Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Taking out my frustrations on TV Ontario

I have not had a good weekend.

Very nearly stomped and robbed at a bus stop, refused to be allowed a techie's help at the Newmarket Public Library-(just by an underling, not a supervisor)--"It's our system. We can't fine-tune your system."--and this terrible stomach ache after a lunch at, call it Le Roi de Burger.

So I am trying to relax by watching Educational television for Ontario, TVO,and building up a mad-on even at this bland offering, while shotgunning particles of misplaced schizoprhenia at educational television which, I think needs a good crack in the head anyway.

So I dig up an old blog, where I rail against TVO:

Reduced some years ago to being laid off at the college and drinking beer while watching TVO, I notice a stream of academics, usually American, on BIG IDEAS prattling the same luddite sermon that would make poor Marshall McLuhan roll over in his grave. Yes, yes, we have all lost our child-like sense of wonder. There are no more pockets of angels. The machine has taken over, etc., etc.
Lately though, Big Ideas has spiffied up, thanks to one Andrew Moodie, whom I was once lucky enough to meet.
There are contests for best univeristy or college lecturer and these have been quite interesting, watching the best mortarboarded flim-flammers in action.
Still, it's TVO. Twitty Television Overoad.
Nobody comes to watch it with me anymore...the times I am forced to watch it in a universe of infomercials.

I have one friend left, who happens to be the local chief of police. (I am still working on a case with him, though I fear he has lost his faith in me as local crime writer Eves Lavigne, or for that matter, Avril Lavigne).

"Armand," I say, "All academics are slime."

"You used to be an academic," the Chief quips.


What is it with TVO? Over million dollars a year, English and French transmissions (or emissions as the French charmingly call them)--to hear ranting poseurs reading from the same sermon- writer (the late Jacques Ellul?); moth-eaten Anglophone jazz musicians boring us to death with their stale Cole Porter --and totally unsuccessful at rendering us unhip and incompetent. Only Paula Todd used to be in here to raise an, ahem, hope or two. While obviously smart, the woman was drop-dead gorgeous and her pal the Elephant Man was at least worth his keep as an interviewer. Trouble is, the elephant man eventually eased Paula out. Oh dog-in-the manger. Bad Steve. Now there is no more Studio 2 at TVO; there is only something called THE AGENDA...Whose agenda? Steve's? Now it's now all the Wines, and Steins and the Lipshitzes, with occasionally one frightened disoriented Arab. Millions of our forcibly extracted money to watch the tao of Steve.
Well, he does not do a bad job, he and his talking heads, but I must say I miss Paula. Paule was beautiful. Steve is, unfortunately, plain.

Here and there, a real star shows up. It's enough, I suppose, to make a greatly gifted diva like Jann Arden wail hauntingly, like a lonely frightened angel. Ths is what academics can't do. They can only footnote. Not a creativew bone in their bodies, at least the ones I see on TVO. They are like ike movie critics, They know how it's sung, but they can't do it themselves, and when they can't they blame it on the internet.

Television That Matters. TVO.

"Makes you think."...Makes you numb.

No. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all, with the same loops of 1951-era moth-eaten movies, that shin-plaster Film 101, dreadful British detective yarns that I'm sure even Yorkshire rejects--and Yorkshire has taste-- and the same old chesnut American classics. . Is there no talent in Canada? Why only foreign movie content for Television Onario?
Americans and Brits have no trouble Crackng TVO.
But god help you if you're a Canadian and have an opinon or a film to offer.
Steve seems to say, "We don't want you to come in here and just shoot your mouth off. Or bring in a film.
"You've got to be somebody.".
Well, Steve, we have made you into a somebody. On our dime, forcibly extracted from us.
And TVO is boring!

Well, TVO. How boring is it?
You've got to ask somebody.

Hiss, boo, rant!
I'm gonna kill somebody.



Charles Gramlich said...

Academics aren't any worse than any other human beings. The whole race ain't worth much.

ivan@ creativewriting.ca said...

Yeah, I must say, most people are no great shakes.

the walking man said...

Wait Ivan! Don't jaundice my view...after a 7 year drought I just changed TV providers and got Windsor television (ie CBC) back. Let me enjoy it for a month. Is Red Green still on?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

...Don't see Red Green on so much.

But This Hour Has 22 Minutes is still on, though I really miss Royal Canadian Air Farce, a show like it; It has been cut after 46 yars of political satire.
I'll try to find the news clip, but the best farce in North America is no more.
Yeah, CBC has good news,though a little long, excellent satire and great documentaries.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh. Here is the story on Royal Canadian Air Farce.

(By Denette Wilford )


‘Air Farce’ axed after 15 years

CBC’s long-running comedy series Air Farce Live is coming to end after 15 years.

The mutual decision was made by the show’s producers and the network, reported Canadian Press. Producers Don Ferguson and Roger Abbott, who also star on the sketch show, told the cast and crew that a 10-episode farewell season will start up in the fall, with the series finale airing on New Year’s Eve.

“All good things must come to an end,” said Ferguson. “Our last deal with the CBC was made after our 12th season and it was for three years and the feeling was that would be long enough.”

Apparently, the network’s programming executives agreed. “There’s a totally new regime, and what they want to do, and I agree with them completely, is do their own thing,” Ferguson said.

But while some cast members are fine with the decision, others are understandably disappointed.

“[Luba Goy’s] upset; this has been her main gig forever and ever,” Ferguson said. “I have kind of mixed feelings about it. 35 years is a long time, and if there’s a chance we’re ever going to do anything else in our lives besides this, we have to stop this first.”

“But personally I feel bad for all the other people on the staff and the cast – none of them wanted to stop. So I am feeling kind of responsible in a sense.”

Kirstine Layfield, CBC’s new head of network programming who has gotten a lot of heat lately for her decisions to cancel shows jPOD, MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives and Intelligence, paid tribute to the show and added that Canadians may still see some Air Farce members.

“We remain in discussions with them about upcoming projects,” Layfield stated. “It’s too soon to say what’s next, but we look forward to continuing to work with them.”

“Air Farce has meant a lot to the CBC and its fans and we want to celebrate a great partnership unprecedented in television,” Layfield continued.

The Royal Canadian Air Farce debuted on CBC Radio in 1973 and made the transition to television 20 years later. On March 30, 2007, the Air Farce crew celebrated their 300th episode by doing the show live for one hour. After the experimental episode, CBC announced that the show would be aired live for the entire season and changed its name to Air Farce Live.


jackson said...

Hey, hey Paula is doing far better on the national airwaves ... .. she's a CTV babe now on W-FIVE, a great news program but i saw her reporting on Lloyd Roberston. Go to www.ctv.ca ... lots of stuff about her. PS I agree.

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

thnx, Jackson.

I'lllook for your site.

I wih Frank Magazine would come back to life...They do a sharper more vitriolic job than I could.