Friday, March 28, 2008

Dirty minds

Last night, I had a story on APTN National News, about a particularly awful alleged crime that happened here in Iqaluit. For that story, we needed to have a shot that showed pornography, without actually showing pornography. Our erstwhile technical ace said he would take care of it, and the result was inspired.

Our man here in Iqaluit took some footage from YouTube and shot it out of focus. The result was supposed to be less dirty looking footage. The actual result looks ever dirtier than the original in focus stuff.

Check it out here:

Or here:
First story, look for it, you won't have to look twice.

TV is a distorting medium...

Stay tuned until the end -- or skip to it, who am I to tell you what to do -- to see Iqaluit based Inuk RCMP Officer Henry Coman return home after a tour in Afghanistan, to cleanse the palate after my horribly disturbing story.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blue Rodeo

I've seen Blue Rodeo five times, and always enjoy myself. I remember the first time I saw them like it was yesterday.......

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rock Shows

And the bleeding night club band
that they went down there to see
With their scrawny little hands
They ring the bells of liberty

Oh my soul
I'm not like that

--Thrush Hermit "Oh My Soul"

I was pleased to be tagged by old Inflatable Elvis in the "Describe your first and best rock concerts"

Mine is going to be a little long, because I can't restrict myself to the topic at hand. I have a long history of going to see live music, and limiting it to best and worst doesn't cut it.

I was elected to run a campus bar basically on the day I turned legal drinking age. I get very talented at both pool and pinball ("The Black Knight Wants Your Quarters!!!!), and missed a shitload of class. I wouldn't trade that insanely stressful year for anything. It almost cured my desire for elected office, losing the Presidential election two years later finished off that particular indulgance...

but I learned that there is always a guest list, musicians are like anybody else, and that you can still count a lot of money when you are completely hammered, as long as everyone else is hammered and you all agree to do your best.

First and Best: Zoo Tv, Labour Day 1991, U2 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto

My first show -- and remains my favourite large outdoor show -- was the Zoo Tv concert in Toronto. I skipped Frosh Week and quit my summer job on 12 hours notice to get in a car and drive to Toronto from Charlottetown. I was -- am still am to a point -- a huge U2 fan.

I got a ticket due to a long series of circumstances. The young woman I dumped weeks before prom -- yes, I am the devil -- started seeing a friend of mine after I wounded her ego and fouled up months of planning.

Then she went away for the summer, and caught mono while cheating on that guy, and she couldn't make the show. My friend -- who always had both timing and a sense of irony -- offered me her ticket. I never paid her back that $40 either.

After a week in Toronto, we made it out to the CNE, which was a full Zoo TV trip. A concert on a carnival ground fit the theme of that tour to a T. Bono said as much from the stage and clips from that show later appeared in the video for "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses".

It looked just like this:

Highlights of that show include:

- Larry Mullen Jr. singing "Dirty Old Town" acapella
- Adam Clayton's ever present cigarette
- Opening acts Primus and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopcrisy
- the satellite stage where the band went to do Angels of Harlem acoutistically
- Bono cracking the world's biggest bottle of champange, singing to a girl, putting her back in the crowd and saying, "There's a drunk one for you boys."
- the flaming crosses on the video screens during "Bullet The Blue Sky"
- the information overload from the Zoo Tv signs on stage "All I got is a red guitar, three chords and a trout" and "beLIEve" stand out.
- "I Will Follow"
- Mirror ball suit during "Bullet The Blue Sky", and Bono changing lyrics to curse "Jacob wrestled the Angel, and the Angel was over-fucking-come".
- Bono's nightly call to The White House
- Bono saying "You guys are so much louder than last nights crowd." Big cheer. "And I'll say that again tomorrow night." BIGGER cheer.
- Finding out that The Edge is every bit as good live as he is on disc.
- Wayne and Garth opening the show... yes, THAT Wayne and Garth.
- Larry clicking the sticks to the intro of "Where The Streets Have No Name" while all the massive video screens turned into a sunrise.
- They played "Bad".... with lots of fog... I near lost it.
- While "Where The Streets Have No Name" played, they ran the original video for the song on the screen. At one point, Bono turns to the screen, points at himself and says, "Hey you, I remember you."
- Lou Reed appearing on the screen to sing "Satellite of Love"

Many more categories to follow, but I'm worn out from remembering how old I am.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shield me

This right here is a good example of why Canadian Journalists need a Shield Law, to prevent frivalous damages being claimed by people on the wrong end of a story.

I've never been asked by a legal authority to give up a source... maybe because any legal authority charged with said activity would be laughed at by me... or maybe I need to get some bigger stories...

Good news, the Charter applies to reporters now...

They fined the reporter 31 Grand.... now that is something I have comtempt for.

Hooray to Ken Peters, who should never have to pay for a drink while in the company of journalists again...

The Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned a charge of contempt against a journalist for refusing to reveal a source during testimony in a 2004 lawsuit.

In the ruling issued Monday in Toronto, the three-judge panel ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to journalist-informant confidentiality and, as a result, the contempt charge and fine against Hamilton Spectator reporter Ken Peters should be set aside.

In 2004, Peters refused to provide information that could identify a confidential source during a civil trial that stemmed from a series of articles he wrote.

Peters's stories, written in April 1995, focused on issues at a Hamilton nursing home. The allegations prompted the nursing home operators, St. Elizabeth Home Society, to file a lawsuit against the City of Hamilton and Halton Region.

In addition to the contempt charge, Peters was fined $31,600 to cover costs "thrown away" during the proceedings relating to his refusal to answer. The source, former city alderman Henry Merling, eventually came forward.

The Court of Appeal ruled that courts should do their best to obtain evidence from other sources before compelling a journalist to reveal a source. The ruling said that due to the freedom-of-speech rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms "every effort should be made to minimize the impact upon those rights and values."

The ruling also found that the charge of contempt was premature.

"I agree with the appellant's submission that even after it has been determined that the rights of the litigants trump a journalist's claim of confidentiality, it is a mistake to cite the journalist for contempt immediately," wrote Justice Robert Sharpe on behalf of the panel, adding that contempt power is to be used cautiously and only as a last resort.

"The court should first explore other means of proceeding that would be less intrusive to the journalist-informant relationship of confidentiality."

The ruling also said the judges "can see no justification" for having continued with contempt proceedings after the confidential source had been revealed.

Media groups welcomed the ruling's protection of journalist-source confidentiality, but expressed concern that it stopped short of enshrining an absolute right to protect sources.

"I think it was a strong reaffirmation of the mission and mandate of journalism and the role newspapers play in upholding democracy. I think that came out quite clearly," said Anne Kothawala, president and CEO of the Canadian Newspaper Association.

"It's a great outcome, but after how much time and money and never mind the stress and anxiety for poor Ken Peters … Do we have to keep fighting this on a case-by-case basis?"

Canadian Association of Journalists president Mary Agnes Welch said a "shield law" protecting journalists' sources is needed.

"Without one, we're going to keep having to go case by case and fighting on the merits," Welch said.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rock Stars Unite

8 am. Yellowknife Wal-Mart. I'm supposed to be buying, in order:

Hot Wheels for the boy
Clothes for the baby
Diapers for the baby

I got all three done, then I saw Rock Band for the X-Box 360. Ever hear of Guitar HEro, well this is Guitar Hero times 4. You play along to a colour coded music chart while music - surprisingly good music - plays. The set I got comes with drums, microphone and guitar, I need to buy another controller to play bass.

I won't be trying the vocals again anytime soon... I tried to sing Blitzkreg Bop" by The Ramones, and I could keep a pitch there..... then I got cocky and tried "In Bloom" by Nirvana....

who likes all our pretty songs"

The baby got scared.

I saw four different people with Rock Band sets getting on to the plane in Nunavut... but I assume most of those were for children. As the boy put it, "The Hot Wheels are for me, Rock Band is for everyone."

So, here are some videos from our first performance. First off, Iqaluit blogger Inflatable Elvis and the boy rock out "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer. Listen close and you can hear the Weezer.

I called him from the cab on the way to the airport...
"Yeah, I got Rock Band for the 360, so you may want to clear you schedule tonight..."

It would hardly be fair if I didn't include my own video... here are The Boy and KOTN on "In Bloom" by Nirvana.... check out his solo, impressive stuff:

We need someone who can keep an even pitch on non-Ramones songs... Kate Nova, I'm looking your way. The Boy already named our Band, "The Other Guys", leading us all to scratch our heads and wonder why there isn't already a band called "The Other Guys"

I also downloaded 4 songs by The Police for the game, I can do it on guitar, but I am worried about those Stewart Copeland drum bits...

Nice to be home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It is a small, small, North

In my few days here in Yellowknife, I have run into The Mayor of Iqaluit (who gave me pins and let me hitch rides on the VIP shuttle), Joanne from the CBC (looking like Castro in her bad-ass hat) and a former reporter who has jumped the fence to communications on her way to Cam Bay to learn some more. Small north.

Now go click on the AWG blog.... 15 per cent of my visitors to that site stay for more than an hour.... that is somethign else.

Also, I'm on the tube again tonight, covering one-foot high kick. That sport should be in the Olympics.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coming live on the TV

This is a big moment for Nunavut's blogging community.... or at least for this little part of it.

Tonight on APTN National News, tune in to watch me talk about my AWG blog on air.

6:30 Eastern. Tune in.

Monday, March 10, 2008

They airbrushed my face

Have you ever seen the inside of REM's Eponymous album? A photo of a very young Michael Stipe, and written across the top, "They Airbrushed My Face".

They sort of did the same thing to me:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

AWG blog

This is the Arctic Winter Games blog. I got started on Saturday by going to the airport to meet a few of the kids as they boarded their charter.

There will be a link on the APTN page, some sort of redirect, but it will end up right here.

And to you guys in Arctic Bay, I got you covered. I interviewed the entire Arctic Games team at once, I just have to edit it and post it. For now, check out the kid on the luggage belt, he gives an honest answer.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Forget my Olympic status

I'm going pro.

Next week, all the northern bureaus of APTN National News will be going to the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife. That means five reporters and three camera operators.

That left me wondering how to best cover the games. Then I thought, why not blog them. I have a digital camera which does short videos, internet access, and expereince at using this damnable thing, why not combine it into a running account of my time at the games?

I pitched the idea, it was met with acceptance, and I will be providing running online coverage of the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife. We only get a few minutes a night for this on the program, we might as well have a place for the stuff we can't use.

I'm excited, this is the direction journalism is heading in -- multi-platform, non-traditional, Internet ready -- and I'm thrilled that I work for a company that is willing to embrace the idea of doing this.

I'll post a link here, but you heard it here first. I have given up my Olympic status, I'm officially a professional blogger.... for the next week at least.

And I have pros working on layout for me... it is nice to have support.

See you in YK, I'll be the guy constantly working with a digital camera, making obscene threats about the speed of my Internet conenction. No rest for the wicked, or the ones who pitch good ideas ;0


Breaking News

BEfore the end of business today, I will have an announcement on this site. I'm not going to spill the beans yet, but it includes:

Northern Blogging
My employment
A rarely tried way of covering something
A trip
Me working my ass off

Welcome to the future kids, I'm in it.