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Devion's Views #148

A TRIPLET OF (RECENT) STUFF (posted Apr. 4, 2018)

          #1 - Time waits for no man...and to be politically correct, no woman either.

This ancient phrase attributed to St. Marher in 1225, means the processes of nature continue, no matter how much we would like them to stop.

Trust a saint's profound pronouncement to make nobody feel better.

We recently attended a family gathering to celebrate a milestone; our first born began his 60th year.

Every birthday that ends with a zero is considered a milestone year.

These milestones tend to produce a mix of emotion, depending upon the number that precedes the zero.

A 10-year old can't wait to be 20.

A 50-year old wishes she was 39-ish again.

Whereas, parents of a 60-year old grudgingly accept reality:

- Being 'of sound mind and body' is a matter of opinion.

- Every day that some functioning body parts decide to cooperate, is a good day.

- Checking the obits is ritual morning reading.

- You now have more doctors than friends.

- Every day that begins with your sense of humour intact and ends with a dose of skepticism, is a brain-healthy day.

- 'If you can't take it with you, you're not going', is not an option.

- Your ears and your nose have more hair than your head.

- You get the same sensation from a rocking chair you once got from a roller coaster.

- Grandma was right, getting old really sucks.

"A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him 'At my age, I don't even buy green bananas' - Claude Pepper

                                     #2 - Madam President

CBC/Radio Canada has a new President/CEO.

Catherine Tait becomes its first "Lady Boss".

Also the first with the appropriate background and experience for the complex and challenging job of leading a comtemporary public media corporation.

Tait has worked in the film and television business in Canada and the U.S. for more than 30 years.

She currently resides in New York. We all know it's the place to seek fame and fortune, as Frank Sinatra reminds us every New Year, "If you can make it there you can make it anywhere".

Steering this bureaucratic aircraft carrier through turbulent media and political waters will test all of her skills.

Those who believe an independent publicly-owned, public-service media is a vital ingredient to maintaining a healthy democracy, especially in this unpredictable Trumpian-era of lies, fake news and manipulated media, wish her the very best of luck.

Hopefully, during her tenure and with the support of a new board, CBC/Radio Canada will finally become a commercial-free public service information and entertainment provider.

                                        "You reap what you sow"

For the past decade, her predecessor, Hubert T. LaCroix, assisted by a like-minded board of directors, nearly succeeded in fully delivering on a mandate from the PM who appointed them.

Stephen Harper and his governing Conservatives did not hide their disdain for the public broadcaster, ordering their compliant appointees to carry out a mission as their foremost objective:

Without informing and alarming the Crown Corporation's owners/shareholders (Canadians), quietly and without resistance, use the imposed budget cuts as the reason to layoff thousands of highly skilled employees, sell corporate assets, increase commercialization, issue contradictory/confusing five-year plans.

This was accompanied by a series of strangely dubious and secret rights deals; e.g., with the corrupt IOC, Rogers (NHL), etc..

In other words, slowly bleed the crown corporation into irrelevance and ultimate extinction.

It's no surpirse, therefore, that Monsieur LaCroix's morale destroying 10-year long leadership crusade never managed to garner any respect from his beleaguered workforce (past or present).

Consequently, few at CBC/Radio Canada are likely to mourn his departure later this year.

"Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster" - King Solomon

                                       #3 - The end of an era

Remarkable identical twins from Ornskoldsvik, Sweden - two men who came to represent the best of our game have announced their retirement.

For eighteen seasons, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, carried the hopes of Vancouver Canuck fans dreaming of a Stanley Cup that was not to be as everything around them fell apart.

They arrived as franchise saviours, struggled with the demands of playing in the NHL, morphed into superstars, then slid quietly and gracefully into their hockey dotage.

In today's world of professional sport, it's rare that two players of this caliber (instinct, innovation and creativity) would remain together with the same team for their entire career.

Gentle and gracious men, on and off the ice. They will be gone but their legacy will remain.

                                                    Trivia bits

King Gustaf of Sweden is a hilarious guy who loves to wear goofy hats at public events.

Steve Passmore, played for the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. Despite having a pretty awesome and fitting name for a hockey player, Passmore happened to be a goaltender.

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory