Daily Archives: October 16, 2010

Sun TV News: Done

Sorry to be a little late to the party

It’s quite a come down. From in-your-face arrogance to a total retreat in a matter of a few months, the big money behind Quebecor’s determination to set up a Fox news North is now looking pretty humble.

There’s no doubt that part of this is overreach on the part of Pierre Karl Peladeau and his junkyard-dog front man Kory Teneycke.  But mostly it is a huge victory for every Canadian who took time to write, email, phone or other wise protest this grotesque plan to move Canadian political culture to the far right. And a victory in particular for Avaaz the on-line social movement that flushed Teneycke and his bully tactics into the open.

We should all celebrate – maybe by donating to your favourite on-line journal.

Teneycke got a tad ahead of himself having come so recently from the PMO where he was accustomed to having virtually dictatorial powers to use government auhtority in Harper’s interests.

It turns out that the ability to bully a nation as a private corporate citizen isn’t quite so easy.

Teneycke is now still licking his wounds and is hiding from public view hoping that people – including those who might otherwise have employed him – will forget what an idiot he was and what a liability he would be to any public project in the future.

As for Peladeau his enormous wealth – he is a billionaire – hasn’t prevented him from being humbled by citizen action against his plan. Of course he can’t hide his arrogance.  He told reporters outside the Canadian Club in Ottawa that his company, Sun Media would now withdraw a request for a special license that would force cable companies to offer his station (now barely on the radar of any audience) in at least some of their packages.

“We’ve decided to go with the policies of the CRTC,” said a Quebecor spokesman..

Big of them – as if obeying the law of the land was optional for Daddy Big Bucks.

His statement indicated that they will simply ask for the ordinary license which means cable companies can take his TV network or leave it.

It put the lie to Peladeau’s previous alarmist declaration by which he attempted to pressure the CRTC. In August, he declared that failing to get his favoured status would be a disaster: “This would be fatal to our business case … and would likely result in the cancellation of the Sun TV News project.”

It’s a sweet victory. Savour it.

Quotes of the Day: Wilde on Art

If with the literate I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.
Dorothy Parker

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection.

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

Oscar Wilde

Today  is Oscar Wilde‘s birthday (1854-1900).

Frye was a great admirer of Wilde (see especially Creation and Recreation), and there are any number of quotes that could be cited today, but this one from The Secular Scripture will do:

The beginning of a new kind of criticism is marked by Oscar Wilde’s The Decay of Lying, which explains very lucidly that, as life has no shape and literature has, literature is throwing away its one distinctive quality when it tries to imitate life.  It follows for Wilde that what is called realism does not create but can only record things at a subcreative level:

“M. Zola sits down to give us a picture of the Second Empire.  Who cares for the Second Empire now?  It is out of date.  Life goes faster than Realism, but Romanticism is always in front of life.”

Wilde was clearly the herald of a new age in literature, which would take another century or so to penetrate the awareness of critics.  He was looking forward to a culture which would use mythical and romantic formulas in its literature with great explicitness, making once more the essential discovery about the human imagination, that it is always a form of “lying,” that is, turning away from the descriptive use of language and the correspondence form of truth.  (45-6)