It was another crazy week in Canadian internet-land, what with the ongoing saga of usage-based billing. I’m pretty worn out on the whole situation. I hope I haven’t alienated any non-Canadian readers, or even Canadians who couldn’t give a crap about this stuff, so I’ll say only a few final words on the subject before we move on to some fun stuff.
The long and the short of it is that the government held a hearing yesterday where it called onto the carpet the top brass from the CRTC. The regulatory folks were told to go back and reverse their decision, or the government will do it for them. I’m not entirely sure what the point of that is – if it’s going to reversed, just do so already. This seems like some unnecessary and possibly cruel parent-to-child scolding.
In any event, the reversal of the CRTC’s decision is nearly a done deal and there is very good evidence the government understands that UBB is only a small symptom of the underlying issue, which is that we have a competition problem in telecommunications. Hope that something will be done about it can thus continue to spring eternal.
The one thing that bugs me about the whole situation is how some idealogues are branding the government’s interest in this matter as “populist,” like that’s a four-letter word or something. What they call “populist” I call “democracy” – with close to half a million people signing an online petition so far, it’s good to see our system work the way it’s supposed to, i.e. politicians responding to something the public is clearly angry about. It’s nice to occasionally be reminded that people run this country, not big business.
Anyhow, I’m sure no one wants to go into the weekend on a dour note. While our internet situation may blow, there is at least one thing about Canada that rules: Rush!
One of my favourite movies is I Love You Man, starring Jason Segel and Paul Rudd. It’s a “bromance” in that Rudd’s friendless character, Peter Klaven, goes looking for someone to be best man at his upcoming wedding. He eventually meets Segel’s character, Sidney Fife, and the two become fast friends. At the centre of that friendship is a shared love for Canada’s own “holy triumverate.”
If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. The boys from the band are in the movie, playing a concert that Klaven and Fife go to. In full media crossover fashion, Rush produced a backstage video with the duo that plays at the end of shows in their current Time Machine tour. The video has now worked its way online. It’s funny stuff: