Thursday, April 28, 2011

"They are not doctrinaire"

The Globe and Mail -- which, the last time I was in Canada looked like a flyer for Future Shop -- sounds off about its support for the increasingly unpopular Conservatives; a party top-heavy with extremists, and hedged-in during its terms in office by its minority status, not its inherent centrism.

Unsurprisingly, the Globe's editorial is disinterested in social programs that actually make a difference in people's lives (that is, except for a huffy and insincere remark about "the rapid and exciting change of the country's ethnic and cultural makeup"). Instead, the focus is on a variety of small c-conservative economic issues along with a general praise for that usually foggily defined entity, the free market.

Ironically, it's the free market that is reducing the Globe in print form to something resembling a pamphlet filled with hack ramblings. Yes, it still has good work in it. But that is getting drowned out by shallowly researched, indifferently written material -- what Richard Nash once referred to as "trend pieces". Even its book page is, ahh.... slim on many levels. But presumably a paper in this feeble a state is worried about issues more pressing than this section or that of its, you know -- crook those fingers -- contents. The paper itself is desperately searching for a route to survival.

Will the free market, with its e-gizmos, stressed-out and time-starved workers, and 21st Century entertainments provide the sort of environment in which the Globe can revive itself? But then, according to free market logic, this doesn't matter -- it's just how the pageant of cultural evolution performs this act of the play.

This, then, is the Globe's logic: support for a market system that destroys its own market. Well, that's principle of a sort, all right, though I'm not sure that investors in the paper will be entirely happy with the outcome.

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