Opinion Column

Looking at two sides of the news coin: PAPER VIEW

Bruce Cameron

By Bruce Cameron

Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder performs during the band's show at Rexall Place in Edmonton. POSTMEDIA NETWORK/FILE PHOTO

Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder performs during the band's show at Rexall Place in Edmonton. POSTMEDIA NETWORK/FILE PHOTO

Looking at two sides of the news coin


In the chorus of the Beatles’ Getting Better, a cheery Paul McCartney proclaims that “I’ve got to admit, it’s getting better, it’s getting better all the time.”

Of course, that’s met with John Lennon’s acerbic response that “it couldn’t get much worse.”

With those perspectives in mind, a look at some recent news.

Our Blue Jays finally won a game in the ALCS against Cleveland.

The idealist’s take: We staved off an embarrassing sweep so you, Chief Wahoo, can shove that broom in the closet. (Or somewhere else.)

The cynic’s take: Considering Game 5 is, as of this writing, just hours away, this thing could be done, dear reader, by the time you read these words.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its nominees for induction in 2017.

The idealist’s take: Pearl Jam; Yes; MC5; Steppenwolf; The Zombies. All of ‘em worthy candidates.

The cynic’s take: Chaka Khan; Chic; The Cars; Journey; Janet Jackson; Depeche Mode. And there are others, but enough said.

This institution is running out of legitimate contenders. It won’t be long until one of its organizers says, in sweat-dripping desperation, “Hey, remember that episode of the Brady Bunch where the kids sing a song with Bobby Sherman? That technically makes them a band, right?”

Earlier this week, the Ontario Liberals said they’re forcing Nestle to wait two years before it can get to work on a well it bought in Wellington Centre.

The folks in the small western Ontario township of Wellington Centre thought it would be a nice idea to buy it themselves -– for future drinking water needs. Nestle outbid them.

The idealist’s take: Well done, Ontario Liberals. You did the right thing.

The cynic’s take: The right thing and just in time to promote it while preparing for an upcoming provincial byelection in Ottawa-Vanier.

Earlier this week the Ontario Liberals said they (along with federal government) will be handing over nearly 36,000 square kilometres of land to the Algonquins of Ontario.

Idealist’s take: See the news item directly above.

Cynic’s take: See the news item directly above.

In this, the 25th anniversary season of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL club appears to have nixed the pre-game appearances of well-loved anthem singer Lyndon Slewidge.

The hefty and happy former OPP officer, who always finished his gig with a sparkling wink of the eye and a thumbs-up, hasn’t, according to Tuesday’s Ottawa Citizen, been contacted about singing this season.

The team told the Citizen that Slewidge may get to sing a few times, but that it’s “trying a number of new in-arena activations for the fans, including inviting other performers to sing the national anthem.”

The idealist’s take: Sorry, got nothin’.

The cynic’s take: Right. Why would you, in a silver anniversary season, want to continue a fine anthem tradition? And what’s with the word “activations”?

It’s something only an eager young marketing professional could say with a straight face.

The Tell America It’s Great video is now bouncing over social media. In it, warm-hearted Canadians remind our neighbours to the south that their neighbours to the north really admire them, especially in these nasty weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election.

The idealist’s take: A nice gesture.

The cynic’s take: Watching this video (you can YouTube it up at #TellAmericaItsGreat) is grating. It’s like we’re hovering over a violent crack-addled, booze-swilling, fascist-tolerating lunatic down on his luck, someone who just needs to be told he’s loved and then everything will be okie-dokie.

It seems to presuppose that we in Canada are perfect. We’re not.

Bruce Cameron is a Barrie freelance writer.

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