Friday, September 24, 2010

Too much work to be done, or the sucess of Ida Rubenstein

I started this initiative, where at the end of each month, I dedicate some time to do what I now call "maintenance activities" on my websites.

This was because often I would spend months not following what's really happening with the sites, not checking the stats, the analytics, the revenue (aka, the rapidly shrinking pocket money that these time wasters generate).

Today was one of these days, except that the maintenance activity spiraled out of control. It turns out that there is always much more to do than I expected. Little things left and right, some big things too; anyways, too much work in order to maintain some small sites. It's just ridiculous. It's because I try to do too much on my own. I need to learn how to delegate. But delegate to whom when you don't have the money to pay them? This is another thing I have learned: if you don't pay people don't expect much for them. And I respect that, I think everyone should be payd fairly for their work.

One final thing, while rummaging though the stats, I discovered that this little unknown personally anonymous blog has a page that has somehow become fairly popular: the page about the beautiful Bolero and even prettier Ida Rubenstein. I am happy that his page is getting some attention because I find the painting of Ida are amazing, and Maya Plisetskaya dancing on the magical Bolero is out-of-this-world.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another of my fights with the CRTC

Well, this time it's not really a fight with CRTC, but a fight I am bringing to the CRTC. This time my fight is with the giant Quebecor, which is trying to pen yet another TV channel, to be called Sun TV News, and wants this TV channel to be granted "mandatory access". That is, Quebecor wants to make the carrying of its channel by cable operators to be mandatory, which will guarantee a healthy stream of income for the new channel immediately and force all Canadians to have access to it.

My reasoning is this: don't force the channel to be mandatory and give it the gift of assured income; instead let the channel have to prove itself to its viewers/consumers, and have to fight in order to get paying cable viewers. Don't give everything to Quebec already served on a plate, they are already big and powerful enough, force them to work hard, produce a good product with good content and win the hearts of paying viewers.

Here is my letter, that I am about to fax to the CRTC:

Dear Commissioners,

1. I, XXXXXXX, of XXXXXXX, am writing you today to express my opposition to Application 2010-1188-2, filed by TVA Group Inc, requesting the “for a broadcasting license to operate a national, English-language Category 2 specialty television programming undertaking to be known as Sun TV News.” (taken from Application 2010-1188-2 text). I do not want to appear at the public hearing.

2. My opposition to Application 2010-1188-2, is not an opposition to the actual existence of a specialty television channel known as Sun TV News, but an opposition with the following request: “the applicant is seeking an exception to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562 by applying for mandatory access.” (taken from Application 2010-1188-2 text).

3. My opposition to Application 2010-1188-2 because of its demand to be exempt from Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562 has two causes.

4. First, as an owner of independent Internet media (xxxxxxxxxxx), I am deeply concerned with the extent of media ownership concentration in the hands of a single corporation, Quebecor Media Inc, which will through its two subsidiaries, TVA Group Inc. and Sun Media Corporation, have full ownership of Sun TV News.

5. Today, Quebecor Media Inc is owner of some of the largest media outlets in Canada, which in itself is an acceptable reality, but the problem stems from the fact that these media cover the entire spectrum of media, from TV, to print, radio and finally the Internet. To add to this media concentration, Quebecor Inc. (the owner of Quebec Media Inc.) also owns Videotron Inc. which is the actual channel of distribution of their TV and Internet properties.

6. Furthermore, Quebecor Inc. does not hesitate to use its different media properties and the distribution channel that Videotron is, to perform aggressive cross-promotion of their products.

7. This behavior and the extent of the reach of Quebecor’s media outlets is a big concern for independent small media operators like me. Instead of fostering competition and free market, the concentration of media in the hands of Quebecor Inc. acts as a damper and break to the healthy development of media in Canada.

8. Therefore, considering the powerful position already enjoyed by the media and distribution outlets (Videotron Inc) owned by Quebecor Inc, I believe that obtaining “mandatory access” for Sun TV News would be an unacceptable “gift” (for a lack of better word) made to Quebecor Inc. Sun TV News should be forced to compete for viewership and membership and not be given a free ride into existence.

9. The second cause for my opposition to Application 2010-1188-2 comes from observations I have made as a local TV viewer in the Province of Quebec. LCN is an all news specialty channel owned by TVA Group Inc, and I must voice my strong concern about the quality of the content of LCN. LCN lack the depth, quality of coverage and even journalistic standards that an all-news channel should have. If LCN is to be used as an example of the kind of news-media products provided by TVA Group, I believe that the new Sun TV News, if it also lacks quality and journalistic standard, should not be granted “mandatory access”.

10. News media is very important as it shapes the world views and opinions of our people, and eventually the future direction of nation and the world our children would live in. News media should be held to the highest level of journalistic integrity possible. This is not the case today with LCN (and many other news sources) and if this is not the case with the future Sun TV News, then that channel does not in any way deserve the privilege that “mandatory access” really is.

Sincerely yours


Monday, September 20, 2010

New favorite song

I discovered UK band Four Tet last week, through the amazing video for Smile Around The Face (on Domino Records).

The video is just amazing, it does put a smile around my own face. The guy looks just like me, same facial expression as me going to work, and the music is amazingly well coordinated with the video-effects (like the modem noises when his head is hurt). And the conclusion is just amazing, the smile he pops while remembering the time spent with his kids. And seeing the UK in the back of a picture about somebody's everyday life makes me dream about old-stoned-Europe so much.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Lost in Vancouver

Somewhere in a bar Vancouver, BC, Tuesday August the 31st 2010.

I just realized that the world keeps on turning without me. Not the world, but my world, my people. I am sitting in a bar in Vancouver and I am watching L'Ile-Ste-Helen on TV, a Nascar race, in a sunny and green Ile St-Helene, where I went biking and diving a hundred times this summer. I am 5000 km away, but the grass is green and the trees lush on St-Helene, and my parents are OK doing their stuff, and my brother is frosh leader (again), and P. is dressing up for work and going there and chilling with Ari. at night. I guess that's how it is to be dead, it's just realizing that the world keeps on going without you. Not in the same way, but it keeps on going, and that's cool, but most of all, that's comforting. Your job is done, the seed you planted has sprouted and is now growing on its own green and lush and on TV. That's death: watching your world on someone else's TV.

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