Canada

25 Things to Do Instead of Watching Canada’s Got Talent

While who gets the title of “worst show of the year” could be closely battled out between Are You There, Chelsea? and Whitney, it’s only fair to add to that list the overly-hyped and underwhelming turd known as Canada’s Got Talent.

As a rip-off to America’s Got Talent, itself a rip-off of the British show of the same name, Rogers Communications dug deep into their heavily cash-lined pockets and tapped the talents of Martin Short as a judge and spent (presumably) millions more on adverting, sets and promotion so Citytv could get into the homegrown reality show market – and along the way, further inflate Dina Pugliese’s ego. (It would have probably been cheaper to film the so-called “talent search” inside SkyDome seeing as 1) Rogers already owns it, and 2) it’s the only building in Toronto that is big enough to fit Dina’s ego.)

Let’s kick the ballistics; Canada’s Got Talent blows. Of course you wouldn’t know that from watching any programs (or newscasts) on Citytv as they have been promoting the show and talking about it as if it was the Second Coming. And don’t get me wrong… Canada does in fact have talent. It’s just that none of it, with the exception of Mr. Short, are involved with this show.

One of my editors actually wanted me to watch the first two episodes and review it. I refused. It wasn’t as if there weren’t already 1,000 reasons not to watch. (It sucks, it’s crap, I’ve seen more ‘talent” in homeless people who pee against the wall of a subway stations, etc) but I had better things to do. In case you’re even entertaining the idea of watching, here is a short list of things that are better, more productive and more interesting than watching Canada’s Got Talent.

1) Shave your underarms
2) Help your dog groom himself
3) Write that letter to Penthouse you’ve been meaning to write
4) Sleep
5) Drink any leftover fluids found under your sink
6) Read to your goldfish
7) Pick your teeth
8) Compare zit-popping stories with friends
9) See just how many licks it does in fact take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
10) Re-write Star Wars Episode I so that it doesn’t completely suck
11) Learn a new language
12) Date a serial killer
13) Find new and interesting ways to touch yourself
14) Count, organize and name the socks in your sock drawer
15) Re-enact the 1967 Stanley Cup finals (all six games) with your stuffed animals
16) Have a one-hour conversation with your friends, using only Simpsons quotes
17) Wash your car’s headlight using your tongue
18) Pee onto the electrified third rail of the subway tracks
19) Fill out expired and out-dated customer satisfaction surveys
20) See how many other Pink Floyd albums sync up to old movies
21) Read this
22) Go for a walk
23) Attempt to build your own time machine, realize it’s completely impossible, feel sorry for wasting so much of your time and then realize that you were still having a better time than you would have had if you had watched Canada’s Got Talent
24) Sharpen crayons with you teeth
25) Pray that Canada’s Got Talent goes the way of other American-inspired Canadian crap-fests like Canadian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, Canada.

winnipeg has an NHL team, but gary bettman still hates canada

Yes, I’m somewhat of a hockey fan. I grew up in southern New Jersey and despite my geographic location, I cheered for the Devils (who are traditionally associated with the northern half of the state)– unless they are out in which case I’ll cheer for the Flyers. And if there were six million clones of me in the United States, Gary Bettman would be a happy man.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of people think that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would appear to strongly dislike Canada. Just look at everything that has happened since he took over the league back in 1993 (the last time a Canadian team won the Cup, by the way.)

Look at the shit-eating grin he has as he presents the Stanley Cup to the Rangers in 1994 after they defeated the Canucks.  That smile says it all. It says “I hate Canada and I’m glad they lost.” — or something like that.

Bettman has tried to Americanize the sport of Hockey for years.  Glow in the Dark pucks, North America vs The World All Star Game formats, expansion teams into cities that have never even seen snow. And then there’s that interview last year with CBC’s Ron MacLean where Bettman seems to get his back up all over Canada and even goes as far to say that American money is “real money.”

And while we’re talking about crappy All Star Game formats, you just know that Bettman wanted USA vs The World as a format, but someone must have warned them that USA would have had their asses handed to them by The World. I’m American and even I know that.

Why does he try so hard? He wants his league to be as widespread and mainstream as all the other big leagues are.  But when poker, tennis and bowling draw bigger ratings in some parts of the US than hockey does, it’s time to focus on where it matters instead of forcing it down the throats of people who don’t care.

Think about this: 72,000 people filled a stadium in Arizona to watch WrestleMania XXVI. The Phoenix Coyotes can’t even sell out a game during the regular season. Maybe that should be a wake-up call for him to just let the team go and stop blocking the sale like he did last year.

The bottom line is — and this might be hard for Bettman to stomach — some people in the States don’t give a crap about hockey. And that’s it.

So now Canada has a seventh NHL team in Winnipeg and everyone is happy. Well, maybe not the 137 people in Atlanta who cared about hockey. But that city had TWO tries at hosting an NHL franchise and it failed. The people of Hot-Lanta don’t care and their lives will surely continue without the Thrashers — who by the way had the second worst logo after the Hurricanes in the whole league.

But leave it to Gary Bettman to rain on the parade and warn people in Winnipeg that if the team, city and owners don’t ask “how high?” when he yells “jump”, there’s going to be problems.  You get the feeling that the only better than denying Canada another NHL team would be for him to be able to turn around and say “see? told ya so!” if the New Jets fail in Winnipeg.

bell canada bends me over – one tweet at a time

bellI was all happy because as a  Bell Mobile customer, it appeared that finally the day of being the Dog instead of the Hydrant had arrived.  With the popularity of iPhone and all the applications you can get, Rogers seemed to own the smartphone market.  But then Bell struck back.  They became first (and currently the only) mobile provider to offer SMS Twitter updates — something Rogers and other Canadian mobile providers haven’t been able to do since Twitter stopped offering the service to Canadians.

So naturally, I stuck it in everyone’s face, singing the praises of MY mobile provider FINALLY caring about their customers and how much better Bell was than Rogers.  And so on.  (I’m sure you’re well aware of how the Victory Dance goes.  It looks especially good when done in leather pants, by the way…)

But like all good things, that came to an end – and pretty fast too.  It was announced on Wednesday that Bell Canada will be charging 15 cents for every Tweet sent via Text message and every Tweet received — even if your mobile plan includes unlimited text messages.

So where does that leave Samsung Instinct users like myself who subscribe to Bell?  Up the creek without a paddle. Bent over the kitchen sink like a goat in Greece.  Out of luck… (oh, hell, you get where I’m going with this one…)

Way to go, Bell.  Thanks for being a bunch of douche-bags.  And cheap ones too.

Rogers customers who own iPhones and Blackberries have since discovered the wonders of Twitterberry and similar applications that have been a smart way around the no SMS Twitter problem here in Canada. Bell, however, found a way to once again stick it to the customer.  Just when I thought they were finally “getting it” and actually respecting the people who line their pockets.

UPDATE: It seems that Bell has bowed to public pressure and now lets their subscribers use Twitter without any additional charges.  I received an email stating that Bell spokespeople have confirmed this, but I shall wait – or maybe find out for myself – just to be sure.