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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Learning about the Engine

There's a CRTC Broadcasting policy review coming up.

And I've been reading up on my History, learning about that which came before me and the situations that lead us here.

Truth be told, the more I read, the more intrigued I am by the whole process - the system, if you will.

Now, I'm a tinkerer by nature; I like to see how things connect, how they work in tandem and what happens when it all goes wrong. How does it get put back together? Can it be put back together? Will it ever be the same again? Can it be remade better?

And that's why I keep finding myself asking this question:

How is the Canadian TV Industry supposed to work when everything's running as it should?

Because all I ever hear about is how 'broken' it is; How badly it needs to be torn down and rebuilt and such.

But... What does it do RIGHT in when everything's hunky dory? -- well, I guess TV gets made... but other than that, why do we even have this system in the first place?

And what about it most desperately needs to be changed and/or updated?

Because, from where I stand right now, I've really got no idea how I'm supposed to make sense of it all (Or... am I not supposed to do that?).

That said, maybe it's better if we take a Mechanic's perspective to this; Stepping back, looking at the engine as a whole: How does it all fit together? What connects where? Which way do the pumps go?

Maybe if we understand how it all works, then we can understand what's been broken... and, perhaps, how it can be fixed?

I'm sure there's someone out there who's already got a handle on this, already put it all together. But, well, I haven't met them yet. Most of the folks I ask these questions to kind of give me this look like 'uh, why are you asking me?'.

Personally, I'm all for it. But then again, I'm all about education; learning and understanding my part in the scheme of things. What can I say? It's one of my quirks... not really something I can turn off.

See, in my day job, I know exactly how what I'm doing effects every single step down the line - all the way to the moment it's put out to the world. I know the ramifications of pretty much any action I take before I take it because... well, because I've watched the snowball effect with crystal-horrifying-clarity.

And because I understand the process in its entirety, I understand what can be fixed, what can be improved and how to do it without disrupting the chain down the line. It's the kind of perspective that only really comes with experience (and massively fucking things up from time to time). Which is why it often falls upon those with experience to make sure the engine is running properly. They know what it sounds like. They can tell when it's knocking or leaking or... broken.

I've been training someone at my job, a newbie, trying to show them the intricacies of tasks that I've long ago mastered. And let me tell you, I've fought off my own moments of frustration when no matter what it seemed like they weren't 'getting' it.

But then I remembered what it was like for me entering into it all, being overwhelmed by the seeming enormity of a process that I can do now with my eyes closed; The time it took me to adjust and the many times I brought the whole thing to a screeching halt.

As a newbie writer I'm coming in to an engine even more complex than the one I know, one that rests upon a precipice held aloft by someone else's tired arms, barely shielded from the gale force winds that surround and buffet it.

Yet it's a system that I can't wait to learn, to be immersed in.

And so, for now, I'm reading up; Trying to learn about the engine.

Starting with an overview for now, getting into the guts of it all (hopefully) soon enough.

I want to thank Karen Walton, Denis McGrath, Jim Henshaw and Kelly Lynne Ashton for being so supportive and trying to answer my crazy questions. They've all pushed me on towards doing my own research, pointing me here and there, helping me to learn what I can about this crazy contraption.

I've got my ear to the hood and I'm listening.


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