It seems this is a week for follow-ups on previous Musings.
Parras Fails First Test
In my September 9th Musings I criticized Gary Bettman for appointing former goon George Parras as head of player safety at the NHL; my concern seems to have been validated. Parras has decided that Martin Hanzal’s vicious, dirty hit to Yannick Weber’s head during Thursday night’s Dallas/Nashville game isn’t worthy of a suspension.
NHL apologists trotted out all their usual excuses, such as “Hanzal is a lot taller than Weber,” “Weber was bent over,” and “Weber put himself in a vulnerable position.” Have the Bettmanites never noticed that when the play is on every player on the ice is bent over to some extent and can be said to always be in a vulnerable position?
Bettman’s number one defender, Sportsnet’s John Shannon, trotted out one I hadn’t heard before when he said that he wasn’t particularly offended by “body on body” incidents, intimating that he felt slashes to the hand were more despicable than “accidental” vicious blows to the head.
Oh, by the way, Hanzal has been suspended at least four times before for similar behaviour.
More On Bill Morneau
In my September 23rd Musings I was highly critical of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s blundering. This is a man who is on his way to becoming the worst finance minister in living memory, a title that I didn’t think Joe Oliver would ever lose.
This past week it became known that Mr. Morneau “forgot” to report to the Ethics Commissioner (two years ago) that he owns a chalet on the French Riviera. Oh, and by the way, the chalet happens to be held in a private corporation, the exact type of entity that the finance minister has been denouncing for weeks now when used by small business.
I don’t see many TV commercials because we record the shows we watch and fast-forward through the commercials, and when watching live sports or news I usually read during the commercials. However, I catch enough glimpses to have the following observations.
1) Advertising people may be bigger copycats than sports commentators. When something seems to work, such as a cute bird doing a travel ad, they all jump on the bandwagon and before we know it birds are flocking all over the screen.
2) Even though legislation was passed (or at least I thought so) mandating that the volume of commercials couldn’t be louder than the regular programming, I still have to turn down the volume for some ads.
3) And speaking of advertising mandates, most of the legally-mandated content is presented in print too small to read and isn’t on the screen long enough to do so even if the print was legible.
4) The side-effects listed for many medications are such that the adage about the cure being worse than the disease is more relevant than ever. It would almost have to be a life or death situation before I’d take any of them.
5) Canadian Tire continues to have the most annoying spokesperson on TV. Their current one, the irritating “Gary,” is the third or fourth vexing mouthpiece in a row they’ve had. On the other hand, the A&W fellow comes across as a really likeable chap that I’d enjoy sharing a root beer with.
While On The Subject Of Commercials
I’ve always been an inveterate radio listener. Of the countless radio commercials I heard as a kid there was one whose tag line I will never forget. It was for a product called Carter’s little liver pills. (I’m pretty sure the word “little” was intended to modify the word “pills” not the word “liver.”)
The tag line was “if life’s not worth living it may be the liver.” What a great reminder that the best moments in life are always personal.
And there was also a memorable print advertising campaign that has stayed in my memory for decades. It showed well-groomed men sporting rather magnificent black eyes. The copy read that these men would rather fight than switch their brand of cigarettes.
Although we’re not apt to end up in a fist fight when we try to introduce change into people’s lives, we can usually expect some degree of resistance; and quite often we will encounter a great deal of resistance.
These ads were effective and enduring because they depicted real life.