COLUMN: A few of my least favourite things

Reporter Dan Ferguson shares a small list of things that he is not fond of.

Full disclosure: I don’t know who the Kardashians are, beyond what I see in the supermarket checkout line.

I have managed to make this far without viewing more than a few seconds of The Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, Teen Mom and any number of other reality-TV show train wrecks.

But given the power, I would probably ban them all.

So it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have that kind of authority.

Recognizing that my own affection is for a slightly higher grade of cheese – like The Amazing Race, Survivor and pretty much any show dealing with auctioning off abandoned storage lockers – I must concede my tastes ain’t exactly cosmopolitan, either.

Different strokes for different folks, and all that. But still, there are a few things, not all of them on television, that I would like to see gone. Now.

Opening a column with “full disclosure” for example.

Lame. And excessively used.

Just like the three-point landing in far too many movies. Note to filmmakers: the first dozen or so times that a character landed in a kneeling position with one hand on the ground and the other holding a weapon, it was kind of cool.

It hasn’t been for some time.

And no more characters howling “noooo” as they leap toward the camera.

Who does that, anyway?

And do I really have to talk about the violation of basic physics that occurs every time an action hero (and, sometimes, a sidekick) runs toward the camera with a fireball behind them?

Didn’t think so.

Or the infinite supply of bullets in any number of action movies.

And by that way, what is with holding guns sideways?

Seriously, does anyone think that make any kind of difference?

And what about the all-too-often seen sequence where someone sets something on fire/launches a missile/triggers a bomb, then turns and walks toward the camera way as the target goes boom?

Again, full disclosure: I actually used that bit, once, in a previous career, for a screenplay that went unproduced.

Much funnier people than me have made sport of a recent science fiction epic (cough>Prometheus

I’ll limit myself to the part where two characters are fleeing a collapsing space ship by running in the shadow of it, instead of heading right or left to get out from under.

Come to think of it, the “cough>name of thing you’re pretending not to mention

Along with columns about the horror of getting older.

It seems to be a rite of passage for opinion writers to do at least one about the shock to the system that ensues the first time someone calls them “sir” or “ma’am” for the first time. As if there were somehow a reasonable alternative to getting older.

And while we’re on the subject of journalism, perhaps we could stop trying to torque the living daylights out of stories that don’t actually involve the fate of the free world.

Some of you may remember SCTV and a comically desperate television anchor who tried to make every simple city council story into a drama of outrage and intrigue. How about we just tell the story without trying to bully people into getting all worked up?

A vastly better writer than me once observed that approach feels like having someone standing behind you with a rolled-up newspaper whacking you on the back of your  head.

Like the famous story of the editor telling a rookie reporter to never use the word “tragedy” again.

If something is a tragedy, he said, the reader will be able to figure it out.

And please, no more election stories that open with “and they’re off.”

Dan Ferguson is a Peace Arch News reporter.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock and Surrey RCMP – along with police forces across the province – have launched their holiday CounterAttack campaigns. (Contributed graphic)
White Rock, Surrey RCMP CounterAttack campaigns underway

Enforcement ramps up to remove impaired drivers from cities’ roadways

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judge finds Surrey RCMP breached two robbery suspects’ Charter rights

This was in connection with the robbery of the Ritecare Pharmacy in Surrey on Oct. 10, 2017

This year’s White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive was the best yet, organizers say. (Contributed photo)
White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive ‘best ever’

Month-long annual event wrapped up Dec. 1

Unlike Vancouver, White Rock doesn't have the power to remove landlord restrictions on renting to pet owners, the city's Housing Advisory Committee heard Nov. 25. (CNW Group/Canadian Animal Health Institute)
No relief expected for renters with pets in White Rock

Little chance of removing landlord restrictions, housing committee told

Art rendering of Surrey’s Legion Veterans Village. (Submitted photo)
Surrey’s Legion Veteran Village to get 91 affordable housing units, B.C. government says

Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby made the announcement Wednesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read