The National Post‘s Kelly McParland believes Tal Bachman “has a pretty successful career going, and can’t possibly need Ottawa to pay his air fare.” But he wasn’t too busy, famous or rich to set the record straight on his blog about his turn at the PromArt trough, expanding on and clarifying a few points he and Eye‘s Marc Weisblott discussed yesterday. The basic story—musician asked to play guitar for South African orphans; Canada’s New Government appalled—hasn’t changed, but he makes his political leanings quite clear.
Conservative base, behold thine enemy!
For the record, I do not believe that the cancellation of the PromArt program constitutes “censorship”, and I very much resent the enduring tendency of artists to so easily and violently misuse this word. Censorship is when a government punishes its citizens for expressing their opinions (as is the wont of, say, provincial “human rights commission” thought police). It is not the mere cancellation of a diplomatic or arts funding program. I should also like to state for the record that if in fact, as has been reported, the PromArt program has been used to fund political propagandizing abroad, rather than for the diplomatic and charitable purposes which motivated the invitation I received to visit South Africa, that I myself wouldn’t lament at least its dramatic overhaul.