Thursday, February 16, 2006

North of the border

Watching Olympic coverage reminds me that I come from the border. A short walk from my parents' house is the lake - and the mouth of the Detroit River. On the other side is Canada. Hell - we're NORTH of the border, as we like to point out to visiting Canadians.

If you spent some time in my parents' house, and didn't know what country you were in, you might guess that you were in Canada. My mother listens to CBC radio classical music broadcasts whenever she's not teaching, and leaves the radio on upstairs all day. My parents watch the National every night. My mother is much better versed in Canadian politics and all its dirty little nuances than in US politics. My dad thinks Vancouver is the best city in North America. And in our house, we know very well that when it's 8:00 AM in Detroit, it's 9:30 AM in Newfoundland.

I am reminded of this because I've been watching CBC for my Olympic coverage. Unlike US coverage, the Canadians actually show some of the other competitors - not just their own nationals, and the Olympics are on for much longer periods of time. I find myself even rooting for Canadian competitors. I suppose, coming from north of the border I feel a certain kinship with my southern brethren.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canadian mainstream media is generally superior to American, but that's realy not saying much. Thanks to part of the legacy of Prohibition, it's actually even wierder about Israel than our own media is. About a year ago for example there was disproportionate reporting about two similar bombings, one of a Jewish religious school and the other of a mosque. Like Americans they will happily interview an IDF public relations officer, identified as such, as a sole area expert (what was that I. F. Stone said about governments? He was an anti-Semite, of course). The really villainous thing they did recently though -- and CBC was the front runner here -- was to deceive the Canadian public with totally baseless reports of a huge conservative surge.
In fact there was no basis for this, and it really is an extraordinary lie to tell, because conservatives in Canada are even dumber and less competent than rethugs in the states, but without any slimy Diebold, Atwaters, Roves or to save them electorally. For 20 years not only were conservatives out, a conservative government was in a very serious way unimaginable. Then the CBC and some others began shreiking and cooing over an imaginary lead, not unlike John Podhoretz's or David Brook's cloud cuckoo lands of ideal heartlanders. Coming in an election that follows the inevitable corruption that comes from dynasty (Liberals caught for shuffling money in an unimportant way but they deserved to be thrown out for lots more), this self-fulfilling phantom surge proved irresistable. Sort of, that is; Bush tool Stephen Harper barely won and is so far to the right of his own putative base (he has no real base) his first move was to repeat earlier assurances that nobody had to fear him trying anything, because he had no major power. Another Churchillian victor.
One more wierd thing: "Green" in Canada does not mean far-leftist, environmentalist, or someone who wants to knock some sense into the dominant center-not-really-left party (that last would be "NDP" there). It means fucking Nazi so far to the right they're not allowed in Harper's party. This may sound counterintuitive but actually animal rights and a very specific kind of antisocial environmentalism has always been the moral alibi of choice for fascists, from TR saving the forests from the "dog-like" First Nations to Goebbels sincerely upset over vivisetion (on nonhumans).
Also, Rex Murphy is a fucking idiot. Even if you never plan to watch CBC simply know that a drunken Don Cherry atempting to make love to office furniture is more astute than CBC editorialist Rex Murphy. (They always give the "final say" segment to some pasty rich white bastard whose "say" is perfectly inoffensive to the estblishment. When will we see a Blasian lesbian anarchist whose name is an elaborate symmetrical symbol "man" the final say segment? I'll be damned if that wouldn't get ratings.)
I should end with a reason why anyone would watch the channel I've dumped on for the past few minutes: the best reporting out of the humiliation of the US, the Katrina disaster, was a CBC TV segment that followed poor black men weeping with righteous rage at piles of food and hygeinic supplies taller than them -- and separated by a locked chain link fence in a government warehouse. At the same time that the rightist hatebloggers were literally talking about New Orleans needing to be "flushed" and the "real" media was demonizing blacks as looters (so we would feel less bad about their abandonment), here were plenty of foodstuffs and supplies going to waste because the right authorization, or a handy bolt-cutter, was misplaced somewhere in Michael Brown fabulous wardrobe. That was on CBC TV days before the NYT had their gruesome floating body cover. And the Benny Hinn (a televangelist) episode of the Fifth Estate -- it's not in the American version released on 20/20, but in the Canadian version at the beginning they actually show real, unedited tape of Benny Hinn claiming to have seen a man transformed into a snake and later to have raised a man from the dead. Why the hell was that cut out of the American version? Probably because it would offend the most religious audience in the industralized world.

10:52 PM  

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