Welcome Back, Buffy
It's more of a case of me going back to the comic. I'm working through a stockpile of them and realizing how much I miss Joss Whedon's dialogue for the Buffy characters.
Buffy to a sentimental Riley at a field hospital: "Did they give you the MOST morphine?"
Xander to a sentimental Buffy: "Yooou... have feeings. At me."
Buffy was never good with intimate conversations, was she?
Egypt's Canada's Internet Disconnect
On Monday, The Guardian noted
that the government of Egypt was able to shutdown the entire country's access to the Internet in a matter of minutes because there are only three
wireless carriers there.
On the same day, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was blasted by consumers, businesses -- even the supposedly non-interventionalist Prime Minister -- for deciding to allow usage-based billing. The New Democratic Party's digital affairs critic Charlie Angus complained
that the ISPs here were acting like a family compact instead of a free market. How many major wireless providers are there in Canada? Three
But like the masses showing up in Egypt to push change, the 100,000 people per day who signed a petition to reverse the decision had an effect. The government will reverse the decision, as the industry minister confirmed
last night -- via Twitter. I Want My Dire Straits
I finally read the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council's decision
to ban the unedited version of "Money for Nothing" from broadcast. This organization is the Canadian broadcast industry's equivalent of the Comics Code Authority: it's non-governmental, its decisions are non-binding and it is completely wrong-headed, at least in this case. It was acting on a compliant from a member of the LGBT community who objected to the song because it uses the word "faggot." I can certainly see how someone would not want that word in public at all, so it's a reasonable complaint. However, the broadcaster was moronic for using the "but we've played it since 1985" excuse. Sure, but just because you could drive without wearing a seatbelt in 1975 doesn't mean you can do so now. Alright, that's not really a fair comparison. There are laws about using seatbelt, but none about using the word "faggot" on air.
Still, the CBSC decision makes no sense. It includes a whole section entitled "Contextual Considerations," which lists instances wherein it decided that the context justified the use of the word "fag" or "faggot," though mostly "fag": the decision includes some completely
unsubstantiated reasoning for why the short form is less offensive than the full word. (There is also a section cheekily called "Whither the Evolution of Language" that fails to take into account gay artists reclaimation of the word, or the use of the word to describe homophobic situations: it's as if the panel does not envision actual gay people using the word for whatever purpose. ) Yet, the CBSC dismissed the context of "Money for Nothing": "The Panel certainly does not close the door to that possibility but it does not consider that “Money for Nothing” is such a song. The Panel finds no case for the application of the exception protecting legitimate artistic usage on this occasion."
Wha? Did the CBSC just say they wouldn't close the door on a contextual defensive of the use of the word, then just closed the door? If it had shown that it knew the song was ironic, and still had reasons for banning the word, fine. But that just doesn't seem to be the case. Really, almost the most depressing part of this case is that the CBSC did not understand the song
Ironically, the aforemaligned CRTC has ordered
the CBSC to review its decision. Could this order have been prompted by the hundreds of thousands of complaints from people who thought the CRTC was involved, when it was clearly not? There's also the fact that a handful of radio stations across the country played the unedited version in heavy rotation as a protest -- with no consequences. The CBSC is clearly looking like it overstepped its bounds, and with nothing to back it up.