Episode 31 - Off The Radar


  • afghan1_publish.jpgAfghanistan: Non-Issue
  • Flannery on Climate & Canada
  • David Foster Wallace
  • Campaign Cocktail
  • Intrade Tracks Elxn41
  • Yes Men Attack
  • Here Comes the Sun TV
  • Horror Movie Body Count

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radar_publish.jpgThe campaign for Election 41 is more than half over.

Health care and the economy are said to be the issues getting the most traction. The supposed scandals and campaign missteps seem to hardly have any sway on voters. And largely missing from the conversation are two issues that dominated political discussion in previous elections.

 Afghanistan and climate change seem barely to be on the national agenda. They're off the radar. We're looking at both on today's Day 6.

afghan22222_publish.jpgMatthew Fisher is Postmedia's Kandahar-based bureau chief.

He filed a story that was critical of Canadian media this week saying they've lost interest in covering Canada's war.

It sounds like that's what's happening on the election campaign, too. After spending billions in dollars and the priceless sacrifice of lives, there's no discussion of what has been our most important foreign policy initiatives.

We talked to Matthew about why Canadians seem not to be able to talk about the difficult and costly mission wrapping up in Afghanistan.

flannery_publish.jpgTim Flannery is one of the leading voices on climate change issues.

He's a scientist and explorer and his book The Weather Makers was compared to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. He was in Canada this week and was surprised by the lack of profile the global warming issue has in our election.

His new book is called Here on Earth but mostly we talked about policy here in Canada.

AG_cocktail_publish.jpgTime for a campaign cocktail.

Don't you think? You watched the debates, you're more than halfway through the campaign. You're trying to stay interested as the Habs and the Canucks compete for your attention in the post season. You've earned it!

Enough rationalizing.

This week we have a delicious drink based on duelling interpretations of a leaked Auditor General's report. Version one said the government might've broken the law. Version two (from a government source) said: Relax it's not that serious.

So we designed something for you to sip while you decide which version you want to believe. And you may need a stronger one when the election is over and the actual report is finally released.

GE_cropublish.jpgGeneral Electric got punked this week. Totally.

A press release went out apparently from the giant multinational claiming GE was donating a massive tax windfall to the U.S. treasury. In response to this unlikely altruism, GE's stock lost billions.

It didn't take long for GE to disown the bogus press release, but by then it had been picked up by news outlets who had to correct their stories.

The hoax shows all the fingerprints of the Yes Men, an anti-corporate prankster collective that takes on industry and government and then punks the media into magnifying their flaws.

Andy Bicklbaum is the nom-de-prank of one of the members. He talks about why he tweaks the powerful, the hypocritical and the Government of Canada.

DFW_publish.jpgDavid Foster Wallace committed suicide in September of 2008.

The American writer was hugely influential and innovative, especially his massive second novel Infinite Jest. He died leaving a third novel unpublished, his fans grief stricken and the publishing world aghast.

Editors patched together notes and an unfinished manuscript to create his final novel The Pale King.  It's massive and challenging, the subject matter is (on the surface) the IRS. The writing and prose are exceptional. So says our book person Becky Toyne.

She reads The Pale King by David Foster Wallace and then answers our question: Should I Read It?

To find out how to win copies of the book go here.

SUN TV_publish.jpgHere comes the SUN.

The launch of the Sun News Network brings a new player to the Canadian media landscape. We've been following the drama of staffers for months now.  But now that's all worked out and the TV network is finally due to start up in Ontario and Quebec on Monday.

The editorial perspective will almost certainly be from the right and that has some Canadians squirming.

Does Sun TV make you break into a sweat? Well, relax. We'll tell you why it shouldn't.

scream 4_publish.jpgAnd we're bringing together a nerd's two favourite things: slasher movies and math.

We talk to a guy who, just by looking at the title of a horror movie, can tell you how many people get sliced up by the end. It's a mathematical equation. You just need to know a couple things along with the title to work it out:

-Does this movie take place in space?
-Was it directed by Rob Zombie?

In the case of Scream 4 the answer to both those questions is: no.

So listen to the show, get the formula, do the equation and you'll know exactly how many of those cute kids in Wes Craven's new release will be zipped in body bags by the final reel. Messy, leaky body bags.

Next weekend's a holiday weekend but we will be back on Saturday with our Wednesday podcast coming up midweek. Have a campaign cocktail party and let us know how it turns out. Or better yet, invite us over.

We'll come if we can watch the game. 

Have a great weekend.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6


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