SHAMELESS PLUGS, THE NEWSROOM AND PANIC

Greetings,

ME, THE CORPORATE SHILL: I realized this week that I was shamelessly plugging a certain product on my blog, pointed out with an ever-so-simple inference by a colleague of mine. The moment I knew that I was plugging a product myself, a la Global TV’s sudden usage of their broadcasters to plug new products on air, was when my blogging service, Blogspot, had ads on the top of my blog that pointed to this product. That brought out a combination of “what the f***?” and “I’m sucking the corporate teat!”

I’m willing to say that these items I indirectly plugged are cool and trendy and that’s all. They’re overpriced beyond imagination, represents consumerism at its most decadent and is quite irrelevant to your life in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t take much to realize which product I’m talking about. Scroll down. Go ahead, I’ll still be here in a minute.

THE NEWSROOM: Here’s an article on Ken Finkleman, the mastermind behind the Newsroom, a scathing (and mostly accurate, I’m both happy and afraid to say) critique of the old art of “newsgathering.” I watched this show religiously in my last year of high school back in 1996-97. It was a scream back then and definitely helped me formulate an opinion on Canadian journalism, not so much that every aspect of the “news” is like the Newsroom but that you have to go into the business with your eyes open. It’s back on the CBC on Monday with new episodes, which I’m thrilled about. Rick Mercer (the other bitter satirist from the CBC) has a new show called Monday Report before The Newsroom, which will give Canadians a nice forum to vent the anger that seems to be growing amongst the Canadian public towards politicians, the media, business, et al. Of course, if it’s intelligent and funny at the same time, that means only a certain number of people in Canada will watch the shows (when ratings for exploitative clap-trap like The Simple Life creams news broadcasts in Canada every night, you know that tastelessness is in vogue), because smart comedies are bad for ratings.

OVERREACHING PANIC: I wrote on Thursday about this story involving a potential terrorist strike in New York City on February 2nd. You know, it’s time for me to admit the following: the news is dangerous to your health. And if you take it even remotely seriously all the time, you’re going to die an early death. Just as you would when a nuclear bomb goes off in a city centre. The part in my last post up to the New York Times’ Magazine part you can basically say was me being scared. So here’s another late New Year’s Resolution: I’m going to stop watching CNN for a month and see if I become less stressed. I’m willing to bet I will.

PETE ROSE, THY NAME IS PATHETIC: Never underestimate the hypocrisy and selfish tendencies of our professional athletes after you hear about the Pete Rose story. Now I’m not saying Rose is a moron and opportunistic for releasing a pandering, self-serving memoir right around the time of the Baseball Hall of Fame voting and actually admitting he did bet on baseball after more than a decade of denying it, but I sincerely hope Rose never gets admitted to the Hall of Fame. Or, if Major League Baseball decides to cater to the lowest common denominator and lets him get admitted via the Court of Public Opinion, there should be a note on his admission to the Hall that he’s in only because of his hits total and he has been banned from participating in any baseball activities due to his violation of gambling rules. I have little sympathy for the guy, because he seems to have this idea in his head that the only people who think what he did was wrong are the powers-that-be in Major League Baseball, not the fans. That’s a matter of opinion, of course, but in the professional sports world, hypocrisy seems to be part and parcel of the deal you make when you enter it. Rose just happened to be unlucky enough to have gotten caught. Still, what he did was wrong.

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