Sunday, January 29, 2006

The James Frey Incident

(the background)

How's this for armchair psychology. Addiction is a collapse of the ego. A collapse of the moral compass. A collapse of the conscience that helps us monitor our own behaviour. We are all looking at James Frey as a healthy individual. The first question to ask, “Is James Frey chemical free?” And even if he is, he has not done the real work to heal his ego. He obviously has no moral compass nor a conscience to monitor himself. The reason “AA” and other support organizations work is because they help rebuild the person that has been broken.

As a Bipolar Mood Disorder sufferer I feel actually sadness for James Frey. I can easily see the man is trying to cope with many demons. Its in his eyes. Sadly at the time he wrote his story he was not a healthy man. And maybe still is not. I am sure it is common knowledge that severe drug addicts have disassociations of reality. Often reality and fantasy blur and then commingle make each indistinguishable.

Beyond the story of literary ethics is the story of a man still out of control. He just happens to now have international fame and money. So I guess with noteriety and money he gets to be called the tragic artist. If he does not get help he will probably self-destruct.

And the good news is someone gets to write the James Frey scandal biography which will then become a bestseller.

HBC - Sold or sold out?

(the background)

What’s at stake here?

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s goals are that of a viable business operation. Profit. That has been its goal from the early days of trading. When the point comes that the ownership has to question the viability of operations then choices have to be made.

No one would argue that HBC has become a piece of Canadian Heritage. But the heritage has been an after thought that has been provided by time and not a line in a business plan. Heritage costs money, it does not make money.

I would be interested to know how many of the “bleeding hearts” spend money at HBC. We cannot bemoan the loss of history if we have not been an active pattern in its survival. It falls into the category of saying, “I really like our Canadian literary and film offerings.” And yet then the only Canadian books/films digested by the same person are the ones on reading lists in high schools and universities.

I am as proud a Canadian as any and as un-American (as opposed to anti-American) as any in this country. I want us to be a country of culture and commerce. But if I am not proudly spending my money to support Canadian culture then I should shut my mouth. As Elvis sang, “A little less conversation a little more action…”

I too feel that Canadian identity is being swallowed up by the “Media Colonization and the Occupation of the Mind” that the USA is currently spreading. We do need not need more laws and tariffs to protect Canada. We need Canadians spending their money on Canadian Cultural endeavours. Buy a Canadian book, movie, CD. Go to our galleries, festivals, and museums. THEN when your precious source of culture is taken away? THEN you get to bitch.

So in the end behind the selling of HBC is the selling out of HBC by the Canadian consumer.