Thursday, July 05, 2012

Manitoba Links Weekly: This Doesn't Look Like Anything, the Public Tap Dries Up, and Not-92.9 KICK Not-FM (ManLinkWeek 38)

I don't even know where this week has gone, man. Holiday Mondays are really discombobulating.

If you'd missed it, I put up some parade photographs from Canada Day in a tiny village over the weekend; they're very cute! You should check them out.

Also cute, and tangentially related to Canada Day: the Free Press put up a weekend gallery of cat pictures, if you're into that sort of thing, I mean. Are pictures of cats still popular on the internet? It's hard to keep track of this stuff.

On to ManLinkWeek!

[Brandon Sun: City to install new welcome signs]
If you're into tongue twisters, here's a fun one: try saying "Brandon's bland branding" five times fast. Brandon's bland branding Brandon's bland branding Blandon's brad blandring Brandlon blads dammit

Putting introductory signs at all possible highway entry points makes good sense, of course, and -- to be fair -- they're doing what they can with what they have already available. The interlinking wordmark and... whatever-that-is logo graphic are both previously existing tourism materials, and the official city colours are gold and green. The exact shades of those colours seem to have been left up for interpretation, though, seeing as the sign ultimately went with "corn you would throw away" and "old-ass Game Boy screen".

Again, I get that they felt obligated to use everything they already had, but the end result doesn't exactly... excite you to be arriving in Brandon, does it? Heck, if you tilt your head to the left, it actually kind of looks like a face just beginning to yawn.

What is the foreground, there, anyway? What is this logo actually supposed to be? Brandon economic development director Sandy Trudel explains:

"[T]he graphic itself can mean different things to different people. Those with ties to agriculture may see an image of wheat or crops representative of Brandon’s history and economy, while those who understand the importance of family and community in Brandon might see people connected in an embrace."

Well, uh... okay, look. Here's what I'm thinking, and you're free to disagree with me, but I think this makes some degree of sense: if you have drawn a thing, and the thing you drew is as close to resembling a bushel of wheat as it is to resembling three human beings... you should probably redraw your thing. That's just, that's all I'm getting at. It doesn't look like anything, even, it just looks like the guy you hired waited until the last minute and then freehanded whatever right at deadline.

(splut splut splut streeeeak, THERE, I DON'T KNOW, BRANDON. ¯\(-_-)/¯ )

Though, hell, Winnipeg's logo is just a big ol' nipple, so who are we to talk.

Before I move on, I also want to note something that I found kind of funny about the page for this story, just for posterity's sake. Now, I don't normally do this, because it is patently unwise to dwell on the comments sections of our local news sites for too long, but in this case the story only has two comments -- so I want to draw both of them to your attention, because I got a kick out of the contrast between them.

Here is the first comment you see as you scroll down past the content, reproduced here in full:

"A man in Forrest told me that they had hired a counter and had determined that over 5,000 vehicles travelled to and from Brandon, per day, on Highway #10 North.

"One wonders what the count would be from the other entrances into and out of our city.

"Brandon is no longer the Sleepy Hollow that some of us may have perceived it to be within our historical past.

"We are increasingly becoming a more bustling, active, pulsating, alive, dynamic, important, integral centre of activity within Southern Manitoba, thanks to our new, visionary, forward thinking, progressive, let's open up our city and think outside of the box, strong leadership at City Hall.

"We FINALLY have leadership that appears to have the VERY BEST INTERESTS of ALL of the citizens of Brandon, as their first, foremost and top priority.

"As a result of the latter, we appear to FINALLY be TAKING OFF as a city, as so many of us had hoped, prayed and longed for Brandon to do, for so MANY years previously.

"This is what REAL LEADERSHIP and growth within any city and/or community really looks like.

"It's about being open, transparent, honest, open to creative thinking, ideas, about welcoming different opinions, ideas, suggestions, all with the ultimate hope and goal of improving our city for the better, for our future generations and placing our city on very solid footing for the years to come.

"Let us NEVER settle for anything less than this EVER again!

"Mayor Shari and her team are working VERY HARD for Brandon."

And here is the second comment you see as you scroll down, reproduced here in full:

"what a waste of money dum sign"

pfffffff--All right, good talk, everyone! Good talk. I think we really found a lot of middle ground there.

Also in Brandon this week, filed under "short story premises":

[Brandon Sun: Mad at MPI, man tries to sign his name in blood]
I, uh... no, you know what, I can't top that. Let's move on.

[Winnipeg Public Library: Used Book Sales]
[@wpglibrary Twitter: Get your empty bag ready!]
Hey, do you like books? If your summer reading list has some vacancies to address, five bucks and change at the Millennium Library gets you as many books as you can fit into a bag. If you don't own a bag, you can buy an eco-friendly one from them for an extra buck and a quarter, and then you can cram all your books into that. It'll be fun! Go out back, inhale some public art fog, and then grab anything that looks interesting.

And having mentioned summer, yes, it's that time again:

[Winnipeg Folk Festival: 2012 Schedules]

The annual Winnipeg Folk Festival, as you can see, is well into the swing of things for another year. If you're going for the weekend, I hope you enjoy it! (Of course, if you've gone for the weekend, you won't even read this until next Monday. Just... just humour me, here.)

I thought about trying to go, this year, but ultimately decided otherwise. There's one act in the lineup that I really, really want to see, but that one hour set would run me $86.00 for the evening, plus the mandatory $30.00 provincial park pass, plus those various related additionals like transportation (there is that free Transit bus to the Park, which is nice, though I'm nowhere near its route), five to seven dollars if I eat anything, whatever smirky little indignities Ticketmaster feels like levyi--screw it, a dozen beer is twenty-ish bucks and EVO's streaming for free all weekend, I'll be at a friend's place if you need me.

You know what summer also means? If you guessed "the City cheaping out on public recreational facilities", give yourself a big pat on the back:

[Policy Frog: Hot enough for ya? Not for the City.]
[Policy Frog: City sprays something...]
No, you see, a heat wave is technically defined as three days of 32°C (except in Quebec -- don't ask), and it's only been 31°C out, so that obviously means you aren't actually hot and we don't have to let you have water.

Hey, remember when our absolute highest priority was committing $7 million to ensure that lower-income families could access and enjoy recreational water activities? God, we cared so hard! It's amazing the difference that three months can make.

Heck, around here, three months is considered an unusually long prison sentence:

[The Crime Scene: Shawn Lamb: the record, for the record]
[Anybody Want A Peanut?: How to create a mass murderer]
I know what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right: this is what justice looks like!

Jesus Christ. Now, I'm no fancy city lawyer, but -- once somebody's record of convictions hits the triple-digits, doesn't that seem like it would be a good time for somebody involved in the sentencing to at least consider not letting him or her back out for a while? Even letting somebody get to a hundred suggests very strongly that the system isn't doing much of anything right.

I would suggest lobbying the federal government to introduce some sort of measure to that effect -- mandatory minimum penalties applied on one's twentieth conviction, or thirtieth, or fiftieth, or somewhere -- but, knowing our current federal government, they'd only approve it if they could use it to crack down on protesters. So much for that, then; we are left instead to hope that Manitoba Justice will learn something from the Shawn Lamb case, and make appropriate adjustments where possible to prevent or at least slow similar records in future.

And, while I'm dreaming, I'd like a rocketship.

Meanwhile, in arts and entertainment news:

Welp, they're done.

KICK FM's licensing issues were discussed and explained in detail on this week's Winnipeg Internet Pundits, although the CRTC classification changes may not have been the half of it.

As exits go, it was not a graceful one; the campus station announced a special "sign-off montage" for the last half-hour of its existence, then got cut off by their own officials partway through a song with fifteen minutes left to go, and that was that.

(The full half-hour montage was later uploaded to SoundCloud, if you'd care to listen to it.)

In the aftermath of KICK's sudden (and then even more sudden) departure from the airwaves, there will be two now-separate stories going forward: the eventual fate of the Red River College station, which will move to an internet-stream-only format in the fall, and the eventual fate of the 92.9 FM frequency, which... I am not optimistic about, but will doubtlessly be addressed sooner rather than later.

These are busy times we live in! Thank you for reading ManLinkWeek; I'll see you back around here soon.


Marty Gold said...

Slight miscalculation.

Three separate stories going forward, not two: the fate of the Board officials whose corporate abuses may yet be investigated by the CRTC and other regulatory officials, if not examined in other legal-type forums.

The station cost taxpayers $300,000 because of illegal actions of RRC executives and their media pals in radio and there will be a reckoning. Bank on it.

Anonymous said...

All those cats were fugly.