On-Line Dating Re-Visited

Further to Carle Steel's cover story on on-line dating in the Feb. 12 issue of prairie dog, and with the annual love-fest known as Valentine's Day now mere hours away, with hordes of Regina couples about to descend on city restaurants for romantic candle light dinners followed by who knows what type of shenanigans, here's another take on the growing phenomenon of Internet dating courtesy of the Onion News Network. Unlike Carle's story, it seems to suggest that there may be an upside to joining networks like LavaLife, Plenty of Fish and eHarmony after all.

The CanWest Death Watch

One of my favourite bloggers, Ottawa Watch, has a recurring segment called the Canwest Death Watch. He hasn't gotten around to linking to this story (tip of the hat to federal Liberal Party back-roomer Warren Kinsella), but give him time. From reading the story, I would imagine Canwest's financial problems are even worse than what we're led to believe, and I would give the organization six months to a year before it all comes crashing down ... not just the folding of the National Post (which would rebirth itself as the Financial Post, which was what it was before Conrad Black bought it to make it into the business section of the NP) but the collapse of the Canadian mainstream print journalism system.

I still think that Stephen Harper isn't going to let one of his biggest (only) boosters go down the financial drain. That's why the federal government will amend its legislation to allow a majority share of Canadian media outlets to be owned by non-Canadians, allowing Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to buy Canwest Global on the cheap. But News Corp. is having its own problems.

Are we going to wake up one morning and see no Leader-Post on our doorstep? Or see Jill Whatshername on News At Six begin the newscast ... 'This just in ... MY PAY CHEQUE BOUNCED!" Maybe, but unlikely. The television system that's set up today doesn't allow for small, independent television stations -- they all have to be part of a massive chain (CBC, CTV Globemedia or Canwest Global) or they don't get the programs to fill their schedule.

The print edition is a different thing: the L-P and the Star-Phoenix's dead tree editions remain profitable -- what's killing them is the increasing amount of profits they have to pay to head office in order to keep Canwest from sinking faster into its ocean of red ink. Journalists are relatively cheap to employ (especially with a J-school trundling out grads every April who need to work at whatever job they can find to build up a portfolio and keep Kraft Dinner on the table), and hiring Marty Klyne as publisher, someone with a lot of roots in Regina's business community, will go a long way to help the L-P negotiate its sale to local concerns. The only problem may be that by the time the L-P goes up for sale, the newsroom will be cut so dramatically that Reginans may find that there's nothing worth reading in the newspaper ... which is always a bad sign if you're trying to attract readers.

So what does it all mean? First things first. I would imagine that the local private radio stations -- say, Harvard and Rawlco -- are taking a good look at buying the L-P and Saskatoon Star-Phoenix on a discount in the ensuing fire sale.

Secondly, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers may as well give up the fantasy that they are going to be playing in a brand-spanking new football stadium. In fact, I think the reverse will be true -- the Bombers will probably one of the next CFL teams to undergo a financial meltdown as a community board of directors pick up the pieces from David Asper's financial flameout. Ottawa Watch calls the Asper family's crisis management of Canwest Global the 'flinging tables and chairs in the way of the people who are trying to chase you out of the bar' strategy ... the Bombers will be just another piece of furniture flung the creditors' way when it all goes down, as it appears it will, inevitably, in 12 to 18 months.

Them Kids

Sell off the justice system to the private sector? Whatever could go wrong?

Six In The Morning

You know the drill:

1 HORRIBLE CRASH A plane hits a house in Buffalo, 49 are dead. Awful, awful details here. (Globe And Mail)

2 DRUG ARRESTS The RCMP in Regina have nabbed 26 culprits in something called a "dial a dope" scheme. I note with interest the only weapon seized, according to the story, was an "expandable baton" whatever that is. So much for my fantasies that all dealers are scowling Cuban immigrants spouting catch phrases and dying in spectacular machine gun rampages. (Leader-Post)

3 CIRCULAR JUSTICE The sentancing circle is underway for Christopher Pauchay, the man guilty of criminal negligence in the freezing deaths of his two young daughters. (CBC)

4 FIREBUG Authorities in Australia have arrested and charged a man alleged to have intentionally strated bush fire that have killed 21 people and destroyed 7000 homes. Police also charged this sweetheart of a dude with possessing child pornography. (The Guardian)

5 ROLL UP YOUR KID'S SLEEVE A U.S. court says the evidence is overwhelming: vaccination doesn't cause autism. (AP/Toronto Star)

6 TOMORROW IS VALENTINE'S DAY So here's some YouTube of two pets and their unlikely wuv for each other. The cuteness is deadly. Happy Valentine's Day! (YouTube)