Monday, June 09, 2008

The Occasional Rant: The CBC fucks up... yet again!

May I have your attention, please?

For the past week, Canada's other anthem - one might even say that it's the most sacred Saturday night hymn - was at the centre of controversy.

The dispute centred on the theme song to the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" (a.k.a. "HNIC").

Ask any Canuck about HNIC and s/he will tell you that it's one of the best shows to watch on a Saturday night in wintertime, showcasing the good, bad and ugly of the best game you can name.

Considering that hockey is Canada's unofficial state religion, any tinkering with rules, uniforms and even rituals would be considered worse than blasphemous. Even radical Islamofascism has some boundaries - as long as you don't insult the Prophet (PBUH), they're cool. Mess with anything that has to do with hockey, and you'll have one big fat Canadian fatwah (and Don Cherry) on your sorry hairy arse.

I've grown to accept the HNIC theme as part of the landscape and that of the CBC, who insinuated itself into the Hoser psyche as the purveyor of the game on ice.

Sadly, the theme's composer wanted to get paid a little more because of its popularity.

Considering that we are the amongst most taxed people in the history of Western Civilisation©, we thought that the CBC, a Crown Corporation, would be able to settle this affair accordingly. Right?

Sadly, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has long been a victim of its own paradigm paralysis - even though it sees itself as the protector of Canadian Culture™, the Powers That Be have no clue how to improve it's management and profitability. In its dispute with the composer's estate, it cried poverty. Towards the end of the week, the CBC decided to hold a competition on a possible replacement. Pathetic.

Enter the CTV, CBC's rival.

Right about now, this company pwns a goodly chunk of Canadian pop culture, from its own stable of radio and tv stations to specialty channels such as TSN, MuchMusic and franchises such as the Discovery Channel and MTV. (Yes... that eMpTy-V!) There was no doubt that one day, it might come to eclipse the so-called Mother Corp.

And earlier today, it did just that.

So what does that mean for the CBC? What does it say about the erstwhile, self-proclaimed guardian of Canadian Culture™?

Well... it's another great example on how a once-respected institution could get so bloated on it own sanctimonious arrogance and delusion that it could succeed in sabotaging its own attempt at retaining and maintaining the respect of its core audiences.

You might say that the CBC had committed a little social and public-relations suicide.

But that would involve competency, and in the end, it was the CTV that wound up pulling the trigger to finish the job.

And so, there you go.

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