Opening Ceremonies, Open War
August 8, 2008
by Drew Nelles
Millennia ago, when the ancient Greeks started the Olympic tradition, various warring Greek states would set aside their arms and compete in the athletic arena. That tradition has fallen by the wayside, as the Beijing Olympics began today, and so did what seems very close to becoming a new all-out war. This morning, Russia joined the battle between Georgia and its breakaway South Ossetia region, rolling into the area in support of the rebels. Russia has already reportedly bombed a Georgian… Read more »
Again, an interesting item at the bottom:
TORIES VS. THE ARTS, TAKE TWO
The Post and the Citizen front a deft scoop on the Conservative government’s plan to cancel a federal arts travel fund for ideological reasons. An anonymous official tells the Citizen’s David Adkin that the $4.7-million PromArt program, which covers selected travel costs for artists and speakers promoting Canadian culture abroad, will be axed because the cash “went to groups that would raise the eyebrows of any typical Canadian.” The official and a Conservative memo specifically cite the examples of Toronto experimental band Holy Fuck, prominent left-wing journalist Avi Lewis, and pop-rocker Tal Bachman, all of whom received grants. The memo describes Lewis as a “general radical,” and also singles out grant recipients the North-South Institute as “a left-wing and anti-globalization think-tank” and author Gwynne Dyer, a grant recipient, as “a left-wing columnist and author who has plenty of money to travel on his own.” But the article also points out that plenty of grant money went to relatively uncontroversial groups, like the Canadian Museum of Civilization and various ballet theatres. The Conservatives’ focus on Holy Fuck because of the profanity in its name certainly seems misplaced; the band is instrumental, so it’s not as though its lyrics could be deemed offensive, and given Canada’s status as an indie-rock exporter in recent years, Holy Fuck is just the kind of band this country should promote on the world stage. In any case, Adkin points out that this move is sure to inflame the Canadian arts community, which is already fuming over the Conservatives’ plan to deny tax credits to films deemed offensive.
This is obviously a Tory conspiracy designed to make the party look as lame as possible. Lewis is no radical, but he’s one of Canada’s best, and his pedigree alone (husband of Naomi Klein, son of Steven Lewis) gives him plenty of mainstream-lefty legitimacy. The Holy Fuck thing is just awesome.
Something I didn’t point out in MediaScout was that the Post, in its print edition of the article, refers to the band as “Holy Fuck Music,” a mistake since corrected online. Apparently, they were confused by the domain name of the band’s website, but you’d think the Post’s philistine newsies could’ve double-checked with the paper’s not-bad Arts team. Anyway, I wonder whether this will do for Holy Fuck what C-10 did for Young People Fucking.