms way.

Another Hollywood approach to stopping a runaway vehicle is with spike belts. The 35 to 75mm spikes are strategically built to puncture tires, allowing air to slowly expel. Tires don’t burst when they hit the spikes, but soon suspects will be driving on their rims, turning the chase into a slow crawl. Spike belts are effective, yet notoriously dangerous. Since 1973 approximately 20 police officers lost their lives deploying them. Due to the risk, this method of attaining fleeing suspects is banned by numerous North American police departments.

Helicopters also play a large role in high-speed chases, but in Canada there is a more reserved usage of aerial surveillance. The RCMP simply doesn’t see the value in having them. Instead, they rely more heavily on radio communication. Even though they don’t have an eye in the sky, modern vehicles are equip with a built in GPS—so it’s not really a game of hide and seek anymore.

Lesson of the Day

With vehicle, technology and authority aside, driving is still a complicated undertaking. Wrong turns, constructions, detours, dead ends, school zones, traffic jams and everything else that you see on a daily commute will become an obstacle for anyone on a high-speed chase. Overwhelmed with stress, confusion and lack of rational thoughts—a driver on the run is bound to make a mistake. And one mistake is all it takes.

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The Past in Between by Elliot Chan

Buy it here!

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Book description:

Some people get second chances, but Constable Seth Southgate and Van Vuong are much luckier, they’ve got many more—unfortunately chances aren’t privileges, they aren’t measurable, and they aren’t always acknowledged. From a hospital bed and a prison cell, the two men face the repercussions of their choices, recall the chances they received, and wonder when the trigger was pulled and their fortunes faded.

Origin of the book:

In 2010, I didn’t have much going on. I bounced around different jobs, while still trying to hang on to some hope of becoming an actor/director. As I waited for Hollywood to call, I did a lot of writing and developed a love for it—a love that didn’t leave me feeling jilted, unlike my love for film. I entered the 3-Day Writing Contest to motivate myself to write something, just to get it done from beginning to end. Well, I did it—and I left it on the shelf for 3 years. Why I abandoned it for so long, I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t believe in building a boat and never sailing it. So here it is now: The Past in Between is a novel about second chances… which is fitting, because I gave it a second chance to be read, just like how writing offered me a second chance to create artistically, in addition to making a living and pursuing a passion. It really is nice looking back sometimes and seeing where I’ve come from. This book allowed me to do that. Now let’s look forward.

The Past in Between is available on Amazon for ebook.

Danger and violence is a part of growing up

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Parents’ safety concerns shouldn’t determine child’s athletic aspirations

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Dec. 2013

From an early age, we teach children to behave nicely and to play safe, but overprotectiveness can be more damaging than kicks, punches, and scrapes against pavement. Protecting children is one thing, but activities that test endurance such as hockey, mixed martial arts (MMA), and other sports requiring a helmet can offer valuable lessons—ones that children cannot get from their caring parents.

Although many still consider MMA to be a barbaric sport, it’s incredibly popular amongst the younger generation. Parents are more inclined today to enrol their children in lessons and cheer on their sons and daughters as they duke it out. That being said, it only takes a few seconds of viewing a child “ground and pound” an opponent before we recognize what is really happening. We shoot some judgmental glances at the parents and wonder how they could have let such a monstrosity happen.

Give me a break. I feel those parents should be commended for believing in their children, despite their child’s loss. Sure the child got hurt in the process—let that be the worst thing to happen in that child’s life. Sports are inherently dangerous; it doesn’t matter if you sprain your MCL playing badminton or get concussed from a roundhouse kick. Competition hurts and so does life. Spoiling children and keeping them in the house playing video games is more crippling than a few bruises.

The reason why I believe after-school and weekend sports enrolment for children is so important is that I didn’t have any when I was growing up. I had overprotective parents who wanted me to pursue academic and artistic endeavours and avoid the tremulous world of athletics. I believe the inability to cope with losing set me back a bit as I aged. I was afraid to fall and take chances, until one day I decided to purchase a skateboard with my own money and prove my durability. I remember returning home with blood dripping down my leg, proud. I had fallen and I survived.

Competition is a part of life, and the earlier we teach our children this concept the more competent they’ll be, whether in academic, professional, or athletics goals. Learning to lose is as important as learning to win. Those who are successful will tell you that there is not one without the other. If the child has a passion and is willing the pursue it, parents should support them regardless of the concrete floor, opposing teams, or headlocks.

Some may call certain sports violent, and therefore worth banning children from. Certain children are also naturally more violent than others, and the combination sounds like a recipe for disaster. But sports allow children to focus their intensity by giving them motivation in a controlled environment. Kids who act out in classrooms will often find sports not only help build physical stamina, but mental stamina as well.

Scars are not signs of mom and dad’s inept parenting—they’re badges of honour for the children.

Live fast/retire young

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Should the best have the right to hang it up early?

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in The Other Press. Dec. 2013

End with a bang, finish on top, and leave the audience wanting more; they might all be clichés, but any athlete, performer, and business professional who says they want their career to peter out and end with a little whimper is a liar. It’s tempting to push the limits of our achievements and it’s even more tempting to ride off into the sunset early—but what does it really mean to retire as champion and be the undisputed, undefeated best of the best? Some might refer to that scenario as the ideal end to a beautiful career, but I consider it selfish, lazy, and inconsiderate.

At UFC 167, Canadian welterweight champion George St. Pierre kept his title against number one contender Johny Hendricks. After the controversial match, St. Pierre announced that he would be taking a long hiatus from the sport. Fans, management, and opposition were outraged by the news, even though St. Pierre admitted to needing time to deal with his own personal problems—few had sympathy for one of the best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world.

A title is a responsibility, regardless of the job. If you don’t want to perform the job any more, you don’t deserve the title. An actor wouldn’t audition for a role and then drop it as soon as they got cast. A qualified business manager who gets hired and then decides to quit, leaving the company in the lurch, is disrespectful and classless. The same goes for professional MMA fighters. If you win, you’d better be ready to defend. Now, I admit not being allowed the option to step away gracefully and having to be pummelled until retirement may seem a bit cruel, but aren’t we all struggling through life? I’m not saying every occupation should end with a five-round bout in the octagon, but there should be some sort of closure—especially if you’re the best.

Some believe being washed-up or a has-been is a tarnishing trait to a respectful professional, but I believe it’s the only honest way to pass the torch; to truly know if the successor is deserving of the reverence that comes with the title. Eventually the apprentice will defeat the master; that is just the way of life. In the animal kingdom we often see the alpha male being usurped by a younger individual. The only honourable thing for the aging animal to do is to stand its ground or flee in disgrace of the community it helped build.

I fear we have put certain public figures on too high of a pedestal and that is wrong. We have made false idols out of these talented people and the idea of treating them like normal humans is considered blasphemy. A person withholding their talents from society is similar to theft. They’re taking something of great value away from the world, and that is not okay.

World-class athletes, performers, and business professionals already get treated like kings. There is no doubt that their egos often cloud their judgment, causing them to be more concerned with their reputations than with their actual roles as influencers. Sure, it might be better for the self-esteem to go out on top, but it’s better for the self-image to admit defeat and shake hands with the next generation. If I may quote a line from The Dark Knight’s Harvey Dent, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Don’t become the villain—keep fighting.

Diversify December

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There is more to December than Christmas

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Dec. 2013

It always surprises me that despite living in such a multicultural city, whenever December comes around, all I hear about is Christmas. I’m certain that there are people just like me, floating about with no religious or cultural link to any holidays. I know I’m not the only one who has blindly accepted Christmas to be the popular choice and ignored all the rest without any recognition.

I remember a time when people were proposing that the phrase, “Merry Christmas” should be officially replaced with politically correct salutations including, “Season’s greetings” and “Happy holidays.” Christmas’ overwhelming attractiveness reigned supreme and those that still get upset about it would be considered rather uptight or having a chronic case of seasonal affective disorder.

Still, I feel it’s important to recognize other significant holidays that other people actually celebrate.

Some might be complaining about Christmas’ early start this year, but Hanukkah actually does start early. November 27 at sundown marked the start of the Jewish holiday, but you probably forgot because you were too busy putting up decorative lights or getting ready for Black Friday. Luckily, there are eight days of Hanukkah, so you still have until December 5 to spin a dreidel and put on Adam Sandler’s animated movie, Eight Crazy Nights.

Bodhi Day arrives during a time of affluence for many. We reap the rewards of a year-long drudgery and enjoy the secret Santa gifts and holiday dinners. But Bodhi Day, December 6 is not about indulgence and splurging on shopping bargains, it commemorates the day the Buddha experienced enlightenment. Different variations of Buddhism, from Zen to Pure Land Buddhism all across the globe take part in this celebration. The traditional way to mark this day is to take part in meditation, but I don’t suggest it, knowing that you’ll probably be full off turkey and red wine.

Although the African community is small in Vancouver, Kwanzaa is a significant holiday, celebrated by over 4.7-million people in the United States and 28-million people in the world. This week-long holiday that starts on Boxing Day and ends on New Year’s Day. For those who do celebrate Kwanzaa, they must face the fact that the eclipse of post-Christmas festivities blinds many people from this holiday. If you are one of those fine folks bracing for New Year’s Day with anticipation, take a moment and sit back and enjoy a movie by Maya Angelou called The Black Candle, a film that explores African culture by using Kwanzaa as the vehicle to tell the tale.

Winter solstice is the occasion to bring family and friends together and share the year’s finale. It’s a beautiful time; every region of the world has their own practices—but I don’t, and I don’t need them. We should all be cultural explorers. It’s nice to decorate trees or light candles, but with such a diverse selection of holidays this month, trying something new might just be the necessary change needed to rejuvenate the spirit and prepare yourself for another year.

Spotlight in Sochi

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International hockey teams look for key players to help win gold in Russia

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in The Other Press. Nov. 2013

The Olympics bring out the hockey nations’ most elite players, but when stars in club teams join international teams, not every player will get the spotlight—many accustomed to being leaders in the NHL will have to take on secondary or defensive roles. Players recognized for highlight reel plays might not get the opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage, but that doesn’t mean they’re a liability—in fact, the unsung players are often those that contribute most to gold medal teams. Without further ado, here’s a quick preview of the top contenders.

Canada: Who is going to get Sidney Crosby the puck? It might not be Steven Stamkos, even though he was a projected line mate before the top goal scorer in the NHL went down with a leg injury. In 2010, Jarome Iginla set up the golden goal, but due to his rise in age and decline in stock, he might be dismissed, making room for an up-and-comer. So who will be the key figure in 2014 flying under the radar? Consider Crosby’s set-up man on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chris Kunitz. Team Canada often tries to be fancy, but I believe team chemistry is more important than talent alone. Head coach Mike Babcock may consider trying out many players with Crosby, but with 27 points in 28 games this season, Kunitz is as good as any Canadian to set up a game winner.

Russia: With home ice advantage and a team known for its firepower, Team Russia is going to do everything they can to reverse their Olympic fortunes. It’s true, the Red Army has been intimidating on paper for many years, but if the Alexander Ovechkins and Evgeni Malkins can’t win games, who can they count on? We might have forgotten about him in the NHL, but Ilya Kovalchuk is still a game changer (when he wants to be), with 30 points in 26 games in the KHL with league-leading St. Petersburg SKA. With Kovalchuk, Russia may be the favourite to upset the two North American teams.

USA: Tasting silver in 2010 was a bitter experience for the Americans even though they arrived in Vancouver as the underdogs. They failed to score the last goal four years ago, but that was not because of their forwards—it was because of their defence. Without Ryan Miller playing at top form there wouldn’t even be silver. But with Miller’s confidence crippled by a horrible Buffalo Sabres team, who can the US count on to stop the opposition? Why not Jack Johnson from the Columbus Blue Jackets? He had been sitting, waiting, wishing for a second chance at gold and this time with healthy experience on a defensively sound Blue Jacket team, he might just be the consistent blue liner to get the USA to the next level.

Sweden: The 2006 champions will not have an easy trip to the podium in 2014. Team Sweden will need both their veterans and youngsters to be at their best for the two-week tournament. Any stalled play will definitely go against their favour and may be impossible to recover. Look for the Colorado Avalanche’s captain Gabriel Landeskog to play a larger role on the international team after turning the Avalanche’s productivity around this year with an impressive 17-5-0 start to the NHL season.

Whether it’s blocking a shot or making a key pass in a tight situation, Olympic hockey is all about talented players doing the little things to win. These players may have smaller roles, but they are far from small players.

Google alert

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Will search engine censorship track criminals or create them?

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Nov. 2013

The three titans of the Internet, Google, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo!, are developing an ethical way to ban perverse searches, most notably links to child pornography and abuse content. At one point, Google and Bing echoed one another in saying the regulation “couldn’t and shouldn’t be done.” They have finally given in with a little arm-twisting from David Cameron, the British prime minister, who threatened to bring in a new legislation if the search engines did not take steps towards the solution. Now with over 100,000 illegal search queries blocked, one must ask: are we in fact closer to solving the problem, or have we just closed the door and opened a window?

Google admits that “no algorithm is perfect” when seeking out sexual predators and abuse offenders; still, the search engine has selected 13,000 queries to include a warning, which states that what the user has searched for is illegal and offers suggestions for help. The problem is those users aren’t searching for help; they are seeking pleasure and release—and they’ll get it one way or another. As soon as these offenders recognize the trap doors of the Internet, they will find loopholes and alternatives, perhaps ones that are more dangerous and damaging.

There is a global consensus that child pornography and abuse is an abhorrent crime and that it should be banned, but the Internet should be a platform of unlimited information. The difficulty is finding the balance between blocking too much and too little. How do we let the researchers research, while creating restrictions for the perverts?

The search engines will have to decide how far they are willing to push the ban. If pedophiles start using unrelated keywords to communicate, does that mean innocuous words will be banned as well? Slang words are born every day, and to try to track each and every one is a lost cause. Dr. Joss Wright, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institution, made a valid point saying that users can start referring to abuse images as “cake”—you cannot block the word “cake” from searches.

It’s also important to remember that Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are just companies providing a service—they are not the Internet at large. The dirty images can still be uploaded and shared through peer-to-peer sites, and experts agree that that is the common interaction between Internet pedophiles.

This new firewall might stop a few perpetrators, but these big companies need to watch their step, because they’re headed towards a slippery slope. Consider all the illegal content in the world and then consider the depths of the Internet. Our freedom to search the web may be greatly hindered if authorities truly believe that blocking links is the key solution. You wouldn’t ban the use of cars if drug dealers were transporting contraband on wheels. The same goes for the Internet. This blockade is far from the solution—if anything, it’s a mere detour.

Celebrating Christmas early

It’s not that time of year yet

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By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in The Other Press. Nov. 2013

It seems each year the gap between Christmases is shorter and shorter, like some festive global warming sucking the life out of every other season. Every November, I watch as some people glow with anticipation, while others frown at all the premature tinsel, lights, and Santa Claus imitators. Now, I hate to defend the Grinches out there, because I’m all about fun and decorations—who cares what religion, holiday, or festival people actually celebrate, it’s all about good cheer—but let’s not have three servings of dessert before dinner; that would spoil our appetite.

I personally never set up Christmas decorations. I consider it a waste of time, although I’m glad other people string them up. Still I wonder why they don’t just leave them up all year round if they like them so much. Is that such a stupid question? Why can’t we have Christmas lights on 365 days of the year? I wouldn’t be angry—then again, we might as well go ahead and celebrate my birthday and Halloween 365 days a year as well. I wouldn’t be angry about that, either.

The point I’m trying to make here is that patience should be a part of the holiday season. It’s an important discipline to embed into our psyche. It strengthens us as people. Anticipation plays a large role during the holidays, and it’s figuratively the heartbeat of the season. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to something, but don’t count the Easter eggs before they hatch.

Honestly, there are way too many holidays and it’s a tad overkill to celebrate one for over a month and a half. Big box retail stores and Starbucks will tell you differently, but we know their plan. In a survey conducted by SOASTA, 77 per cent of American adults didn’t want stores putting up Christmas decorations before American Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November), and 81 per cent felt stores shouldn’t play Christmas music before turkey day, either.

My attitude towards decorations is always akin to my attitude towards chores: just get it over with. But it shouldn’t be. Decorating shouldn’t be a lonesome undertaking like mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters. It should be a shared experience with those we care about. Isn’t that what the holiday is about? So savour it a little, don’t just rush into it and get it done. If you ever feel traditions are becoming a humdrum task, remember you’re not obligated. Nobody really cares if your lights are up at all.

Christmas is inviting, it’s fun, and it brings back all the good memories of childhood, but let’s grow up for a moment and think about everything else in life. It’s not healthy to indulge too much in one thing. We call them traditions, and traditions in their simplest form are rules and guidelines (I know, that sounds horrible, but they are). It’s not a bylaw and nobody is going to get arrested or fined, but the unwritten tradition is that decorations go up two weeks before Christmas and come down 12 days after.

A eulogy for Blockbuster

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The remembrance of entertainment retailers

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published by the Other Press. Nov. 2013

Entertainment. What does the word even mean to us now? It seems like we have endless amounts of it everywhere we look. The idea of rental is now so preposterous and ancient that many consider it laughable. But it was only about two years ago that the iconic entertainment rental store, Blockbuster, vacated Canada.

Although many transitioned to digital methods of enjoying movies, TV shows, and video games at the initial phase of the revolution, a fair number of customers relied not only on the movies but the complete Blockbuster experience for nightly entertainment. Now it’s official: the store will become a relic of North America. Blockbuster announced earlier this month that it would be shutting down the remaining 300 stores in the US. Cut to credits. The Blockbuster story has its ending. It was inevitable, but it’s a tragedy for movie lovers.

Okay, so I’m being a bit dramatic, but think about the alternative; consider how we approach our entertainment today. Although my life is quite unique, I’m sure my process of selecting something to watch is not so different from yours. I come home from an exhausting day at work or school, sit down on my computer chair, couch, or bed, and log onto the Internet. If I have a movie or TV show in mind, great, I’ll seek it out as fast as I can via an online streaming website or a peer-to-peer media sharing site, such as BitTorrent.

But if I’m feeling symptoms of indecisiveness, which occurs more frequently than I want, I end up sitting at my computer scrolling through a list of movies, trapped in some sort of horrible movie poster vortex. I consult ratings and critic reviews, but that’s never enjoyable. I end up flustered and far from entertained. I’ll usually just surrender and end up on YouTube, or watching the news and sports highlights, or simply selecting something random, watching halfway through, getting bored, and then going to be bed early.

Rarely do I feel invested in the movies I choose. I can just stop watching whenever I want to and not feel any regret because it didn’t cost me anything. Sure, that might not be a bad thing, because believe it or not there are a lot of shitty movies and TV shows out there. But committing to something helps viewers establish a relationship with the entertainment, like wearing a shirt that you bought for a special occasion. You’ll remember going to the store, picking it out, trying it on, and paying for it. That little magical spark is lost in the digital age. Downloading and streaming movies and TV shows is so instantaneous and ephemeral that we shrug our shoulders and just don’t care.

In the end, technology will always win. That’s just the way the world works. But I believe we’ve lost a bit of our culture with the extinction of Blockbuster and other physical entertainment outlets. Although I was never a loyal customer, I feel we still need a centralized location for home entertainment outside of our living rooms. We need a place to browse, select, and talk about movies. Then we return home with the thrill of having a completed journey.

I’m going to miss video stores. It’s a shame the next generation will not be able to appreciate the pleasures of walking down the many aisles, reminiscing about old films with others, and slipping the DVDs through the little slot at night hoping they don’t charge you an overdue fee. Yes, I’m going to miss video stores. Cue soft music and slowly fade to black.

Show how much you care about yourself

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E-commerce and lonesome shoppers celebrate Singles’ Day in China

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor

Formerly published in the Other Press. Nov. 2013

While Canadians spent November 11 paying respect to those who fought for our country’s freedom, China celebrated the joys of bachelorhood with Singles’ Day. The holiday targets those without boyfriends, girlfriends, or life partners. Even though it might sound like a hoax to those lonely individuals, Singles’ Day is becoming a very popular event in China—a country burdened by the bachelor generation, the direct cause of the one-child policy introduced in the late ‘70s.

Instead of pouting, whining, or crying, the Chinese singles have found a silver lining to their pathetic situation. Singles’ Day is now officially one of the largest shopping days of the year, and if there is a country that is able to buy happiness, it might as well be China. Although in previous years the holiday has slipped North American retailers’ radar, this year they jumped at the opportunity to reach out to a loveless audience. And what an audience it is: in a single day, the world’s largest populated country spent approximately $5.7-billion.

Dreamt up by some college students in the ‘90s, Singles Day is an upsetting concept to many Westerners, including myself. Materialism is, above all else, an addiction. Most shoppers will tell you that they often feel a high when they make a purchase, especially if it was something they really wanted. They pay for it, bring it home, and bask in the euphoric sensation until the product gets old, collects dust on a shelf, and is ultimately forgotten.

Sure, online shopping comes with a bit of novelty—the product you purchase arrives at your doorstep weeks after you order it, making it a surprise present to you from someone who cares. I think this very concept is poison, and the fact that the Chinese are promoting this cultural behaviour will be a devastating blow to their social morale. But if we know anything about our beloved friends to the east, they don’t care much about a healthy population as long as the economy is prospering.

The fact that Singles’ Day exists is fine with me. There should be a day to celebrate those living an independent life, the same way there’s a day to celebrate those in romantic relationships, i.e. Valentine’s Day.

But singles, why must it be a day to selfishly reward yourself for accomplishing nothing? Being alone is nothing to be proud of—anybody can be alone. Buying gifts for yourself might be a short-term solution, but I pity your life if Singles’ Day is the holiday you look forward to each year.

Celebrate and party with other single friends, and rejoice in the fact that you are not tied down, but don’t allow big e-commerce companies to take advantage of your egocentric nature. Have some control, my dear lonely hearts of China, and stay strong; your prince will one day come for you and your new PS4.