Friday, September 19, 2008

Arts vs Culture? Your Tax Dollars at Work

Look, I want to address this issue head-on. I know we're in the middle of an election campaign, and people expect goodies, and sponsorship, and many Canadian "artists", especially those working for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Peoples Agitprop Network, are complaining about the cuts to the foreign affairs artist travel program.

For example, here's a cruel but high production value clip starring all the major téléroman actors who have regular work on Radio-Canada. Some poor guy is forced to grovel before a bunch of evil anglo arts bureaucrats in Ottawa - real paranoid fantasy stuff. (Warning: F-Word, tasteless gestures, pathetic bilingualism):

The singer is some 70's pop star god named Rivard, yes, Rivard, Michel Rivard, maybe you've heard of him. And he's going on about a "phoque* en Alaska" - probably a tasteless reference to Governor Sarah Palin.

People, I share your pain. We're still trying to sort out all this sponsorship stuff from the Crouton and Dithers eras. For example, is Alfonso Gagliano's vineyard "Culture"? Beats me.

Anyhoo, we're doing a program review and may move some of this line item over to Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien where it belongs, or replace it with something better. Because of the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver and needs in the immigrant community, we're trending a bit more toward sports and citizenship.

But look, it's not the end of the world if you can't attend that beach barbecue arts study session in Cuba.

Maybe the provinces could help out a bit here.... Hey, Charest, how about using some of that enormous Loto-Québec or Hydro-Québec jackpot money to help these poor arts people go play guitar with their friends in France? Maybe boost this program?

A friendly word of advice, Rivard. Maybe you'd have better luck if you sang about a Phoque en Nunavut.
*Sorry, it means "seal". Oh I get it. Ha Ha.
Postscript: Writing in La Presse, Nathalie Petrowski saw through the pathetic Rivard BS, calling his ad "a little intellectually dishonest," because it suggested Quebecers were targeted. Instead of coming across as a strong people "rebelling against an ideology," she wrote, the artists are "once again victims of a system that despises their language and their culture."