Tyler Shipley loves hockey, but he’s sick of seeing his favourite game, and one of our public broadcaster’s most popular shows, Hockey Night in Canada, being increasingly used as a pro-war propaganda pulpit.
When the CBC recently launched a national public contest to find a new theme song for its iconic program, they likely weren’t expecting anything like Shipley’s satirical ode to Don Cherry et al. at Hockey Night in Canada – called Hockey Night in Afghanada. The cheeky music video critiques the way the popular telecast "present[s] a very blatant pro-war, pro-occupation political message, in spite of behaving just like any other objective sports program," says Shipley.
While it didn’t make the cut with CBC Sports, and won’t be posted on their website, the music video is attracting eyeballs on YouTube (watch it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFwruD0FGfo).
"It strikes me as a cunning political move to associate the most popular sport in this country with a very pro-war position," says Shipley, who submitted the song along with his Winnipeg bandmates The Consumer Goods, known to fans and music critics alike for their wickedly sharp absurdist indie agit-pop.
While the regulations for the theme song contest clearly state you must "not expose CBC to embarrassment, contempt, ridicule, adverse publicity or otherwise reflect unfavourably on the CBC," Shipley says his motivation was to raise awareness and public debate about the war in Afghanistan.
"I’m not slandering, libelling or creating false ideas about what CBC does. I turn on hockey on Saturday night, hoping the Leafs lose, and instead get Don Cherry’s ‘heart-wrenching’ tributes to fallen soldiers – and notable lack of any mention of the Afghani dead. I’m not comfortable with that. Why is this war being pushed in a common-sense way when so many Canadians are against it?"
For more information about The Consumer Goods, check out www.myspace.com/theconsumergoods and www.theconsumergoods.net. The band is set to release another album soon and will play Café Campus on Aug. 21.