I Always Knew that Russell Smith Was an Ass

I just never realized that it's his picture next to poshlost' in the dictionary.*

Well, the CBC lockout has so far been blissful. Right now I am listening to a lovely bit of Bach piano. Before that a Debussy arabesque. Before that a Beethoven symphony, and before that a melancholy bit of Grieg. No announcers. No letters being read about people's pets or retirements. No giggling "personalities." No folk-jazz, folk-pop or folk-classical. It's uninterrupted heaven -- and exactly what Radio Two should be.

After laying out his sonic wet dream, which sounds a hell of a lot like commercial radio, (Hey, Russell, have you tried that other classical station in Toronto? It's as relentlessly middle-brow as you. Classical music as status marker, dahhhling), he goes on to make that classic comparison between his situation and a totally unrelated one that means nothing but eats away at his word count:

As a career freelancer, I am not enthusiastically sympathetic to the union in this dispute; I have always worked on contracts (or even
without a contract, as I do here), and everyone I know who works in television works on contract

So what? I don't believe the career options of Russell Smith are under consideration here. Freelancing has worked out well for Smith but it seems churlish to me to begrudge employees at the CBC job security, especially since CMG represents administrative and behind-the-scenes production staff, not just on-air personalities. And just because Russell and his "friends in television" are freelance and/or on-contract, doesn't necessarily make it right. It's like when the head of our department shares stories of her grad school funding woes in order to belittle our woes. Um, yes, it sucked for you. Why, then, does it need to suck for me?

Oh, and minus style points for "enthusiastically sympathetic." Cripes, could you be any clunkier?

To read all of Smith's uninformed, self-important blatherings, try going here or here. If those links don't work, then search for "The lockout unlocks the ideal" in Google News, which is how I got to the story.

(via Parkdale Pictures, who also included that neat trick for accessing what should have been a pay article. Oh, and if you're paying for Russell Smith's wisdom, I'm willing to smack you in the head until you come to your senses. Drop me a line.)

*Poshlost' is one of the greatest words in the Russian language. Nabokov described it briefly as "smug vulgarity." He talks about in a bit more depth here.


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