SKYREPORTER.COM

Many young journalists will tell you, either fresh out of their university newspaper, entering j-school or leaving j-school, that they’d most like to be one of three kinds of journalists: a concert-going, movie-watching entertainment journalist (i.e. a multitude of freebies), a high-flying political correspondent in Ottawa, or an intrepid, highly ambitious international reporter, reaching to the far ends of the world’s hot spots.

Not a lot of people get these options to start out. Journalism in Canada is a very tough field with an inordinate number of people already in it and a significant number waiting in the wings. More often than not, younger journalists will look at long-time veterans in these fields with a mixture of envy (the good kind of envy, I’d add) and awe.

Arthur Kent is one of those very veterans.

Kent, as you may know, is the former Scud Stud who rose to fame covering the first Gulf War for NBC. He’s worked for some heavy hitters in international journalism, but he’s just unveiled this really cool project called Skyreporter.com – it’s an online archive of documentaries and interviews from around the world.

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AND WE’RE BACK!

Okay, finally, I’ve returned to this blog. Vacation was terrific – it was a much-needed, restful break up north. I’m slowly pushing my brain back into gear here.

This coming month will be another busy one. I’ve got a business trip to Orlando in a few weeks and lots of other stuff coming up soon.

I should have a more meaty post tomorrow.

R.I.P., KURT

Today’s a sad day – Kurt Vonnegut, one of the finest satirical fiction writers ever, passed away last night.

I don’t need to remind anyone out there the cultural significance of a writer whom was a greater man than most of us will ever be; World War II veteran, PoW survivor, family man, teacher, social commentator, cultural critic, humanist, crusty S.O.B. that deep down wanted so much for a world that rarely gave it back to him. An idealist scorned one too many times, one could say. At least this guy faught back with words. Insightful, passionate words.

If you can, go pick up A Man Without A Country, Slaughterhouse-Five and Jailbird today if you still haven’t read them.

Rest in peace, you brilliant old fart.

DIRTY SECOND LIFE

Second Life is us basically living inside our own voluntary Matrix. But there’s a really seedy side to it too: the new GQ (sorry, no link) has a big piece on the dirrty side of SL and how it’s such a big business now. Plus, Wired has news last Monday about a “recreated” version of Amsterdam – yes, 800-year-old red-light district Amsterdam – being sold on EBay for $50,000.

Amber Mac also has a story on it for her new Webnation segment on CityNews. SL isn’t really a place one can make a decent living (yet), but give it ten years, you really have to wonder how much of a business model this will be. High Italian fashion, general naughtiness and all that jazz is already there, even if it is just digital bits housed on a server in San Francisco right now.

WTF, AVRIL?

Avril Lavigne used to parlay her talents into a faux punk motif. Now she’s got a brand new album with words like *motherf**king* in songs and she looks like she could be on the front pages of Glamour. Oooh, that’s edgy.

How exactly is Avril a rebel now? She’s been completely co-opted by mainstream corporate rock. Why Avril? How did a good Napanee, Ont.-based girl like you turn so unabashedly MTV?