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Various Ramblings

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I really wish that women would revolt against the beer ads that plague television. Frankly, I think they’re getting pretty bad and disgusting. If I was a cop, I’d look the other way if a group of feminists torched the Labatt and Molson main breweries.

Do these commercials really do anything? I mean, they all have the same thing: a couple of guys and a couple of thousand semi-naked gyrating women. Even the ‘I Am Canadian’ commericals, which strayed from the ‘women/eye-candy sells beer’ mantra when it first started, has women in there that aren’t exactly dressed for an executive meeting. I mean, beer sells itself. People love their beer. When they took away the right to drink alcohol in the U.S. about 80 years ago, the people went berserk and resulted to having seedy underground bars. When you go to an event of any kind and they sell beer, it’s usually the highest selling concession item. But at most of these events and at smaller bars, you don’t have much of a choice in the beer company that you can drink, if any. So what does this eye candy accomplish.

I don’t get it. I mean, you don’t see companies selling computers with a couple of women in a swimming pool arguing over functionality or a group of bikini-clad ladies having a party over the greatest cookies ever. I know beer is a party drink, but it doesn’t need such drastic advertising measures. As well, women drink quite a bit of beer themselves. It’s not just a man’s drink. How come there aren’t any commericals with semi-naked guys?

Uh, you know what? Maybe I should stop complaining. Semi-naked women is good enough for me. I’m thinking about the Moose Light campfire commercial. I’ll stick with the women. Sorry feminists, I sympathize, but I’ll pick the devil I’m comfortable with.

* * * * *

TV right now sucks. I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t tell if with the increase of cable television stations has it saturated the market and watered down the talent pool or if the writers have run out of ideas. There are very few shows that I actually make a point to watch or if I don’t watch them on a regular basis, if I’m flipping through the channels, I’ll stop on it. This is including reruns.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
South Park
The Simpsons
Law & Order

Chappelle’s Show
Da Ali G Show
King of the Hill
Countdown with Keith Olbermann

I used to watch a lot of TV, but now it’s only background noise. It’s odd but after years of growing up with having the TV in front of me for hours on end, I have to have the background noise of the TV and the pitched sound emanating from the CRT of the TV playing in the background or else I have serious difficulty doing non-complex homework (essays and projects have to be done in complete silence or music playing or else I’m easily distracted). I think that with the limitations of cable, TV isn’t as much a viable source of entertainment. Satellite TV is nice and all and the selection of channels is great, but if you don’t like watching movies on TV, then satellite TV is too expensive. I mean, do you really want to spend 60 dollars or more a month for a system where in which you don’t even watch half the channels? I suppose PVRs (personal video recorders, or they may stand for something else) are they way to go because the machines record what you like to watch and shows that are similar to your favourites, but they aren’t as easily accessible in Canada and they’re still kind of pricey.

I doubt television will improve any time soon. With it’s reliance of providing a venue for shoddy reality programming and being a haven of smut, the only real hope the world of television does have is that Law & Order and C.S.I. create so many spinoffs that they fill the entire schedule of prime-time TV. With the availability of TV shows on boxed-set DVDs, movies on DVD, the Internet, and the possibility of people actually going outside (which everyone should be doing at least more than once a year), television doesn’t have a chance.

* * * * *

I was outside barbequing some hotdogs when I heard a familiar song. The radio was playing Van Halen’s great new song, “It’s About Time”. Although it was on Montreal’s only classic rock station, CHOM, they’re not usually know for playing Van Halen. In fact, when I asked CHOM’s morning show host Terry DiMonte on why there wasn’t a lot of Van Halen airplay despite them being one of the most successful bands of all time, he said something along the lines that they don’t have the popularity of Led Zeppelin or the Beatles. Granted, in classic rock circles, those two bands were great. However, I find that CHOM’s greatest problem is that they lack diversity in the bands they play. They seem to usually play the same 20 bands over and over again and rarely play other great bands or one hit wonders. CHOM plays a setlist similar to their Top 500 which is an awful compliation of great songs. Prime example, Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ is not on the list, but the band does have other ones. Considering that ‘Jump’ was one of the bands greatest hits and one of the biggest songs to come out of the 80s, it’s surprising that the song doesn’t chart. CHOM, however, does one thing right and play some great album track from some legendary bands. You don’t normally think of the song ‘Dragon Attack’ when you think of Queen, but CHOM will play that song, among other Queen hits. CHOM is a decent radio station and much better than most of the other radio stations in Montreal (mainly due to the poor quality in the other stations). If I could get CHOM from my house, I’d be much happier (stupid Ste. Anne’s and it’s crappy ‘Bermuda Triangle’-type signal loss).

On the topic of classic rock radio, I really enjoy listening to K-Rock from Edmonton. Their morning show is great and their selection of music is awesome (at least these people thing Sammy Hagar is any good). Because Edmonton doesn’t need to have that many French radio stations, they can have a greater variety of radio stations than in Montreal. They have several classic rock stations in Edmonton, but K-Rock is far superior to the rest of their competition. Thank goodness for satellite because if it wasn’t for the radio stations on my satellite dish (is there anything it can’t do?), I would have never found this bastion of great classic music.

Another station that I like on the satellite is a jazz station from Toronto called Jazz FM. It’s got a great selection of jazz music and I’ve never heard a piece that I didn’t like. In the fall, Montreal will be getting a jazz station of it’s own in the fall, but I’ll still be listening to Jazz FM. Great station whenever I’m in the mood to listen to jazz.

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About James Gore