About the Oscars

It was not an easy thing to do, to turn on the Oscars.  This was a ‘Kevin’ thing – when there was an occasion to celebrate music, art or theater – Kevin was on it.  He regularly watched these types of shows, so it was hard to tune into it on Sunday, but it would have seemed odd not to.  But as usual, Kevin was there in my head.  I could hear his voice throughout the ceremonies.

He would have objected to the opening monologue by Chris Rock.  It simply undermined the entire event.  It made the celebration of excellence secondary, it tainted the accomplishments of the artists and creative geniuses involved.  It likely increased the pressure on the actors, directors and supporting cast to find a cause to grandstand, because, really without a cause you’d get no ink; you would be judged as having no substance or depth.  It added a political element into the entire event.  The political element or the awareness piece is already embedded in the films that were selected, there were plenty of takeaways there.

The Oscars are supposed to be a celebration and supposed to be entertainment, instead it was frustrating, slow, and rather awkward.  I suspect the way the commentary went it was supposed to make one uncomfortable, more conscious of injustice.  What it did for me was reinforced that discrimination is an easy thing to fall into.  The host did it himself, when instead of promoting awareness of injustice to all non-whites, he focused his comments on blacks.  It’s rather easy, isn’t it, to want to take care of your own and forget about everyone else.

It would be far better for the Oscars to focus on their sole purpose, which is to honor the best of the best within the film industry.  Take us on a journey that is exciting, glamorous, fun and upbeat. Let the movies provide the drama, cultural awareness, education, sadness and joy.  If someone within the industry believes passionately about a cause, then go support it, every day in every way; don’t figure a few statements at a gala event make you a better person.  Live it, lead it and land it.

OHRC, CHRC, BMO, OMG I’m Acronym Drunk

Not one to let grass grow under my feet, I contacted the Ontario Human Rights Commission today.  As suspected this is a federal issue, since the banks are federally regulated.  I was referred to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) where I initiated an inquiry to determine if I have a complaint that can move forward.  The CHRC intake clerk asked me for grounds of the potential complaint – in this case  – marital status.  In Canada the individual cannot be discriminated against due to marital status.  After supplying the base information needed to open a file, I was advised by the CHRC that I would receive a call within the next two weeks to obtain the details of my discrimination.  Based on that discussion the CHRC will advise me whether they are prepared to move forward or continue my complaint.

The challenge here is that banks as well as insurance companies have carved an impasse between themselves and the common law that applies broadly to society.  Reinforcing this notion that banks are treated separate and apart from most of industry is the fact that, here in Canada, they have their own Ombudsman – The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).  On the OBSI  website it states:

“OBSI resolves disputes between participating banking services and investment firms and their customers if they can’t solve them on their own. We are independent and impartial, and our services are free to consumers. You must first complain to the firm involved, but if you remain unsatisfied you have a right to bring your case to us. As an alternative to the legal system, we work informally and confidentially to find a fair outcome.” (https://www.obsi.ca/en/about-us)

It may simply turn out that the CHRC doesn’t have the teeth to tackle an industry as powerful as BMO.  There are enough issues where the outcome might show more promise than taking on the banks, banks may be too well insulated for the CHRC to affect change.  Speculation on my part because now I have to play a waiting game.  No problem – just gives me more time to build my case.