Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
With the exception of people that become famous at a young age and may not fully understand what becoming "known" entails, it is no secret that if one is lucky enough to realize their dream and star in the blockbuster movie of the Summer, have the next big album, Best Selling book, or win the Stanley Cup, you are now opening yourself up to the world. Along with people who become your fans, admirers, supporters, cheerleaders and Corporate Sponsors, you will also be written about, gossiped about, scrutinized, photographed, (See: TMZ's disgraceful posting of photos of a butt in a bikini, and people wonder why women have problems with body image, but that's a whole new subject) and have people who wish to see you fail.
Not everything that comes with fame is fair, for example, I for one don't think Mrs. Movie Star and her kids should have cameras flashing around them while they have taken a simple trip to the grocery store, that's what I call Paparazzi Overkill and an unnecessary Invasion of Privacy. But there is no way that Mrs. Movie Star could ever claim that they didn't expect attention coming their way, both positive and negative.
Yes, Celebrities are human just like the rest of us, perfection should not be expected of them and it is a shame that often times that is exactly what happens. But with the common knowledge that there are people who will look up to them, including children and teenagers, they must realize that their actions and choices do in fact affect the decisions of others.
From "Who" they wear to The Oscars to the products they choose to endorse, they influence the public. It is not because we are sheep, it's because we like them, we loved their last tune, we dig their style, we thought they nailed that last role, we respect them. We develop favourite celebrities and hone our own personal style based on parts of who we are. I love Old School, so yeah, I own this awesome Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock T-Shirt. I love to read Douglas Coupland so I bought the DVD of his TV show jPod when it was released.
As fans, we become a part of a celebrities' success by having a little piece of something they created. Our CD Collections reflect the music that moves us, and we donate money to the Charities they speak so passionately about. Again, this is all about being Human, we follow those who inspire us. The most recent example would be the United States electing President Barack Obama. His platform of change was evident by the flowing sea of Americans in Washington on Inauguration Day. This became a reality because people literally gave their Vote of Confidence, respected his ideas and trusted that his promises are genuine. But how many people actually personally know President Obama? Of course not every American knows him, but he let his words and actions speak for themselves. Young, old, Black and White stood together, passionate about their Country and Politics based on one mans' Public Persona, because in the end, with the exception of very close Family and Friends, that's all anyone in the Public Eye has to convey who they are and what they stand for.
Rihanna should obviously realize that to her fans, kids and adults alike, she is a Role Model. She has got to know that people honestly care about her from the outpouring of support she received after the brutal beating at the hands of Chris Brown. These weren't loved ones of hers, but just everyday people who cared about her and wanted to show her compassion during what is a truly difficult time. I don't care about what events led up to the assault, IT IS IRRELEVANT. Whether it was an argument over another woman, or she threw his keys out of his car, there is simply no reason on the planet that excuses him from laying his hands on her in rage. No man, ever, can profess True Love for a woman when he has been violent towards her, physically or emotionally abusive.
I think women especially, are reacting so strongly to the news that Rihanna would choose, in the Year 2009, with the support of her family and close friends, all her financial resources, no children to worry about being hurt, (and if the rumours of a pregnancy are true, it makes the situation even worse because then not only did he beat his girlfriend, he beat his pregnant girlfriend) that she would continue a relationship with her abuser. I don't think people should be comparing her to Tina Turner either. When Ms. Turner endured her years of abuse Domestic Violence was still being pushed under the rug by a male dominated society. There wasn't much help for women and children who were victims of abuse, Celebrity or not.
We get that she may still love him, it's hard to just shut feelings off. But she must give herself time to heal. The bruises and bite marks will fade, but the emotional impact is going to take longer, and it is something that no matter what is a permanent part of the person she now is. We can't change the past, only try to live our lives the best we can when something horribly sad and terrible has happened.
Rihanna had the opportunity to show women the world over that violence toward women will not, and should not, be tolerated. She had the chance to prove to woman that they can survive without their boyfriends and husbands who think so little of them that they would inflict pain on them. She had the chance to encourage other women living in fear for their and often their childrens, safety, to seek help and leave these men who claim to "Love them".
She could have been a Crusader for abused women everywhere, and instead, all she has shown is weakness and a lack of self respect and no love for herself. She chose not to believe that while her heart may be broken, that she could one day fall in love with a true gentleman who would never in a million years make her a sad statistic.
The message she is conveying to young women everywhere is that it's okay to give another chance to a man (and as a 19 year old girlfriend beater, I reluctantly use this label for Chris Brown) who chose to thrust violence upon her instead of removing himself from an emotional situation. An apology, a Happy Birthday wish, and a promise to never do it again should mean nothing to her after such physical betrayal. What "Rehabilitation" could he have possibly gone through in 3 weeks that makes her believe that he is a changed man and he won't ever do it again? Even if there is the possibility that he has learned his lesson, does she really want to take that chance with her life? Does she want to live every day in fear that "This may be the day he snaps and murders me?"
Rihanna is most likely very upset that she has now become a "Poster Child" for Battered Woman. She probably doesn't like the fact that women and girls are possibly basing their own relationships upon on her actions. That's a lot of pressure. She must look at the person who put her in this situation - Chris Brown has brought her into a Media Circus that she did not deserve. I understand she is still young, but I would love to believe that she would have considered the fact that impressionable women and girls might follow her example.
While it may not be right or fair that women and teenage girls may base their decision to stay with or continue a relationship with an abuser because "Rihanna took Chris back", the fact is that Rihanna has fans who value what she thinks and will follow in her footsteps. How long will it be before we hear of a woman found murdered because if Rihanna thought it was okay to forgive Chris Brown, then she thought she could do it too? Again, no woman should base such an important choice on the actions of a celebrity, but we all know it happens anyways.
Parents and loved ones of victims can only do so much. They can beg and plead with a woman to gain control of her physical and emotional well-being, but in the end it must be the victim who takes a stand and values her own life over that of the feelings of her boyfriend or husband, and to end the relationship that has become emotionally devastating.
Women still have a hard time getting the help they need to get away from their abusers, especially those who may not have the financial resources or loved ones to aid them. It's probably one of the hardest things anyone has ever had to do. In time, Rihanna could have made the decision to encourage battered women and girls everywhere to value their lives and not be controlled by an abusive partner. Actually, if the one and only thing she ever publicly did was to never go back to him, it would make a huge impact. Consensus would be "Rihanna is a strong woman. She may have loved him, but she loves and respects herself more. It has to be so hard, but she has shown that violence against women will not be tolerated."
If Rihanna has indeed continued her relationship with Chris Brown, she may as well resign herself to the public perception that she is not worth our sympathy, not worth caring about, not worth supporting her artistic endeavors. Many Mothers have already stated on Message Boards that not only have they stopped letting their children be consumers of any Chris Brown project, but with the revelation that Rihanna has taken him back, they will no longer let their kids be listeners of an artist who has so little respect for herself, let alone the fans who contributed to her fame in the first place.
As a Mother, I am constantly aware of what media I expose my children to. While they are young it is my responsibility to ensure they are negatively influenced as little as humanely possible. I know I can't watch over my kids every minute of every day, but I can monitor the content loaded on their iPods, give the go ahead or kibosh regarding which concerts they go to, and decide if I'm going to spend my money on merchandise that brings celebrities millions of dollars every year during a trip to the mall with the kids.
Of course, for my older ones, I have learned that I may not like every actor or singer or band that my kids are into, but I know that I did my best until they were old enough to decide for themselves who they chose to be fans of. I also know that I have taught my Teenagers that just because so-and-so may have sung a song about keeping all his ho's and bitches in line, they don't mean garden tools and female dogs, and that kind of behavior in reality is totally unacceptable.
So goes it that parents everywhere may now refuse their children Rihanna's music. Parents tend to favor healthy, positive Role Models for their kids. Yes, this may be judgmental, but when it comes to my kids, I am going to be judgmental. Some may say "Well, the only person Rihanna is truly hurting is herself" but like I said, celebrities must be aware that they are emulated, it's just the way it is.
You may say I am holding Public Figures up to higher standards, and yes, I admit I am. When famous people influence the decisions of others, whether they intend to or not, they should have enough hindsight to know that they lead by example.
Again Celebrities, I don't ask for perfection, but I do ask that you don't beat your girlfriend or Wife. I demand that you do not drink and drive. I suggest that you don't get so totally shitfaced at the club that you pass out in your car and give the paparazzi an opportunity to take pictures of your drunk ass. I ask that you don't shoot steroids to pad your Batting Average, and I would think it's best that you don't spend John Q. Public's money to pay for Hookers.
From Message Board responses, it is obvious that people are mortified at the thought of Rihanna reconciling with Chris Brown. Some have begged and pleaded to her, some have gotten outright royally pissed, and some have gone as far as to call her some pretty nasty things and wish her more harm. What we should be doing is letting Rihanna know that we understand that she is going through a very rough time right now. She may not be thinking with a totally clear head while trying to convince her heart to let go. She gave her love to Chris Brown and this is how he has treated her, the feeling of betrayal must be overwhelming. Not only has she had to go through all of this, but she has had to do it being scrutinized en masse.
What we should be doing is supporting her and letting her know that we realize she will need time to mend her broken heart. Regardless of the fact he beat her, we must acknowledge that she loved him and anyone who goes through such a life altering experience is bound to feel lost and alone, even if she does have a great support system, and wonder just what the hell they are going to do.
Rihanna at the same time though, must realize that whether she agrees with it or not, women and girls hoped she would rise to the challenge and let it be known that men who hit do not deserve another chance. The second he laid his hands on her in rage, Chris Brown forfeited the privilege of continuing to be her boyfriend. If Americans have come so far as to forget about the colour of ones skin and elect a black President, how come today's society can't have traveled as far as making violence towards women one of the most vilified actions known to humans?
It disturbed me to read some comments about her becoming a punching bag because she was with a black man. Violence has no colour, no nationality. Domestic abuse happens in every race, every country, every religion. Rich, poor, educated, popular, bookish, beautiful, it doesn't matter. Implying that where one is raised lends to a higher occurrence of domestic violence is a shameful excuse. It would be foolish for anyone to believe a man hauls off on his wife or girlfriend because it's typical of a certain culture, the plain truth is that any man who hits a woman is a coward with the highest level of Douchbaggery attainable, and not because he was raised in The Islands.
All around the world, women are murdered every day at the hands of the men who supposedly love them. Sometimes it's in the name of Religion, Honour Killings. Look at the term. "Honour" killings. It's the year 2009 and why do they still exist? I'm not a Religious Scholar, does it actually say in the teachings of any religion that a woman can be punished with abuse and death? For "disobeying" or showing a little more skin than is just around the eyes? For not wanting to enter into an Arranged Marriage? For being raped? There is no "Honour" for any man who murders in the Name of their God. And if there are such teachings in any religion, those Old World punishments should be left exactly there, and abolished in our Modern Day.
I would have hoped that by this point in Human History, we would have evolved enough as a compassionate society to eradicate Domestic Abuse. All people, Women, Men, Young, Old, Religious, Atheist, Agnostic, Straight, Gay, these differences should not matter. We are all Human inside and deserve to be treated equally. Unfortunately, after seeing the picture of Rihanna's beaten upon body, it is obvious that Chris Brown does not believe she is equal, his actions spoke louder than words ever could have.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
-Wayne MacPhail, "Canadian Internet usage quiz -- surprise answers inside!"
Wayne MacPhail has some very interesting statistics for your online reading enlightenment on Rabble.ca. He writes:
"Canadians are the most engaged online audience on the planet. And, more Canadians, by percentage of population, are online than any other country. The Internet has the highest penetration in Canada of any G7 country. Seventy two per cent of all of us use it on a monthly basis."
"So, we are the most highly penetrated country, view the most content and spend the most time."
"That's a trend that's been growing, not just among young folks, but right across the age spectrum. According to 2007 NADBank data, time spent by Canadians on the Internet (as a percentage of time spent with all media types) has at least doubled in every age group, including 55+ since 2001. The one bright indicator for television? About 46 per cent of Canadians browse the Web and watch TV at the same time at least once a day. That said, at about 8 p.m., the Web's reach exceeds prime time television's in Canadian households." -
Thank you for your email of March 28 regarding our decision not to renew jPod for another season. I appreciate the time you have taken to write.
It is clear that you strongly support this program. And I agree with you. It was an excellent program, well scripted and well acted. All of us had great hopes that the program would find the audience it deserved on CBC Television.
Unfortunately, not enough television viewers shared our opinion. Throughout its season, jPod attracted a devoted, but very small following. And while it is true that, for a public broadcaster, audience size is not everything, you also cannot be a public broadcaster without a public. If too few Canadians are watching, we are irrelevant. And, if we are irrelevant, Canadians are right to ask why they are investing the money they do in CBC Television. In addition,"the Internet is not a medium that pays for the kind of production values people expect on TV. Until the reality catches up with what people watch on line, you can't justify it." -
Reality catches up. In his article, Mr. MacPhail ends with "Canadians are world leaders in online engagement. Look at the numbers, not your assumptions and act accordingly."
In February 2008, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (a committee comprised of various MPs) produced a report entitled CBC/Radio-Canada: Defining distinctiveness in the changing media landscape. The purpose of the report was to study the future role of public broadcasting, and to present the Committee’s findings and recommendations. All of the below statements, taken directly from the report, play straight into jPod’s strengths. From the Committee’s report:
“[CBC] must constantly keep up with new technologies and reach out to audiences where they are, including young people who seek content on the Internet.” (p.5)
“We are asking CBC/Radio-Canada to be original, of high quality and innovative” (p.9)
“Mandate of the CBC/Radio-Canada as stipulated In the Broadcasting Act (1991, c. 11, B-9.01, [Assented to February 1, 1991)(i) be predominantly and distinctively Canadian […]” (p 18)
“Dwindling audience share is not unique to public broadcasting, and audience measurement will need to adapt alongside the transition to digital media. Internet broadcasting, downloading and streaming content, PVRs and on-demand and pay services mean that the same film, television episode or news broadcast will be seen by many more viewers than those who tune in for ”appointment television”.” (p55)
“CBC/Radio-Canada’s online presence will be fundamental to its relevance to Canadian audiences in the future.” (p57)
"The Hour" Host, George Stroumboulopolous:
"Online is rapidly becoming king, not traditional TV platforms."
....so they're not going to come to television - they're going to watch it however they want."
"Ten years from now, the cable channel isn't going to be nearly as important as the domain name. CBC.ca, that's the television channel of the future. We don't worry about where people are watching us, as long as they're watching us." -
I may not be a Fan of George, but he gets the point across. Maybe he should have a chat with Kirstine Layfield.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Yes, this all seems quite defeatist, but I just got so tired of not being taken seriously. I don't have any fancy titles in front of my name, I'm just a Stay-at-Home Mommy who foolishly thought my opinion counted for something in this country. My foray into trying to make a difference ended up in a big heaping pile of disappointment.
Maybe that's where I went wrong. I expected that as a Canadian, a Canadian Taxpayer, that my voice counted for something. That my suggestions or ideas counted for something. Don't get me wrong, I didn't ever think that I was going to change the world or anything, but I did trust, and wrongly so, that I would at least be heard.
But the Mothercorpse doesn't do that. Oh no. The Mothercorpse does whatever it pleases. The CBC doesn't care what Canadians think or want or deserve. As long as the big wigs are gettin' paid, pullin' in those big checks that we're all paying for, the Exec's at The Ceeb will continue to do whatever they please. It's very sad. This is our National Broadcaster but you might as well rename it "Television and Radio Corpse That You'll Pay 1 Billion Dollars a Year For No Matter What."
"Why does this bother you so much?" you may ask. After all, it's "just" TV and Radio. What I can answer is this. I was born in 1973 and became aware, very early on, of the Media around me. I grew up in a time that saw the explosion of Television for the masses. Pretty much everyone now had a "Tee Vee Set". While Canada was still over-exposed to American content, there wasn't so much that Canadian content got lost in the abyss of it.
I paid attention to home grown programming, my Parents made sure it was made readily available to me, and for that I will always be thankful for. One of my earliest memories was watching Cookie from the Original Kids of Degrassi Street go to the hospital for an operation, and when I went in for an emergency appendectomy at the age of 10 it was what I learned in that episode that chased away my terror. I loved watching the King of Kensington and feeling that connection of "Home" because Kensington was only a short drive away. It was familiar and comforting. It was Canadian.
Without even realizing it, the CBC fell off my radar. The extent of what I watched dwindled down to one, yes one, show, and that was Hockey Night in Canada. I was a Teenager in the 80's and early 90's and when I look back that's when I stopped watching. It seems that The CBC likes to forget there is a whole generation of viewers that exist between the ages of 12 and 40.
I became aware of this when a couple of years back I was surprised to find myself in love with a cheeky comedy called "The Tournament". It was funny and witty, well acted and had that once familiar feeling of "Home." It then dawned on me that "The Tournament" was the first Canadian produced programme I had watched on the CBC in years. Probably since The Edison Twins. I was surprised that The CBC was behind this production, and then even more shocked when The CBC canceled it.
For the first time in my life I wrote to the CBC. I let them know that I really enjoyed The Tournament and was disappointed at their decision to cancel it. Nothing ever came of it though, and I moved on... spilled milk and all....
When I caught a promo for jPod during a HNiC , I made a point to watch it when it premiered because it seemed right up my ally and hey, it was Coupland. People who know me will tell you it takes quite a bit for me to "get into" a show. I'm picky and not one to watch what is usually considered "Fluff". I'm not saying I don't escape into the odd show that would make some lift an eyebrow, but that is attributed to the "Train Wreck" factor. You know it's cringe-worthy but you just can't seem to look away.
Maybe it's because my parents exposed me to what I consider wonderfully produced shows when I was growing up. The Beachcombers, Read All About It, SCTV, W5, Bizarre, Hill Street Blues, St Elsewhere, 60 Minutes, Archie Bunker, Barney Miller, 20/20.... I'm glad they took an interest in what I viewed, and doubly glad that they always tried to first and foremost, "Keep it Canadian".
But what in the world am I to do with my own children? Yes, it can be said that the CBC has quality children's programming, but that falls right in line with the same Canadian offerings found on TVO and Treehouse. My two oldest though are almost 12 and almost 18. What in the world is there for them on The CBC? Sophie? Being Erica? Wild Roses? Please, they're teenage boys, not 50 year old women.
The CBC has canceled "Street Cents" on them, and The Teenager realized himself that other than HNiC, jPod was the only other CBC programme he actually made a point of sitting down and watching with us every week. They'll be no more Marketplace for him either if he was so inclined, it's been moved to the "Friday Night Death Slot", and we all know our younger counterparts are usually not home on a Friday Night watching TV.
Needless to say, after the CBC made the decision to cancel jPod, dumped the CBC Orchestra and made big changes to Radio programming, the whole Hockey Theme debacle, and my questioning the state of todays CanCon (or lack thereof) I became deflated. I had tried my best, but in the end I got absolutely nowhere. Passed off from one person to another. "We're sorry, we can't help you, but these people can." And then when you talk to those people, they say "Oh no, we don't handle that" and then you're shuffled off to some other agency or department. My mind was left spinning and I realized that I could raise any concerns I wanted but it was falling on deaf ears.
I've asked the question before: If the CBC is our Nations Broadcaster, why is it that us regular citizens are not consulted about what content we would actually like to see and hear on the CBC? I'm not saying they have to send out a questionnaire to every household across the country, but wouldn't it be a natural thing to comprise a group of us regular Canucks that could contribute valuable suggestions and ideas to The Mothercorpse? (And that's not a typo, I say "corpse" because it might as well not even exist for me, as in dead.)
So here I am, just about a year after I woke up to all of this, and this is where things stand for me. Over the summer I watched the repeat of jPod, and then was subsequently disappointed when I bought the DVD for the season and found out that every disc produced was defective and had to be returned. I bought the "A Bear Named Winnie" DVD by CBC Home Video for my two youngest, only to discover on the back cover that they were 100 years off in their description of when the story began.
I have watched Hockey Night in Canada twice, and just the beginning. Once to see the Leafs raise Dougie's jersey, and once to see them hoist Wendel's. I caught the CBC's new hockey song after wondering why they first opened with that "Saturday!" one, and immediately thought I was watching a rerun of Dallas when I heard the "Contest Winner". I get my hockey fix on TSN , Leafs TV and The Score.
I now catch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune on ABC West. I watched Stroumbo once to catch Joshua Jackson, and shook my head because really, The Hour is just a terribly hosted show. George may try, but in my opinion he just doesn't pull it off. I actually felt embarrassment when over and over everything he spouted just fell flat. I'm done with the 'Corpse, and no longer wish to have anything to do with it. I feel it does not represent me as a Canadian, I'm taking it very personal.
I'm sure I'll always think of this, it will always be one of those things that just saddens me. It might not be something that is on every Canadians' mind, but its on mine. I'll probably dive in here and there, but for the most part I'm stepping away from it all, and hope that one day the CBC returns to that familiar feeling of "Home" for me.
Until then, I take solace in the fact that Sophie is dying a horrible death (BBM Canada Nielsen Media Research Ratings 268,000 viewers Feb. 10/09) - just as I predicted would happen when the WGA strike was over - and in hearing Dolores Claman's Hockey Theme on TSN every week. How awesome it will sound during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Duh Duh Duh Dah Dah Daaaah!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It's time to jump back into the Blogosphere again though... I've really started to miss it. New Rants and Raves - Coming Soon! (or at least after I've attacked the "Mountain 'O Laundry")