Confession Time

If you’ve been in Canada the past few weeks or months, you know* that this summer is the last tour for the  Tragically Hip under tragic circumstances. Lead singer Gord Downie announced this spring that he has terminal brain cancer.  Tickets for the most sought after concert series in years sold out in minutes.

 

These performances have become a national cultural event. The final concert is tonight in the band’s hometown of Kingston, Onatrio. CBC will air it live on TV, radio, and online. Considering they have the Canadian broadcast rights to the Olympics and are instead choosing to air the Hip concert gives you some idea what a touchstone this is.

 

Through it all, friends have talked and posted excitedly the band; what they’ve meant to them, the sadness that it’s coming to an end; struggles and triumphs when they got tickets; frustration when they couldn’t; and where they’ll be watching.  I’ve smiled and exclaimed excitedly or dismay; I’ve liked the heck out their posts; but it’s been a cover for a dark secret:

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The OJ Case

I admit it: I was an OJ Simpson trial junkie. I watched the Bronco chase as it happened. I watched the afternoons of the trial after work (the 4 hour time difference to LA came in really handy.) I watched Marcia Clark explain she had child care issues when court was running late. I was mystified by Kato Kaelin (Still am). I thought of Kim Kardashian as Robert Kardashian’s daughter for years (Still do). I felt sympathy and horror for the families of the victims during the trial. I was shocked and horrified with the verdict.

 

I devoured books about the trial: “His Name is Ron”; “Without a Doubt”; and “In Contempt” still sit on my bookshelves. I at one point owned both of Faye Resnick’s books but gave them away. I bought Vanity Fair every month to read Dominick Dunne’s articles. I may have been was am a bit obsessed.

 

I’ve been watching the series “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson” for the past month or so. (I changed my satellite package so I’d get the channel – obsessed!) What has struck me again watching it is is how far-fetched the events would have seemed in a fictional account but how dramatic and riveting they were at the time. Twenty-two years later, they still are.  And apparently are still ongoing.

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On a New “Anne”

Last week YTV aired a new rendition of Anne of Green Gables.  I say a new rendition because a Google search will tell you there has been around 15 versions of the classic novel made into television or movie productions.

 

I was fully prepared to not like it. For me, the Sullivan Entertainment version will always be THE version of Anne. Perhaps it was because I was in my early teens when it first aired. It would have been around the time we first had cable; I can’t remember if we actually had cable by then. Regardless, the airing was an event on our either 3 or 13 channels. I watched when it aired on both CBC and PBS. Much as Michael Keaton will always be Batman to me, those actors came to epitomize the characters in my mind, so when I watched “Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables” there was a part of me that was ready to nitpick everything about it.

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On Making a Muderer

So last weekend I fell down the rabbit hole that is “Making a Murderer.”  I have to say when I started I wasn’t really sure what the series was about, only that it was what “everyone” was watching and talking about. Perhaps not knowing how it would turn out was the best way to watch; I had no idea what the end result would be.

 

At the end, like seemingly everyone who watched, I have an opinion about Steven Avery’s innocence or guilt. But what has stuck with me most in the week since is a lingering unease about the smugness of the DA and police during the interviews and trials. The commentary by police when videoing the Avery home seemed at times gleeful. The DA’s interviews (while generously could be interpreted as confident) leaned more towards smugness. Those in positions of power appeared to be so confident (cocky) in their perceived vindication of their role in the original wrongful conviction that it left cold chills when watching. That type of glibness about the suspect in the face of any murder investigation would feel wrong; the fact the suspect had wrongly spent years in jail because of some of the same officers was abhorrent.

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I Want My MTV

First of all, I should say this is not a reflection on anyone who works in a customer service call centre. It is not a job I envy or think I could do. I would more than likely tell someone where to stick their problems within the first couple hours of the day. It is though a reflection of my frustration with a corporate computerized system that just wouldn’t let me watch tv.

Towards the end of July I started having trouble with my satellite TV. The picture would freeze, but would work again if I reset the unit. So Saturday afternoon on August 1 while attempting to watch a Blue Jays game and resetting the unit every half hour or so, I decided to call Bell technical support. It took 3 calls, because the unit would work then freeze again, but it was finally agreed that I needed a new receiver. I asked if there were any deals available as I’ve been a long time customer. The loyalty department was great; they offered my a great deal on a new receiver and a further discount on my bill. We set up an appointment for a technician to come that Thursday (August 6) and install the new PVR. We also discovered I’m still paying on my old unit and if I returned it, I’d save another $4.00 a month. Sounded good to me, so I asked them to send the shipping package. I hung up the phone feeling quite pleased with my experience.

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