Moment of Truth

I always thought the bottom of the barrel for reality television would be something along the lines of an on-air suicide or some such seedy fate. But it seems the apex of modern viewing is actually a show that destroys lives through honesty and it’s awesome.

Moment of Truth has all the elements of a Greek tragedy. The set is sparse, with the physical and emotional tension represented by two hot seats, one for the host and one for the perpetually in limbo contestant. Beside the player is a lie-detector machine and projected behind them on giant screens are the contents of their soul. Their futures boiled down to true or false. In front of them are their family and friends. The scene evokes Dante’s inferno, a layer of purgatory so damning I actually sweat just looking at the tableau. It’s drama at its finest and played out with touching brutality.

The rules are easy. Each contestant submits to a lie-detector test and is put to task through a series of awkward, painfully uncomfortable and unnerving questions. If you lie, you win nothing. If you tell the truth, you stand to win half a million dollars … and alienate your family, lose your job or decimate your reputation. It’s a lose-lose situation and every single contestant so far has walked away in tatters.

One gentleman admitted to stuffing his jock and waiting to have children with his wife because he wasn’t sure she was the one. He lost when the question of whether he’s inappropriately touched his clients (he’s a personal trainer) came up and he said no. Turns out the kind of guy who stuffs his jock pervs out on clients. The look on his wife’s face was one of deepest pathos.

Another man’s estranged father showed up to ask his son if he would forgive him on live TV. His emotional breakdown and their subsequent reunion eclipsed by the fact that he just won some money!

Do you think your boyfriend is gay? Does your husband’s body repulse you? Do you really care about the starving children in Africa? These are the burning queries posed to miscast protagonists.

But our anti-hero in this tale is a woman willing to bear it all. She admitted to having feelings for her ex, cheated on her husband and basically regretted her entire life up to this point. She was at maximum disclosure. And then the God of network television programming asked if she thought she was a good person. The eternally unanswerable question, my television dripped with irony. Did she think she was a good person? Can one be a good person after cheating and lying for so many years? She answered yes, the screen flashed FALSE. Turns out her biggest lies were to herself. Did she believe herself to be bad, but lied? Or did she see good and the machine just went, “nope!” Could Euripedes have written it better? I doubt it.

This is our collective climax. It’s the tearing down of the reality illusion. We pretend to want romantic couplings and tales of survival, but we watch for the chance to see failure and unraveling. Moment of Truth cuts to the heart of our obsession with fame, with money and with ourselves. If you tell the truth, you win alone, dismantled in public and abandoned. If you lie you are pathetic and whatever semblance of privacy you thought you were protecting is gone anyway.

It’s the best and worst of television and I defy you not to watch.

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Juno Sucks

There’s something really grotesque and voyeuristic about reading a stranger’s blog. You are exposed to all the intricacies and minutiae of a life you are in no way connected to or care about, and yet you devour the details like a nosy mother thumbing through her teenage daughter’s diary. Only the entire time you are thinking about how horrible it’s going to feel when someone catches you. That is how I felt sitting through the movie Juno.

Though I saw it relatively early in its release, I couldn’t escape the backstory; Some Suicide Girl-type was a stripper and then a blogger and now she is an Academy-award nominated writer. Critics like her because she is so Web 2.0 and edgy. Moms like her because she is kind of wholesome, but still allows them to appropriate a sense of hip because she has a funky haircut. Oprah likes her because her mom still calls her by her real name. Triad of success, right?

Unfortunately, watching an entire film based on the ramblings and questionable musical tastes of another quick-spoken, acid-tongued thirtysomething disguising herself as a precocious teen is unbearable. From the heroine’s inexplicable life choices and detachment from all things meaningful, to the comical and horrifyingly clichéd marriage of the adoptive parents of Juno’s unborn child — each scene was like a parody of itself and worse, it felt like I was watching writer Diablo Cody reclaim the fantasy she always had about her idealized teenage self. Juno is supposed to be cool, sassy and smarter than adults. Only teenagers are idiots and it’s kind of sad for adults to pretend otherwise. So why is everyone shitting their mind’s for this movie?

In much the same way your grandmother and cable news pundits have shakily embraced the concepts of “blogging” and “facebooking” and manufactured quirkiness, they are embracing Juno en masse. “Oh my gosh, she talks on a hamburger phone!” “Look at her she says things that are wacky and make no sense, so hip!” Juno is precisely the kind of middle brow pap masquerading as subversive indie fare that mainstream audiences achingly lap up. At its core it’s an extended Degrassi High episode, only more pubescently painful to watch and far more removed from reality. It’s a groaning, moaning hour and a half after-school special written not by your parents, but by your disaffected babysitter next door.

It’s OK to like the film because it’s safe and totally unrealistic. Juno doesn’t get an abortion (like most real teenagers of her ilk would,) she glides through pregnancy as though it were a nasty case of gas — inconvenient, but temporary — and she talks the way stupid people think smart people talk, i.e., like a douche. Isn’t it the least bit disconcerting to anyone that the movie propagates such false happiness at the end? Teenage boys are not that sensitive and understanding, even the most patient parents could never be so complacent and having a baby at 15 probably fucks you up at least just a little. Like maybe it would take longer than a couple weeks for you to get your shit together enough to hum pretty little ditties with the father of your child, a child you very recently pushed out of your barely grown vagina and subsequently gave up for adoption to a lady who is obviously more than a little crazy and whose former husband is a total pedo.

In the end, Juno is like a temporary tattoo; little more than social artifice for those too scared and oblivious to handle the real thing.

Plus, it wasn’t funny at all and if it wins the Oscar for Best Picture I’ll kill myself. (Just kidding, no one cares who wins at the Oscars!)

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Celebrity Pregnancies

Ever since Britney popped out her Irish twins, baby fever is the new hotness in Hollywood. The explosion of uteri in the celebrity world is akin to that of troubled teens, and L.A. ladies are not just duplicating the irresponsible behaviour of lecherous youths, they’re reinforcing it. The founder of a British maternity wear site was recently quoted as saying: “the celebrity endorsement of pregnancy has made it a glamourous phenomenon.” Meaning that this crazy prego is implying that because J.Lo is having a baby it’s OK for you to have one too, because like spritzing yourself with Glow or Hurricane or whatever her K-Mart scents are called these days, having babies is like being famous!

Procreation is one of those tricky things that, though it seems like you should have to be pre-approved to participate, there really is no discrimination policy and anybody can do it. It’s not quite an accomplishment to actually get pregnant, though it is undoubtedly a big deal to rear a healthy and emotionally un-fucked up kid. But thanks to a steady diet of TMZ and the Slice network, the part where the child comes out and you have to take care of it is superfluous — a mere side note in the heady glamourousness that is being up stick.

The obsession with baby bumps, designer pregnancy wear and getting back your post-baby body is feeding, with increasing intensity, the appetites of the tabloids and providing impressionable women with a deviously twisted perception of maternity. In the self-created bubble of B-list reality dreamers and rehabbing starlets, a baby is a signifier of accomplishment and eventually, unconditional acceptance, something they are sure not to achieve on their own or through their careers. To Britney Spears and Nicole Richie, talent is an alien word and they are reliant on the star makers that are paparazzi. They need overdoses, sex tapes and fake friend breakups to grasp any relevance; they can only sustain public interest for so long before they burn out, fade out or disappear. For them, the culmination of their careers arrives with a wedding, a reality show offer or a baby. Pregnancy is a gimmick and it works.

Like the pimped-out vehicle, the obnoxious “it” bag and the designer cellphone, some of these tabloid offspring are little more than luxury items to be flaunted and compared. They are no more a product of love than a desire to compete.

Unfortunately for women who are looking to the stars for cues on how to live their lives, these baby-makers are providing nothing more than a pregnancy mirage.

Most women don’t have multiple nannies on retainer. Nor do they have multi-roomed homes in gated communities, a team of security, a fleet of caregivers at their disposal and jobs that permit years of maternity leave. For the majority of North American women, it is impractical enough to purchase an expensive pair of shoes, let alone accessorize with a human life — one that will, at the least, cost upwards of half a million dollars throughout its lifetime. There will be no team of trainers and nutritionists easing you back to your pre-pregnancy weight and Donatella Versace will not step in to make you over post-placenta. And where are the fathers in these celebrity birthings? Ever invisible and lilting in the background, they are little more than glorified sperm donors for women desperate to eke out a place for themselves on Perez Hilton. The example being set is not just neglectful to the child in utero, but deliberately harmful. These kids will grow up spending weekends in Vegas with their deadbeat dad while Mommy goes in for her second labia tuck. Meanwhile these “glamourous” mothers will be dreaming of creating another baby sister or brother for the grown-up tykes because they haven’t really done much with themselves since they were kicked off the Surreal Life (Season 12). At a time when we as a global society are being asked to limit our consumption, is it not fair to ask that Hollywood limit its reproduction?

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Toxic Mothers

Watching the tragedy of Britney Spears’ life unfold like a nuclear mushroom cloud in the last few years has been an experience both gratifying and horrifying. Her implosion is a symbol of the crimes and punishment of celebrity gone wrong, of excess exceeded. Her peers are convicted criminals, amateur porn stars, drug addicts and professional partiers. They are young Hollywood, and behind each and every one of them is a vampiric mother, reveling in the life they are living by proxy through their wrecked spawn.

Women and their mothers have complicated and nuanced relationships. It’s a dynamic both mystifying and primal. A mother can be a confidante, a friend, a dictator, a nurturer, a villain, a bully, a therapist and a role model. She can decide the fate of a daughter with her early words of encouragement, her support for the person her daughter is and not the child she would like her to be. And for Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Beyonce, and Hilary Duff, their mom is also their business manager.

Uber-stagemoms, the senior Lohans and Spears, personify the Hollywood dream at its most vile and transparent. They themselves were victims of circumstance, maybe their hair wasn’t blond enough, they never could lose that last ten pounds, but they figured out how to utilize their resources and created their children’s fame in their own likeness. And now, they are reaping the rewards. For women who weren’t able to enjoy luxury in their youth, they are lapping it up in middle age, bathing in the designer clothing, the loaner jewelery and the rails of coke. They write tell alls, organize press junkets, enable their daughters’ drug habits and work hard to ensure that the leaked sex tape is putting money back in to their pockets.

The latest example, and quite possibly the worst, is Friend-of-Paris and enjoyer of golden showers, Kim Kardashian and her “momager” Kris Jenner. Kim is more infamous than famous, known mostly for her (self) leaked porno with failed rapper, Ray J. Her new reality show features her and mom Kris orchestrating Kim’s struggle for legitimacy – whatever that means in L.A. But in reality, Kim is a secondary figure and her mother’s naked glee for celebrity is the real star of the show. Kris will book any gig for Kim, the opening of an envelope is a worthy platform for her to daughter to grab a little spotlight. And right behind her is Kris. A recent episode chronicles Kim’s Playboy shoot. She’s uncomfortable being “too nude,” while her mother is regaling the camera with stories about her lifelong dream to appear in Playboy herself. By the end of the show, mom has her clothes off and is spread eagle, posing for the cameras. Her dream comes true, at the expense of her daughter’s exploitation.

Is it any surprise that these young women bottom out so quickly? They never had a foundation to fall back on, for their mothers they were little more than a revenue source.

Unfortunately, as evidenced by Britney and Lindsay, the fame well can dry up all too quickly, which is why these moms procreate in bulk. Children are their bread and butter, and resources can never be too abundant. Kris Jenner has two young daughters already skilled in the art of pole dancing and bar-tending. They are both under 12. Dina Lohan’s new reality show, set to air soon, is an in-depth look at the making of a child star, as she grooms Lindsay’s younger sister Ali for fame (and one can only assume, rehab.) Let’s hope they can both hit the jackpot again, because for Kris Jenner, Dina Lohan and Lynne Spears, their first ticket to the big time has all but expired.

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Marketing Birth Control

SELF EXPRESSION THROUGH CONTRACEPTION

Have you ever felt stifled in your ability to get your point across? Do you feel like you have so much to say, but are unsure as to how to go about saying it? Try birth control! Yes, as a host of new bus and television ads proclaim, “Express yourself, try Alesse.” Give voice to those silent uteri ladies and let your infertile ovaries do the talking for a change. Alesse is gonna change your life. If those ads aren’t aspirational enough for you, how about the ones with a host of pre-teen girls doing awesome things like holding a guitar and looking smart? They are being themselves by being on contraceptive pills. They may not be good at maths, but at least these girls are finally self-actualizing through medication. Gosh, they grow up so fast don’t they?

It may just be part of the marketing dogma for birth control pill ads that they have to be vaguely offensive while abstaining from advertising the actual use of said product. These are birth control pills but there is never any mention of sex or pregnancy. Alesse and Yaz and Ortho Tri-cyclen are apparently lifestyle drugs. They are the new promoters of self-esteem and the modern brand of deluded female empowerment.

My personal favourite in the ad department are the Alesse ads that featured “secret agents” running around with spy toys and declaring, en francais and deutsch, that they were on Alesse. What’s Alesse? The audience is left thinking. What is the great mystery, adventure or mission these fabulous women are embarking on? Meanwhile the four ladies end up awkwardly waiting in the same elevator, seemingly to have (paid?) sex with the same guy. Careful ladies, Alesse doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases. So what’s the message here? You’re slutty, you’re exciting, you’re in charge … you’re on birth control? Why the hyperbole, why all the touting of pseudo-glamourous lifestyles and self-expression?

Fact is if you’re on birth control you are on it to not get pregnant. That’s it. You’re not thinking about tapping in to your inner vixen or becoming a walking example of perverted female politics. You just like having sex without the baby part. If a birth control pill can offer you that and maybe contain less of the side effects normally associated with contraceptive medication (like strokes, heart attacks, weight gain and moodiness) then you’ll probably buy it. End of story. So why do advertisers push the false lifestyle so hard?

It’s simpler than you might think. They can’t. For a long time you weren’t even allowed to advertise contraceptives on TV — including condoms. Networks didn’t want their family programming interspersed with family prevention and censors clutched their dicks praying that their sensibilities were never tarnished with mention of sex or procreation. Sure we’ve come a slightly farther way since then, but rhetoric and fear have a firm grip, so advertisers go out of their way not to depict any sort of realism when pushing their pills. But while they continue to please terrified Christian mothers and uptight networks the world over, they are doing a great disservice to their consumers. Women, especially young women, need to be presented clinical information in a way that’s clear, concise and informative. Don’t fuck around and tell teens your shitty pill is going to turn them in to Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek. Give them the facts. Stop deluding women in to thinking appletinis and birth control go hand in hand.

Seriously, we’re not looking for a sitcom, just accurate medical information.

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Celebufume

SMELL LIKE PARISCAN

The beauty market is currently glutted with celebuscents, heaving with everything from Tom Ford’s crotch to Paris Hilton’s Can (can.) Though bottled fame is nothing new — Elizabeth Taylor has been marketing her Golden Girls-friendly odours for decades — where her wares were peddled with aromas of cynicism and the self-awareness of a Shopping Channel devotee, these new products are a boon for the fragrance industry and consumed with unabashed glee by many. And since Celebufumes are the largest growing segment of the $3 billion perfume market, there is no looming shortage ahead.

When choosing a perfume, some women hope to become enchantresses or vixens via a host of vague smells and an over-designed bottle. Through the osmosis of celebrity perfume, retailers convince consumers that smelling like Britney and Paris is akin to being Britney and Paris, despite the fact that these cheaply made odeurs would never be worn by their namesakes. Namesakes who are made up of Hollywood’s dying and dead.

Perfumes are not named after dynamos or trailblazers. They are the sole property of careers gone wrong, talent that never was and desperation unparalleled. They are granted in no way to the type of people one would normally emulate or aspire to be like. Confusing as it may seem, success in your field doesn’t guarantee a perfume, but rather a marred past and no hope for a future are surefire tics on the path to Fantasy by Britney. It is the equivalent of running a perennial garage sale in the alley behind your house. Though something is always for sale, the inventory is cheap and rarely changes.

Marketers may believe their products are part of the greater umbrella of aspiration consumerism, but the characters they use to shill these products seem either a great fallacy or a painful irony. Mariah Carey is crazy, Paris Hilton is a racist, herpetic ex-con and Britney Spears is a mentally challenged, drug-addicted, unfit mother. Diddy or whatever he goes by is marginally accepted by the recording industry, but mostly seen as a talent less suit with an uncanny ability to capitalize on the dead. The list is endless; Out of work rodeo clown Jessica Simpson, Hasn’t worked since Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker and even Was I ever talented J-Lo, all have competing fragrances lining the shelves of discount drugstores around the continent. For all these ailing famous people, a single perfume can be the sole money generator in times of financial drought. But why do people actually buy them?

Is it part of the greater desire to consume personality rather than develop it? If there are actually people out there so desperate to associate with the delusions of fame that they are willing to spritz vagina scented cat piss on their bodies, we should all be terrified. It’s bad enough we create and laud these half-humans in the first place, but to reward their mediocrity by drenching ourselves in their manufactured pheromones is fucked up. If smelling like Celine Dion is not a sure sign of the apocalypse, I really don’t know what is.

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VIRAL TELEVISION

THE CHRIS CROCKER EFFECT

Few would consider having perfect highlights, and being able to muster an alarming amount of emotion for a fallen celebrity, talent. But in the blur of infamy that YouTube virality can create, it is talent and a whole lot more. In fact, it’s enough to get you your own television program. For Chris Crocker, recording his daily musings alongside the tedious minutiae of his life is second nature. Existing for YouTube views is part of his identity, as much as listening to Britney Spears and criticizing his crestfallen grandmother. Once Crocker’s lament for the aforementioned Spears blew up on the Internet, it became clear to television trolls who regularly prowl the web looking for new “talent” to exploit, that he was a sellable commodity. Why? Because he was divisive, bizarre and engaging — because his back story of alienation and persecution are part of the fabric of the TV soap opera that glues viewers to their laptops and chairs. Should that be enough to warrant a production deal? Fuck yes.

Talent is a weird word when considered in our current cultural environment. What tangible attributes once made up a talented individual are gone, and in their place lays a conceptual swamp of quantifiers, traits that one sort of excretes, rather than possesses. What captivates us now — the type of programming we are drawn to — is in fact the absence of programming. We don’t seek out classically trained and gifted individuals to represent us in the same way. We don’t want aspiration; we want reflection. The hopeless contestants on America’s Next Top Model are not the kind of twig limbed Amazons we normally consider fashion models to be. They are gangly, awkward, terrible young girls who desperately remind us of ourselves. They clamour on screen for acceptance, blissfully unaware of the parody. They’re not in it for the big prize because by now we know that is a mirage. They are competing for screen time, for a chance to display their abundance of mediocrity for the world to see and embrace. Our favourites in the end are not the truly beautiful and photogenic, but the flagrantly bitchy, the gap-toothed and the trannys. It is fame democratized. The culmination of reality programming.

In the beginning it may have seemed that Survivor, ANTM and American Idol were an opportunity for the layperson to achieve an in, a way for us regular folks to be princess for a day. But take away the middlemen in the studios and what you have left are everyman celebrities that created themselves. They may not be extraordinarily talented, but we don’t want them to be. The videos that go viral on YouTube, the Lonelygirls and the Numa Numas are not slick, expensive productions featuring angular and pouty stars. They are superbly average. They are just like us. And for this alone, I say kudos to the crying Britney Spears guy for getting a TV deal. Hell, I want one too.

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Hanoi Sally

FOX Censors the Flying Nun

Sally Field won a Primetime Emmy recently, and she took the opportunity to get sanctimonious. Her acceptance speech was vaguely anti-war and she tripped her way through the words in a way both touching and deluded. If you watched in Canada, you caught the end of her speech where she boldly claimed “if mothers ruled the world, there would be no more goddamn wars.” So what, right? She’s no Hanoi Jane. But for Americans, the Big Brotherly FOX Network found Sally’s words disgraceful and censored out the end of her speech, displacing it with a very awkward cut away and dead air. Prompting many to think, holy shit what a weird thing to do. Kathy Griffin was another victim of unnecessary censorship, when her joke about Jesus at the Creative Emmy fell flat on the ears of the Catholic League and resulted in the entire bit being removed from re-broadcasts.

FOX censors are claiming they cut away from Fields because of the word goddamn, but that seems a rather thin excuse considering their programming generally displays more vulgar behaviour and language than an old-timey whorehouse. Not to mention that a majority of the shows nominated for awards that night regularly feature a barrage of cussing, sexing and mob-style shooting. All things considered, it would appear that FOX installed its version of fair and balanced coverage, and vetoed the musings of an aging actress because she was speaking out against an already unpopular war.

Her words came on the heels of a trying week for anyone still deluded enough to think there were any positives remaining in the battle against terrorism. For a beleaguered network that had long ago embraced a shady administration, FOX was merely taking orders, albeit standing orders that at this point don’t necessarily need to be voiced.

Blathering though Fields may be, and as frequently unfunny as Griffin generally is, both have every right to speak their minds. Celebrities are a distraction for the masses, but also serve as a kind of retarded megaphone for those who don’t have access to a soapbox. Through their well-meaning diatribes many people are able to relate their long-standing frustration at having been punished for too long by pro-war pundits and mega-Christian talking heads.

As painful as it is to side with a woman like Kathy Griffin, it’s more painful to see the vitriol so many ruddy-faced Catholics have spewed against her. Considering the countless years we have endured alcoholic, narcissistic and promiscuous celebrities and politicians thanking God for their success, it seems only fair that someone come out with an opposing view. Just as there’s no harm in Gidget speaking out, not against wars, but for mothers. Are her neutered sentiments really going to cause children to start worshiping Satan, or whatever it is the censors are trying to prevent when they bleep otherwise harmless words?

But truly the most deplorable fact in this whole mess is that the so-called guardian of America’s purity is also the same network that picked up The Simple Life when it was slated for cancellation. For shame FOX, for shame.

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Blogging on Paper

Newspapers with Premenstrual Bloat

The Vancouver Sun’s Amy O’Brian is retiring her “Match Point” column for, amongst other reasons, more privacy. I can’t say I read the column regularly, but I think it’s a good move and hopefully a sign of times to come. Now that most everyone has a blog and what they’re bloggy about is real-life junk and relationship strife, do we need to continue to fill our newspapers with ever more Leah McLarens and Rebecca Ecklers?

The best and worst part of the Internet is its overwhelming democratisation of media. You can write stupid things on pictures of cats, inundate the world with your personal video diaries and keep a running log on every fight you’ve just had with your boyfriend. And so because we can write about ourselves in a way that is beyond self indulgent, we do. We fill endless pages with ramblings on our favourite breakfast cereal, what we loved about last night’s episode of Bones and why drunk texting is never a good idea. It’s the ideal forum for venting and relating, what with your audience so readily accessible. And again, the most redeeming quality of all this information porn is the fact that it’s not displacing anything more important or relevant, merely holding a spot somewhere in case you are so inclined to browse past.

So why, when newspapers are struggling to connect with audiences and find something to offer their readers that’s worth at least the 75 cents it costs to purchase, are they filling their pages with crap you can read for free anywhere? Most of these columnists address only the most ephemeral superficialities, covering what it feels like to giggle in hot yoga class or how annoying it is when your boyfriend brings a computer to bed. As women with editorial space in national newspapers they have an opportunity to educate, enlighten and at the very least entertain with their subject matter. But like the worst of recycled Sex and the City clichés, they just keep rambling on about shoes and chocolate, as if a tampon commercial were dictating their every move. No wonder both audiences and advertisers are dropping papers like a bad date—their lack of self-awareness is embarrassing.

When given the opportunity to go in a direction that affords readers access to the kinds of stories only a well-connected newsroom can obtain, they go with stolen puppies and retarded heiresses. Cute animals and gossip? That’s the whole reason the Internet exists, why try and compete with something so perfect? I would love to see the 500 words devoted to Leah McLaren’s oxygen facial go to an honest depiction of the housing crisis on the Downtown Eastside. Or how about giving us a fucking break with your goddamned kids, Rebecca, and writing something that has meaning beyond your ovaries?

With nearly everyone connected to media shouting on the rooftops about the changing face of journalism, newspapers should be heartily embracing the freedom these changes afford. Readers want news, they want to be informed and they are willing to pay for it if its well done. What they don’t want is another twenty-something writing about the effects of premenstrual bloat on her dating life, especially not if they just blogged that shit themselves this morning.

For all the worry about citizen journalism displacing the professionals it’s interesting to note that while the professionals are busy dissecting the latest trends in Mommy and Me pilates, citizen journalists are chasing stories on civic politics, international crises and government policy—on a third of the budget. If that’s an indication of the future of online journalism, then I say let our once revered newspapers go gently in to that good night and take those “lifestyle” columns with them.

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Cure for the Curse

A manufacturer in the US called Wyeth is introducing its heavily publicised birth-control pill, Lybrel, and along with the promise to keep your womb fetus-free, they say you can finally stop living in fear of the monthly lady curse. As always, it comes as quite a relief to me that the drug companies have finally figured out how to turn an entirely natural and totally benign bodily function into something that should surely be feared and extinguished.

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