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Deja Vu!

So 38 days later a record low number of Canadians have gathered to speak as one, in one voice, unified in a collective political belief. I have no idea what that belief is… perhaps that we don’t really like any of these guys so we’re pretty much okay with things the way they were… more or less.

Really the only real standout of the night was the schadenfreude of watching each Canadian news outlet fall over itself to clumsily incorporate some form of Web 2.0 lip-service in their coverage. The National Post allowed commenter liveblogging! Much Music was showing Facebook comments! The Ceeb was (bizarrely) charting the volume of election traffic on twitter (which Susan Ormiston kept, aggravatingly, referring to as “the twitters”). Christopher Bird gets the last word of the night over at the Torontoist liveblog by noting:

The CBC is reporting on what people are saying on Twitter. Remove the internet, and this would be the CBC going out into the street to see what vagrants on street corners are yelling. However, this is Web 2.0, where content is king and everything is serious because it is the future, baby!

It sure is. Except, like all the best sci-fi it is a future that’s eeriely familiar.

Ah well… at least a lot of sub-par legislation died on the order paper… let’s try to apply some lessons from the past, yes?

Rock the (Canadian) Vote!

Remember fellow Canucks – no matter your party of preference – simply by going to your local polls today you can accomplish many exciting goals:

  • Show Sean Combs that we don’t actually need the threat of physical violence to excercise our democratic rights.
  • Support the concept of policy and platform being important issues to discuss in federal politics!
  • Possibly effect the outcome of a race that’s actually much more exciting for almost all involved parties than it looked like it was going to be
  • One again quietly set an example for our louder, more bombastic, brethren to the South that it is possible to hold an entire federal election (from start to finish) in 38 days.

Don’t know where your local polling station is? Just click here, and I’ll see you at the polls!

Jay Rosen on Journalistic Responsibility and Blogger Ethics

Noted media smart-guy and NYU journalisim professor Jay Rosen’s gotten a fair amount of play in the US political blogs lately by asking some really inventive questions about what the responsibilities of journalistic “fairness” are given the recent scenario where the GOP has tried to entirely discredit entire sectors of the media.

In a follow-up from last week Rosen also (correctly) posits how in trying to adopt some kind of notion of journalistic parity in any wildly asymmetric environment – you actually introduce bias via a false mean. Read more

You and I and George

A number of my officemates were unaware of the perennial classic piece of Americanna, “You and I and George”. Not only was this oversight shocking, but it occurred to me that, like many great works, it is even truer in this difficult American political climate than when it was first penned. Rolf was truly ahead of his time.

The Industry of Culture

While it was quite refreshing to see culture come up in the leaders debate there’s still an unsettling trend of framing the various issues in the context of “is cultural product important”? These are usually identifiable by such thrilling arguments such as:

  • I don’t think taxpayer money should have been spent on (Artistic Thing Goes Here)
  • (Famous Canadian Artist) is vitally important internationally because…
  • Canadian’s aren’t known internationally for their trade agreements, they’re known for (Music, Film, Literature…)
  • The government shouldn’t be stifling freedom of speech!
  • The government shouldn’t be funding inexorable filth!
  • etc, etc, etc…

Defending the importance of the arts is important, and many people will do a better job than I at doing so (and lots of others will rebutt them). But in framing the entirety of the conversation in such a way we are ignoring positions that can be discussed without relying on personal preference and moral dogma. Read more

Shorter Entirety of American Politics

Overcompensating is one of those sites I could pretty much link daily. Jeffrey Rowland is not only one of my favourite webcartoonists – he is also too mean to die.

However today’s instalment pretty much summarizes the entirety of the US political arena. It is like a fractal – every single element of it is a reduced size copy of the whole.

The Case of the Missing Cover

I missed this during my travels – but according to Christopher Butcher at the Beguiling the original artwork for a Seth cover has been stolen from the offices of Toronto’s Taddle Creek Magazine.

Look, I want original Seth art as much as the next guy (given statistical probability, probably more than the next guy) – but I don’t think anyone likes to see this kind of stuff. Any information on the theft would be appreciated and can be relayed through Christopher (his e-mail and phone can be found here.

Regina Roundup!

You remember my previous post about letting kids dress up as comic characters? Kevin Church manages to express the same sentiment much more succinctly, proving why he is beaucoup, and I am merely moyenne.

I’ve been in Regina this week for the 9th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival, and let me tell you this city has an embarassment of great comic book shops. Within a five minute walk of my hotel I managed to plug a bunch of holes in some of my Silver-Age runs and then, mere minutes away, track down the third Yoshihiro Tasumi collection, “Good Bye” (link to pdf preview at D&Q), a copy of the “Girl Genius” omnibus, and snag a full run of Action Philosophers trades. I didn’t even broach the Tramps and their Calgary location was one of my favourite back-issue haunts in Cow-Town back in “the day”. Heck, there’s a strong possibility that I’d still be at Comic Readers if I didn’t need money to, you know, get a taxi back to the airport… oh and buy a cool hat. What good are comics without a cool hat to read them in?

Sadly all good things must come to an end, and there’s only so long I can pretend that there isn’t an election coming up with, you know, kind of a big impact on what I do. So I guess I better get back to the big smoke and back to work. Yup. Right now.

Can I just keep digging through great comics and hanging out with talented comedians for another day? Please!?