The week in headlines:
* Provincial government opens door to 12-month school calendar.
In related news, school children want 12-month legislature.
* Harper, NDP squabble over whether party was soft on Hitler.
Um, this came out of a question about whether to keep Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan past 2014. Isn’t that more important than who said what in 1939?
* Kentucky woman sues dentist for dropping small screwdriver down her throat.
Makes you feel better about the iPhone in the toilet, doesn’t it?
* “Dull and Boring” T-shirts sell out as village of Dull, Scotland, twins with Boring, Ore.
Victoria should twin with Secret Town, Calif., sell Victoria-Secret lingerie.
* Canadians would rather give up social media than television.
OK, but what about television versus bacon?
I have a great idea for a TV show. It’s about this unknown Canadian boy singer who uses YouTube as a launching pad to fame and fortune around the world.
Going to call it Leave It To Bieber.
We Canadians like our television, even more than we like our social media, according to a new survey.
That’s true of most people around the world, says the global market research company Ipsos. It asked people if they would give up social networks if staying online meant they could no longer watch television.
Overall, 58 per cent said they would rather keep a death grip on the TV remote, thank you very much. That preference was highest in G-8 countries, North America and Europe. On the flip side, a majority in Africa, the Middle East and the BRIC countries — the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China — were actually keener on social networking.
Canadians are particularly partial to their television, with 72 per cent saying they would choose it over Facebook, Twitter et al. The percentage rises to 75 per cent in B.C. The gap was wide even among young people.
Which leads to a couple of thoughts: a) Brazilian television must really suck, and b) how uninteresting are Canadians that we would rather watch The Littlest Hobo than learn about each other’s lives?
Here in the Great White Noise, dramatic and comedic television comes in two flavours: CBC Canadiana and commercial Generica.
The CBC has long been committed to showing us the broad sweep of Canadian history and geography, as long as by “broad sweep” you mean an Atlantic Canada period piece like Emily Of New Wind at Anne of Green Pit Pony’s Road To Avonlea.
Either that, or timeless classic wilderness adventures such as Danger Bay or The Beachcombers that even now remain popular across the country, though, of course, by “the country” we mean “Germany,” which to this very day delivers us tour-bus loads of Bavarians in brand new cowboy hats who grab their cameras every time they find a drunk passed out under the pier in Gibsons (“Gott im Himmel, Hans! Hier ist Relic!”).
The less patriotic commercial networks, on the other hand, air vaguely Canadian (though by “Canadian,” we mean “Toronto”) cop-and-lawyer shows that for the sake of resale potential might just as easily be set in the U.S.
The viewers, meanwhile, watch House or Modern Family. Then they Facebook each other: “Who do you think is the hotter mom, Gloria or the blond one?”
OMG, this is what now passes for communication. WTF :(
Where conversations were once limited by the length of a telegram, they are now truncated by Twitter’s 140-character count or the dexterity of your thumbs. When a friend Facebooks “going in for surgery today” we reply with a “like.” Good lord, the tools with which we gather and impart information have been advancing at breathtaking speed; too bad we wield them like Canada’s Worst Handyman.
Every new avenue of communication leads to another chance to get lost. Good to ask yourself those turn-left-or-right questions, though.
How about a survey that asks which you would rather give up, email or a real telephone conversation? Your favourite movie or your best-loved book. The power to speak or the ability to hear. Winning a promotion or spending one more day with your dad. Watching The Bachelor or reading Marshall McLuhan.