Thursday, July 12, 2007

Abolish the CBC

Canada's allegedly public broadcaster continues to lurch from bad to worse, what with its recent makeover to appeal to a younger demographic. Despite the perennially hostile and delusional bent of the CBC's political coverage -- one typical recent example was allowing the deranged anti- Israel fantasist Robert Fisk to rant unchallenged on a Maritime Noon phone- in show, with every one of the callers turning out to be members of his fan club -- one could at least count on solid mainstays such as the excellent classical music programming on Radio 2 or the majority of decent regional shows to justify Mother Corpse's continuing existence. Alas, no longer. Driving home tonight after midnight and frantically twiddling the dial I discovered that, in place of its usual low-key overnight classical and jazz programme, CBC Radio 2 was offering experimental music that sounded like a cross between grinding industrial machinery and the weeping and gnashing of teeth ascribed to the damned in the Gospels. Radio 1, meanwhile, in place of the highlights of public broadcasting throughout the world that used to occupy its overnight slot, boasted an achingly unfunny show aimed at being self- referential and hip and... it's difficult to determine what it was about, precisely, other than the fact that despite it being on the radio you just knew that the host was wearing a soul patch and suitably ironic trucker hat, and felt himself to be far above the obligation to provide actual entertainment to his audience. --Yeah, I know I'm not the target demographic. I've been listening to classical music since I was sixteen: I was born old. But I also know that actual young people are going to be as bored to death by all of this as I am. They know when they are being merely pandered to, and they resent it like hell.

Public broadcasting is always going to be an unjust imposition on the people who don't listen to it but have to pay for it regardless. There is no possible justification for injuring taxpayers by pissing away still more of their hard- earned money and then adding insult to that injury by broadcasting pretentious and boring bullshit that the majority of them won't ever enjoy or (in the case of political programming) agree with. Don't get me wrong -- I do sympathize with the motive for robbing the average Canadian of his money to provide a forum for unhinged or marginal views: how else is the Left going to guarantee itself a platform? Nevertheless, as much as I sympathize, I also believe that the time has come to stop supporting our CBC welfare bums. End it now, scrape them off the public tit and let's have done with it.


Jake Kirschner said...

Yeah, but what about protecting Canadian culture against the Yanks?

Think about it man. If the southerners come in that's the end of Tim Hortons, crappy beer and maple syrup. Not to mention the disappointment awaiting our school kids who won't have the joys of reading Margaret Laurence's Stone Angel and then having to write an essay on growing old and the flatulence that comes with it.

Surely you don't mean to inflict this on us? It all starts with the end of subsidized radio.

So what if my tax money's going into the pockets of rabid anti-semitic Canadians posing as intellectuals? It's not as though I would spend it on anything useful. No, I'd throw it away on frivolous things like saving for my kid's education or putting it away to buy a house so that my kids get a garden to play in.

Neil said...

Come on, man, you know you'd only spend your newly- freed- up tax money on beer and popcorn. Our betters in the Liberal party told us so, and who knows better than they do what's good for Canadians?

I agree about "The Stone Angel" (and thanks for bringing back that particular memory!) but not necessarily about Canadian beer -- most US beer is even worse, if such a thing is possible. (Except for malt liquor, which at least has a forthright honesty about it you can't help but admire -- and nothing else will do when you need to carry a bottle of beer inside your trouser leg before going to visit the graves of your homies.) Tho' I'd love to be able to buy a gallon jug of Jack Daniels for under $20 like they do in New Hampshire...

What I'd miss most about Canada if I lived in the States? Socialized medicine, believe it or not, which does need to be supplemented with private medicine in this country but which still, even by itself, represents a very noble ideal in my opinion. What I wouldn't miss? Canadians pretending that they are culturally totally distinct from Americans, when they damn well know they aren't.