Monday, August 29, 2005

CBC Lockout Watch, Day 15

Jonathan Fortier's argument that Canadian culture existed before the CBC and will survive after its demise is not new, nor surprising.

What's new and surprising is that it appeared in theToronto Star, of all places.

Are Canadians so weak and so lacking in initiative that we would stop telling our stories if the CBC closed its doors? Were we not Canadians before the very appearance of the CBC in the 1930s? Did we suddenly become Canadians when we started watching and listening to government funded programs?

Human beings have told stories and reflected on important (and not so important) topics for millennia and Canadians are no different. Gathered around the fire or on screened porches, in canoes and around the hockey rink, Canadians have developed a distinctive voice of their own. We certainly don't need a cadre of self-proclaimed cognoscenti to take our money and then tell us how to tell our stories.

The CBC's most ardent defenders seem to think that Canadians are ignorant children who need CBC to tell their stories for them, and are incapable of choosing between wholesome Canadian programming instead of evil right-wing corporate American broadcasting.

Canadian viewers are no less informed, nor more suspect to manipulation, than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. If American viewers won't watch their own dreck that's foisted on them, why would Canadian viewers?

Locked-out CBC staff are producing the two most popular podcasts in Canada, on their own initiative, without one cent of the taxpayers' money. There's a message in that for everyone at CBC, if they're not too obtuse to understand it.

Signs that the union rank and file are cracking up:

An online producer broke down crying in a foetal position after an unsuccessful attempt at carpet cleaning.

One reporter has turned to doing useful work for a change, sewing curtains.

Yet another CBC staffer is blogging about the bizarre dreams he had last night.

Are these people doing less harm to us and themselves blogging about their lockout-induced neuroses than by doing the devil's work at the CBC? I wonder.

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