Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quickie

Today was crazy hectic so I didn't get around to writing what I'd hoped to write.

Instead: Here's a trailer for a show that I'm hoping will actually turn out to be good.

Fingers crossed! And, if time permits, more tomorrow.



Cheers!
Brandon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trapped In The Box

(it's pretty much all they've got)

TV's a wonderful thing -- teacher, mother... secret lover.

But there is a dark side to the spectacle.

If you're a Canadian and you were paying attention waaay back in the ancient month of February of this year, you may have seen these little ditties playing around on your TV screens (before they were quietly pulled from existence).




What I didn't realize then -- that I should've -- was that this was only the calm before the storm.

The Conservatives have wads of campaign cash kicking around in the treasury these days and apparently they've decided to chase out the horses and burn down the barn.

'Cause now, pretty much everywhere I look, I'm seeing attack ads flying like crazy -- spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt as I'm trying to enjoy a nice, relaxing meal with my wife.

I mean, I'd seen them before, but man... the TV mosquitoes are out in force now, squeeing their little sound bites in my ear.

"He didn't come back for you"

Uh... okay. Sure...?

Suddenly 'Coalition' is a four-letter word and Mr. Harper's getting all this screen time to warn Canadians in vague terms 'not to throw their vote away'.

Warning us that 'recovery is SO close' this time.

And yet here we are. Our country decidedly NOT recovered and definitely not in a better place than where we were when they were elected last time.

But if we change course now, all the progress we've made will be lost.

Be AFRAID!

FEAR!

(boo!)

Uh, thanks... but I think I'll take my chances with some new management.

Cheers,
Brandon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here Be Dragons

I'm not sure why, but there's something in the air -- a feeling, or perhaps, an undercurrent.

It is not a good time to be a bully.

Maybe it started earlier this year with Tunisia and Egypt, maybe not. Maybe it was just a long time coming.

I like to think that we're witnessing some sort of Social Earthquake -- as the downtrodden, so used to being ground underfoot finally snaps along their fault-line, sending ripples throughout the world and igniting others.

Everywhere I turn, I see people taking a stand against those who would push them down, watching as they dig in their heels and say 'enough'.

From cities and towns to unions and the middle-class, to little Australian boys who've simply just had it.

Here be dragons.

People, all over the world, are reclaiming their power; power given up, power that was traded in good faith -- many of those exchanges, thanks to organizations like WikiLeaks and other brave, individual whistleblowers, now revealed to be based on lies and falsehoods.

Unlike any other time that I can remember, we are witnessing the hard, real effects of 'The Truth' being out and free amongst the populace at large.

This is what happens when folks are allowed to know what's been going on underneath their noses, when the lights come on and reality sinks in just how much we've been lied to. How much, by our silence (on the things we do know), we've been complicit in.

I watch the news feeds every damn day, completely enthralled, as the curtains are peeled back just a fraction further, as more and more of the fetid mess comes tumbling out.

Here's just a few of the of the headlines that've come to light in the last 24 hours:

"Thousands in Yemen march against Saleh" (Hoping to bring an end to their President's 32 year long rule)

"Deaths as Syrian forces fire on protesters" (Protestors gather, call for a 'Day Of Dignity'... are shot dead in the street)

"One dead, scores hurt in Jordanian clashes" (Protestors gather, demanding parliamentary government and constitutional amendments, are attacked by loyalists and anti-riot police).

"Indiana prosecutor told Wisconsin governor to stage ‘false flag’ operation" (fake an attack on himself to help discredit the protesters there)

"Brazil: Video shows police shooting teen at point blank range (VIDEO)" (rubber bullets, but still... the kid hadn't done anything wrong!)

And finally -- somewhat fittingly -- our own Conservative Government has been brought to bear for their actions in a Historic (yes, capital 'H') motion, essentially saying that the Conservative Government has shown 'Contempt of Parliament'.

This Harper Government (tm) -- in an age of calls for greater transparency and accountability -- has been one of lies and secrecy unlike anything I've ever witnessed. At every turn members have been silenced, citizens shut out and told it's none of their concern what's going on behind closed doors.

But it is our concern. If there's one simple fact, it's that we -- the tax paying citizens -- should be holding our Government accountable, reminding them who they work for.

To be honest, I watch the events going on around the world -- watch the people dying like dogs in the street just for a taste of what we currently have and turn up our noses at -- and I feel the bile rise in my throat.

I think about our complacency, about the defeatist attitude many of us Canadians seem to wear with pride whenever we're called upon to do our job and maintain our democracy.

"They're all corrupt", "They're all one and the same"... "There's no difference".

"My vote doesn't count"

God, to think of how many times I've heard this over my short life span. And not just from disaffected youth -- hell, in the last election I knew more 'young people' that bothered to vote than actual 'Adults'.

We are the caretakers of our nation. We are the ones who hold the power.

Today, finally, as a country we have stood up to our own bully. Together, we told them that this is not Harper's house, nor his 'Government'.

And it's about damned time.

So, please, when this next election rolls around... let's make it official.

And kick our own bully off the playground.

Cheers,
Brandon

UPDATE: An excellent example of my point. People taking back their power.

TL;DW: Citizens of the UK use the Magna Carta to take over a court and arrest a corrupt judge. Definitely take time to watch this. *Interesting side note: There is some intense debate on the legality of enacting article 61 of the Magna Carta here.*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hey, Some Good News!

Okay, so... now that I've stopped using potentially harmful chemicals on my son (and written a stern letter to Huggies) I'm feeling a bit better about the situation.

It also inspired me into a bout of creativity, which helped me start to design a product... which I'm not entirely sure how to bring about into the real world just yet... but is pretty danged awesome. More on that when I can articulate it.

Now for that good news I was talking about.

I've just gotten word that a spec pilot script that I wrote has just been selected by 'Lift Out Loud' as part of their Screenplay Reading Series.

What does that mean?

Well, essentially, it means that on this April 13th, my spec pilot (called 'Pipeline') is going to get a professional table read in front of a live audience.

Pretty darned sweet, if you ask me.

For a Writer, a table read is a fantastic thing on a number of levels but one of the best things is that you get to see what another person -- an actor -- will do with what you've written. Every decision they make as they bring the character to life is a blessing (even if you don't always agree with the decision, it often helps to reveal a new, un-thought-of perspective).

Also: you get to hear your words spoken aloud, which can be a nerve wracking experience (to say the least).

Luckily, this is my second-ever table read, so I'm a bit more prepared than I was the first time. You see, a few years back an amazingly cool actress by the name of Beatriz Yuste went above and beyond to organize a table read for my very first script, 'Savage Knights'. It was a brilliant experience and it's informed pretty much every decision I've made since as a writer.

Believe me, once you hear a narrator talk for minutes on end, as actors wait in the wings for their chance to participate, you become very aware about cutting down your stage directions.

Mine were, well... novel-tastic and I really felt bad for the poor narrator by the end. (I remember her having to tag out due to dry throat... seriously! Yikes...)

Since then I've worked to keep things flowing and snappy where ever I can.

Anyways, I'm incredibly excited to have the chance to hear 'Pipeline' come to life -- and a touch nervous... but I guess that's how that goes.

I want to leave you today with some of Beatriz's work -- she's an amazing person and funny as all hell.

Have a great one!


Cheers,
Brandon

Monday, March 21, 2011

Okay, Now I'm Pissed Off

I just got around to watching this (excellent) episode of CBC's 'Marketplace' last night on my PVR.

Essentially, the episode reveals that because of a lack of regulation and/or 'definitions' most of the 'Natural' and/or 'Organic' products that are sold here in Canada are anything but.

In fact, many of the 'Natural' products they went through on the episode had almost exactly the same ingredients as that brand's 'Regular' versions.

The difference? Cost. The 'Natural' versions were far more expensive.

And yet, as infuriating as that is, that's not what prompted this post; that's not what really pissed me off.

What REALLY made my blood boil came at the end of the show. You see, the #1 product on their list of 'Lousy Label' products involved more than just a company blatantly lying about their product's 'Natural' or 'Organic' content.

No, in this case, Huggies brand baby wipes -- on the show, Huggies 'Pure & Natural', but as I came to find out, also their 'Soft Skin' wipes -- contain a chemical called Methylisothiazolinone (aka MIT).

This chemical is known as both a Human skin toxicant and a NEUROTOXIN and is also on Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.

Yes, that's right, it's restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada... but it's okay for use on babies?

Now, wait... let's take a second, breathe.

Maybe I'm over-reacting here... maybe I'm just being an over-protective dad.

I mean, surely this toxic chemical is only present in small doses, right? It can't really be a problem, can it? Health Canada would never allow for this product to be sold here if it was dangerous, right?

And yet I can't shake this thought:

My wife and I have been using the products in question on our son since he was born... and since he was born he's needed his diaper changed around 8 times a day.

I know for a fact that if I had not been told about this ingredient I would've kept on using these products for as long as he needed diapers.

8 wipes a day for, what, a good three years or so? Let's do the math (and, hey, lets bring it down to a conservative 5 changes a day as he ages, etc).

365 days x 5 changes a day x 3 years worth = 5475 wipes.

And that's daily exposure, during his most vulnerable time (skin, neurons, immune system still growing/developing).

You see, I don't know what constitutes a baby's 'safe exposure limit' in regards to MIT... I don't know how long the chemical resides in the skin, or even if it builds up over time in fat or skin cells.

But I also don't care.

This chemical most certainly does not belong in a product that proclaims to be 'Pure & Natural' and it does not belong in any product that comes even remotely close to a baby's skin.

I am beyond pissed with Huggies right now.

I understand that MIT is a powerful biocide and preservative, and I can understand that you'd want to keep mold and bacteria from growing on your wipes -- but are there really NO OTHER, SAFER OPTIONS for use in your baby products?

Can't you figure out some other (Bonus Points: Natural!) chemical that will do a similar job? I mean, seriously, why would you even allow for the possibility of this chemical doing damage to my son's skin (or worse, nervous system)?

Please explain this to me.

Then again...

Now that I think about it, maybe I'm being too harsh on Huggies.

You see, this is my fault too... I have to accept my share of the blame here.

I fell for these sneaky, underhanded tactics.

I allowed myself to trust a brand at face value; I didn't check the label and I allowed myself to be lulled into the idea that because it has the title 'Pure & Natural' that it would actually BE 'Pure & Natural'.

My bad.

Silly, silly consumer, expecting honesty from a brand that I trust(ed).

But no more. This will not stand.

Huggies, if you didn't know that this chemical was harmful (which I highly doubt) then you do now. Take it out of your products.

All of them.

Friday, March 18, 2011

United


A powerful message that still maintains its sense of urgency in this day and age.

This is the power of fantastic writing... of true Art.

I watch this video and I wonder what it was like, what the sentiment was when Mr. Chaplin's film 'The Great Dictator' first premiered. When this 'Comedy' film took a sudden and unflinching turn toward the serious.

Did it make their breath catch in their throat? Their fingers curl against their armrests?

I don't know.

But I know that it had that effect on me.

And yet, for all of the logical and rational reasoning that I possess, for all of my enlightened understanding of what is 'wrong' with the world around me... I can't help but find it a touch sad that it takes something like this to inspire me to want to do something.

Somehow the sheer weight of facts -- the hard data -- isn't enough; Somehow watching the news feeds every day, watching entire revolutions play out on Youtube and on Twitter... somehow that isn't enough.

After all these years of education and 'self-awareness', of watching the world around me burn... somehow I still need that emotional speech, the poetic call to arms.

Someone to say that yes, you're right, there really is a monster under the bed... and that we can get rid of it any time we want.

Someone to say that it's okay.

And that's when I am humbled.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If You're Interested

I don't know if you work in the film or TV industry -- I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity to sit down and write yourself up a one-sheet for one of your concepts.

But there's a great thread going on over at the Ink Canada discussion page (including talks of a 'Pimp My One-Sheet' event) that might be of interest to you (should you be interested in such things).

Also, for those newbie (or pro) writers who're looking to get out and meet some other writers, you might want to keep your schedule open this Friday night as another Ink Drinks #bandpractice is coming down the pipe pretty fast. It's a very open and friendly event, and if you're looking to meet some new writer-ly folk here in the city of Toronto, this is a great place to start.

In other news, I've been running on about four hours worth of sleep or so on a daily basis since last month. I'm tired, I'm cranky and a walking, creaking bottle of 'sore' -- on the bright side, I've discovered that stress and sleep-deprivation have spawned a kick-ass new idea factory in my mind's eye.

I'm not sure if it's the daylight hallucinations or the fanged monkey dripping black ichor into my morning coffee but I think I'm definitely starting to get some interesting stuff down on paper here. I've made some good ground on my web series and have even started working on a new spec pilot in those inactive moments of non-sleep before sleep.

Finally, I also went and submitted one of my pilots to Lift Out Loud for their TV Pilot script reading event. I'm not sure if it'll be selected, or even if it's their cup of tea... but I figure it's about time I start making waves again. Gotta get my stuff out there, gotta put my work in people's hands whenever I can. Not sure how it'll all play out, but I figure it's worth a shot.

We'll see how it goes!

Cheers,
Brandon

Monday, March 14, 2011

Setting The Rules

One of the key tenets of world building when you're writing your spec -- no matter what it is -- is that you've gotta lay out the rules of said world as early as possible.

These rules must make some sort of sense and, most importantly, they must be immutable.

I bring this up thanks to an interesting article I read on io9 -- where the writer for a new film called 'Red Riding Hood' (the Amanda Seyfried one, not the Felicia Day, Syfy one) came up with an interesting take on why silver kills werewolves.

From the article:

Silver has a few good qualities. It conducts heat better than any other metal. It's incredibly ductile and malleable, which is one of the reasons why it's used for jewelry in the first place. Werewolves are equally malleable — they change shape easily. Although they're usually found in northern woods on cold, misty nights, they might have a problem with heat, but there has never been any mention of having to heat a silver bullet or knife before it's shot into a werewolf. What is it then, what makes silver so bad for werewolves?

There is one quality that silver has that isn't shared by many other decorative metals. It tarnishes. Silver has to be constantly polished or coated with something to protect it from the air. If it's left exposed, it develops a disgusting black crust that ruins the look of the silver. (Some people get silver especially for the disgusting black crust, but they have problems.) It turns out, though, that silver isn't reacting with the air. Silver is pretty nonreactive - staying the same in water, air, and most solvents. But tiny bits of an element suspended in the air combine with silver to make that blackened goop that coats it. What element is it? Sulfur.

Otherwise known as brimstone — that's right — the devil's element. Put together silver and sulfur and you get silver sulfide. Now, silver sulfide is not shown to be toxic to any other animals, but it's not soluble in water, and so can only be ingested. In a werewolf, it would lift from the silver and travel through the bloodstream of the animal, blocking off blood vessels and poisoning cells. And it is this that kills the werewolf.

Now, I don't know if this flick is going to be any good (werewolf flicks as of late tend to be on the bottom rung of 'suck' these days... but that's just my humble opinion) but I love a good rule tweak like this. It's smart and it totally plays with the established canon (while still upholding it).

I doubt I'll get out to see Red Riding Hood while it's in theaters but I still wanted to give props where props are due.

The stronger your rules -- the more sense they make and the more consistent they are -- the greater the impact your world will have.

And if they happen to be really, really damned cool... even better.

Cheers,
Brandon

P.S: What neat rules or rule twists have you come across in your TV/Film-viewing travels? Were there any that really made you sit up and go 'holy crap, I wish I'd thought of that!'?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Raising My Game

One of the things I regret most about High School was how lightly I took it.

I was just smart enough to breeze through most of my classes but dumb enough to not actually bother challenging myself.

And, unfortunately, I never really had that movie moment where the 'sly, noble-hearted -- possibly Robin Williams -- teacher' notices me at the back of the class and urges me forward/ helps me uncover my true potential.

I did have a couple of fantastic teachers that made school fun, that much is true... but no one really said 'hey, you can be better'.

And, really, I didn't care. I was bored and I could skate through... so I did.

Except for Math.

It's always been my one sticking point. Math was one of those subjects where I could be sitting in a room with 30 other kids, follow the same steps as everyone else and still, somehow, manage to come out with a different answer. I struggled like I had never struggled before and soon grew to hate Math with every fiber of my pudgy, impudent being.

How dare it not work?! How dare it mess up my day? (yeah, I was a bit of a brat).

Of course, it didn't help that my teacher's idea of teaching was the ol' "the answers are in the back of the book" approach.

But I digress.

Now that I am firmly in the 'parent'-al camp, soon to be influencing my child's outlook on the world (and hopefully helping out with homework, etc)... I've decided to try and address this age-old problem of mine: My utter aversion to/hatred of Math.

Enter Khan Academy.

If you're not sure what Khan Academy is... it's a school, of sorts. An online, go-at-your-own-pace, school where you can learn pretty much anything... for free.

I happened upon it one night while randomly surfing the web, trying to figure out how in the hell I'd tackle re-learning Math. I'd been considering the possibility of going back to school, trying to figure out how the heck I'd make that work, when I saw the website.

I've been picking away at it every once and a while over the last few weeks, little bits here and there when I can... but already I'm finding myself better at some simple things -- doing basic math in my head used to take a long time, I used to stumble over the numbers, trying to envision them. Now, I'm faster, more accurate... and that's only after a few weeks of puttering around with it.

Honestly, out of it all, I'm surprised at just how much I WANT to learn. And because I can go at my own pace -- without someone breathing down my neck, able to use it when I'm feeling most receptive -- I'm picking it up and it's staying with me.

Hot damn... I'm learning.

Anyways, I really wanted to share this website here -- not only to help those of us Artistic-types who've shunned Math for our own reasons, but also because they teach SO MUCH MORE as well. And it's all free.

So, please, take a minute or two, check out the site and see if maybe it's time for you to learn something new... or brush up on things that you might've forgotten.

Cheers!
Brandon

Monday, March 07, 2011

Do You Love It That Much?


This is Rodney Mullen.

In skateboarding circles, he's widely considered the most influential skateboarder in the history of skateboarding.

When I watch him on his board, doing his thing... I don't have to understand what skateboarding is. I don't have to know the names for all the tricks he does (that he largely invented himself). I don't have to be able to grasp the intimate mastery of timing and precision that it takes to perform these acts.

All I see is his passion. His complete and utter love for what it is that he does. And it sweeps me away, every time. I get lost in watching him love what he does.

Mr. Mullen's in his 40's now, and all that jumping and flipping and falling's taken its toll on the man... yet he refuses to give up on that which he loves.

From his Wikipedia page:
"He goes on to describe that scar tissue had built up in his joint as a result of habitually hyper-extending his leg while skating. Thirteen out of fourteen nights every two weeks for two years, Mullen would brace his leg in the tire-well of his car and apply pressure to his femur, tearing the scar tissue in the joint; eventually the scar tissue stopped growing back."

When his knee and hip got so bad that he couldn't skate properly with it any more, he took a couple of years and taught himself how to skate leading with his other foot.

Just take a moment and think about that for a second. Let it simmer.


Whenever I'm down or lost or wondering why I keep struggling... I like to watch Rodney skate. To remind myself of why I do this.

Because that's the ultimate question, isn't it? If I spent the rest of my life and never made my mark, never 'broke in'... would I keep on writing?

Do I love it that much?

I struggle with that question from time to time -- and sometimes the answer is no. But I always end up back there, typing away... some small fragment of an idea; some cool line or character detail or scene. I know I've got thousands of notepad documents on my computer, digital post-its all -- just thoughts and concepts and 'what-if's.

I can turn myself away from it, I can scare myself away from it... but I always come back, always find myself losing minutes or hours as I type away in the dead of night.

Even if it all comes up snake eyes, it's the love that gets me through.

I hope you all have your 'Rodney'... your someone who you can look to, who reminds you when you forget. Who inspires you to be better.

There's a fantastic interview with Rodney here -- I hope that, maybe, he'll inspire you as much as he inspires me.

Cheers,
Brandon

P.S: I happened upon a video of a young Rodney practicing a trick that he invented -- a trick called the Darkslide, a trick that would change skateboarding forever. (Yes, it really was that influential).

Watch this video and see, no matter how many times he fails, the sheer determination on his face. Amazing.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lithium Or Why We Need A New Breed Of TV Star

[Warning]
I have a feeling this is going to wander into aimless rant territory.
[end warning]

I'm all for escapism in my TV programs. I have moments where I enjoy watching these crazy-assed magazine shows where Rich People (tm) blow shit-tons of money on diamond-flavoured Popsicles or go ballistic when their cars get touched by homeless people.

Sure, every once and a while, it's funny to watch Rich People act like crazy-assed lunatics.

But by and large, I'm getting fed up with it.

And I think Charlie Sheen is officially the straw that broke the camel's back there.

Now, yes, we all know about that magic 'you're rich, you're invincible' clause -- it's pretty obvious that those who regularly clear seven figures a year have eked out a pretty sweet deal on a load of fronts.

Yet there are people out there, on the streets, right now being arrested for carrying only a fraction of the drugs that Mr. Sheen has openly admitted to doing. I saw an interview last night (or the night before) where he was talking about smoking crack -- a big fat rock of crack. The papers openly quote him as going on cocaine-fueled benders, hiring prostitutes and even assault.

Even worse, ABC's interview with him just lead them to their highest ratings in 2 years.

Now, to be fair, it's not like this is anything new. I'm sure most of us can remember Jerry Springer or Britney's rampage or Lindsay Lohan's meltdown.

But somehow it seems like someone out there has figured out that 'crazy' is the new 'sex'. And, consequently, the word 'celebrity' pretty much equals 'bat-shit insane'.

As if to prove my point, The Celebrity Apprentice went out and got Gary Busey onto their show this season. Gary frickin' Busey, the poster-boy for 'Guano-induced insanity'. And, because, somehow that wasn't enough, they threw La Toya Jackson, Meatloaf and Lil' Jon into the room as well.

Why? I dunno. I think they were hoping they'd breed or something.

There was this brilliant clip that once existed on the web, a clip of the comedian Louis CK making the brilliant point that "We're feeding our kids insanity, and then wondering why they're insane". Apparently that clip no longer exists (or is not available in my geographic location) so I can't share it here.

But it does allow me to segue into 'Louie', one of the best shows I saw all last year, and the realization it bestowed upon me:

We need more 'real'/'honest' middle-class working men and women on TV. Something to balance out the chaos... or at least give us the option to see something else. Shows like 'Louie'... or even 'The Middle' (a hugely underrated show, IMHO). I mean, other than those two, what else is there?

We need good, solid folks. Relate-able people who're ekeing out their existence, struggling with the world around them. Maybe, just maybe, living and working in Wisconsin.

As teachers.

I dunno... maybe all of this is stemming from my new fatherhood -- being uber-sensitive to things that I once just shrugged away.

But I'm not sure that that's the case. There's real craziness going on out there around us, stuff that needs our attention -- needs to be recognized for what it is. More and more, I'm worrying about the insanity that's permeating our TV shows is, very slowly, making what we see around us seem a lot more 'normal'.

Acceptable even.

Jesus... I'm starting to sound like... well, everyone who's ever railed against TV ever.

*sigh*

The only answer I have right now is that we all raise our game. Be better than crazy. As writers, write stories and characters with more integrity, that are more funny, more intriguing.

As viewers, demand better than crazy.

The problem is that Crazy is just so damned easy. Take Gary Busey off his meds for a weekend, throw in a camera and there's two seasons of a new reality series.

How do you compete with that?

I dunno.

At least, for the moment.

[End Rant]

Cheers,
Brandon

PS: Get off my lawn you stupid kids! Also: Music sucks these days, it was way better when I was an embryo. Etc.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Wow, Score One For The CRTC

Alright, I'll admit it: I'm not always a fan of the folks over at the CRTC. There's been a host of questionable decisions that's come about in the last while, a lot of punting on decisions that should've been made.

But every once and a while, the CRTC gets it right -- and they deserve a solid high-five for it.

*Positive reinforcement, ladies and gents*

What'd they do? Well, they got up off the ground, brushed the dirt off their knees, and said 'Hell no' when it really mattered.

You see, there's this law here in Canada called the Radio Act that keeps firm headlock on our news agencies. The Act states, pretty simply, that: "a licenser may not broadcast....any false or misleading news."

A simple statement, to be sure, but it's one of the big reasons why we currently enjoy our Fox-Style News as an entertaining side-dish instead of the two-fisted main course that the US gets. We keep our media in check -- as we should.

So what's the deal? Why were people all in a fuss?

Someone wanted to 'loosen' the rules on 'reporting false or misleading information' in the news.

Now, who that 'someone' is, exactly, is still a matter of contention -- some whisper about interference from the PMO's office. Others say 'bah, this's been in the works for 10 years or more'.

Still, many can't help but raise an eyebrow at the co-incidence of the timing of the would-be decision's resurgence, that it follows almost hand-in-hand with the new SUN TV News (a new, uber-Conservative news network) -- and that, once again, this change looked like it was going to be snuck in under our noses.

From the article:

"Then, on Jan. 10, the commission announced it was seeking comments on a proposal to change the wording of the regulation to say that it applied only in cases in which broadcasters knew the information was false or misleading and that reporting it was likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public. The cut-off date for public input was set at Feb. 9.

The decision caught many people by surprise.

“We’ve looked everywhere to try to find out who’s pushing this, and we can’t find anybody,” said Peter Murdoch, the vice-president of media for the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents more than 20,000 journalists, including those at The Globe and Mail.

“It’s totally bizarre. Nobody in the industry has called for it,” Mr. Murdoch said. “Where is the motivation for change that would lower the standards of truth and fairness in broadcast journalism?”
"

This last Friday, the CRTC stepped up and said 'No' to loosening the language -- effectively keeping Fox New's... uh... bombastic... style... caged (where it belongs) on other side of the 49th parallel.

And, truly, that's fine by me. It's hard enough to get a straight word out of our government as it is -- imagine if they (and, well, everyone else with the $ to do so) were allowed to use the news to actively lie to us?

Anyways, I digress from my point.

Here's what I'd like you to do, if you'll permit me to put it out there:

Let's take a moment and write a positive letter to the CRTC for once. Thank them for getting it right. Let them know we're watching and we appreciate the effort.

It's not always easy to do the right thing, especially when the Prime Minister's Office is giving you swirlies and jock-strap wedgies behind the scenes... but they did and so here they deserve our praise.

Good Job, CRTC! Keep an eye on your mailbox 'cause there's a solid high-five in the mail from me.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers,
Brandon

P.S: And, hey, since you're on a roll, if you wouldn't mind helping us out with that whole Bill C-32 thing? I mean, digital locks... really?

C'mon...