Personal Crap

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Meaford, ON, Canada
A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.



Okay, here's the deal: Blogger has been having problems with their counters as of late, specifically with those blogs marked as having adult content. Now, this particular blog was marked as adult content since it is written as a train of thought, including all the rotten language that flows through my head constantly :) As a result, I marked it adult for that, not for having pornographic photos all over the place. So, simply put, be aware that there is language on this blogsite, and if you are offended don't bother complaining because I wrote this so that you'd know it before reading, and it is your fault if you don't believe me and decide to possibly get offended anyway. If language of a vulgar nature might make you upset, go read something by Disney.


CTV's Canada's Worst Driver Season 6 - Epic Fail!

We have this show here in Canada, which goes back a few years.  Called "Canada's Worst Driver," it showcases people who have been nominated by their friends as being really horrible on the roads and highways of this country.  They get these people together, take them to a location in South-Central Ontario (just north of Toronto, usually), take away their driver's licenses and get them taught basic driving techniques and rules.  They are then tested on a weekly basis by driving through various courses to determine how well they've picked up new and better driving habits.  The person who has improved the most each week 'graduates' and receives their license again and are allowed to go home.  The final person still in their 'driver rehab' course is considered Canada's Worst Driver for that season.

As a small note, this is not to be confused with "America's Worst Driver."  That show is built upon the principle that watching people make asses of themselves on public roads is funny, watching people unable to complete driving tasks on closed courses which are not actually able to be completed by ANY driver is hilarious, and that destruction of a vehicle at the end of an episode is necessary to keep an American watching the screen.  Point of fact:  You have yet to see any of the hosts of the American show even attempt to complete any of the tasks they ask the participants to perform, and there is an obvious reason for that which is clear if you watch the show for any length of time.  They literally make some of the challenges impossible to succeed at.  One of the challenges is to drive through a series of staggered gates with water tanks on either side, which will fall if the car clips the side of the gate.  Trouble is, we actually saw a car go through the centre of the gate and hit BOTH water tanks on either side of the gate AT THE SAME TIME!  In other words, the car itself can't fit through the gates without hitting the sides, meaning that the challenge simply can't be done successfully - so what are the participants learning?  Oh, yeah, almost forgot, they don't actually attempt to teach the participants anything in the first place!

On the other hand, the host of the Canadian show, Andrew Younghusband, attempts each and every challenge before any of the participants do so, and there have been a few times where he has performed less than stellarly.  Yes, I do in fact know that stellarly is not a real word.  Additionally, there have been times that the courses have been modified to suit the inexperience of the drivers after he has completed the course, to ensure the participants have a fighting chance at getting it done safely and correctly.  Finally, instead of destroying a vehicle each episode (for no apparent reason other than to say "You suck, but you, you don't suck as bad, so you can keep your vehicle"), the participants are judged by actual people who know what they are about, including a former race car driver, a psychologist, and a former officer of the Ontario Provincial Police.  These people judge who goes home, and cast votes along with the host to make that determination.  They also watch each and every bit of footage taken when the challenges occur, so they have an unbiased view of how they did, as well as being at least partially responsible for the teaching of the driving skills that will allow them to succeed in the first place.

Now that my rant on the differences between the original Canadian version versus the inferior knock-off American version is over, we'll move on to the reason this post exists in the first place.  This is going to degenerate into a rant, and will be the very first time I have ever said anything publicly that denounces the CTV Network, so be forewarned:  Swearing will occur, and if this gets read by the right people (I'm going to tweet it directly to CTV once I'm done), it should get someone angry other than myself.  Thus endeth the disclaimer, proceed at your own risk.

I'm going to set up what I viewed during Season 6 of this show, concentrating on two of the show's participants in particular, Lance and Dale.  Now, before I get into this too deeply, let me explain that neither of these people live or drive in the Toronto area, as have some horrible drivers of past seasons, one of which actually came from the area we live in specifically.  This is not my complaint, nor does it feature in my complaint.  It's not that easy.

Lance, the show's official 'winner' started off the season by saying he had only just gotten his license to drive.  He then exhibited many occurrences of crying due to stress when behind the wheel (on a closed course, please take note), vomiting due to the stress of trying to complete these challenges (again, these are closed courses), and this did not occur once or twice, but with every single thing he was tasked to do while in the 'driver rehab' facility.  Dale, on the other hand, was all too eager to get out there and drive.  I'm not sure where Lance was from (I believe Alberta, in the Calgary or Edmonton area), but Dale I remember being from St. Catherines, which, while not part of the GTA, is part of the Golden Horseshoe, as the area wrapping around the west end of Lake Ontario from Toronto to Niagara Falls is known.  I strongly remember this for reasons that will become apparent shortly.  Dale has had her license for I believe upwards around the thirty year mark, and none of her family will allow small children to be driven ANYWHERE by her.  This is due to the fact that Dale doesn't know basic rules of the road, like stopping at stop signs, or don't hit other vehicles when driving.  I shit you not, she hits things like she's in a fucking bumper car.  But, I digress.  The point is, when these two participants are on the show, they are to be learning basic driving skills and then applying them in order to improve their driving.

Now, from the above paragraphs, I would like to draw your focus to a couple of details:  Lance just got his license.  When stressed Lance throws up and/or cries behind the wheel.  One of the judges is an ex-OPP officer.  Dale doesn't know basic rules of the road.  Dale hits other vehicles constantly.  When the show begins, the participants have their licenses taken away from them.

We are now going to the meat of the matter.  The final challenge, to sort out who will actually be crowned the worst driver for each season, is a drive following directions through an actual city, with actual traffic, where the participants are expected to actually obey the law whilst operating a motor vehicle.  This season, it was Niagara Falls they were driving in.  Yes, that Niagara Falls.  Center of tourism for Southern Ontario.  One of the modern wonders of the world.  Honeymoon capital of North America.  In other words, Good Readers, there is going to be traffic.  And if you know the layout of Niagara Falls at all, you know that the Niagara Parkway is a two-lane road that follows the banks of the Niagara River right alongside the length of it, from Fort Erie where the river starts all the way to Lake Ontario where it ends.  That's one lane in each direction, by the way, it isn't a highway - except when actually IN Niagara Falls, where it is two lanes each way.  In other words, the road is as close as you can get to the Falls without getting out of your car, and the second lane furthest from the Falls is usually for entrances and exits from the myriad parking lots in that area, plus people often slow down in the lane closest to the Falls for a quick look (that'd be one lane out of the two heading north and one lane from the two heading south, north to view the Falls, south to park to view the Falls).  In other, other words, THERE IS MORE TRAFFIC ON THAT STRETCH OF ROAD THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE TOWN OF NIAGARA FALLS, BUT ONLY TWO LANES ARE ACTUALLY MOVING AT A REGULAR SPEED AT ANY GIVEN TIME.  Oh, and for shits and giggles, this is where they start their driving test.

First off, we have Lance.  Lance turns on to the Niagara Parkway, drives about two minutes or so, starts hyper-ventilating, has to pull over, has an ambulance called for him, and can't complete the test.  Dale does the entire test, but during it finds herself literally driving into oncoming traffic when she goes through an intersection from a left turn lane.

Dale is asked to please get retested before driving again, and is sent home with her license.  She does not get retested and is on the road again immediately.  Lance 'wins' the crown of Canada's Worst Driver, is given his license back, and sent home, where he continues to drive.

Now, who else sees the problem?

Here's my personal irritation involving Lance:  Where the FUCK did he get his license?  Part of the licensing procedure in Ontario (and I assume, the rest of the world!!!) is to drive in traffic, and this fucker can't even turn into a slow-moving roadway without requiring an ambulance?  There is an ex-OPP officer right there watching this shit unfold, and he doesn't question the fact that he had to do a road test, something the guy seems completely incapable of performing, in order to get licensed in the first place?  Nowhere does anyone say they'll be investigating the licensing office he got it from, nowhere does anyone say that it seems a bit fishy that this guy is allowed to drive on public streets when he is clearly incapacitated by doing so.  Lance is given his license back, no questions asked, no psychological therapy required, just off you go and have fun.  Oh, but this isn't the worst of it, not by a long shot.

Dale, the runner-up if you will, is a major threat on the road.  We watched as she headed merrily down the street on the wrong side of the road, and did not realize it in any way, shape or form until she was TOLD by her passenger (who was the damn HOST OF THE SHOW) that she was on the wrong side of the road!  This person actually got WORSE at driving as the show progressed, all the while swearing that she was 'seeing the light' and 'would never make the mistakes she used to now that she knew the right way to do things.'  And finally, here's the kicker:  At the end of one of the episodes, when she was interviewed about how she felt she had been progressing through the rehab, she was asked point blank in front of the panel whether it was possible she had hit someone with her car in the past and never known she had done so, to which she answered that yes it was completely likely that this had happened.  Do you follow me?  She herself thinks she might have HIT a HUMAN with her CAR, and DOESN'T KNOW IT!!!

Now, I've watched previous seasons, and I have actually seen Andrew Younghusband cut a license in half, effectively removing that person from the road until they get re-tested.  Where were the scissors this season?  And more to the point, you have a driver who admits to probably (her words) being a hit and run driver, and you do nothing to require her to be re-tested, you just ask her nicely to do so?  When she didn't, and went back to driving, what did the show do?  Put a tag at the end of the show saying she didn't, isn't that funny, ha ha ha!  Well, here's the big question CTV, and you might really want to think of this.  If Dale proceeds to kill someone with her vehicle, given the fact that you had her license and the apparent right to stop her from driving until forced to take another road test, does that not in fact make you at least partially liable?  The fact that you have an ex-OPP officer on your panel means that you know what is right from wrong, and given the footage shot I can't believe that someone, anyone, from the Ministry Of Transportation wouldn't agree that she should be re-tested given her total lack of interest in the law.  Driving is a privilege, not a right, remember?

I have written to CTV Globemedia Communications regarding this, sent on December 14th, 2010, and have yet to receive any response whatsoever.  I certainly hope someone sits up and takes notice now that I've posted it here, but it means tweeting this repeatedly and getting CTV to see what they might be responsible for in the future.  If the argument is that the MTO isn't involved with the show, given the subject matter, I'd like to know why the hell not?  It is all well and good to do a show that is horribly bastardized by the States, but to let a genuine self-admitted threat back on the roads without even a slap on the wrist?  When it could result in a death?  And allowing someone to drive with major psychological problems, throwing his obtaining his license legally into doubt?  I sure as shit wouldn't want to be the person responsible for making THAT decision.

I liken this to a bartender serving a drunk, knowing full well they are going to drive home.  In fact, I'd honestly rather be on the road with someone who is slightly over the legal blood/alcohol limit than with Dale.  At least with the drinker, there is a chance you won't hit anything.

Safe driving people - they are out there, on the roads, with YOU.