Monday, June 14, 2004

Le Media est Mal a la Tete

Boujour. Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. Hopefully the redesign will distract readers from the lack of new content.

I'm in Montreal, and happily spending most of my time out and about, enjoying a city that doesn't suck (are you listening Toronto?) Which is why there hasn't been much Glub-Glub-Mo-Blon!

Worse (at least, some will interpret it that way) there will be no new postings on the Bigge Idea until the end of June or early July. I can, however, offer you a link to a new (temporary) blog about Montreal. For those looking for their fix of media critiques, I must regretfully inform you that the Montreal blog will have a strong aftertaste of fiction.

So, to tide everyone over for the next few weeks, I offer the following:

The June 8 issue of Frank (the last one, not the newest one) gives Jeff Stober of Drake Hotel fame a full page parody. It's a day-in-the-life diary entry, purportedly written by Stober. I'm going to quote the only passage that the real Stober might find funny:

Down in the basement, there's a fashion/modern dance/ambient music/performance art/glassblowing show. They're created a signature martini for the event.

Not to give a course on comedy writing, but that glassblowing quip is the clincher. And not that the Drake needs my help, but I would suggest they post the Frank parody in the lobby of the hotel. Lest you think this idea insane, I would point out that when RM Vaughan devastated Shanghai Cowgirl in grand style, they posted the review in the window and declared Mr. Vaughan employee of the month. Shanghai continues to be very popular, given its primo location and its late night weekend hours (Toronto is miserable with the late-night scene compared to Montreal). Point being that acknowledging your enemies can sometimes defang them.

The only other thing worth commenting on is the recent issue of Saturday Night (June 2004). There's a story about the Gross Domestic Product and how terrible it is at measuring societal well-being. (For example, oil spills, cancer treatments and car crashes all contribute to the GDP). Great topic to discuss. First major problem -- the topic was discussed way back in November of 1999 in the book Culture Jam, by Kalle Lasn (and well before that, in Adbusters). Second major problem -- the article does a terrible job offering any news peg or current angle to the problems with the GDP, beyond noting that the Genuine Progress Index is making some political headway. In other words, this article could have ran four years ago in Saturday Night. And so, the obvious question to be asked is: Why didn't it?


When the Bigge Idea returns in July, I will try and shift my focus away from stupid things that annoy me about the Canadian media (since I could conceivably spent a few hours a day doing so, to little or satisfaction) and instead start to offer meaningful alternatives. Bile is never-ending; solutions are always in short-supply.

God, I hope that doesn't sound like something an NDP candidate might say. Don't worry, I'll still unsheath the shiv when necessary, but only as a last resort.