some vacation!

When you're a rural telecommuter, being locked out is a lonely business.

Friday, September 23, 2005

kooky konspiracy kapers!

Those of us on the line hear a lot of talk about who is and who isn't winning the public relations war in this lockout. Consensus has it that the public sides with workers and the CMG, and that CBC management looks like an exclusive club for inept, bullying goons. The assumption is that the public actually understands the issues, perhaps because we're getting a lot of great support from print media.

Well, over the past 3 days I've been talking with members of the general public about the lockout, explaining the issues as best I can with the information tools at my disposal. In return, I've heard some truly astonishing theories about why the CBC has locked out it's 5,500 CMG members lately. Among some of the highlights:

1 - the CBC is trying to recoup ad revenue lost during last year's hockey strike (this one's fairly common)
2 - management has orchestrated a publicity ploy in order to make everyone tune in in record numbers when the season finally starts
3 - management thinks that keeping us out and getting us angry will bring lots of new energy to out programming when we get back in
4 - the Americans (the CIA in particular) are trying to de-stabilise the CBC from the inside in order to control our media, Venezuela-style

These theories are not posited by knuckle-dragging idiots. They came from educated, articulate, and caring people who love the CBC. They simply cannot comprehend how things could have come to a 6-week lockout without resorting to wild conspiracy theory.

The simple truth seems too sad, too mundane, and too incomprehensible for them to grasp.

But even if the theories are odd-ball, the audience still gets what we do. This is excerpted from a note sent to my mother from an ex-pat American writer friend who was at the Massey Hall event on Wednesday night:

At the end, the stage filled one by one with all of CBC's personalities. It was truly awesome. They came out dressed casually in slacks and blue jeans, etc. to temendous applause. The audience was filled with ardent fans who LISTEN - who LOVE - who are loyal to the core. It was a community, a voice of and for Canadians coast to coast. This wasn't about celebrity, it was about expression ... and tremendously gifted committed people giving Canada its cultural expression. THAT's what I've always loved about Canada, that people in the arts don't need glitz to show themselves off. The "work" has got to do it.

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