Thursday, November 27, 2008


A Country band named "Alabama" had a hit a few years ago called "Angels Among Us" which proposed the theory that there are -- well -- Angels among us. Angels that guide us in the right direction in times of trouble.

For the last three days I've been about an hour away from another of my relentlessly insightful postings about the intricate behind the scenes machinations of the Canadian TV & film industries when the ground has shifted on me.

Just when I thought I had a handle on the broadcasters next "we need your money" move, there was a seismic shift that had me shelve that until I got a cleaner read. Just when what people were watching appeared to be going one way, plugs were pulled and ratings surprises arose to send all that in a decidedly different direction.

Am I the only one noticing that a lot of us blogger types seem to be similarly reining ourselves in just a little?

Are we all just suddenly distracted by more immediate concerns or might we be sensing something previously unexperienced in the zeitgeist and pausing to recalibrate the antennae?

Elsewhere, the fixed stars in my firmament are tap-dancing about cloned starlets and failed musicals, while all around us an industry we'd considered merely flawed seems to be in full collapse.

To be honest, I'm a fan of collapse; a true believer that sometimes the whole forest has to be burned down if a new one is going to be able to come in and take its place. I never was one of those who believed you could change the system from within or maintain your own clear sense of justice in a miasma of corruption.

What's happening out there is truly ugly and unfair right now. Hundreds of industry jobs are being eliminated every day as the current powers try desperately to hang onto their old, no longer viable business models by getting rid of people instead of changing the general idea behind what they do.

In my own home town, Magna International CEO Belinda Stronach (former Federal Liberal Minister of Human Resources & Skills Development) yesterday announced plans to fund a reality music show starring former KISS bassist Gene Simmons -- and today ducked the media after laying off 850 of her own auto-workers, some with decades of service to the company.

It's stuff like that which makes me believe that our industry and political leaders have been more focused on what they'd rather be doing than whatever the job at hand really was for the last little while. And hands unsteady on the tiller tend to lead to times like we're seeing now.

Unfortunately those same hands still retain enough power to make sure other people suffer for their short-comings. Take some comfort in the knowledge that few of them survive times like these with their old image intact.

On the good news side of the local ledger, I hear Belinda's sudden foray into a tired showbiz model has former Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Tie Domi searching for tongue stretching exercises.

(* For those not making that connection, run some names past Mr. Google)

What I'm trying to say here is the shedding of the old skin here is the hardest part of the process. Some snakes actually die shedding their skins, simply worn out from the thrashing and flailing required. But when all is said and done, they're usually left with something better than what they had.

And as a guy with a lot of faith in the old adage that everything happens for a reason -- a GOOD reason -- I truly believe the future will be better than we ever imagined. In the course of human history, it always has been.

So if you lost your job this week because of some self-absorbed bonehead like Magna's Belinda Stronach, Global TV's Lennie Asper or the guys who used to run Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, GM, Ford or (insert your corporation here) -- know that this too will pass.

There really are angels among us, probably some as pretty as the Victoria's Secret runway models who've brightened up this post. For every tale of doom out there, there's somebody with a much better idea who just needs some of this old, tired and worm-eaten deadwood out of the way so they can break through the soil.

Sometimes it's hard to know what's coming next. But you can always be certain there's something -- and its often far better than what we had.

Never give up Hope.

1 comment:

ScriptGirl! said...

After I heard about the job losses in the television industry I became extremely worried. I'm 17 and graduating this year (although I am attending a fifth year to catch up on some courses I couldn't fit into my schedule) and I really want to persue a job in the television and film industries. I know I have a few years of college before I can apply for a job but what if these job losses continue? I'm curious and frankly worried to see what is in store for my generation. The recent proposal by Jim Flaherty and the outrage voiced by the opposition isn't exactly helping the working class get jobs. Thanks for taking your time to read this.