So the worm post isn't at the top of the blog for long, here's a quick update on some changes to my sidebar links.
I've taken off Scott Feschuk's Weekday Update, the Macleans blog that made me laugh every morning until he cruelly took my happiness away by discontinuing it, at least in its current form:
Truth is: after almost a year of waking up early to make fun of people, I’ve decided to, you know, stop doing that.
Fine. Whatever. Happiness killer.
I've added a couple of links, too:
Running With My Eyes Closed
One is the blog Running With My Eyes Closed by Jill Golick, a TV writer who's obsessed with pilots (the TV kind, not the plane kind). She delves into the kind of minutia that makes me giddy while wondering why the hell I care how long the teasers are in this coming fall's crop of new shows, for example. But I do care. I'm still fascinated at these glimpses into how my toys are put together.
That fascination, of course, is why I went to the Banff World Television Festival, to get more of those behind-the-scenes glimpses. As did Mark Leiren-Young of The Tyee, a website that is coincidentally another new-ish entry on my blogroll. The sidebar link came before the article, but he's written about sessions I wasn't able to attend (translation: I either wanted to sleep in or there was something else I wanted to see more at the same time). Leiren-Young writes for TV too, but here he's writing on the future of TV, which sounds a lot like last year's future of TV:
Nobody knows how the hell they're supposed to get rich off their shows being PVR'd, TIVO'd and downloaded legally, never mind illegally. And DVD sales may be great revenue streams for producers, but they don't help advertisers sell cars and condoms.
The other big Banff buzzword was "UGC" (user-generated content) which is very "Web 2.0" -- which means it's a bitch to monetize. When she heard the term "content provider" back in the late '90s, performance artist Laurie Anderson sniped that: "It sounds like a term from the Chinese cultural revolution." Broadcasters are hoping this revolution isn't quite as bloody -- but when even the hottest shows on TV can't stop hemorrhaging viewers, clearly traditional TV's prospects are less than McDreamy.
The Tyee is a great antidote to the sameness and shallowness of what they call corporate media and what I wanted to call "mainstream media," but that makes The Tyee sound like a collection of bloggers. And no offense to bloggers -- hello, I am one -- but The Tyee is a professional but independent British Columbian news source, doing investigative reporting in this province that puts the big boys to shame, and entertainment articles that have some substance and don't sound like regurgitated media releases. Here's what they say about themselves:
We’re independent and not owned by any big corporation. We’re dedicated to publishing lively, informative news and views, not dumbed down fluff. We, like the tyee salmon for which we are named, roam free and go where we wish.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
This one isn't so new, but one of the only sidebar links I haven't mentioned yet is to Doctors Without Borders. I don't know what I can say about them that the Nobel committee hasn't, when awarding them the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize:
Since its foundation in the early 1970s, Médecins Sans Frontières has adhered to the fundamental principle that all disaster victims, whether the disaster is natural or human in origin, have a right to professional assistance, given as quickly and efficiently as possible. National boundaries and political circumstances or sympathies must have no influence on who is to receive humanitarian help. By maintaining a high degree of independence, the organization has succeeded in living up to these ideals.
By intervening so rapidly, Médecins Sans Frontières calls public attention to humanitarian catastrophes, and by pointing to the causes of such catastrophes, the organization helps to form bodies of public opinion opposed to violations and abuses of power.
In critical situations, marked by violence and brutality, the humanitarian work of Médecins Sans Frontières enables the organization to create openings for contacts between the opposed parties. At the same time, each fearless and self-sacrificing helper shows each victim a human face, stands for respect for that person's dignity, and is a source of hope for peace and reconciliation.
My sidebar link is to the Canadian section, but the US site is here.