The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rock and Roll Miracle at the Met??

Okay, just remember----miracles do happen.

Who thought for a minute that Danny Schur would succeed in putting on a big-budget homegrown musical? Or that, given the worst spring weather in recent memory, he would end the run better off financially than Rainbow Stage did?

We, for example, had written off the Metropolitan Theatre as just another decrepit building that the City couldn't bring itself to tear down.

But then the Winnipeg Free Press had a story last week that two of Winnipeg's biggest movers and shakers were prepared to put money into the Met to turn it into an "entertainment venue/rock and roll museum." It wasn't much of a story. Based on "sources". Buttressed by hints. Supported by one detail, or was it two? But the gossamer thin story was enough to hang a headline on, and that was enough to catch our eye. And we whispered: It's a miracle.

Oh, the Free Press story alone wouldn't have elicited that reaction. What turned our skeptics' hearts was that we had been waiting for it for quite some time. Weeks earlier, a mole at City Hall had said to watch for a major announcement regarding the Metropolitan and the redevelopment of downtown Winnipeg by very prominent businessmen. Now here it was.

But there was so little to the Freep story, that we turned to Mr. Mole for more information. The newspaper story, he said, was wrong. The project wasn't waiting for approval; it was a done deal.

It was going to be the Canadian version of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Hartley Richardson had already acquired the naming rights. The project would include a bar, and a restaurant, and, of course, a store to sell rock memorabilia. And the Met would be expanded south onto the parking lot that's there right now to fit it all in, Mr. Mole said.

Well, that seemed to be that. The Metropolitan Theatre had risen from the dead. The MTS Centre had worked magic. It was a miracle.

We knew that the 10-year-old Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was planning satellite branches in Phoenix and Memphis to "expose audiences outside of Cleveland to the Museum through special permanent and rotating exhibits and collections."

So why not Winnipeg? Okay, if we hear the words Guess Who one more time, we'll puke, soooo...we figured we'd take this one step further. We'd ask the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a comment.

And we got one:
If this is true, it is news to us here in Cleveland. It is my guess that it is hot air. sorry....

Uh, oh.

All together: Paging Danny Schur.

It might be that the only rock and roll celebrity to appear at the Metropolitian Theatre will be Gina Gershon. She's been there all week - when she wasn't prowling local art galleries - filming a made-for-tv disaster movie, but last year she strapped on a guitar and toured the U.S. with a backing band (Girls Against Boys) to promote her latest movie PREY FOR ROCK AND ROLL.

Rock on, Gina.

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