Monday, October 27, 2014

A shirt named Dave

I was going to write about a shirt named Dave. Or else about an author named Kate. Or about a book called A Surrealist Alphabet. Or maybe even about Mashed Poetics, which just celebrated the Tragically Hip.

But all of that seemed less important after yesterday's miserable news -- that the CBC had fired Jian Ghomeshi. Huh?? He's almost single-handedly revitalized our public broadcaster, bringing it -- more than anyone else -- to an audience of people under the age of 50.

The Giller Awards have already joined the bandwagon, announcing Ghomeshi won't be hosting their upcoming award ceremony. And I think now of 'Canada Reads' -- yet another institution that's bound to trickle away into lassitude without the vigour Jian injected into it.

I'm reminded of Good Morning, Vietnam and its story of how a powerful entity -- in that case, the U.S. military -- got rid of Adrian Cronauer, a DJ who was actually connecting with listeners.

I'm also reminded of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's famous statement, presented (somewhat ironically, I suppose, on the CBC archive), "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." Nor, I contend, does the CBC.

When I was little, I had my own terrifying way of understanding the term 'getting fired'. I thought you got set on fire -- and worried that might some day happen to my dad.

This weekend's firing might as well be that literal, though I don't think it's going to be Jian going up in flames. With this action it seems more that the CBC has set light to its own self-destructing fuse. 


ellen jaffe said...

This is my reaction, too -- I'm so glad you cited Pierre Eliot Trudeau's statement, and applied it to the CBC: neither the state nor the CBC belong in the bedrooms of the nation.
And Jian has just lost his father, too.

After the shooting on Parliament Hill last Wednesday, many Canadians said they were shocked and sad, but Canada still needs to preserve our rights and freedoms, and not over-react with more security. It boggles my mind that this is people's reaction to a truly tragic and scary event -- and at the same time, the CBC is so afraid of a story about some consensual sex that they fire one of their shining voices, who is not only a good broadcaster but also a popular one. Arthur Miller, where are you?

hg said...

Yes, Ellen, last week's horrible events left many of us shocked and sad. But you're right that it's not good to let ourselves over-react while we're still reeling from an emotional blow. The timing of the shootings couldn't have been worse, as the Conservatives were poised with a bill to hype up security and anti-crime measures yet another notch. No doubt that will be passed into law without so much as a whimper.
Oh, and did you notice how on Friday afternoon (always a good time for events you hope will fly under the radar of news reports) the trade agreement with China passed -- the one that ties us in for more than a generation -- and before the First Nation court challenge was even decided?!?