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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pink Eye (50 Days Remaining...)

There's a lot of rage building up over the whole 'Red Eye' thing. A great bit of anger and anguish as to Fox News and their mocking of our military -- Our brave soldiers who've died trying to take down the Taliban (remember them?) and basically do a solid for our American friends by going after the people who are actually (probably) responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

And yet, while I can't help but feel a little steamed under the collar myself, there's something to be said for civility - or as the Christians like to call it: "Turning the other cheek". 'Cause it seems like we could use a touch of that right now.

There've been death threats.

Okay, can we just take a collective breath here, please?

This is a prime example where we get to be the bigger men/women/people - show that we're better than some late-night flunky and his crew. I mean, I'd never even heard of 'Red Eye' until this clip popped up online and now we've got Canadians utterly losing their shit?


Anyone with a functioning brain stem can tell you that their verbal diarrhea was in poor taste - the fact that it blew up and hit home just as we were welcoming back four of our dead is even more unfortunate. 'Cause, otherwise, it probably wouldn't have made as big of a splash as it did.

But you know, Anger really is the easy route here. The fist-pumping, Anti-American rhetoric is what we do best. Hell, it's almost a damned art form with us these days. (Though, to be honest, I can't help but find it all a bit disturbing that we can only have the balls to say 'fuck you we're CANADA' when someone insults our dead... but I digress.)

However, sometimes you have to look past the hurt. Push past the shock of the initial blow.

'Cause these guys ain't worth the spittle and the tears - let alone the free promotion.

With that said, I'd like to see some of that same growling and gnashing of teeth focused and turned toward what just happened to the good ol' CBC today.

In short: "The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. plans to cut up to 800 jobs as part of its strategy to make up for a $171 million shortfall in 2009-10."

Now, I know there's a whole cadre of folks out there hootin' and hollerin' right about now - clinking glasses and muttering 'it's about time'. (There's a nice cross section of them in the comments section of the article).

And yet I wonder if it all might just feel a tad hollow in light of this Fox News debacle - Many, many Canadians standing indignant, defending our dead and sputtering all over the shiny shoes of Fox News as another 800 Canadians find themselves punted out of jobs.

Call me crazy but it seems a bit of an awkward tableau: At one end Canadians standing to defend our soldiers and our way of life while at another end, cheering as another part of it is lopped off at the knees.

Or, as 'kanadiankid' from the CBC article put it:

"na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye

na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye

joy to the world the CBC is done


Now, of course, here be trolls - and this is a classic, classic example of one.

But I can't help but wonder why this doesn't happen to CTV, or, hey: the floundering Canwest Global? I mean, surely they're just as much government-ally (thus tax-payer...ally) funded as the CBC - And Canwest is in the middle of carving a nice little bailout for itself with our tax dollars.

Where's all the ire for that? When did they get exempt?

I dunno. Maybe it's just the CBC's cross to bear, the shameful curse of being 'visibly' funded by our tax dollars and living under a mandate/pinata that politicians of all stripes (yes, Liberals and Conservatives) take joy at bashing.

Again, I'm not sure why, but somehow the knowledge that our hard-earned money is going into that station leaves many of my fellow citizens feeling free to fling their own special kind of verbal shit - smearing it all over and then complaining when things start to stink.

Yet I wonder how many of those same angry folks are aware that we've been subsidizing CTV, Global and friends for years? I wonder if they're aware that the whole shebang runs off of the government coffers in some way, shape or form?

"Nordicity, an independent firm specializing in broadcasting, valued the federal regulations that provide private broadcasters with the right to substitute U.S. content at between $270-million and $330-million. Other provincial and federal government subsidies such as tax credits and the Canadian Television Fund add another $165-million in cash support to the privates. Canada, in short, has a heavily subsidized media industry in which private companies compete for public money, and the CBC, in turn, competes for advertising dollars." - Link swiped from Denis' Blog post "Special pleading and the world of Canuck TV" (which I highly recommend you read).

Maybe - instead of spilling venom and bile on some goofs on a late night talk show that nobody watches - we should be realizing that while the CBC is a fundamental part of the Canadian experience it is no more deserving of our wrath than any of the other 'privately' funded stations our tax dollars have been going to (and have been for a LONG time).

I mean, hey, if you want to spill venom and bile, that's fine - hell, its your money, do what you will - just know that the CBC isn't the only game in town.

And them other guys sure do have some shiny shoes.


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