‘Zed’-Qs

I did some work for Zed in its “heyday.” It mostly involved unfucking their revised Web site. I visited the CBC Vancouver bunker and talked a mile a minute in the pale-cranberry-red nerdbox where Zedders toiled. I then proceeded to get so lost finding my way out of the place I had to ask Ian Hanomansing for directions. I shit you not.

My esteemed colleague there (take a wild guess who) recently agreed to answer some questions about this late, lamented show, but never actually bothered, even after repeated nagging and hollow promises. What were the questions? (Error corrected.)

  1. Why – really – did they shitcan Zed?
  2. Zed was “YouTube for artfags.” Discuss.
  3. What did the punters really expect was going to happen after they uploaded their “art”? Like Lana Turner getting discovered while she nursed a soda at the drugstore counter?
  4. How many things were you prevented from doing for the reason that, try as you might, you couldn’t get CBC managers to understand them?
  5. The second-last hostess (the wee black chick) sucked and was, in fact, widely despised. The Adilmans should have gotten the gig. Discuss.
  6. Be honest: How many of these uploaded video pieces really did work better on the “big” screen of television?
  7. What were the other candidate titles for the show apart from Zed, and who the hell decided to capitalize the D?

13 comments:

  1. chgroup
    Posted October 14, 2008 at 7:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    See ya, Derek!

    And truly, wouldn’t wanna be ya!

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 5:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oh. Because there has been a really large exodus of talented people lately. And a couple of head shaking additions.

    Thanks for the explanation.

  3. Fake Ouimet
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:30 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I believe this was a reference to Derek, yes, who got in my face the last time I was in Fort Dork, a fact I will not forget.

    Now’s your big chance to clear everything up for us. Take it away, Derek.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Derek Marshall left?

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 8:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Believe it or not, management in the Digital Programming department is now (since Tuesday, anyway) the most open-minded group in years.”

    WTF does that mean?

    Happy someone left? Happy someone arrived? Explain.

  6. J0hnnyB
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 3:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think one of the titles suggested was “No cable, eh?”

    It was later used as a slogan on the website.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Come back Weston! Believe it or not, management in the Digital Programming department is now (since Tuesday, anyway) the most open-minded group in years.

  8. Fake Ouimet
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    W., ol’ pal, answer the revised Q5.

    So you’re saying the title ZeD was actually an attempt at commoncase typography, i.e., capital and lower-case forms all with the same height and no descenders? Advanced… and not really viable with grotesk typefaces.

  9. weston
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 1:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I remember one candidate name now, “verve”, meh.

  10. weston
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 12:55 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hello esteemed colleague. I guess I better finally answer your questions. I agree with the anonymous comments above, here are some embellishments:

    1. Why †really †did they shitcan Zed?

    Who †really †knows is another good question. Here’s my take. ZeD was brought into being to solve the Heritage Committee’s problem of where to show the Canadian short films that were being financially supported but never seen, a problem that Harold Redekopp and Rae Hull took to heart and created a solution for in ZeD. Richard Stursberg, the new VP of English TV, wanted his own legacy and so took on the problem of why Canada doesn’t have more quality dramatic television programming, as compared to the United States. The mandate of English television completely changed.

    2. Zed was “YouTube for artfags.” Discuss.

    ZeD was free hosting for (Canadian) creative content. ZeD was a vehicle to promote creative talent online, and perhaps on television. Ironically, what I think of as the artfag crowd sneered at ZeD’s low barrier to entry for aspiring artists (ie. the lack of any serious curating) and the fact that basically only a few selected artists were paid (bands, performers, and short films that were brought in by the show were well paid however). ZeD’s user-generated content came from amateur artists, not professionals, largely because established artists wouldn’t participate.

    3. What did the punters really expect was going to happen after they uploaded their “art”? Like Lana Turner getting discovered while she nursed a soda at the drugstore counter?

    What anonymous said.

    4. How many things were you prevented from doing for the reason that, try as you might, you couldn’t get CBC managers to understand them?

    Not much. Management let us do an extraordinary number of things that had never been done before: show films with full-frontal male nudity before midnight; broadcast user-generated content in Canada; broadcast from people’s living rooms live via their webcams; run Linux and OpenBSD on the servers; purchase local loop internet access enabling video streaming at 1mbps to university and colleges; give the CMS code away as open-source; and distribute content via bittorrent.

    It was an amazing time and place with an incredible amount of support from management. Some regrets were: not getting the go-ahead to do flash video sooner; the resistance to open-sourcing our code; not finding the will to blast through the legal licensing morass that prevented distributing full episodes online via bittorrent, and yes, getting management to see how valuable the show was.

    5. The last hostess sucked and was, in fact, widely despised. The Adilmans should have gotten the gig. Discuss.

    If you’re talking about Ziya, she was my favourite host. The Adilmans were hilarious though, agreed. Rumour had it they’d pissed off Slawko. The last season of what what was still called ZeD had three co-hosts.


    6. Be honest: How many of these uploaded video pieces really did work better on the “big” screen of television?

    As per anonymous above.

    7. What were the other candidate titles for the show apart from Zed, and who the hell decided to capitalize the D?

    The logo was capitalized with a lower-case e, so it was decided, likely by McLean or Rae, to be consistent with the graphic design and be innovative, thus ZeD. I like it.

  11. Fake Ouimet
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 12:12 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I corrected item 5. I meant the hostess who insisted she was “a Black South Asian woman.”

    I’ve actually seen Z. Tong on her PBS show, coïncidentally.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 12:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The biggest issue for me was:

    how come you’re showing all these Canadian short films, but not paying anyone for airing them? Way to go.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 10:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    1. Why †really †did they shitcan Zed?

    Because it was something potentially important based in Vancouver ? CBC Toronto doesn’t like that.

    2. Zed was “YouTube for artfags.” Discuss.

    Zed was “YouTube for Canadians”, since YouTube wasn’t around at the time. Ask Margaret Atwood about what she thinks of Canadians and the arts.. (hint: it wasn’t just artfags)

    3. What did the punters really expect was going to happen after they uploaded their “art”?

    They expected to have a chance that their work would be aired on TV. If it didn’t, then at least it’d be available online to share with friends.

    4. How many things were you prevented from doing for the reason that, try as you might, you couldn’t get CBC managers to understand them?

    Keep the show going.

    5. The last hostess sucked and was, in fact, widely despised. The Adilmans should have gotten the gig. Discuss.

    The Adilmans were awesome. Ziya was awesome too. She moved on to other interesting things. She was not despised.

    6. Be honest: How many of these uploaded video pieces really did work better on the “big” screen of television?

    3-5%.

    7. What were the other candidate titles for the show apart from Zed, and who the hell decided to capitalize the D?

    “Innovation Zone” was the working title. The D was eventualy deemed superfluous.


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