— Breakfast Television (@breakfasttv) November 4, 2022
What’s not to like about this? If you’re in favour of stuff like charter rights, collective bargaining, living wages, a healthy education system and Doug Ford getting yelled at, that is.
But I will confess that my almost immediate reaction while watching the televised tirade was Howard Beale and the 1976 movie, Network.
I agree with Sid.
People, parents especially, should be angry, mad as hell. The deeper we get into this, the more it becomes glaringly apparent that, from the government’s side, this isn’t about the kids, never was about the kids, the kids were always about being used as political pawns, collateral damage, victims of unfriendly fire in the actual battle being waged, that of crushing public employee unions. That’s it. That’s all it’s ever been about. While some may venture that the longer-term goal is to privatize education, I’d say, sure, maybe, for some, for deep-pocketed interests, skulking around in the backrooms and on the $400-a-plate fundraising circuit. Not these clowns though. Certainly not Doug Ford. He doesn’t indulge in grand stratagems. He lashes out. He breaks things he doesn’t like. Cleaning up the mess and putting things back together, he leaves for others.
But I still found his outburst unconvincing.
I wasn’t sure at first where he was going with it, with his I’m Angry bit. A day earlier, this was Sid, if not angry, a little miffed at the situation, handing out blame in equal measure.
CUPE was being a little greedy, Sid thought. He wasn’t a 100% on board with the ask, and you didn’t have to be an economist to realize it was unreasonable. And they only worked 200 days a year! Still, inflation being what it was, the government’s 1.5% offer was out of line. Won’t somebody think about the custodians! Unions? Back your brothers!
To me, Sid Seixeiro is that yelly guy on the sports show. Yelly guys on the TV, on the internet, unsettle me. They tend to be angry and yelly at all the wrong targets. A gross generalization? Probably. Maybe. I don’t know. Is it? Think about all the yelly guys you’re subject to who pop up in your social media feed or on your TV screens. Are they usually yelling about something you feel to be a good cause? Does their anger tend to be directed at those you believe to be the bad guys, the villains of the story?
That has not been my experience.
I’ve long mulled over the idea of the sportsification of news and current affairs commentary. You know, dial back the frothy analysis and amp up the frothing at the mouth.
Much ink has been spilt, bytes taken on the detrimental aspects of the 24-hour news cycle. Same thing could be said, I think, of the non-stop sports coverage. A lot of time and space must be filled, and with only so much news and sports to go around, after all, there still remains just 24 hours in any given day, no matter how busy a day it’s been, simple noise can grow to fill the gaping maw. Aural spackle. Despite the increase in all sorts of, what do you call it? bio-infomatics, stats collection, sabermetrics, wAR, launch angle, exit velocity, I get, more or less, xwOBA? Don’t know. Don’t care that much. And I’ll assume it’s a pretty dry discussion explaining it.
So what you get instead in these endless discussions is a lot of opinionating and subjective prognostication. Guys (mostly, still) trash talking each others’ picks and POVs. Jock talk where there’s no real downside in being wrong, it’s sports, you’re just as likely to be wrong as right, more or less, 19 times out of twenty. You can even wildly miss the mark as long as the shot you take is entertaining.
This style, I suggest, has leeched over into news and political coverage when it isn’t, that is, being shaped, spun and massaged by P.R. flacks. Lots of opinions expressed, on a sliding scale of knowledgeable to ignorant, loudly, unverifiable hot takes and unnamed sources cited. They say and They said. Keep it lively, though. Entertaining. Viewers and readers have countless other options to access their fill of infotainment.
Sid Seixeiro, it seems, has brought his sports game face over to breakfast television. Sid’s got a beef. Sid needs to get something off his chest. Sid’s angry. Sid’s mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore.
On Friday his beef was with the Ford government. Back in September? Sid’s steamed at Justin Trudeau.
Apparently, you can be just as angry with the trampling of charter rights as you can be with the prime minister being caught on video during off-hours, singing a little Bohemian Rhapsody. With the Queen of England BARELY COLD!
Almost as if your anger is kind of your schtick. Bringing a little spicy, salty edge to sleepy morning television. Anger, outrage and umbrage commodified, your Q Rating.
Anger as performance, a ratings getter. Anger dissipated by the next segment, Getting Your Christmas Goodies Baked Early! Anger over and out in under two minutes. Barely skin deep. Blown away by the next scandal or disgrace on the docket. Meaningless, scattershot and fleeting vitriol, landing glancing blows and leaving virtual no impression, inflicting little damage on the intended target du jour.
Fun, maybe, while it lasts but, ultimately, an empty, futile gesture that’s nothing more than Sid’s showbizzy time to shine!