Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Plain Speaking

Nancy Ruth is a Conservative senator and pro-choice feminist.

She worries that aid activists, pressuring the Harper government to include access to abortion in a G8 initiative, will only touch off a backlash.

She has some friendly advice for them.

"Shut the fuck up – on this issue,” Ms. Ruth said.

That's what she said and that's what the Globe printed on page 4 this morning.


It warms my heart to see that there are still a few people who speak English.

What is behind Ruth's warning, however, is troublesome.

It is but one indicator of how folks everywhere in political life in Canada at this date fear speaking up and speaking out lest Harper bite back at them where it hurts.

We share the same concern...while applauding Ms. Ruth for her clear messaging.

All praise Her Feistiness!


I don't rightly care which "Family" completely controls all TV and newspapers in the country, believing as do that this kind of concentration of information assets is bad for almost everyone.

However, there are a few wrinkles in the Shaw buys CanWest story that interest me.

First is the claim that Shaw is betting that consumers will put increasing value on the ability to watch TV on their mobile phones, laptops and portable devices such as iPad.


A) I think they are right. If cafe life is any indicator, apparently everyone under the age if 35 is incapable of being anywhere without thumbing themselves to death, whether or not they are alone or with a companion.

This mindless consumerism frightens me.

Where did all these goats or TV's - Trend Victims - get this idea that they MUST live like this?

There are now more mobile phone and electronics shops in malls than women's shoe stores!

B) I will not be one of their eager new customers.

Just as I don't buy espresso in paper cups so I can walk down the street sucking on a plastic lid, I have no interest in watching TV on a screen the size of my wristwatch.

Drinking espresso means to me sitting down in a cafe with friends and talking and laughing or sitting alone and reading a book and watching the passing parade.

Watching TV means to me sofa, popcorn, pajamas.

Call me a Ritualist.

Call me not Shaw's Best New Bet.

* * *

The other thing that concerns me about this sale is the impact it will have on the City of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg is my old home town.

I still have friends and relatives there.

I go there occasionally for one reason or another.

The Asper Family is now officially out of business.

I don't know these people personally and I have no judgements or comments about them.

But I do know that they have had, over the past several decades, an enormous impact on the community with their business interests and their charitable contributions.

How much of that, I wonder, will survive?

R.I.P. Great Canadian Jazz Man