Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Here We Go

The Conservative government is cutting arts funding as well as funding to the CBC.

I mean, this is year one, right? Five more years? When you have a "Heritage" Minister who says that government can't be the "only source of funding for arts organizations", you have a Minister whose head is completely up his ass.

Since when in Canada did the government pay for anything but a tiny fraction of the arts, unless of course it's to build large arts buildings in downtown Toronto which then go half empty for years because that same government doesn't want to actually fund the institutions themselves? And Flaherty's ridiculous comments about the fact that arts organizations shouldn't count on regular funding is cut from the same cloth - where the hell do these guys think we are, the 1970's?

I know this is just part of the rhetoric, the same rhetoric that got Rob Ford elected mayor to stop the gravy train, and whose half million dollar consultants managed to find a grand 15 million out of a 1 bilion dollar budget to cut, something should be clear - the game is won, the fat is gone, whatever fat there may have been, and yet my fellow Canadians continue to labour under the delusion that it's not they, who refuse to pay taxes, but the government who is somehow wasting money that simply isn't there.

I'm currently in a country that thinks arts and culture is a public good - I bought a yearly pass here that allows me to go to every state museum in Berlin for about $30 Canadian, and kids under 18 are free. And you know what's really crazy about that? It actually turns these "elitist" institutions into places where the public is welcome.

But I live in a country who has embraced, more than the UK ever did, the ridiculous notion that there is no such thing as society - the sad thing is that in Canada, they might actually just succeed in making that happen.

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