Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stehpen Harper's Playlist

Part of my morning routine now entails putting CBC Radio Two on....for my dog. I don't know if he likes it or not, but he doesn't like me leaving and the radio distracts him, and there's something for everyone on the New Radio 2 now, right?

Anyway, today they were featuring something called Obama's Playlist. And what a dog's breakfast it is.

The list is divided into four categories, and although they don't name them, I will - Category A is Popular Canadian English Language Songs, Category B is Classical Music Played or Composed or Breathed on by Canadians, Category C is Quebecois Popular Music that no one in English Canada has heard before or ever will again, and Category D is, uh, Canadian Jazz/Popera/Swing/Lounge music.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that pretty much the only songs I can see going on there pretty much with a free pass are those of Gordon Lightfoot. Seriously. Only Gordon Lightfoot appears to represent CANADA in some amorphous way.

The rest? I suspect Obama, if he were to listen to it, will probably go "That was sung by a Canadian? I thought the Barenaked Ladies were from Maine."

Let's face it, Categories B-D are there so that not every song on the list is a pop song. True to their advertising, CBC is trying to strike the very "balance" they are now all about, even though the title of the whole project away the bias - it's "49 songs from North of the 49th Parallel" and not "49 string quartet movements from North of the 49th Parallel", etc...

"49 Musical Works...", although a tad wordier, would have been more inclusive, super-duper inclusive New CBC Radio Two.

But this got me thinking - what would a playlist, by Canadians who didn't vote for Stephen Harper, people like me, look like?

I'm not saying Harper is ignorant of what it means to be Canadian, but can we agree that he lacks a certain charity toward the opinions of others, and that his vision of Canada is er, radically different from mine.

If the soul of a country is in its music, what would people have him listen to? And, while we're at it, what would the "silent majority" of conservatives have us latte-sipping liberals listen to in order to better understand the Canada they always feel is in danger of disappearing? Despite the facetiousness of my last sentence, I am being sincere.

Can we trace where some of those differences lie? Could we see some commonalities? Could art/entertainment serve a positive political function?

So, let me know, or, if you like, spread this around and let's see what we can come up with.


Treasures By Brenda said...

I think this is an interesting program but just wish it was larger than the CBC audience...I created a page Obama's Canadian Playlist ~~ 49 Songs That Define Canada and Our Music. I would be thrilled if you would visit and leave your opinion.


Andrew W. said...

Interesting page, although I find it really hard to navigate - maybe I just don't get the Squidoo concept.