9.1.07

CanCon vs. CanChoice.

A remote control I don't recognise? Check.

A Dreamcast controller? Check.

The antenna that came included with the TV I bought this summer? It no longer exists.

Well, I hope Little Mosque on the Prairie is a good show. Maybe CBC.ca will have a two-minute clip on their website tomorrow... but oddly enough, the timing here is perfect, because it perfectly illustrates the real reason I want that show to succeed (I just realised it myself tonight)...

You see, this week, Microsoft is planning to announce that its Xbox 360 will be turned into an IPTV set, allowing it to download content in HD, straight to your television. Then, this morning, Apple announced "AppleTV": another way to beam HD content (wirelessly) from your computer to your television.

What's my opinion on this? Well, let's look at the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries. $30 on DVD, $0 on BitTorrent. That's been the standard battleground for a while. However, it's $16US on iTunes, and now you don't have to pretend that you like watching it on your video iPod. It's not the right answer for everyone, but at least it's an alternative.

More to the point, it's an alternative which now seems a lot more likely to outlast the other two. In a few years, it'll be like the entire world is on a TiVo. Missed the previous episode of 24? No you didn't. That bizarre thing that Howorko e-mailed you doesn't make sense? Try watching it on the big screen. Tired of living in a small city in Alberta that's never heard of foreign films? Rest yourself upon the couch, and see what Beat Takeshi's been up to.

Naturally, this is a boon for all independent filmmakers, and a headache for networks. Still, the networks go where the money is, and if they have to change, they will.

The CBC, though, worries me sick.

I've always held that the CRTC performs a necessary function, but it's clear that they've been running around without a purpose ever since the first Napster lawsuit. Their brand of enforcement is obsolete. They can't change, and they'll likely dissolve quietly as Canadians choose more and more American programming, with or without the CRTC's permission.

But the CRTC's mission statement is still vitally important, for almost exactly that reason. Now, more than ever, Canadians need to make sure their voice and identity is heard. Unfortunately, there's only one way to do that now... we have to be better than we've ever been before.

It's true that Hollywood is filled with stories of good movies that no one ever saw, but you know what? It's our only choice. We have to put our faith in the Long Tail, and take our chances. We have to get up on the stage with all our talent, and make the rest of the world take notice. Because that's the audience now.

And so far, Little Mosque on the Prairie might just pull it off. That's why I want it to succeed: Because it can.

1 comment:

neb said...

I managed to sit through about 10 minutes of it. It felt like somebody in a suit declared a need for a corner gas clone. I can't see it lasting the season, even if it is cancon.

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.