Tuesday, September 13, 2005

CBC Lockout Watch, Day 30

Having missed two regular paycheques, facing rising bills and falling bank balances, a good many locked-out CBC people have had to put an honest day's work for the first time in years.

Locked Out X2 is substitute teaching grade seven students. It should be refreshing to deal with a room full of more mature peers, for a change.

Cindy in Yellowknife is working at the Co-op. I will not disrespect the Co-op or anyone who works for it. The Co-op actually works for the people it represents, unlike the CBC.

And Sonia Whalen-Miller is complaining about working conditions at Tim Horton's in Goose Bay, Labrador. "I like to call it slave labour," she says. "I'm starting to identify with those young people we hear about working in sweatshops for little or nothing."

I feel your pain, Sonia. I really, really do. How can you ever be taken seriously in that town as a representative of the almighty CBC again once you've been seen serving double-doubles?

The Conservative Party is officially distancing itself from Senator Marjory LeBreton's comments about hopes for CBC remaining locked out during the upcoming federal election. Unofficially--way to go, Senator! I'd like to see George Whatsisname and Promo Girl hawking coffee mugs during pledge week telethons too.

Tod Maffin on CBC Sports' downward spiral, high ratings for announcerless football games notwithstanding.

Don Cherry will not be crossing the picket line to do Coach's Corner. You've got to respect Don for standing on principle, even if you disagree with him.

Civitatensis enjoys the locked-out version of CBC Radio Two: all classical music, all the time, without commentary. Here's why:

Mostly, what I disliked about the chatter was not the chatter itself but the content and the tone. Often, I found myself being talked at. There was a certain condescending tone, which I found annoying (and perhaps that is also what KC meant).
The listen-to-me-because-I-work-for-CBC-and-you-don’t kind of air that to me has become commonplace on CBC’s waves is what I objected to. And, all that condescension paid by the public purse. So, I am all for the lockout continuing for as long as it is feasible.

Happily, the CBC has become a more or less central place in which to keep these holier-than-thou types. Sadly, that attitude is constantly promoted on air and is not-so-slowly being transplanted to the Vice-Regal institution. The I-am-Adrienne-Clarkson-and-you-are-not attitude has suddenly been replaced by the equally pretentious I-am-Michaelle-Jean-ancestor-of-slaves-and-you-are-not deal.

I've been fortunate in Toronto to have Classical 96.5 FM as a choice for classical music radio. Most Canadians, unless they listen to Internet radio, have either CBC or nothing. At least until satellite radio comes along. So they've got to take to the condescension and pretentiousness if they want something other than wall-to-wall Top 40, Adult Comtemporary or New Country. And that's a crying shame.

That's the first month of life without regular CBC programming. The earth continues to revolve on its axis around the sun. Peace, order, and good government (well, two out of three ain't bad) still flourish across the Dominion. And Canadians continue to tell their stories to each other, on the phone, over the water cooler, and on blogs like this, all without the careful guidance of fully trained CBC storytelling professionals.

Canada will survive this great national crisis and emerge stronger, happier, more united and prosperous than before.

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