I read the CBC News article “Artists, actors say Tory arts cuts equal censorship” with a particular mix of amusement and incredulity. The Conservatives are cutting $48.5 million from the budget for the arts. Whether the Conservatives have a sound reason, I don’t know. Frankly, it doesn’t much matter given the funny things the arts community is saying.
The title is hyperbole. Last I heard, censorship is when the government restricts speech, a book, a product, or something else. The artists are claiming censorship because the government isn’t paying them? This makes me think the ungrateful bastards deserve a cut to bring them back to Earth from wherever they were enjoying subsidized living before.
Canadian actress Marie Tifo is quoted as saying,
They don’t want to recognize the existence of art in our society, and that’s appalling. I’m here with all my peers to say ‘no,’ we exist, and [culture] is an essential good.
Last I heard, cutting the budget to your art means stopping the money flow, not denying your existence. If that’s what you really feel, you’ve been relying too much on the government to begin with.
Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Québécois, said,
that’s dangerous. We can’t allow politicians to determine what is written, what is seen, what dances are allowed, what songs are tolerable.
Nothing like playing to the crowd, eh Gilles? First, the government is not restricting what is seen, what dances are allowed and what songs are tolerable. They’re just not paying for as many songs, dances, and books. Paying with our money, I might add.
If Duceppe equates funding with availability, and claims politicians can’t be allowed to determine availability, is he suggesting all art be eligible for government funding? Let me know, because I’d love it if the government would pick up my hosting tab, thanks. Oh, you say my site isn’t art? Well, the politicians can’t be allowed to make this determination, surely.
If this is the best the arts community can do for a counter-arguement, they’re already cooked.