The Everlasting Plight of the Canucks Fan

 

Vancouver Canucks

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Being a Canucks fan is an act of masochism. For 40 years, the Canucks have been the equivalent of psychic cat of nine tails.

 

Yet, I can’t quit the Canucks. Believe me, I’ve tried. The last straw was in 2003 when the Canucks gave up a 3-1 series lead against the Minnesota wild.

After that series, I said, “Never again” — never again to the personification of failure, a team that cannot understand the concept of winning.

So what happened to me?

Metamorphosis

At 28-years-old, I tipped 200lbs for the first time. With a 5’8″ height, I was fat. Something drastic needed to be done. That something was a drastic exercise regiment.

 

Photographer: Frank C. Müller

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I became a boxer. My goal was to remake myself as an assassin with my fists, an archetype of manliness, a whirlwind of not just physicality — but one who can will himself into being.

 

I ran and skipped; I did push-ups, sit-ups and squats; I learned to put the entire weight of my body in my fist and deliver a ricochet of kinetic energy. My body ached. After months of desperation, I finally gained muscle mass and depleted fat.

An Act of Empathy

When you take up sports, it’s easier to understand achievement. Bernard Hopkins‘ championship win over Jean Pascal was significant. It was all the more significant because he was a 46-year-old man who defeated a respectable title holder 18 years his junior.

Similarly, the Canucks season this year is as significant. We now have a team who is the best  — with more wins than anyone else. We have a goal scorer in Daniel Sedin, with his brother Henrik his equal playmaker.  We have the immense physicality in Ryan Kessler, the lock-in defense of Kevin Bieska, and the elite goaltending of Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks are now a legendary team. It’s a team that’s the opposite of heartbreak. It’s a team that has tasted the edge of elimination in Round 1 of the play-offs, and pulled off wins against all odds. Certainly, the Canucks may not appeal to everyone — but if you cannot respect achievement, you cannot respect the metaphysical nature of sports.

A Time for Reckoning

 

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo du...

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The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals is emotionally tiring. The Canucks won two close initial games, then were destroyed in Games 3 and 4 by scores of 8-1 and 4-0 respectively. Then in Game 5, they managed a 1-0 win.

 

Here in Vancouver, there was hope that they’d do the sane thing and win Game 6. However, the Canucks never do things easy. Within a four minute frame in the first period, the Canucks let in four goals. It seemed like another blowout. Yet, the Canucks continued peppering Boston with 38 shots — managing to scored two goals. The final score of Game 6 was 5-2.

Everything now comes down to Game 7. The hopes and dreams of an entire city rest on their shoulders.

But whoever wins, whatever the results, one can surely appreciate the best Stanley Cups series in recent memory: one in which nothing has come easy, nothing is a foregone conclusion, nothing is ever predictable.

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How Canadian Content is Killing Itself

A maple leaf painted on a sidewalk using a ste...

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If you are unaware of what Canadian culture is, blame CanCon. What is CanCon? A CRTC requirement that a certain percentage of content broadcast in Canada must be at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons in Canada. Apart from the CBC, CanCon is rarely responsible for forging a unique Canadian cultural identity.

Nor is it mean to. CanCon exists for purely political reasons — and is ironically destroying real Canadian content.

CanCon Explained

Theoretically, CanCon is supposed to jump start a renaissance of Canadian cultural activity. This is not the case.

Musicians that receive airplay on Canadian radio usually achieve success in the United States before they are allotted time. For example, Arcade Fire had no commercial radio airplay in Canada until months after the band was widely anointed rising stars in American music media.

With television, the results are more dubious. Canadian networks frequently fulfil Cancon requirements by airing series filmed in Canada but intended primarily for the lucrative United States market. One such production is Stargate SG-1. Few of Stargate’s creative people were Canadian. Canadian involvement was purely financial.

In 1998 Reed Hastings founded Netflix, the lar...

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The Real Problem with CanCon

Most Canadians see CanCon as a quirky-but-benign bureaucratic rule that’s just… there. Unfortunately, CanCon is killing Canadian content. Telcos and broadcasters invoke CanCon requirements to battle back the evil Internet Horde of Progress — in order to protect their revenue streams.

Who is this Internet Horde of Progress I refer to? Netflix.

According to telcos and broadcasters, Netflix should be banned from Canada because it does not fulfil CanCon requirements. Never mind that Netflix catalogue of Canadian content is massive, or that it is easy to procure — a certain percentage of Netflix content is not Canadian!

So here we see that CanCon is not about Canadian content — but about keeping competition out of Canada so the media cartels (as Kemp Edmonds likes to call them) can continue to thrive.

Current CRTC insignia

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CanCon’s Destructive Rampage

If we’re going to apply a rule, it should be consistent. If the media cartels are successful at utilizing CanCon to ban Netflix from Canada, they might as well ban YouTube. Better yet, they might as well ban the Internet since it is doubtful even 5% of its content is Canadian.

Yet now, Canadians already cannot access Hulu or Pandora due to CanCon. What has been the effect so far of the ban? Piracy — not because Canadians refuse to compensate creatives for their work, but because their work is being censored.

You would think  piracy would incentivize Canadian telcos and broadcasters to create innovative Intenet channels to consume content. However, they would rather protect current revenue streams by pretending the Internet doesn’t exist.

Personally, I would rather not pirate — partly because it’s more convenient to pay $7/month for instant streaming than it is to torrent. However, if Netflix is banned and the CanCon status quo is upheld, Canada will become a nation of pirates.

If this happens, Canadian artists will not produce new work — since they will not get paid.

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