Saturday, December 11, 2010


We've chatted about this previously: Whilst French Canada, primarily Quebec, has a well developed muscular "star" system in Television, Movies, Music and even Sports; English Canadians, overwhelmed by the cultural Juggernaut of the "star" system from south of the border, most frequently must seek-out their own "icons" in the most unlikely places.

It is thus that Canadians who share the same Anglo-Saxon cultural ancestry as our American partners, and in the absence of their own home-grown "star" system, have sought to identify separately and culturally with Canadian politicians, and more recently with angry and increasingly bitter personalities, many of whom are beyond their "best before" expiration date...Come to think of it: In Canada these days bitter "has beens" and our politicians are frequently one and the same - Toronto Mayor, Robert Bruce 'Rob' Ford; and ex OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, being among their latest manifestations - I digress.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and former NHL Coach Don Cherry further blurred the line between politics and Hollywood North most recently: Harper fronting an Ottawa based rock band (Herringbone) and belting-out "Jumpin' Jack Flash" among several other "golden oldies" at a Tory caucus Christmas Party and; Cherry in an unprovoked public outburst against "bicycle riding pinkos" in a speech delivered as guest of honour at the fore mentioned Rob Ford inaugural as Mayor of the country's largest city. To say nothing of Cherry's outrageous shilling for Julian Fantino, the Tory candidate in the Federal riding by-election of the affluent Toronto suburb of Vaughan, which Fantino won on November 29th with 49.1% of the votes.

Much of which is leading to widespread speculation that Cherry will abandon his cherished "Hockey Night in Canada" sinecure, and jump ship to "Sun News," the Fox News lookalike set to hit the airwaves next March, and become a Canadian Glenn Beck clone. All of which may save the CBC the embarrassment of throwing Cherry overboard for grossly violating the Corporation's code of ethics for its broadcast opinionated as Don Cherry may be.

If Don Cherry were to abandon "Hockey Night in Canada" for a starring role on "Sun News" it might well be a blessing in disguise for the CBC. In recent years the Corporation has "bent-over" repeatedly to distance itself from the former coach's immature outbursts, giving-in to fears that any blue-collar backlash from firing the former NHL coach would play right into the hands of the Harper Government which is no friend of the CBC; and which, most importantly, controls the purse strings that keep the struggling and frequently moribund Mothercorp alive. Perhaps adding a metaphor will illustrate the debate, and digress further - Throwing Don Cherry and his "neon" wardrobe overboard might have seriously jeopardized many of CBC-TV's ratings underwater dwellers who would get electrocuted in the process.

As for the seriously "Right O' Centre" cable television news channel upstart which will see the light of day early in March - About the same time Mr. Harper is contemplating a Federal election to defend next spring's budget - It could surely greatly benefit from the publicity of a Cherry move to its stable of eccentrics just as the 2011 NHL playoffs get underway...and English Canada could be on the verge of acquiring a Hollywood-style "star" system it doesn't quite justly deserve. Could a "TMZ North," with Ezra Levant be much further behind? - "I'm a lawyer!" - Oh, the Humanity!

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