Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot

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Comments and general dismay about politics

July 10, 2003

As I mentioned, I went to hear Salon editor-in-chief and chair David Talbot speak. Boy, was that a waste of ten bucks. I hoped that he might offer some new media insights, some war stories of the dot-com era or, heck, just be an entertaining and engaging speaker. I got zero for three.

He was billed as 'The Last of the Independents' and he lived up to it. He railed against big media, corporate America and Bush. Particularly Bush. Like his magazine, he had nothing to say about Canada, and no insight into the media north of the border. Of course, he was lecturing a university crowd, so he was preaching to the choir.

Most appallingly, however, he had the gall to say of journalism, 'there is no more worthy job in our society.' What? After he finished portraying the current media (and, presumably, those who work within it) as shills to right-wing, corporate America? And what about, I don't know, doctors or politicians or artists or environmentalists or any number of other jobs in society.

It's so typical of the ridiculously high esteem that journalists hold their own profession in. The profession of journalist has fallen as far in the twentieth century as the profession of lawyer. I'm sad to say it, but to be a journalist in the twenty-first century is, for the most part, to tow the party line, to depend on PR people for their stories and to bend, fold and mutilate the truth. It's a shame, but it's the truth.

My rough notes from Mr. Talbot's presentation are here.


9:45:25 PM      Trackback []    Canada Internet Mixed Bag Politics

I read this article in the Vancouver Sun this morning. It barely qualifies as news. It concerns a Department of National Defence report entitled Classified Waste Disposal (Hollywood is no doubt calling Ottawa to option this baby)The article describes the DND's shredding habits:

DND headquarters shreds an average of 11,250 kilograms of paper each month -- that's almost 25 per cent more weight than one of the Sea Kings. The paper is pulverized to such an extent that not one thin strand of it can be recycled. All of it is shipped to a landfill site in Carp.

Was anybody else surprised that there's a city called Carp? That's not my point though. My point is this:

Two full-time staff, whose salaries totalled $72,800 last year, were responsible for destroying the paper and getting it ready to be sent to the landfill.

So these two people are making $36,000 a piece to shred the DND's most important documents? Surely if I wanted to infiltrate Canada's military, this is the way to do it.

Mind you, I'd have to have a good reason to infiltrate Canada's military.

UPDATE: Ontario afficionado Kim writes:

Carp isn't a city; it's barely a town within the city limits of Ottawa. It's probably best known as the location of the Diefenbunker.

The landfill is on property that used to belong to the Rump family and is affectionately (?!?) known as 'The Rump Dump.'


9:25:47 AM      Trackback []    Canada Politics