Episode 81 - Reality TV Delusion


*The Truman Show Delusion
*Domestic Drones PR
*Magnotta and Copycat Crimes
*Does Hollywood Shaft Little People?
*Restarting the War of 1812
*Copyright Laws Wreck Weddings
*Christopher Buckley Punks China

Tryman_graphic_publish.jpgI'm ready for my closeup.

In the film The Truman Show, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a young man who doesn't know his entire life- his wife, job, town, even the island he lives on- is a confection. Truman is the star of an insanely ambitious undertaking of reality TV. Of course the movie's a work of fiction, but now - 14 years after the film's release - psychologists are discovering patients who believe their lives are also phoney and staged.

And the delusion is more widespread than you think. Maybe because of social media, perhaps due to movies like The Truman Show and The Matrix, patients are questioning the nature of the reality they perceive and wondering why this hoax is being played upon them.

We talk to one of the doctors who has dubbed the syndrome The Truman Show Delusion.

drone22222_publish.jpgDrone Nation

The Obama presidency has overseen a foreign policy initiative that has transformed counter terrorism operations and it has to do with drones. Abu Yahya al-Libi, the al Qaeda deputy leader who escaped American custody in 2005, was killed Monday in a drone attack.

Last week inside Pakistan, where al-Libi was killed, there were three drone strikes in three days.

A widely read article in The New York Times describes an elite national security apparatus gathering,  via video conference, to make the decision to  "recommend to the president who should be the next to die."

Drones do have limited law enforcement use within the U.S. but a change in regulations may open the skies to more, perhaps even green-lighting their commercial use. We'll talk to the agency that's trying to sell the idea to the people on the ground.

Magnotta-media_publish.jpgMagnotta and Copycat Crimes

If a killer is stimulated by publicity, how should the media deal with the publication of his crimes? Should news stories be suppressed if infamy and recognition was the motivation for the crime in question?

Dr. Park Dietz is a criminologist and forensic psychiatrist and expert on the media's responsibilities covering sensational crimes, and the potential for copycat crimes in their wake.

He's testified in the trials of Jeffery Dahmer, John Hinckley Jr., The Unabomber, and the Washington DC Snipers. He thinks in the case of most psychotic murders there's no point in suppressing publication, but for mass killings and shootings it's a different matter.

snow-white-and-the-huntsman_publish.jpgDoes Hollywood Shaft Little People?

Danny Woodburn played Kramer's friend Mickey Abbott on Seinfeld and he's one of the dwarves in the new movie Mirror, Mirror. But he's not happy that another movie, Snow White and the Huntsman cast normal sized actors to play the seven dwarves and not little people like him.

He's says it's akin to black face. Danny Woodburn joins us.

1812_publish.jpgRestarting the War of 1812

Along the Niagara River in Southern Ontario any school kid can tell you the battles fought 200 years ago in the War of 1812. The history of the conflict is part of the landscape in the region where the Brock monument rises 11 stories above Queenston Heights and Laura Secord and her cow evaded the Yanks.

It's the bicentennial of the only serious military conflict we've had with our southern neighbour and lots of people will be marking it this summer. Not Carman Melville. He's drawing the lines and wants the battle re-opened. Prepare for the drones.

DJ hands_publish.jpgCopyright Laws Wreck Weddings

The Copyright Board of Canada approved new tariffs on playing music in public, so if you're getting married this summer you have someone else to pay. Just playing music in the hall is going to cost you - about 10 dollars for the right to play tunes to a crowd under 100.  It jumps to 40 bucks if you invite over 500.  And if there's any actual dancing? Well the fee doubles.

So hire a DJ but tell everyone they can't dance. Or get everyone really drunk. Or grease the floor.

Actually Heather Cleland has even better ideas.

BUCKLEY_publish.jpgChris Buckley Punks China

Conservative, satirist and author Chris Buckley has a new book with an unforgettable title:  They Eat Puppies Don't They. It's a take-down of Washington insiders, especially the Neo-cons reincarnated here as Oreo-Cons- soft and laissez-faire on the inside, hard and defense spending happy on the outside.

Buckley also creates the plausible sounding U.S.-China Co-dependency Council and The Institute for Continuing Conflict.

But he's equally wicked when it comes to satirizing the insiders and power brokers in the elite circles of China's communist government, all of whom seem to be motivated by the same kinds of self-interest as the Americans.

Chris Buckley joins me for a funny chat about China and the U.S. on the brink of war.

And that's Day 6 for another week. Don't forget to enter our Riffed from the Headlines contest to win one of those Day 6 tote bags. You'll need them when your municipality bans plastic bags as mine did this week.

"First they came for my bags and I did nothing..."

Have a great weekend.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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