Artwork by Jamie Q - detail of artwork from the artist’s book The Possibilities are Endless, 2012.

It's Your Fault: The NHL Lockout

In 2011, the NHL's total revenue -- Stanley Cup Playoffs included -- was roughly $3 billion. That's a lot of glue. That $3 billion was at the heart of this year's lockout. The owners felt the players' cut of the pie was too large and it had to be mowed down. Eventually the two sides met in the middle on this matter, and decided to split all hockey related revenues 50/50. That's right, each side gets $1.5 billion. To be clear, that's your money. And that means, in part, it's your fault this lockout happened.

The NHL, which encompasses both owners and players, is a product of what you, the fan, allows it to be. The price of tickets, concessions (food and drink), memorabilia, and media packages, etc, are all subject to what the market will bear. In the name of undying loyalty for your team, you have disregarded price hikes across the board and continued, at all costs, to support your team. All the meanwhile, the pile of cash grows. It grows like that Chia Pet you got for Christmas, watered a few times, left in the corner, and has now started crawling up the wall. You've fuelled a new-age gold rush. And now that the stakes are high enough, all parties involved will try and stake the biggest claim they can. Enter the lockout.

Don't get me wrong, yours truly has fed the system as well. We're all to blame. But we're also the ones that can fix it.

It's not enough to send out an email exclaiming that, “Every time this message is forwarded, it's one more person who won't attend an NHL game.” That's lame. Quite frankly, it's also pathetic. So is liking a Facebook page that suggests the same, or retweeting a similar message for that matter. That's called slacktivism. Look it up if you don't know what it means. Real action takes place in your local arenas.

Take Budweiser Gardens for instance. Going to see the Knights play is a lot of fun. The OHL is an exciting brand of hockey. The entire experience rivals an NHL game. Those kids come to play. They work to improve and impress. They're not shrouded in the complexities of ridiculous contracts and endorsements. If that's not enough, attend one of the Pee-Wee or Bantam games going on right now around the corner.

Put your money to work supporting something real and tangible. Something you can watch grow. Kinda like that Chia Pet.

If you don't give your money to the NHL, they'll appreciate you more than they ever have.

Blair Henatyzen is a part of The Big Show, Weekday Mornings, 5.30am - 9.30am, on 98.1 Free FM. I wish there was a reasonable explanation for how I've ended up where I have. But, there isn't. The last thing I remember is falling asleep in Marketing class. After that, I woke up with a mic in front of me and a keyboard at my fingertips - whoever allowed that to happen made a mistake. Follow Blair on Facebook & Twitter @LdnOnt_Blair.


The Godfather kicks off Hyland's 2013 Retromania schedule

The Hyland Cinema starts off its 2013 Retromania schedule with one of the great movies, The Godfather (1972).

There may not be another movie as universally beloved that I can think of but then, whether or not gangsters intrigue you, The Godfather is an amazingly universal film. It is intriguing for a film that romanticizes the life of a crime kingpin to be so beloved, but it’s about nostalgia and stands as a classical intergenerational tragedy. It’s also quite long, but there’s never been a three-hour film that feels shorter than this one. Considering director Francis Ford Coppola’s later effort Apocalypse Now (1979) may be the longest three-hour film, in terms of how it feels to watch it, this is quite a compelling case for the entertainment value and pacing of the film.


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DISH Awards 2013: New Judges

 

The DISH Awards adds two new judges for year five!


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Rust and Bone one of the best films of 2012

Before 2009’s A Prophet, I hadn’t seen a film by Jacques Audiard. After seeing his Palme D’Or competitor Rust and Bone at the Hyland Cinema, I will be sure to look back at his body of work. Both of these pictures are absolutely terrific and Audiard has a gloriously stylized pulpy noir grit to his filmmaking sense. Here he has Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, going all out in a bravura performance as a young woman who has to have her legs amputated as a result of an accident at her job as a whale trainer at Marineland. Apparently, they have those in France as well.

Her story is paired with the arrival of Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) in Antibes, a big hulking man-brute, who shows up broke and carrying along his young son (Armand Verdure). He crashes with his sister and uses his background as a kickboxer to get work as a bouncer. Later he works his way into the local street-fighting ring to feed his need to get out his aggression, break the monotony of life, and make a little coin.


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Folking About in London with the London Irish Dance Céilí & Graham Nicholas

While out and folking about in London on Saturday evening, I stopped in at the London Irish Club’s Dance Céilí. There were loads of people obviously having a great time taking part in the various types of dances: long and circle dances which involve “as many as will” and are great for singles as partners aren’t necessary. They are also great for beginners as they are generally easy to follow and often walked through before getting going. There are also set dances for 4 couples, resembling square dances but with Irish steps. These are more demanding and can be learned at the club’s regular sessions on Thursday evenings. The caller, Maureen Mulvey O’Leary, is very much in demand such that people follow her to wherever she is engaged.

The live music was provided by Traddicted comprised of well known local fiddler Mary Ashton and button box accordionist Rob Hoffman, and their guests Beth Beech and Alison Lupton, both regulars with their own bands at folk events and festivals.

The Irish Club also holds a couple of monthly Music Céilís. (For details enquire at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  One of these is held at the London Music Club on the last Friday of the month - which is where I was headed next!


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