Television shows and movies about the police have been a huge part of my popular culture consumption since I can remember; Dexter, Brooklyn 99, CSI, and 21 Jump Street are just a few of the many. No one enjoys settling in with Froot Loops, some knitting and a Netflix more than me. That said, it’s important to examine what we’re consuming. I believe cop shows provide a strong example of how entertainment can be used to affect public opinion about policy issues.
Radical social change initiatives can form just about anywhere, inspired by a complex set of interlocking barriers and systems, designed to keep us apart. But these initiatives grow in more depth and with so much more light, when they have elements of community gathering to replenish and refill our human need for care.
Enter: social spaces, such as Heartwood Community Café in Vancouver, that act as a satellite for social movements and all forms of organizing to bloom.
In the venerable Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys, Ricky points out the prevalence of marijuana in Canadian culture: "Everybody does [marijuana], all right? Carpenters, electricians, dishwashers, floor cleaners, lawyers, doctors, fucking politicians, CBC employees, principals, people who paint the lines on the fucking roads, get stoned, it'll be fun, get to work!" It's a part of Canadian identity that separates us from our southern neighbours and yet hypocritically remains prohibited.
Roger Evan Larry's new documentary Citizen Marc is at once a portrait of a singular figure of marijuana activism, Marc Emery, and a study of Canadianness more generally.
Ever since the G20 summit in Toronto four years ago, the question of policing and governance has been a hot topic. Tonight, a documentary focusing on the way police and protesters interact is under examination as the documentary Preempting Dissent screens in Toronto.
War requires self deception and someone is always there to provide it. In Red Sandcastle Theatre's production of "Dinner With Goebbels" we get to spend time and share wine with modern history's most infamous purveyors of the cruelest commodity.
The play, by psychiatrist and Physician Against War activist Mark Leith, gives us a short history of public relations (when you're doing it), otherwise known as propaganda (when it's a bad thing).
On International Women's Day 2014, the Clarion Project released its latest cinematic offering: Honor Diaries, which purports to be "the first film to break the silence on honor violence." The movie is staged as a "dialogue about gender inequality" between nine "courageous women's rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies" (although one of the nine -- Jasvinder Sanghera -- is actually a Sikh woman of Indian origin from Britain).
Taking its cue from the continued popularity of On Demand services, an innovative startup called Alltime TV is launching a new set of programming for the watch-now, on-demand crowd. It's pay-per-episode cable, but that's not all this new broadcaster has got up its sleeve.
Alltime has taken the extraordinary step of hiring a number of Canada's embattled or disgraced politicians -- including Patrick Brazeau and the Ford brothers -- as political pundits, reality stars and actors in a move to capture the disgruntled cable viewers that make up much of Canada's television consumerscape.
Alec Baldwin is not a homophobe. He's just a progressive, tolerant person who happens, sometimes, to use words like "cocksucker" and "queen" in anger to insult straight people. That was the gist of the first half of Baldwin's diatribe in New York Magazine last month, his defense against allegations that he had called a paparazzo a "faggot." And, while Baldwin has taken a fair amount of heat for his hair-splitting approach to homophobic terms, his rationale is really nothing new or unique.
"The world we inhabit is a world of representation. Media do not merely present a reality that exists 'out there'; nor do they simply reproduce or circulate knowledge. As active producers of knowledge, media construct and constitute the very reality of our existence." -- Augie Fleras and Jean Lock Kunz, Media & Minorities; Representing Diversity in a Multicultural Canada
Recently, a former Quebec journalist argued that Canada's mainstream broadcasters were hypocritical for seeming to lend a sympathetic ear to those opposing the proposed Quebec Charter of Values.
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The Israel-Palestine conflict is poked and prodded from a women’s perspective in a vital new full length Canadian documentary, Partners for Peace which had its world premiere at the Ottawa’s One World Film Festival on September 26.
Partners for Peace was made on an incredibly rock bottom budget of $50,000, courtesy of the NWI which regularly sends delegations to various world hotspots including Burma and next year the Democratic Republic of the Congo.