February 20, 2005
# Letter to the CBC

In another followup to my article Manufacturing Democracy: The politics of media coverage: Haiti, Ukraine, Georgia, and a recent weblog post, I sent the following letter to the CBC:

* *

Dear CBC,

It's clear that there is an overwhelming desire for democratic changes in the former Soviet republics, and the energy to back it up.

However, it is equally well established that these democratic movements are being backed by tens of millions dollars by western countries like Canada and the US.

The CBC does a major disservice to its readers by systematically leaving out this fact, even when it is reported on wires (e.g. the AP) that the CBC normally uses.

If the NDP or the Conservative Party was receiving millions in funding from the Swedish government, wouldn't the CBC question their motives and their agenda? I would hope so.

So why doesn't the same standard apply when it's Canada and the US doing the funding?

* *

If other outlets pick it up, I'll send them the letter, too.

posted by dru in letters
February 09, 2005
# Global Warning

I can't quite place the moment that I switched from thoroughly enjoying a series of mild, sunny days to being more than a bit alarmed. I think it was just before I had plans to go skating, and had to cancel because rain was falling through the veritably balmy air, slushing up the ice. In Montréal. In February.

Most of February is usually spent groaning about the incessant cold and snow, and irrationally seizing on the tiniest (even nonexistent) signs of spring.

So it's quite the dilemma that this lovely weather cannot really be enjoyed without the lingering thought that it is also the prelude to a predicted biodiversity holocaust and who knows what for humans, who steadfastly refuse to take it seriously.

I wonder if that isn't the defining question of this particular point in history. How do we take our situation seriously? Folks like Jared Diamond, Ronald Wright and Stephen Lewis have been trying, but I'm interested in ways to refine, if not drastically improve upon, their answers.

posted by dru in canada
February 02, 2005
# American Idiot

Am I the last person in the world to realize that Green Day's American Idiot is an amazing album?

I saw the windows of the local global record store outlet filled with posters it, and figured it was more of the same.

But I'm listening to it for the first time, and am totally surprised. The "I'm alienated, life is shallow" theme can only be taken so far, but this album is all the more impressive for delivering a mature and sophisticated kind of punk aesthetic (not literally, though: the musical styles on this album are fairly diverse).

It's Dookie, ten years later. Comparisons to the Clash wouldn't be unwarranted.

(Another megaband that has been really surprising in a similar way after a series of misstep releases is Pearl Jam. Their 2002 "Riot Act" is very much worth a listen.)

posted by dru in culture