The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Links to Blogs’

The Legendary Hero is No More

Posted by Matt on August 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Morrison (or Grant, if you prefer),

I was a late bloomer, if you will, when it came to comics. I didn’t grow up with the modern mythos, the adventures of Marvel and DC’s line-up with costumed crime-fighters, like you and so many other people did. What I knew about them was gleaned from the licensed products: the television shows, the toys, and everything else. I didn’t know about all the things, great things, those comics contained.

I was given a huge load of comics in high school. Quite the variety, really. Classic Lee/Romita Spider-Man, Watchmen, Claremont/Byrne X-Men, Gaiman’s Sandman, at least one example of Kyle Baker…works both classic and modern. But none, none, affected me quite as much as your with Richard Case (and numerous other great artists!) on Doom Patrol.

When I first picked up Doom Patrol, I was taken in by the weirdness of the characters, the Scissormen, the Brotherhood of Dada, Danny the Street, et al. What delightful fun, I thought. My appreciation of your work only grew the more I read; it opened my imagination to all the possibilities comics had, the limitless number of images, the infusion of Burroughs, the rebellion against a world determined homogenize everything, and the way it can make you connect with its characters. Your characters were people I cared about, people whose adventures I wanted to read about. All of these things culminated in your last issue in that series, which is one the most sad, beautiful things I have ever read.

Doom Patrol, more than any other, has come to be my personal high-water mark for comics. It is the thing that inspires me the most. Part of my motivation for attempting a career as a writer is to give other people the kind of joy you gave me in those comics, and all the subsequent series of yours that I’ve read. I just want to thank you for that.

With that, I come to my main reason for writing this: I think we’re finished as artist and audience.

I haven’t read any of your recent Batman work (although I have read Arkham Asylum and Batman: Gothic, both of which I enjoyed), or Final Crisis for that matter; I’m simply not interested. I could gather in your early work that you really do love DC Comics and it’s characters; they seem to be as near and dear to you as your comics have been to me. You’ve probably dreamed for years of becoming the architect of some of the world’s best known fictional characters. I do not begrudge you for this; I simply skip that part of your output that does not interest me, and wait for the next Seaguy.

No, that’s not my problem. What my problem happens to be is the side of you that these last few years have brought out in you. This is has been especially troubling in the last few months, as you have been interviewed about your autobiography (which I have not yet read, and with all that has gone on, may never read now). To be honest, in a lot of these interviews, you’re come off as full of shit.

Let’s take your recent Rolling Stone interview, for example. Specifically, your controversial statement about Chris Ware. Now, I’m not a Ware reader (not out of indifference or antipathy, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet), and to be fair, I think you sort of have a point. I think the critical corners in the comics world have spent far too much time setting up the world as the superhero crowd-pleasers at Marvel/DC with versus the lonely white boy stories told by Ware and others, as if those are our only two choices. They’re not, and the sooner we exit that dichotomy, the better off we’ll be.

No, where I have a problem is your calling them out on being “privileged American college kids”, and that this comes from your “Scottish working class” background. Maybe that would actually have been true when you were writing Zenith, or Doom Patrol, or The Invisibles, or maybe even New X-Men. But not now. Not when you own a house in Hollywood, get preferential treatment from a large corporation to keep their multimillion dollar trademarks in circulation, and get paid god knows how much to write movies about aliens fighting dinosaurs. You have no fucking right to criticize anyone else for being “privileged”.

Then there’s your statements about Siegel & Shuster in your book. You know, the guys who created the character you seem to think is so important, and are going to be writing about starting next month. You apparently don’t think their side of the story is very important, and that the half-century struggle for proper recognition and compensation for creating one of the best known fictional characters of the 20th and 21st centuries is trivial. Despite your attempts to convince everyone that superheroes are the modern mythology, you can’t make us overlook that Superman, Batman, and the rest were created by very specific people, and are now the property of another group of people who see them simply as a brand for them to sell. You can’t make them go away. The creator rights battle is a major part of the history of the so-called supergods, and I think people are beginning to realize that they may be the most important part.

You know, I don’t like to armchair analyze other people’s motivations, I really don’t, but all these things: the dismissal of people like Ware who aren’t big fans of superheroes, the dismissal of critical circles like The Comics Journal, the dismissal of the creators of the characters you write for, the dismissal of Alan Moore because he realized what a raw deal the superhero industry is and makes sure everyone knows it…it really sounds like your are trying to protect yourself from all the people that make you feel guilty for wanting so bad to be where you are today, the guy who gets to direct a superhero universe (under the auspices of the money men at Warner Bros). You probably need to make sure Alan Moore and all those other voices never get to you, because if they ever do, you’ll realize that, not long ago, you were one of them. Fighting corporate tyranny and it’s sadistic enslavement of imagination. You were once the solution to the problem. Now, you’re the problem’s willing servant.

But again, good for you for getting to live out your dream. I hope you enjoy it. I know I will continue to read and enjoy Doom Patrol, Animal Man, We3, The Filth, and all the rest. But I just don’t think I can take anything you write from now on seriously. Not like I used to. You’ve been compromised by the allure of the corporate superhero.

Thank you so much for all you’ve given me.

Now take your Batman comics and go to hell, old man.

Additional reading:

Dan Nadel at The Comics Journal
David Brothers at 4thletter!
Abhay on the Siegel & Shuster Thing
Comics Commentary

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Wizards and Goblins I Have Not Known

Posted by Matt on July 12, 2011

With all the noise being made about HBO’s A Game of Thrones, George R.R. “Fatboy” Martin’s newest book in the original series, and the incoming overextended Hobbit movie, we’ve all been getting a massive dose of high fantasy lately. Here’s a secret: a don’t really like high fantasy. At all. this and this will give you a good idea why. But there’s more.

I, for one, find the Medieval Euro-centric concepts of these stories to be pretty dull on their own. Being a white, middle class North American all my life, I’ve had the real and imaginative histories of Western Europe drilled into my brain pretty thoroughly. I’m tired of it, really, especially when the authors have no innovative takes on the hoary old cliches at all. And really, there’s so many neat histories and myths found around the world, I think it would be worth more time seeking those out than hearing about kings and dragons again.

Like O’Neil, I am also unceasingly skeptical of authority, especially arbitrary authority as represented by the monarchies and upper classes that have spent the better part of human existence oppressing 98% of the population. Once you exit adolescence, I think the fantasy of ‘good’ kings should be long gone. Most high fantasy is inherently nostalgic, whether it be for the times of kings and nobles, or for the uncomplicated country living idolized by Tolkein’s Hobbits. But nostalgia in both instances is ignorance of history, a callback to times that didn’t exist. We may pretend that the British Royals are anything other than vestigial entities in a political realm that completely ignores them in every way that counts. Yet, I still see a defence of the Royals in local newspaper columns almost every Victoria Day. “It’s a tradition!” they cry out, as if traditions have ever had a particularly good track record. “It’s what keeps us connected to our unique heritage!”, which only reminds us that our heritage different levels of inherited authority figures sending each other out to take and enslave. But reality is no deterrent to the nostalgic set, and therein lies an appealing factor in high fantasy, a reminder of simpler times that didn’t actually exist. Even the more complicated political worlds of Martin’s books can’t escape it, especially when little to no attention is paid to the people under the warring noble factions.

Then there’s the length. I have always considered brevity a virtue, so if you’re story requires several 500-1000 page books to tell in its entirety, I get the impression that it’s getting bogged down by something. Worldbuilding is probably my least favourite literary trend, as it attempts to wring out a sense of importance and ‘epicness’ from the blandest of tales, and usually hinders plot and characterization. You want a big fucking universe? Write a fucking encyclopedia for it; don’t distract me while I’m trying to enjoy your yarn.

And that’s why I don’t like high fantasy.

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Posted by Matt on May 11, 2011

This weekend was spent at the Toronto Comics Art Festival with my friend Ben. Much fun and merriment was had by all. Here’s a play by play for the interested:

-I had never been to Toronto before, so it was a double exciting time for me! Actually, I had never been on a plane before, either, so make that triple. I can say that my opinion of both are now favorable.
Toronto seems like a good place. I especially liked how the different forms of public transportation, which we utilized over the course of the three or four days constantly, are linked, so you don’t need to pay extra to go from subway to street car to bus. And most of the routes are pretty easy to figure out, a bonus for stupid tourists like me. Even so, I can say that the constant looking for stops and riding and pass buying wore me out sometimes. My own personal preference seems to be for places where I can walk pretty much anywhere I need to go. That kind of keeps me in nowheresville, doesn’t it?

-For food, we went to different restaurants every day for all three meals, and each one was pretty good! Saturday began with Patrician Grill, where I got a good full breakfast with the biggest pieces of bacon I’ve ever seen (they were slightly burnt, but I guess you win some you lose some). The Blarney Stone, a pub that was located quite close to the Reference Library and The Pilot (where two of the panels were attended were held), had some huge-ass burgers. Saturday night was spent at C’est What, another pub with a delightful collection of taps and great Dijon chicken.
On Sunday, we started with Morning Glory, which was tiny, but had a goat milk and blue cheese-based omelet that Ben said was so good, we came back the next day (and got something completely different). In the afternoon, we went across the street from the library to a place called Mama’s Pizza, which must be a Toronto-based chain, because we saw it everywhere. It was one of those pizza places where they have huge-ass slices…and they were good huge-ass slices, too. Ben had a calzone that could plug a hole in the ozone. Big is good, yes. Finally, we went to another pub called Betty’s, which is one of those places made for large drunken gatherings, complete with colourful crap all over the walls and pictures of nude women in the bathroom. The burger Ben got was super thick (whereas the Blarney Stone’s burgers were wide), and they put a fried egg on it, just to make sure the thing was 125% awesome.

-But what’s all this talk about food? There were comics to be had! Yes, TCAF was swollen with comics and comic creators, some of whom I actually knew! But of course, getting to see the people I knew is only about 57% of the fun; it’s cool to discover new things, as well. It’s great seeing the huge variety of works out there by independent folks, all of whom were out hawking their wares and being super-friendly to mouth-breathing scum like me (although the crowds here were pretty good, the kind I can identify with over the more, let’s say, fanatic folks I have been led to believe would attend the more general nerd conventions). And as congested as the thing got, it never felt really chaotic. Kudos to the staff for keeping everything smooth for those two days.

-I didn’t spend that much money there, which was surprising. For the most part, buying stuff never felt like a high priority for me when I actually got there. I was too busy just taking in the overall comics atmosphere. Plus, I’m kind of a wuss, and didn’t want to approach the artists out of fear of looking like an idiot to people I respect. Oh well. The only purchases/things I had signed were an exclusive CD of gibberish put together by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward (he also drew me a picture) and a copy of Godland: Celestial Edition Two, which I had been meaning to pick up at some point anyway, but now have a copy signed by Tom Scioli, who was nice enough to make sure I got a high-quality copy of the book.
When it came to getting things signed, that breathless act of fanboyism, I think I had more fun following my friend while he attempted to fill his sketchbook with doodles & signatures from 30 or so of his favourite artists we knew were in attendance. He got a surprisingly large amount, by the end. As previously mentioned, they were all good folks, which after the first few, gave us a much-needed confidence boost to pursue the rest. Among the notables were James Stokoe of Orc Stain, who went completely to town on the sketch (and he draws with his left hand, which is insane), Chester Brown, who didn’t think his drawing of Louis Riel looked very much like Louis Riel, and Scott C. of Double Fine Action Comics, who even let us take a picture of him! Of course, everyone there we talked to were super, and completely open for some silly inconsequential chitchat and “I like your stuff! It’s so neat!”. I think that openness and the love of the craft that permeated the place is what makes it such a joy.

-We went to 4 panels, all of which were entertaining. The first had Kate Beaton, Joe Lambert, John Martz, Dylan Meconis, and Dustin Harbin talking about the ways they approach the creative legwork of their job, talking about the difference between working in different formats or on several fun ideas versus one big life project, and also constantly talking about pooping.
The second panel we visited was the Adventure Time panel, attended by a few of the show’s current staff, including Michael DeForge, Bob Flynn, Andy Ristaino, Steve Wolfhard, and, of course, Pen Ward, who showed up 15 minutes after the panel started (he was working on that CD I mentioned earlier). It was interesting to note that all the staffers present were comic artists, and were pushing their own stuff alongside their Adventure Time items at their tables. The panel itself was really cool – each panelist went over how they all joined the show, giving us a little insight into the how that weird animation industry works. We got to see a cut of a theater short they produced recently that will apparently see distribution sometime in the future (it didn’t have sound, so Pen provided all the voices and sounds himself). The questions from the audience were pretty good, too, and we got some interesting answers, like Ward’s assertion that someone pitching ideas is better off coming up with a lot and then developing them after being picked up rather than setting one’s self up for a fall by spending all your time polishing a single idea that can be swiftly crushed by executives. We also got to hear him swear profusely as Lumpy Space Princess, which is apparently what he needs to do to get the voice right. We also got to hear him drop some video game know-how by referencing A Boy and His Blob and the Barney game on the Sega Genesis (it was in answering a question about what they would do if they had complete creative control over an Adventure Time game. Pen revealed that his current goal is to get the chance to design a game, and that his ideal AT game would have “Katamari graphics with Monster Hunter gameplay”, which sounds about right). I think the other guys said some stuff, too.
The third panel we visited was more of a game the audience got to view. Essentially, Kate Beaton, KC Green, Chris Hastings, Aaron Diaz, and two members of the audience were split into two teams, where one would see a card projected onto a screen that the others couldn’t see, and then draw the manner of death described on the card in such a way as to allow his or her teammates to guess it. Ryan North was the official judge. Hilarity ensued. Beaton and Hasting’s team was given most of the really hard-to-convey scenarios in the first two rounds, but made a surprising comeback in the last round because the audience member on their team decided to skip the cleverness and just draw straightforward representations. Strategic!
The final panel, the last one at The Pilot on Sunday, also had Beaton, alongside Jess Fink, Jason Little, Jeffrey Lewis, and R. Sikoryak. Essentially, they read their comics aloud, with some performance mixed in. Each one was a great presenter, and they all had very distinct styles. I have no idea where Jess Fink’s little toy guitar came from – someone in the audience just handed it to her. A minion? I don’t know.

So, as you can see, there was a lot of stuff to see, and I barely saw most of it. Please refer to this, this, and this for the big picture. One of them even manages to capture a glimpse of us in the wild. Of course, only the few of you who know what Ben and I look like will be able to identify us in that photo. Consider it a perk.

Also, linking to lots of stuff makes me take quite a bit longer to finish a blog post than normal.

Posted in Comix, In My Life, Leinks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Posted by Matt on March 20, 2011

Somewhat related to my previous post…

This brings up some salient points about, well, people. To reiterate for the lazy: SETI, that big satellite thing in the desert that’s looking for alien radio signals, is based upon a single, very large assumption that many people seem to take for granted: the idea that alien life is not only out there, but that it has evolved in such a way that they have learned how to manipulate radio waves and are sending out signals to be received by other such beings. As said there, the problem arises that the only example of a species learning how to manipulate radio waves we have us is…well, us. So basically, we are assuming that there has to be an alien species that is, more or less, exactly like us.

Years of science fiction has dulled us to the incredible nature of such an idea. Just think: over the course of millions and millions of years, the earth has seen countless species come and go. A vast, vast, selection of organisms, each with a different set of traits unique to them. How many of them have been like us? Uh…other than us, none, although Neanderthals were there during our rise, so I guess that makes two, albeit two offshoots of the same line. So really, if one or two out of who-knows-how-many organisms on earth ended up being what we would define as sapient, how likely do you think it would be that one would just so happen to evolve on a completely different planet with a different ecosystem, different history, etc.? It would be like expecting to find basking sharks and red squirrels on alien planets. Even with some slight differences in terms, and in evolutionary terms a lot of the proposed ‘differences’ between possible aliens and homo sapien sapien are minuscule, it would still be a huge leap to expect such a thing to occur. We just possess such a specific set of traits, that the odds of something else in a completely different environment coming along and just so happening to have even a few of the same traits are astronomically low.

This seems to have come about as part of a natural human mindset that even the most rational people fall prey to it: the idea that we are not simply another organism, that we are special, that we are some evolutionary apex. But we aren’t. Our combination of traits are no different special than any other living thing’s; we have the ability to even have the concept of evolution, yes, but even that is just another adaptation that seemed like a good idea at the time. There is no evolutionary high point; it is simply a process that goes on forever, or at least until everything explodes. So expecting that all other world’s biological development will happen just like ours? Mmmm, not very well-thought out.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer to some of you people looking to the stars every night, waiting, hoping. If it makes you feel any better, we don’t have all that much data on the subject, so there’s always a chance some things will change. Thus is the ways of science.

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Posted by Matt on March 17, 2011

One of the many things I have to come to realize as a recovering follower of Cryptozoology is just how backwards most of these paranormal research people are, in scientific terms. Most of the hobby Cryptozoologists, UFOlogists, ghost hunters, and yes, even the religious, come into their respective fields with a predetermined idea of what they are looking for. And that doesn’t work.

I mean, every Bigfoot searcher knows it’s an 8-foot tall bipedal primate with brown hair and a combination of features from both humans and non-human apes, right? And the Loch Ness Monster is obviously a surviving Plesiosaur, right? These are the preconceptions I’m talking about. The fact is, there’s no way of knowing that much about either of these things with whatever little evidence the enthusiasts scrounge up, minus eye witness testimony, which is never reliable.

These assumptions are sometimes referred to as phylogenetic roulette. It’s a fairly rampant thing, and it’s simply a case of the conclusion being made before proper evidence is discovered. As the post explained, you can’t just look at a photo of a supposed sea monster skeleton and say “Hey look…it’s a living marine reptile!” and then include all these traits that one simply cannot know given the evidence they provide.

This can, of course, be attributed to the fact that most of the people involved in these are of the ‘hobby’ set, and don’t know how to properly classify a damn thing. And this in turn leads to even more ‘hobbyists’ going out and looking for the same thing the previously people described, leading either to disappointment or, in a desperate attempt to avoid disappointment, the ‘hunters’ being tricked by their own preconceptions and ‘finding’ whatever it is they were looking for, whether or not they actually found it. So there’s where the mass delusion comes from.

You could probably approach some of these things from a scientific angle without it being a complete waste of time, although I suspect that would probably suck the fun out of it for most people. I mean, who wants to “investigate some unknown phenomenon that may or may nor be real, but even if it is real we don’t know what it is and need to steadily gather data and then test our hypothesis to see if it holds water”? Nope, you want to know what you’re after, even if what you’re after is just some bullshit someone made up on the spot, or stole from a movie.

Biology isn’t opposed to finding new species, which a lot of hobbyists seem to be convinced they are, and actually find new species all the time. It’s just not the ones they want them to find; they want prehistoric monsters that still exist even though that wouldn’t make sense. But that seems stupid to me, too. If we want to believe in the Loch Ness Monster, why not believe that the Loch Ness Monster is a completely new species? That, I think, should be the base assumption for this kind of thing. Then you don’t know what to look for, and you’re more likely to find actual evidence, instead of just ignoring stuff that doesn’t match a preconceived notion.

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Christmas Post 9/12

Posted by Matt on December 22, 2010

Today’s post is special, because I found an old blog post that tells me what I got for Christmas in 2007, solving the mystery that has been bothering me for the past few days.

Okay, so it wasn’t actually bothering me at all. Even so, it’s good to know I have a record of these things, somewhere. So I won’t forget anything I’ve done. Thank god for the Internet age, where everything is remembered forever and forever.

Oh crap.

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Linkin shit

Posted by Matt on October 6, 2010

NPR Blog: In Praise of MODOK

The Best Batman villains part 1 and 2

Some people in Toronto are douchebags

Rick Sanchez is an idiot

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Posted by Matt on August 28, 2010

Here is a post about CBC (I’d also check the previous three posts, all on the same subject, as well)

I for one completely agree with the assessment: the CBC gets FREE money, maybe not as much as they used to, but it’s still there; they are a government institution, and a well-established apart of the country’s cultural fabric. That said, why are they such big pussies when it comes to making new shows? They are almost as conservative (and the margin of difference grows shorter every year it seems) as the for-profit channels, who also get free money, but for different reasons. And as Henshaw points out, that means that NOTHING ever gets funded; if the channel that’s not supposed to worry about ratings as much (although it sounds like the recently-departed tyrant who ran the corporation pushed for the opposite) doesn’t feel like funding Canadian-made shows, why would the ones who DO care about ratings?

CBC TV has been drifting into irrelevance for the past few years, although thankfully radio and web news have been able to maintain some level of quality during the same timeframe (I must say, however, I guess I’m one of the few who isn’t up in arms about the shift on CBC Radio 2 from classical to contemporary). I do hope that something will be improved when the new regime is brought in. But with the federal government constantly finding new ways to make the CBC feel less welcome, I won’t count on it.

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Posted by Matt on July 8, 2010

Hoo boy, what a way to come back to substantive posting.

Ebert’s little ‘Video games or Huck Finn‘ turned up some pretty ‘interesting’ results. Well, even a sarcastic ‘interesting’ overstates it, since the results were pretty obviously skewed so the voters could prove a point. What the point could be, aside from ‘easily manipulatable polls are easily manipulatable’, is a little lost on me. Even Ebert recognizes that an online poll is essentially worthless.

The main problem I see with his recent campaign is that seems to be, as James Urbaniak posted on Twitter (I refuse to call it ‘tweeting’), just comparing apples and oranges. The question of whether someone ‘valued’ any great video game over Huckleberry Finn just seems pointless. Value in what way? It also seems strange to use one specific novel, even if it’s one of the most influential American novels in history (and no, I haven’t read it. Maybe I will one of these days. Maybe. I’m not making any guarantees.)

Even so, if I were to have voted in the poll, I would vote for Finn. To use another one of Ebert’s scenarios, I too would sacrifice every game in existence for Shakespeare. Not that these exaggerated A-or-B questions are particularly insightful, but I still have a stand on these things. The thing is, as much as I have loved video games and continue to be an avid game enthusiast, I know their place in the canon of human thought.

I tried reading the comments, but within the first dozen I found myself pained by the pro-game arguments. I see the ‘you need to play them to realize they are art’ bit (Ebert already admitted that he shouldn’t comment on them without much play time, much to the delight of slow news day blogs everywhere), or the ‘well, GAME X is art’ (which, as has been established isn’t how it works; if one game is art, all games are art), or bringing pop culture into a discussion about art (the two are intertwined, but not the same thing). Worse, we get a bunch of people saying Huck Finn isn’t relevant to today’s youth or whatever, which is all kinds of fucked, whether they’re right or not. In any case, I see the same whining, the same illogic, and the same need for validation, even among people who seem generally more intelligent.

In short, video games are the worst.

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Posted by Matt on June 20, 2010

Thoughts on Sun TV:

This really, really isn’t as big a deal as some have made it out to be. The Quebecor/Sun Media empire is a tiny, trashy thing with little to no real influence. Sure, some people read their papers, but I’ve never heard anyone take them even the remotest bit seriously. They gleefully embrace their position as a distributor of sensationalist tabloid horseshit; that’s the key to their success.

Of course, they’ll never admit this. The moment they admit to pandering to idiots, the illusion is gone, and they will lose everything. Thus, all the talk about them being ‘hard news’ and an ‘alternative voice for Canadians’, when they have shown no real interest in anything resembling journalism in the past. And chances are, they aren’t going to change anytime soon. The new head of their television division on CBC Radio One Saturday morning saying ‘we answer to our shareholders first’ (of course, that was in response to a question about whether or not they’d listen if someone in government complained about their coverage) and his emphasis on their aim for high ratings pretty much confirms that.

I don’t have anything against there being a tabloid news network. Television is a sea of shit, so what’s another turd? Despite all their attempts to appear to be a legitimate news network in competition with CBC and CTV, there’s no reason for anyone who has ever even glanced at a Quebecor newspaper to believe that they will be anything other than what they usually are. And this is a sound strategy for them, because being real news would lose the attention of their base, who are generally not interested in real news.

especially if their gunning for ‘must-carry’ status funded by tax dollars. Not that most people honestly care about where their money is being funneled, except when the bill goes up. Even so, gunning for that status has already been a kick in the ass right out the gate. (Edit: Apparently, this is not true. ‘Category 1’ Status does not require anyone to subscribe to/pay for the channel)

As for the ‘Fox News North’ label…mmmm, maybe. It’s definitely going to have to be a lower-key affair; Quebecor may be a wide-reaching company, but they’re no Murdoch. It would also be wise of them to try to keep comparisons to Fox News to a minimum, considering that Sun TV will likely only have access to whatever droning knuckleheads the Canadian commentary backwaters offer, so they’ll essentially look like a boring, stupid Canadian version of Fox. And we’ve had a long, long history of turning boring, stupid Canadian versions of American things into an even bigger joke than the American source. Or, even worse for them, people will dismiss them outright and ignore them. Considering that one of the arguments Quebecor pulls out to justify the channel’s existence is that Canadians would rather watch American news than local stuff, what exactly can they do to convince them to watch this channel instead of US news/not-news channels? The chance of them lucking on a ranting hobo or overpriveleged white douchebag with as a strong a voice up here as the ranting hobos and overpriveleged white douchebags the US equivalent has is dreadfully slim, especially since most of Canada’s biggest nutters (Steyn) have moved to the US. And if they do as they say and tried to find ‘balanced’ commentary…what makes them so different from all the other news channels? They’re already fucked.

So, what do we have here? A channel that will likely offer mediocre news as competition for the rest of the mediocre news we have, coupled with boring, half-assed ‘alternative’ commentary delivered by bland personalities. It will likely suffer through development hell as it overestimates how much Canadians care about getting an ‘alternative’ news source and goes for the gold when all it will likely get is a rusty tin can. It’s not offensive, it’s not detrimental…if anything, it’s kind of sad, considering how doomed it is from the get-go.

Of course, they could always prove me wrong, showing that Canadians really did want to see a Canadian goblin-people yelling conspiracy theories at each other. I am willing to concede this.

Now read this take.

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