Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FlavoUrs of Canada

Alanis Morissette who is one half of the former celebrity couple "Ryanis", the other half being the orange-hued beefcake Ryan Reynolds, has come out with a new album. I'm not a big fan, but I will admit to catching myself absentmindedly singing along to her songs on the radio. More on that later.

Alanis supposedly writes the best break-up songs ever. (I won't even tell you that she wrote the whole 'Jagged Little Pill' album about Uncle Joey from "Full House". Come on now. Cut. It. Out.) I would be heartbroken and very insecure as well if my ex-fiance were now engaged to one of the most beautiful women in the entire world! I, myself have had strange pregnancy-induced dreams about Scarlet Johannsen. Don't lie. You totally would go there if you had the opportunity.

I haven't actually heard any material from this new album, but I do take great offense at the title. "Flavors of Entanglement"? Alanis, who hails from Canada's Capital City of Ottawa, must have been living in the United States for far too long. Everyone knows that Americans have no use for the letter "U", and that they use the letter "Z" (that's 'zed' to us) far too often where a simple "S" would suffice. I'm not saying that one version is any better than the other when both are technically correct, but what I am saying is this.

There is a governing body in Canada called the CRTC. That stands for Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. This essentially requires that radio and television broadcasters must air a certain percentage of content that was at least partly written, produced, presented, or otherwise contributed to by persons from Canada. It also refers to that content itself, and, more generally, to cultural and creative content that is Canadian in nature. I know that this is true personally, and also because I decided to cut and paste from the Wikipedia article to be found here. For radio that magic number is 35%. This is supposed to keep us from slowly turning into Americans; as if the fact that a lot of us are French won't serve as a deterrent.

I can understand the need for the law, and appreciate why we have it. There is a definite need to promote our own talent, for sure. However, that doesn't mean that radio stations are going to fill that 35% with really great kick-ass Canadian content. That means that you're going to hear Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, some Canadian Idols, The Barenaked Ladies, and maybe Bryan Adams over and over and over until you think you're going to rip your radio out of your car and drive over it repeatedly if you hear the misuse of the word "ironic" ever again. Don't even let me get started on Kim Mitchell's "Patio Lanterns". Was that song ever even cool in the eighties?

Isn't it ironic, though? Alanis favoUred American spelling, but Canadians are the ones who are going to have her "Flavors of Entanglement" shoved forcefully down our throats for the rest of eternity. Would it have killed you to retain the "U" and just give your own people a nod? We are, after all, the people who will be listening to your high-pitched yodeling for years to come, non?

Here! Have some totally kick-ass Canadian content!

Okay, so I secretly effing love this song.