Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mom's soup pot and the CBC

Just listening to the CBC radio show The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean. Significantly, I am listening to a podcast of the program as I walk the dog, and not to the actual radio broadcast.

I say "significantly" because podcasts are one of the many ways people now consume "content." We are bathed in media, all the time, everywhere. Our index fingers hover over the buttons on our iPods, channel changers, and car radios, ready to search for something better if interest wanes.

Anyway, Stuart is story-telling as usual about small town life in the era of movie theatres and libraries, both of which are archaic leftovers from the age that preceded Google and earbuds and the 500-channel universe.

All of which brings me to my own memories of rural and small town life, and my mother's kitchen where both the soup pot and the CBC were usually "on" through most of the day. I muse about the passing of this constant companion that made us feel part of something larger, part of Canada.

I think the passing of rural and small town Canada is perhaps chief among the many reasons for the decline of the national network. Sure, people still live on farms and in smaller communities, but they have the same access to news and entertainment media as their big city cousins, and so most perceive no compelling reason to tune in the CBC.

The CBC will never again find that special intersection of time and place that made it the main, sometimes the only, link to the world for millions of homes.

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