Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wasn’t There Any Real News?

Rick Mercer, September 2007Image via Wikipedia

Today, the Canadian media declared Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the newsmaker of the year. This isn’t the first time for the Canadian leader, as he was awarded the journalistic title last year.

Granted, Harper managed to quash many political fires, saving citizens from yet another federal election – it seems we have two seasons in Canada – winter and election season. However, Harper really didn’t excel as a Canadian leader, so why did a group of journalists take the easy way out and just hand it to the same guy from last year?

Maybe that’s exactly what they did: “who should be our newsmaker of the year? Duh, I dunno, let’s just give it to the dude who won it last year, what was his name again?”

Being granted newsmaker of the year should come with some hefty reasons – I mean we’re talking newsmaker for the majority of 365-days, not just for a month, a week or a day – it’s the whole year.

Prime Minister Harper didn’t solve the hole in the ozone layer, bring about world peace, or cure cancer – but then who has? But he didn’t do what many other potential newsmakers have done, and really stand out from the crowd.

Sure he met U.S. President Barack Obama, but so did Governor General Michaelle Jean – and she actually received a personal invitation from the American president to come to his house in an unofficial capacity. Though she did alienate many when she ate a seal’s heart during a visit up in our Arctic.

What about Canadian Defence Minister Peter Mackay? Many can’t get the image of the buff politician in a skin-tight wet suit doing donuts on his ski boat out of their minds – the image is both entertaining and disturbing. He’s responsible for finally ending our part in the American invasion of Afghanistan, as he declared this year that all Canadian troops would be out of the war-torn region by 2011.

Though if we’re going to name Canada’s newsmaker based on entertainment value alone, then this year it would have to be Garth Drabinski. He’s the former Canadian theatre mogul who was fined and sentenced to prison time, for ripping us off through his Live Entertainment Corp. – also called Livent. He even received the Order of Canada back in 1995 for producing Canadian-made movies, television and theatre events. But he’s currently a jailbird after being convicted on fraud and forgery charges. Maybe in seven-years when he’s out of the slammer?

I can see just how hard it must have been for Canada’s media to find an honest, hard-working Canadian to be the newsmaker of the year.

Not many choices so far – a blood soaked Governor General with seal guts oozing from her smiling face, a Defence Minister that looks more like a surfer dude, and a convicted criminal.

Surely there must be someone deserving of the title Canadian Newsmaker of the Year?

I know!

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) funny man Rick Mercer. Rick Mercer probably won’t cure cancer, and he’s not a likely candidate to solve global warming, or bring about world peace.

But he brings out the best in Canadians by showing us who we really are in his silly skits and television comedy shows. Even better, he gets our neighbours to the south in the States to think about us every so often – which is something they rarely do.

Mercer was the first Canadian television personality to venture to the States, and ask Americans what they knew about Canada. The piece was hilarious, showing us how little they really do know, but also in a way, educating Americans a bit about us Canucks.

Comic relief may be the best way to solve many world problems. If we could all laugh at ourselves a little more, than perhaps we’d have fewer wars, and a more efficient and effective society?

Rick Mercer makes us see just how silly and trivial many things we take far too seriously are – mainly how too seriously we take ourselves.

And for those reasons, Rick Mercer should be Canada’s Newsmaker of 2009.

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