Last night, Blue Met officially started with the Chairman of the Board Party where most writers and moderators were invited. I went as a writer participating in the Internment of Italian Canadians during World War II event and enjoyed a free drink with Peter Dubé, Daniel Allan Cox, Maria Schamis Turner, and Ian McGillis before dashing out to attend the True Crime event at the McCord Museum.
Organizing a crime-related event myself, I was interested in this event that promised to discuss “shocking Quebec crimes and how the media shaped the public’s perception of the stories.” But, as composed and professional as moderator Will Straw was (he’ll be at the mRb event too, so that was nice to see), Kristian Gravenor seemed quite lost. Shuffling through his pages of notes, he zipped from one true crime story to the next, barely going beyond the superficial information, and looked for pictures (with weird, photoshopped psychedelic backgrounds) on his computer.
(Personal aside: Gravenor mentioned the Brinks Robbery of 1976 in which the driver of the armoured car found himself staring down the barrel of a WWII anti-aircraft machine gun that had sprung from the doors of a van parked directly ahead. Well, the van used for the heist was my father-in-law’s. Some guys had tried stealing it at his workshop and when he foiled their plans (with a hammer, no less), they followed him home and stole it during the night. Apparently, the cops showed up at my husband’s place as he was on his way to school.)
After the initial burst of quantity over quality, Straw tried to give the discussion some kind of direction, but, to tell the truth, aside from anecdotes, a short discussion on why crime reporting is not as important as it once was, and more anecdotes and questions for the audience the event didn’t have anything memorable to offer. Though maybe I was expecting too much.
There’s another crime-related event tonight, but I won’t be able to attend. If any of you are going, let me know how it was!