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Commentary Created by Complacent Coverage



        Okay, so if you read today's Globe and Mail (The Owner's Paper....)
the Arts section (such as it is) has a front-page story on how TO bars are
having to shift to Kareoke and dance to pay the bills; live music isn't
paying, it says, and people are drinking less, the recession, resurgence in
Dance and Lounge Culture, etcetera; William New (Groovy Religion, Booker at
Elmo) mentions that "The Next Ten Years are going to be tough"...like they
weren't already.

        While reading this bold statement of the obvious, it occured to me
that The Globe was failing to notice a major contributor to this
problem....Itself,  and the rest of mainstream Media. After all, when was
the last time you saw arts coverage in the Globe that didn't have to do
with someone in a suit, or an opera, or some other soon-to-be-dead Great
Canadian (tm) ? If the Globe ran a story about an Indie/Alternative/Not
Suck-ass Band, my god, imagine the reprecussions in terms of interest, new
listeners, fans, etcetera .  When was the last time that you saw that kind
of coverage in your local paper ? Why does "Popular" culture so often get
the short shrift ? Why are people who write about rock expected to do it
for low to no fee, or out of love alone ?

        I'm not saying there isn't a need for the coverage of "High"
culture, but I also think that a lot of 'Zines, magazines, and scenes
(which do important work, and some of it sporadically good, he said
sardonically.) are left with no audience but the already-converted, while
the vast pool of unknowing citizens who read only the local, or the Globe,
don't get to see a damn thing. Thereby not going out to a damn thing. Not
buying it, or requesting it on the radio. Crushing it with uncouncious
apathy, smothering it under a comatose bulk of unthinking mass.  (And don't
get me started about Much Music. It goes in to every home, sure, but while
it's fine for what it is, it maintains a comfortable level of inertia and
profitable mediocrity that no amout of effort could overturn.)

        So then the question: how do we, as people who believe in things
that don't suck, reclaim the media that we are the constituients of ? Do we
call city papers en masse and say that until arts coverage reflects what we
want to see, we don't buy ? Do we write them applauding their attempts at
coverage of the living popular arts, and cajole them for more ?  Do we
seperate, take a hardline stance, and write our own zines, magazines, net
postings....that never reach a fraction of a sample of the people who read
the mass media each day, but do so with honour ? Or do we give in, walk
away, cease believing, and accept a future of Home Improvement on TV and
Rainbow Butt Moneys and pablum, vomited predigested into our blind mouths ?


        As a Music Lover, DJ, and Writer, as someone who believes there is
a better way than the way we are now, I'm desperate for ideals. Probably
because I'm on the brink of losing faith.  Anyone got any  ?

        Anyone ?


        "Against the Grain",


        James

        P.S. Before anyone thinks this post's too thoughtful  and nice, I
can't help but note that the Globe article had some truly chimpy quotes
from Brendan from hHead. He said something about rock and roll being "Three
Chords and the truth." .........which leads me to ask when hHead are going
to learn the other two, since they've driven the one they know into the
freaking ground.