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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For those who don't think I'm a Canadian "herione"

Reader-submitted question: OMGoodness please tell me you are joking.


Am I not allowed to change my mind? Don't call me a flip-flopper. No, I have changed my mind based on new evidence. I should be lauded, not mocked.

Because I know the CBC has my blog under surveillance, I will describe how I came to this new opinion. CBC management knows that because I have a blog, I am on the cutting edge and am "contributing to the conversation". They are desperate to know what I say about them.

I used to believe that contests were insulting. I believed this because of the long-standing exploitative practice of asking dozens or hundreds of people to do work, yet paying only one "winner". Graphic designers have rebelled against this, and others in creative industries are also beginning to see that these contests are disrespectful and demeaning.

When I heard that the CBC had decided NOT to pay millions of dollars for a real theme song for its popular Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but to pay $100,000 to a "contest winner", I was skeptical. I thought this wasn't nearly enough money, especially considering that the composer of the last song was suing CBC for using it without her permission for things like ring tones. A hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money to you and me. It's nothing to the CBC, especially for a theme song for a show like Hockey Night in Canada.

I was even more skeptical when I discovered that they were planning to let the public vote for the winner. It would be just like Canadian Idol, only even more pathetic.

Or so I thought. This was way back when I still believed that a theme song was an important part of a broadcast, something to set the mood for the content that would follow. You see, I mistakenly believed that creative people like producers should select a show's theme song.

I was so, so wrong.

I now see that this is the sort of thing that should be determined through votes on the Internet. CBC's management staff are clearly geniuses. If they hadn't refused to compensate a real composer for her work, none of this would have happened. True talent is the ability to upload MP3s and spam popular web forums.

I should have seen this coming. I mean, CBC appears to be moving away from journalism and toward SEND US YOUR PICTURES! in the news division. I noticed this trend a while ago, but foolishly did not anticipate it jumping the silo into CBC Sports. Chalk this one up to my ignorance of media trends. Clearly, I am no longer on the cutting edge. The true revolutionaries are the guys with mahogany desks at the MotherCorp, the ones who have secretaries to help them log into Gmail.

Well done, CBC management. You are definitely ahead of the curve. Most people wouldn't have come up with an idea this revolutionary, but I guess that's why we pay management at the public broadcaster.


Jackie S. Quire said...

See, you can tell I'm not yet on the ultra-cutting edge because MY mother-corp-issued desk is made of particle board... and the laminate finish is coming off so that it leaves unsightly pulls in my sweaters ... and I check my Gmail at least 28 times a day.

Actually, who are we kidding. I just leave the tab open.

Gifted Typist said...

Yes ole ma corpse is also all into User Generated Content on afternoon drive-home shows with their insufferable question of the day: What peeves you about bikes in our city. blah, blah. Call us now. Call us now.

Eff off.

Think of something intelligent to say on your own. This pandering to a mostly-unresponsive public is getting tiresome. It smacks of self-justifying. The publics that want public radio don't need this uncertain pandering response. We just ask, nay beg, for intelligent broadcasting, please.

Amy said...

In defense of our nations public broadcaster, I can certainly say that as a listener, I LOVE most of the national programming. I would chop my own head off before listening to any of the local stuff, but I really enjoy the evening and weekends. Call me a nerd, but I find it informative and interesting.

My two cents.