Allan Watt and Scientology

Our esteemed colleague Robin Brownlee had a very interesting comment on his article “The Bucket List” yesterday:


I think the Loser Song the Calgary radio station churned out to the Kinks “Lola” after the Sabres sliced and diced the Good Guys is pretty funny and well done, but the Oilers don’t agree. While Jason Gregor and I were on the air today, we played the song and had a good laugh over it. Hey, if the Flames got lit up that bad and somebody here came up with a parody that slick, I’d laugh at it, too.

Not long after, we got a call from producer Will Fraser at TEAM 1260 and he told us Allan Watt, the Oilers vice-president of communications and broadcast, had phoned to complain and that he’d also contacted several other stations demanding they not play it. Last time I checked, the Oilers didn’t have a rightsholder agreement with Astral Media and have no right to try to dictate what goes on the air at TEAM 1260 and other Astral stations.

Strike another blow for the Department of No Fun.

Now Alan Watt is by all accounts a good guy. A dedicated business executive who has worked for the CBC, the Eskimos and has risen through the ranks to become the Vice-President of Communications, Broadcasting, and Publicity for the Mightiest Hockey Squadron on Earth. But we think he’s living in 1993 if he thinks he can strong-arm people into doing his bidding in this day and age. You can’t just call people up and make demands anymore. This ain’t a two-newspaper, three-radio-station, three-TV-station town that can be cajoled, jedi mind tricked and bullied into complying into towing the company line anymore. And besides — save the crisis management for an actual crisis, not this nonsense.

What does an actual crisis look like?

We’ve seen an actual crisis that has broken in recent days — a hilariously terrible five-alarm crisis. It involves another large company that has had a clear and present danger to its brand hit the internet and they reacted by trying to suppress the content at all costs. The company: Twentieth Century Fox. The threat: The Voice of Bart Simpson recruiting people to attend a Scientology Meeting. These voice messages Actress Nancy Cartwright was sent out en masse to prospective Scientology memebers’ voice mail accounts were quickly converted and flipped onto YouTube where it immediately caught fire.

This seems like an appropriate time to rally the troops in the PR department and call in some favours during a long night. The kind of night where you put on a pot of coffee, get out your rolodex and hope you have enough favours owed that the big outlets, sites and papers don’t run stories about a story that is clearly bad for all parties.

We can’t really have one of America’s most beloved cartoon characters recruiting people to attend an “AR-7” seminar now, can we? But according to all that we have read, the fact 20th Century Fox is trying to pull it down though is only making the problem worse as more and more attention is being paid to the matter. That’s a real crisis over there and we feel for everyone in the situation except Nancy Cartwright, Scientology, Tom Cruise and Dennis Grebeskhkov who is fast becoming one of histories greatest monsters with his awful +/- like he had against the Sabres the other night.

See that’s the great thing about the internet. No one’s really in charge of it — and content is king. If we went and put up a website called and put the Nancy Cartwright video up on there it would take 20th Century Fox days to figure out who we are and find contact information. Even at that point we wouldn’t have to do anything if they did manage to find us sleeping under a bridge and told us to stop. And all the while people would google “Bart Simpson and Scientology” and up would pop our little website.

Save the firefighting for a real fire, Alan — and learn some new methods of getting what you want. Good heavens. You come up in here and try to bully Wanye Gretz and Wanye Gretz is going to laugh heartily and ask for an autograph cause you are truly a big deal and we aren’t. Then we will give you a Nation T-shirt, make a donation to Kids With Cancer and send you on your way. We have been sent all sorts of stuff from our beloved Nation readers that were too saucy to put up. Pics of a certain player creeping on some ladies in a bar, pics of a different player at a Cabin Party dancing around.

But we don’t put them on the OilersNation and we never will — know why?

It certainly isn’t because you Facebook messaged us and told us not to. We don’t post stuff that is actually harmful because we are the hardest core of hardcore fans of the team and we don’t want to see free agents say things like, “Can’t sign in Edmonton. It’s cold, Diesel Ultralounge doesn’t have happy hour anymore AND that stupid OilersNation always posts pictures that screw over the players.”

You can’t call up the internet and ask them to stop playing Lola Loser any more than you can call up Facebook and tell them to take down pictures of Mike Commodore rolling around in cash:

Shoot man. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t give two squirts about the Blue Jackets PR department. Facebook is worth $15 billion by some accounts. Z-Berg doesn’t care about press passes or getting tickets to a game. He isn’t scared of you either — he has a legal department that would make NHL lawyers cower in their presence. If you make a big stink about things in the internet age — and follow closely here Mr. Watt — things only get worse. It’s a sad fact that will lead to lots of undeserving people having pictures on Facebook that will embarass them – at the very best case. But this internet revolution is in full swing and it is going to take new techniques to handle it effectively.

So what can you do?

Fortunately your ol’ pal Wanye is here to help with some advice. You’re going to have to go back to old fashioned PR tactics where you would actually cultivate a relationship with media outlets and websites rather than ham-handedly attempt to bully or buy them off. You may also (gasp!) have to prevent players from rolling in cash, acting like greasy tools in clubs and avoid performances so shitanusly™ terrible that they merit parody songs in Calgary.

And then on the rare occasion where something really potentially damaging does occur — say the star of the most popular animated series of all time has a minor stroke and starts doing voice-over work to recruit for Planet Xenu — you can manage this crisis effectively by being a good guy like we have heard you are and calling in some favours.

Wrapping this up

We love the Oilers. We love the Oilers like the Phoenix Coyotes would love a bank loan right about now. But even we listened to this song and had a laugh. If one can’t laugh, one starts to cry or one might even get mad. One wouldn’t want tens of thousands of Oilers fans to react to a 10-2 loss with anger would they? Isn’t it better they have a laugh instead?

And so on this day we celebrate our independence from censorship and a Scientology Recruitment Free Zone here at the OilersNation. To celebrate the day in style we want to send out a song to you, our man Allan Watt, from the OilersNation:

The Lola Loser song.

The era of bullying is over.

In conclusion, we conclude.

Concludingly yours,

Wanye Gretz IV


We got a phone call from Jason Gregor who is in San Jose doing heavens knows what. He explained to us the following reasoning for the Oilers anger. Please note that the quotation marks around the statement are for look- this isn’t exactly what he said. “The big issue the Oilers have with the song is that it violates the rightsholders agreements in that they mashed up Rod Phillips’ voice with the song. Had the Fan960 not used Oilers play by play commentary they wouldn’t have had as much issue with the song as they do now.”

Man, did anyone else notice that the Nation was down again? (insert sarcastic face here) We are moving to a new hosting site to coincide with the launch of FlamesNation and we were hoping that our current hosting would be able to withstand the traffic until February 1st. As anyone who has come to the site in the past two weeks noticed it is often slow and is down. This is all our own fault Nation! If we didn’t all come here to talk shop so much the wimpy hosting server would be able to handle the traffic.

It will be fixed ASAP. We have been on the phone screaming and yelling at anyone who will answer our calls. Until then – you have our most sincere apologies. We will try and find a gift of some sort to give to the most pissed off Citizen of the Nation as a “we so sorry” present.

Sigh. Is it Friday yet?