Friday, 15 August 2008

Canadian culture = ass porn

Uh oh. The conservatives are tearing up the fabric of Canadian culture again!

Tories to axe five more arts and culture programs

The Department of Canadian Heritage has decided to cut five more arts and culture programs over the next two years, even as a chorus of complaints from the arts community and opposition MPs rains down on the federal government over cuts announced last week.
...
Liberal Heritage critic Denis Coderre reacted furiously to the PromArt and Trade Routes cuts, calling them “totally unacceptable” and “disgusting.” ... Members of the Bloc Québécois and NDP also had harsh words for the Conservatives, with Bloc MP Claude DeBellefeuille saying she “did not think it possible for a government to show so much contempt” for artists.
Let me put my conservative hat on for a second to theorize about why they might be making these cuts. (If you're wondering what my conservative hat looks like, envision a bowler hat made out of matted hair from Margaret Thatcher's side burns, decorated with the tail feather from the last known ivory billed woodpecker and buck shot from Dick Cheney's gun. It wasn't cheap, I tell ya).

So why are they taking the meat cleaver to these valued organizations that nobody has heard of until now? Maybe because nobody has heard of them. After the initial outrage, nobody will care. Here's another thing: government programs spring up with good intentions, but they don't go away!

Case in point: AV Trust, one of the programs on the chopping block:
For the highest priority materials at risk in the existing holdings
• establish a cost-shared program at a level of $2 million per year for ten years for non-federal stakeholders, and allocate an equivalent amount of $2 million per year for ten years to those federal agencies which are already preserving an important part of Canada’s audio-visual heritage.
The program was initiated in 1996. Ten years was 2 years ago! Is this still needed? If not, get rid of it!

What people don't think about is that for every program that is cut, there are usually dozens that are not. All people hear about are the sob stories of the well traveled administrators of the programs that are cut. In actuality, funding for cultural programs is increasing:
For the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2009, Parliament has voted to spend more than $4 billion on cultural programs, including the CBC, the Canada Arts Council, the National Gallery of Canada and the Department of Canadian Heritage. That amount is $660 million or 19.7 per cent more than was spent in fiscal 2006, the last year when the Liberals controlled the purse strings.
With talk of a potential recession or deficit, don't you think it would be prudent to maybe take a look at where the buckets of money are going to see if it still being spent effectively (or if it was ever being spent effectively?)

Here's something else the government is spending money on, from today's paper:
More than 160 years after Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition vanished in the ice of the fabled Northwest Passage, the federal government is backing a search for the Holy Grail of the Canadian Arctic.
Searching for a piece of important Canadian history. That's cool. Nothing wrong with that. Hell, we're even supporting a Canadian porn channel:
The CRTC has given the go-ahead for Canada’s first adult television channel with “significant” homegrown content.
As long as we have good ol' Canadian ass porn on our TVs, you know our culture will be just fine.

2 comments:

marginalizedactiondinosaur said...

I'll give you rights to use my
"fire them all"

graphic for this, thread

;)


It's like in the hitch hikers guide to the galaxy.

Where a national philosophers strike is looming and the computer says well whom will that inconvenience.


It's not like they are making anything you would like to buy in a mall for someone at Christmas.

To me thats the definition of art would only a psycho want it?

I have a related thread due Monday I think.

cherenkov said...

Thanks for the offer, dino. :-)

This is similar to a year ago when they cut literacy programs, and everybody got all alarmed. After closer inspection, it turned out some the programs spent all their money touring around "advocating" literacy, but they didn't actually teach anybody to read!

 
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