THE HILLS, MR. MATTHEW DUSK AND TAKING A STAND


“You’re so hot! No really, you’re hotter! We’re all hot!”… man, it’s like Queen’s all over again. And not in a good way.

Greetings,

So in the midst of my regular blog readings this morning, I made a discovery about myself and my character that really worries me.

The Hills deeply fascinates me.

It’s the kind of mindless, self-indulgent television that really shows how, given the choice between focusing on issues that matter and watching superficial people talk about other people while employing the tired-and-true methods of drama and drinking, we’ll pick the latter everytime.

It’s the kind of production value-driven “reality” show that exists in a parallel universe from our own. This world exists in a vacuum, a place where the only problems people have are low-rent Colin Farrell-types screwing with nice girls’ heads, the perils of ordering tuna sandwiches at chi-chi restaurants and drifting along life with lemming-like efficiency.

Basically, here’s the run down.

Main character is nice if somewhat spoiled girl. Friend is arguably the most clueless, brain-dead person ever. Main character’s intern pal plays the dumb blonde stereotype but masks a sharp intelligence. Boys in the show are even stupider than the girls. So it’s pretty much perfect television right there – lots of goofy debates about people that don’t really matter and ripe scenarios for conflict.

God, how can you not love it?

MATT DUSK: I have to admit, I find Matt Dusk to be alright. Unlike his obvious subject of comparison, Michael Buble, Dusk doesn’t give a damn, or at least, doesn’t come across like he gives a damn. Buble – the most “love me! love me! PLEASE!” artist I’ve ever seen in Canadian music – is so overexposed now it’s sad and annoying. Dusk, on the other hand, is about to earn his Ph.D in music.

MEDIA NEUTRALITY: It’s a common myth that media always portrays stories in an even-handed, objective way. It just doesn’t happen as often as people would like. The Israeli-Hezbollah conflict is perhaps the largest example of this so far: my uncle talked to me about how he compared the front pages of two major Toronto newspapers and how the headlines differed (no surprise there) when it came to who’s being portrayed as the “bad guys” in this conflict.

Yet as the brilliant Antonia Zerbisias pointed out today in her must-read Toronto Star Media column, even bloggers have been forced to back down from taking a strong stance on this issue. It’s much, much more complicated than simply saying “Israel is bad” or “Hezbollah is bad” but at the same time, it’s also hard to pin it all down to easy, bite-sized chunks.

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