Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Uh oh... get ready to yell at me.

Now, I don't want you to think that I'm not some anarchist, or some kind of beer swilling dope who thinks that all politicians are the same and there's no point voting.

But here's thing (and often people end up yelling at me when I bring up politics) there's an election going on both here in Soviet Canuckistan and down in the land of the freedom fries. And they are both being framed as good, ordinary folks vs. artsy and brainy elites.

Especiallly in Canada, where we don't have an Obama to rally the liberals - in our case the actual big L liberals.

That's something that gets said a lot in Canada. Big L Liberals and Big C Conservatives, to distinguish the parties from the ideology. I'm just not sure if that's big I ideology or not.

Our artistic community is up in arms because the current government, led by a zombie we call Steve, is looking to gain votes by slashing arts funding. We absolutely pour billions of dollars into the arts, which encompasses everything from a guy masturbating under bleachers to a TV show airing on CBS. Neither of those two things strikes me as needed much in the way of government funding. A - can't one of the bigest, richest TV broadcasters in the world make a TV show without the Canadian government ponying up, and B - how much does it cost to masturbate?

But there are plenty of much more deserving projects that get funding from many different levels - municipal, provincial and federal. Being an artists in Canada is so much easier than it is in the states, due entirely to government funding. I think government funding creates a system predisposed to art aimed solely at other artists, but that's another blog post for you to get angry about.

Here's my point. We in the self identified artists community shouldn't think that we have to somehow convince every farmer or every pot grower that we should get more government money. We shouldn't make it our mission to put Paul Gross in front of a camera everytime someone suggests slowing the cultural bribe.

Cause let's be honset with oufselves. That's what we're talking about. Big L Liberals (remember them?) use arts funding to get artsy types to vote for them. And it works. Big C Conservatives, however, do things a little smarter. They take money from artists to get quote-unquote plain folk to vote for them, and give their bribe money to rich people and corporations and get them to vote for them.

All that plus Alberta. If they don't get a majority this time, they must really be as dumb as us small L liberals think they are.

I often fall back on a simple phrase when I talk about Canadian creative types, and it applies here. If we want people to get worked up about losing cultural funding, we have simply got to make our stuff better. Stop complaining about how much we contri ute to the economy. Stop whining that American movies are going to one city rather than another. Stop patting ourselves on the back everytime someone turns on a camera.

We have to do better.

Because, trust me, the better we make our art, the more quote-unquote plain folk will give a shit.

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