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Life as a Bassterd...

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Boycott government funded "arts"

I truly believe in the importance of the arts. I encourage my kids to learn music and enjoy music, theatre and other “cultural” activities. However, I do not think the government should be involved in the creation, funding or any other aspect of controlling arts and culture. Arts should be a natural reflection of the culture. If it is ‘propped’ up by government grants and funding, it is not a true reflection. Government grants and funding may also adversely influence art and culture, at the very least there is an influence, whether benign or not, that the government should not be involved in. The Government should reflect the culture, not create it.


If an artist can’t create are without public grants, then that art is not necessarily wanted by the public or even needed. Grants are handed out to artists to create demos, movies etc. If the public wanted these items, they would support them with there expendable income. It is not up to the government to decide that public money should be used to finance a private endeavour that may or may not be wanted by the public. If I don’t want your art, I should not have to pay for it through my taxes.


Lack of Government funding has been portrayed by the media, all of which in some ways uses and possibly misuses government grants, as being ultra right wing and ‘evil’. The fact is that Government funding can’t help but dictate the art and culture created. Culture funding and control is actually the most right wing you can get! If you accept these grants you are relinquishing your freedom. But, you probably don’t really want your freedom anyway. An artist of integrity would never accept a grant to commission a painting or piece of art from a private interest group that promotes hatred or some evils against society that the artists does not agree with. Yet, artists submit applications and ‘try out’ to get some of this free money from a Government they apparently have a severe distaste for. It is hypocritical. If you can’t afford to make your movie, don’t make it, feed your kids instead.


The Soviet Union funded its culture, as does China, the old Iraq, Iran, Cuba etc. When these governments control and fund the culture it is labelled as propaganda and wrong. When our government, doesn’t, it is tagged with the same labels.


If the art created cannot stand on its own, is not wanted by the Canadian public, then it is not a reflection of our culture. If this means no art, then, we have to accept that that is our culture! Maybe we wouldn’t hear the Tragically Hip every two minutes on the radio, maybe no one would see the National Ballet of Canada, and maybe our Canadian broadcaster or programs would not be part of our lives. But maybe they shouldn’t be, and maybe we don’t really want them, or maybe, just maybe they would survive without all of this government help. The cry for grants from the arts committee is a admission of inferiority to those who do not need or seek grants. When I take a grant I am saying, what I create is inferior, and not needed by anyone else.


If all the funding for demo CDs, tours for Canadian artists and other such things were shifted towards health care, greening the economy or other things that may be of value,  maybe our culture would reflect this, and not glorified bar band rock and toques.


I truly hope the next time Chantal Kreviazek, fresh off a War Child promo, sits down and opens up her arts grant isn’t bothered by the fact that that money could have been used to provide medicine to a sick kid in Winnipeg.


Be astute and knowledgeable consumers and boycott all art created with Government grants! Support real artists, who sacrifice their own money – not yours!



Posted by Bastard Boy at 2:53 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 2 October 2008 2:54 PM EDT

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