06w42:1 Lister Sinclair 1921-2006

by timothy. 0 Comments

My fellow Canadian CBC listeners, who plug your headphones into the computer at work and stream it as I do, who listen to it in the morning as you type your theses because you’re a television snob; who have come to appreciate the music for the news they introduced earlier this year as something iconic, and who may have fond memories of Peter Gzowski and the opening music to Morningside, you listeners know that Lister Sinclair died today, at age 85, in a Toronto hospital. The news made me think that’s how I’d like to go – in my 80s, with the radio playing Glenn Gould and Mozart in my honour. A good life, well spent, with everyone talking about how learned and kind you were. (Except for dying in a Toronto hospital – since I saw Dying at Grace I’ve felt it would be better to die in a ditch under the stars).

My first encounter with the voice of Lister Sinclair came in the summer of 1991. I was listening to EMF’s one-hit-wonder album that season, the single ‘Unbelievable’ on the endless repeat possible with dub cassette tapes and rewind. I’d work away at my Commodore 64 and listen to Side A and then Side B, and through this learned how to spell the word ‘believe’ since it was a song title. And on one of these songs there was a sample of a BBC Shakespeare radio play with a gravitas accented announcer. I was naive enough at the time to wonder, when I was rolling my radio tuner sometime after 9pm that night, if this voice speaking about nightingales was the voice from the album. Later I’d untangled the confusion but I was hooked to the strangeness of that broadcast, one of the series of things that begin with a certain letter, or something themed around a colour. Anyway, I tuned in at 9 the following night to catch more.

This, my friends, was an example of the CBC being hip, a far cry from George Stroumboulopoulos’ latest hints that he pierced his cock, which is how the CBC is trying to sell it today. Lister Sinclair’s sober weirdness made a much stronger impression on my sense of teenage cool than the middle class punk aesthetic which now passes for hipster ways.

Ideas is running a three part tribute over the next three nights, where it is 9pm local throughout Canada.

In the last Goodreads, sent on Friday, I promoted that evening’s Ideas, and now the voice who once presented its ideas has gone. This Goodreads serves the double purpose of sharing my thoughts on the matter (I hope you don’t mind) and to inform you that the episode on ‘Economics and Social Justice’ which I promoted will be an Ideas podcast on November 20th. In the meantime, I’m working on a transcription from the recording I made, which I’ll post on the site on that date. – Timothy


Thank You, Mr. Sinclair | CBC

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 16 October 2006 @ 8:44 PM

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