Becoming a curmudgeon

Here are seven things that have been bothering me in recent days.

1. Remember Elwy Yost on TVOntario’s Saturday Night at the Movies? He was a bit geeky but three times out of four his movie choice was worth watching. He’s been replaced by a stream of hosts. I couldn’t even tell you the name of the current guy. The number of movies aired each week has doubled from two to four. That means about 130 movies since Labor Day of which I’ve watched maybe five. Who’s picking these duds?

2. The media in Canada is all too cosy. The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail are now sharing a distribution system. Shaw, Rogers and CBC are sharing online ads. Compare that with the U.S where Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are battling for supremacy in e-book sales. Such flabby mediocrity is why we get less choice and pay higher prices. For everything.

3. My granddaughter wants to be a veterinarian so I took her Saturday to an open house at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. The ads had photos that showed animals at all three locations. At the first stop we saw labs, a therapy pool, surgeries, a doggie daycare centre and digital x-ray equipment, but no animals. At the second location, there were three horses. My granddaughter fed one of them some straw only to have someone come along and post a sign saying, Do not feed the horses. At the third and final location, people leaving the building warned us off saying it contained only skeletons and was boring. What a lost opportunity for good public relations with the local community and future vets.

4. The Picasso exhibit that just opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario is spectacular and sure to be a summer blockbuster. Too bad every room has a guard with a walkie-talkie blaring inanities. Haven’t they heard of earbuds?

5. I don’t want an instore boutique Bloomingdales at The Bay. That’s like the tiny Tim Hortons at the Esso station. I want the full-blown department store. Despite our sanctimonious view of ourselves as a financially well-run country, we don’t have the demographics for U.S. retailers except for low enders like Walmart and Lowe’s.

6. It doesn’t matter what time of day I tune in CBC Radio Two, the music is hopeless, the chatter vapid. The ratings must be awful.

7. What urban planner approved the spate of condos along the Gardiner Expressway that block the view of the Toronto skyline? One pair of buildings under construction is so close to the highway that you could do a drive-by handshake with residents. And there’s no neighbourhood. Living there would make a stone sick.

2 Responses

  1. Thom Ernst says:

    Hi Rod, The name of the current guy on Saturday Night at the Movies is Thom Ernst.

  2. Rod McQueen says:

    Thanks, Thom. Sorry that your program has just been cancelled.

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