21 November 2009

Yet more on the NB Power, Hydro Quebec, Danny Williams racket


1.  Shawn Graham had some strong words in advance of yesterday’s meeting of the Atlantic premiers. At the end of the meeting things were not much different.

2.  An independent panel will review the NB Power deal.

3.  A quick review of recent events will show that as far as the argument goes from Newfoundland and Labrador, something under the bed is still drooling.

4.  Note the reference in that 2006 post to selling power by avoiding Quebec.  Little did your humble e-scribbler  - or anybody else in the province for that matter – know until recently.

4.  The completely invented (i.e. false) nature of some of the comments used in the pure emotional arguments about the boogey man are glaringly obvious if you know something of the actual story.  Danny Williams said yesterday that “it's obviously symbolic that we're here today at the place where the original Upper Churchill deal was done.”  That’s in the Telegraph-Journal story in the first link.

Apparently they were in Montreal, not Churchill Falls.  Yes, Williams was being his usual hyperbolic, figurative, never-literal self, but that sort of comment is taken as fact by too many people – perhaps even Williams himself – given how little is evidently known about the 1969 boogey man in the first place.

Take as another f’rinstance, the tale of Ottawa’s role in the whole affair as described in the story about the power corridor

5.  And if you want a sense of the reason why hysteria, fantasy and emotion are so powerful, consider Russell Wangersky’s observations on the nature of modern media and the audience they work hard to serve.

We're conditioning ourselves to expect the crack cocaine of immediate gratification - and when we can't get that short, sharp shock immediately, we move on to somewhere where we can.

Indeed we are.

And his words are worth the time given that so much of what he says is both a cause and a symptom of a very current issue in the province. It’s a topic tackled around these parts before:

On another level, though, what the Premier meant in that case is actually irrelevant. What it is simply worth noting that not a single reporter thought it worth asking a simple question. Not one thought to ask what he meant, just to be clear. Inquisitiveness - supposedly at the core of the journalistic profession, let alone the source of our species' progress - was absent.

Not one wanted to know.

Reporters reflect the society in which they work. There's no way of knowing if the Internet has changed the way people are thinking or if it merely facilitated a trend already present. Television was decried as an idiot box and in some respects, Carr and others are simply transferring the epithet to the box sitting on or under many of our desks.

The source of the change is not as important as the consequences of the shift, the lessening desire to know things.

Chenza at court, the court of silence, as the Tamarians would say.


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