Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bitch and Fail

Greetings Friends,

You don't need to sit on a phone book to realize newspapers are practically extinct (so are phone books for that matter). For the past 10 months I've been reading The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national newspapers, almost daily. It's a toss-up between watching CBC's The National news broadcast or reading The Globe and Mail. You don't need to do both because if you watch the previous night's National, all the major news stories appear in the following day's Globe and Mail. Neat, huh?

What I've been noticing for a while is the profound negativity contained in the pages of this venerable publication. It should be called The Bitch and Mail, or maybe The Bitch and Fail. The writers Bitch, and the paper Fails to provide any objectivity. Make sure you take your SSRI meds before reading it, or else you'll need to call the suicide prevention hotline.

The paper does manage to redeem itself once you move past the main section. The Bitch and Fail's sports section is very reminiscent of the snarky British sports sections that crucify footballers and rugby players across Europe. Except in The Bitch and Fail, hockey players get both barrels on a regular basis. Actually, that goes for all the Canadian newspaper sports pages I've read.

What I love best is how amped up the snark gets when it comes to popular culture, movies and certain aspects of Canadian culture. Their movie reviews contain so much piss and vinegar it's a wonder the American studios bother releasing their films in this country. I know Roger Ebert still wields a pretty sharp poison pen, but he can get away with it. Here, it's just garden variety snark. The same goes for books, music, food, you name it. It always seems that whatever it is they're writing about, The Bitch and Fail manages to diss just about all of it. Except Sarah McLaughlin. She's exempt; she could sing "Happy Birthday" 10 times consecutively, slap it on a CD, and The Bitch and Fail would gush incessantly. She's now a 42 year-old divorced single mom, in addition to a Canadian music icon, so she deserves praise no matter what.

As for my own snark, this is my blog. And this is my forum, on which I am able to share my snark, my sarcasm, my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my shameless plugs for the stuff I write. You either read my stuff, or you don't. The vast majority of the planet doesn't even acknowledge my existence. But, when you plunk down your hard earned loonies for that double-double and a newspaper every day, by gum, you should get your money's worth. Or maybe you should just buy gum instead. Journalism is in such a funk between the utterly ridiculous 24-hour television news cycle,  and the sadly diminished and failing print media, that it is closer to extinction than any of us would like to admit. Gone are the days when I would ride the New York City subways with my talented fellow riders who were able to fold and read The New York Times with such impressive skill. Individuals like me, would surreptitiously attempt to read those papers over the shoulders of those talented folders, because I can barely fold a napkin, let alone a copy of The New York Times. But, I digress; newspaper folding is a lost art form, along with returning phone calls and being a courteous driver.

On Friday, I will unleash my snark on the city of Toronto, and the "Checkpoint Charlie" security measures in place for the G20 summit.


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