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Canada has nothing to tell the world


 

That’s the conclusion one must draw from the decision to can the program under which the Canadian government sent artists abroad, chronicled here by ITQ. Not for the first time, I’m left wishing the Harper government would work a little harder at imitating the Bush administration. Here are a few cultural and public diplomacy initiatives the State Department has funded in recent months:

• Sent eight U.S. college and university presidents to Brazil and Chile;

• Sent a former Major League Baseball player to Panama to help kids handle pop flies and grounders;

• Co-ordinated literature exchanges between publishing houses in the United States and partner publishers in Mexico, Pakistan and Northern Ireland.

All as part of a Global Cultural Initiative under the personal patronage of President and Mrs. Bush. Bunch of Communists.


 

Canada has nothing to tell the world

  1. If this keeps up we’re going to have less brand recognition than South Ossetia (which I see has not yet made it into my Firefox spellchecker).

    This is such a gratuitous move, made purely to gratify the philistines. Why not actually burn a few artists alive?

    Meanwhile, about that UNSC seat…

  2. As far as I know, Canadians travel abroad all the time. Some of them are artists. Some of them perform. So I have not the foggiest idea why the government should be cherry-picking their own globe-trotters to travel on taxpayer money. So this is another reason to vote conservative.

    If I want to donate to charity, then I will donate to charity. Taxes and charity are not the same thing, as least to conservatives. To liberals, taxes can be put towards anything, regardless of whether it has anything to do with government or not, as if the government is a giantic slush fund. I would rather choose myself which charities are effective and which are a waste of money.

    Not only that, I don’t see how good-will has to be tied to nationalism – does the government send people abroad as a propaganda initiative?

    No doubt, if the rest of the world wants to see that bomb of a movie YPF, then give them the chance, so they can all agree it is an embarassment to Canada, but let it bomb on the dime of the YPF studio, not on my dime.

  3. During the cold war and while China was very anti-west, DFAIT (External Affairs) was actively sending artists and orchestras overseas to try and keep, at a minimum, a cultural dialoge going.

    Is that not the role of the government? To promote dialog between countries?

  4. (eek… let’s see how many other ways I can spell dialogue…)

  5. Paul compassionate conservatism is just a fancy phrase for socialism, don’t you know.

    Seriously, if there is proof that these tax-payer funded junkets actually do what they say they do, I would love to see it.

  6. Paul compassionate conservatism is just a fancy phrase for socialism.

    I swear, the Right in Canada is pre-verbal.

    Word have meaning, you know.

  7. I agree. We should stop wasting taxpayers’ money cherry-picking artists to send abroad when we are better served by using regional economic development agencies to send school children to Lego competitions.

    I’m not making this up:

    http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1070809.html

  8. Damn, Mark, you were one step ahead of me. I was about to post that link. Everyone follow Mark’s link!

  9. Errr, we’re going to have to work out something about our names.

  10. $53,861 doesn’t buy you a lot of Lego these days, in fairness.

  11. Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back! Canada is back!

  12. Let’s agree, other Mark, that mine will have the nice blue font.

  13. I don’t think it’s Lego their buying, so to speak.

  14. oops… “they’re”

  15. Re: Canada’s Back
    An aside.
    If you read the actual paper mail out flyer, the text of which I can’t find on line, you will find it perfectly shows the technique Paul W was talking about a few days ago regarding the McCain ad which could be an Obama ad without any changes being made.

    If you read the Canada’s Back text,it makes perfect sense if you switch the words Liberal and Conservative whereever they appear. But leaving it as written it has some crazy kind of satiric truth which probably actually works.

    To get the drift the first sentence is: “When they came to power the Liberals inherited country that was a major player on the world stage.” The next sentence refers to the Liberals “squandering our reputation.”

  16. sf said at 12:44 PM:”Taxes and charity are not the same thing, as least to conservatives.”

    That being so, perhaps you could explain the registered charitable status of the right wing “think tank” (oxymoron alert), the Fraser Institute ? I don’t particularly like my taxes increased to cover off tax right-offs to right wing Conservative cheerleaders.

  17. DPat: I don’t have the slightest idea how an economic policy institute can pawn itself off as a charity.

    I don’t see this as a “they did it, so we should do it too” kind of issue. Conservatives can waste money too. But frankly, the story is about conservatives trying to waste less money. And there’s one thing I know, if you really want to waste money, they elect the NDP.

  18. I say Mark (the one with the link) should be hired by the Conservatives to write their talking points. Same message, but less scorn and better writing.

    Excuse my language
    , but they need to brush up on the rhetoric.

  19. Hmm, interesting. First he puts the kibosh on supporting cultural products that contain naughty words, and now he won’t even bother to support sending promising artists abroad.

    It’s almost as if he didn’t care about Canadian culture. As if he didn’t, somehow, believe it were valid. As if Stephen Harper were a man vaguely ashamed of being Canadian.

    (But there’s no way that the Conservatives would have chosen a man like that to lead them. Right?)

  20. Wow. At least we know the Editorial Board of the National Post is reading this blog.

    From the NP editorial this morning:

    Predictably, there will be plenty of stink over the cancellation of the tax-funded slush fund. Some artists will claim it is censorship — as they did when the Conservatives recently tightened the government’s film-subsidy rules. And cultural nationalists will charge that the move cripples Canadian artists’ ability to have their voices heard outside our borders. (Blogger Paul Wells of Maclean’s magazine, for instance, claims the program’s cancellation is a sign the Tories believe “Canada has nothing to tell the world.”)

    Nonsense. If Canadian artists produce world-class art, then it will be noticed on the world stage — with or without government assistance. Moreover, the Tories are not telling artists to stop producing their movies, paintings, alternative rock or books. Rather, they are simply telling them to stop financing their international junkets from the wallets of overburdened taxpayers. Except for those on their way to boring conferences in Finland, or cocktails with Cuba’s communist junta, Canadians will no doubt heartily approve.

  21. And funny how you’ve gone from journalist, to columnist, to blogger.

  22. Ooh, I’d *love* to get a shoutout from the National Post editorial board. Go Colleague Wells!

  23. The wallets of overburdened taxpayers are thus well defended from my depredations.

  24. Demosthenes

    It is almost as if Liberals/Dippers, who claim to believe in multi-culti vlaues, would actually prefer to impose our morals/values/culture on others. As if they didn’t, somehow, actually believe their propaganda about how all cultures are equal. As if they were slightly ashamed of the hoi-polloi abroad and believed they needed to be shown what’s what.

    But they wouldn’t actually believe that, right?

  25. Oh, jwl, that’s just silly. I mean, you can put forward any number of perfectly defensible arguments against funding the overseas travel of artists and activists — although I’m sure there would be equally defensible counterarguments – but the idea that somehow, supporting a US tour for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet represents an insidious attempt to “impose our morals/values/cultures” on those notorious heathens south of the border is simply ridiculous.

  26. As if they didn’t, somehow, actually believe their propaganda about how all cultures are equal. As if they were slightly ashamed of the hoi-polloi abroad and believed they needed to be shown what’s what.

    I love performance art. Give this guy a travel stipend. Oops…too late.

  27. Kady It might have been slightly over the top but I was doing ‘performance art’ as Ti-Guy says. I wouldn’t have worded it the way I did but I was trying to do it in the style of Demosthenes.

    I am against cultural exchanges because I don’t think they actually achieve anything useful and they are a colossal waste of money but I am also troubled by them because they do have a whiff of imperialism about them.

    The Royal Ballet going to U.S. bugs me as a taxpayer but sending Supreme Court Justice abroad to lecture on our Charter of Rights troubles me morally. I think Canada is a great country that should be admired but I don’t like imposing our beliefs on others.

  28. Or.. apparantly.. even demonstrating them.

  29. That same argument, though, if taken to its logical extreme, would make virtually all international travel undertaken by elected officials – including the PM – similarly morally troublesome, would it not? What about those statements that the government puts out on events that take place abroad – sometimes congratulatory, but often condemnatory?

  30. “That same argument, though, if taken to its logical extreme, would make virtually all international travel undertaken by elected officials – including the PM – similarly morally troublesome, would it not?”

    Probably, but I am not always logically consistent.

    I don’t mind our politicians speaking for/against things happening in the world when they are here in Canada but I think it’s bad manners to go to someone else’s country to lecture them on why we are great and how the host country doesn’t measure up to our lofty standards.

  31. But is there any reason to think the Winnipeg Ballet, or, for that matter, Holy Fuck or Tal Bachman did that? Maybe they were just promoting Canadian culture in a positive, non-fingerwagging fashion.

  32. I am against cultural exchanges because I don’t think they actually achieve anything useful…

    When you actually know they don’t achieve anything useful, let me know.

  33. “But is there any reason to think the Winnipeg Ballet, or, for that matter, Holy Fuck or Tal Bachman did that?”

    Kady I don’t know what they were like on tour but I am against paying for these third rate acts to gallivant around the world for no particular reason.

    I lived abroad for a bunch of years and Canadians are starting to develop a reputation, on top of the ‘boring’, ‘milquetoast’ one we already have. We are becoming a nation of sanctimonious prigs and people are noticing. There are many Canadians who really believe that we have something to teach the world and if foreigners just did as we do, we would all live in peace and harmony.

  34. I lived abroad for a bunch of years and Canadians are starting to develop a reputation, on top of the ‘boring’, ‘milquetoast’ one we already have. We are becoming a nation of sanctimonious prigs and people are noticing.

    I lives abroad for many years as well, and apart from “boring,” (which I’m fine with…someone has to be boring, otherwise the British, the French and Americans won’t know how fascinating they are) I never noticed this. Mostly, people are indifferent.

    Maybe it’s you. You sound kind of crabby.

  35. Look who’s talking. Hey, Ti-Guy: your pointless belligerence toward every single interlocutor is getting really tired really quickly. Tone it down.

  36. These elites don’t need the money to travel.
    It just provides better hotels, better restaurants, and better wine.

  37. If we didn’t have anything to teach the americans and british then why did they need our help developing the atom bomb. Can we agree that cukltural exchanges with NATO allies is acceptable use of Foriegn Affairs money. Most of these countries are also in the Commenwealth or Francophonie where we are expected to lead.

  38. Mike Horn I think you should stop drunk posting. A cultural exchange that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Japanese is not exactly a selling point for how great they are.

  39. John W:

    “These elites don’t need the money to travel.
    It just provides better hotels, better restaurants, and better wine.”

    The cause célèbre in this case (Holy Fuck going to Europe) cost, what, $3000? That doesn’t leave any money for hotels, wine, or restaurants if you’re transporting five members and at least some equipment.

    I do wonder if there’s any other country on earth in which you’d find such dyed-in-the-wool hatred for “culture” and “artists” as there is in Canada. (Conceivably England.) Plenty of other nations don’t love the arts, but in my experience it’s only in Canada that you can find educated people who honestly wish the arts would cease to be. (Of course the line is “Not on my dime!” etc. etc. etc.)

    All this “taxpayers’ rights” BS generally… As though taxes were voluntary!

  40. It’s very hard to comment on this issue when mentioning the name of the experimental rock band at the centre of it makes your comment require moderation.

  41. Jack M I think I am one the people you think hates ‘culture’ and ‘artists’.

    I don’t hate either but I just don’t see why I should have to subsidize it. If Holy Fcuk wants to go to Europe than they should go without expecting me to pay for it.

    The way I see it is if an artist, in whatever medium, is good enough they get recognition and are well known within and without the county. If they are mediocre, they expect the taxpayer to take care of them. I don’t see why I should be paying for dire artists to inflict their mediocrity on others.

    What I thought interesting about that list is that the numbers are so small I found myself thinking about how much I pay in tax annually and who did I pay for. For instance, I found myself thinking that I paid for Dyer to hobnob with Fidel, Lewis to go to film festivals and Tal to traipse around southern Africa. I am working long hours to pay for others to have holidays when, at the very least, Dyer and Lewis can afford to do those things on their own dime.

  42. Oh, jwl, I feel so sorry for you and your long hours. But you must know that 9 drops in 10 of the sweat of your brow goes to paying interest on the debt, health care, and whatnot. I won’t indulge you in the fantasy that “you” are paying for the artists. You are taxed and the government spends that money as it sees fit. Do you slap yourself on the back every time you drive down the freeways that “you” paid for? Good job, Joe Taxpayer! You really got a bargain there! See that policeman? He’s personally sponsored by you! He should be so grateful!

    Government subsidies for the arts exist because we have an egalitarian social system in which the fabulously wealthy feel little need to tie their names to great works of art. The patron system was in place til about 1750. After that, the market was supposed to be big enough that artists could support themselves. And that was the case until 1950, when TV pretty much destroyed taste. Nowadays we face a choice between subsidising the arts publicly and letting fifty ancient, subtle forms of art die off. When I say you hate “artists” and “culture” I mean that you would be happy to let market-driven art-forms (Hollywood, TV, hip-hop) flourish and couldn’t care about the others.

    As to Lewis and Dyer, they’re hardly artists, they’re “cultural ambassadors.” The point is to raise Canada’s profile. That can have a real impact, though it’s a bit hit-or-miss. For example, Norman Bethune’s reputation in China is *still* shielding us from Chinese annoyance, 50 years later. Admittedly he wasn’t exactly sponsored by the Canadian government, but the idea behind sending Dyer to Cuba is that some young Cuban, looking to the post-Castro era, will hear his talk and, 30 years from now when he’s prime minister of the latest Caribbean Tiger economy, smile on Canadian wheat. If that helps today’s Joe Taxpayer’s grandchildren keep their jobs, the money will have been well spent.

  43. Look who’s talking. Hey, Ti-Guy: your pointless belligerence toward every single interlocutor is getting really tired really quickly. Tone it down.

    Sorry, I forgot that the purpose of Macleans (and most private media) is to feature tedious anti-Canadian invective in service of bad policy while ensuring that even mildly robust challenges are never allowed to be mounted.

    Forgive the lèse majesté. I too often forget how brittle and petulant “journalists” can be.

  44. Fortunately anyone reading this thread, including the post that started it, will be able to judge the credibility of the claims in your latest comment.

    Please take any position you like on policy, Ti-Guy. But do try to stop being abusive toward other readers.

  45. Jack M I actually don’t think I have paid for everything I see that’s government related. My point was that the sums spent were so minuscule, at least for government spending, you could make it personal. I was wondering if the government did that on purpose.

    Creative destruction is your friend. To me, spending money on arts that most people don’t pay attention to is like the government spending money to subsidize radio tube makers and typewriter manufacturers. I am big fan of history and old things but both of us have to let go.

    I was never certain why governments send cultural ambassadors to other countries so thanks for explaining theory. I am big believer in unintended consequences and hope the government is not assuming that some Cuban will be sympathetic to us in 30 years. I have read convincing arguments that one of the main reasons Middle Easterners hate the ‘west’ is that we are propping up leaders they loathe. I wonder how many Cubans are going to be impressed by Canadians going to resorts and putting money into the pocket of Raul and his chums in the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

    Personally, I think the biggest mistake Canadian artists made was to encourage the establishment of the Canadian Council. Once you agree to take tax payers money than you are accountable to them and great art is not created by committee. So we now have post modern artists who want to do all sorts of odd things but they are responsible to heathens like me that believe not a single piece of worthy art, except music and books, has been created since 1900(I might be exaggerating a little but not much).

  46. jwl, thanks for your thoughtful post. I’ll try and imitate the civilised tone.

    “Creative destruction is your friend. To me, spending money on arts that most people don’t pay attention to is like the government spending money to subsidize radio tube makers and typewriter manufacturers. I am big fan of history and old things but both of us have to let go.”

    I happen to agree with you on a number of things (see below), but I think this premise is flawed. “High art” was never about greatest good for the greatest number. (I assume we’re talking about good high art here, not conceptual meat skyscrapers et hoc genus omne.) I would compare it rather to astrophysics or any other pure science: the common man has no idea what it’s about; hopefully he thinks its vaguely cool; but the fact that the Hubble telescope wasn’t putting man on Mars was no reason to shut it down (as Bush did). Surely the idea should be to elevate the population rather than lowering our artistic standards and be satisfied with people saying, “Dude!” (which is about where we’re at right now, thanks to the democratising art you loathe). I’d be the first to say that the effect of relativising the value of art has been destructive; but it that really a good reason to pull the plug once and for all?

    I’d nitpick about the date of 1900, myself. I think the destruction Western traditon was actually quite beautifully done; the inherent problem is that once it’s gone you can’t keep on destroying it. I mean, Picasso only makes sense in relation to traditional European painting; once that’s forgotten, neither can the tradition be cannibalised nor, alas, does Picasso make much sense per se.

    Anyway, that’s ancient history now, we’re in the wilderness in terms of the traditional arts. But for my part I think revivals are possible: in jazz, Wynton Marsalis has single-handedly proved it (the guy is like a one-man Renaissance).

    Can’t quarrel with anything else you say. Oh, the poor Canada Council, graveyard of innovation. It would be much better if they just appointed some arbiter elegentiarum to stamp his personal taste on Canadian art for the next twenty years, good or bad, André Malraux-style. But what are the odds of that happening in a democratic country? Maybe if we invited Albert II of Belgium over we could hand him the Canada Council money to dispense as he saw fit. Hey, not a bad idea!

  47. On a related note, in the 48 or 72 hours since this story broke, has anyone heard a peep in defence of the program from any its recipients?

    I think the current government has calculated quite accurately that the artists, writers, academics, etc. that are affected by this program cancellation aren’t exactly going to say or do much about it.

  48. Well, mark, there was certainly way more than a peep coming from the taxpayer-pampered arts community when the subsidy review for standards of decency (or whatever) snuck in the last budget. Apparently Sheila Copps’ policy choice was “evil Conservative censorship!” when ultimately implemented. We didn’t hear nearly enough (for my heartless right-wing tastes) about the obscenity of harvesting taxpayers’ labours in order to keep afloat the producers of that which not enough people cared to watch / read / listen to / etc.

  49. I must respectfully disagree with Paul, here. Canada has much to tell the world. I would like to think (in fact I do) that Canadians are quite capable of sharing their thoughts and expressions with our fellow earthlings — I just find it more than a little objectionable that taxpayers are required to subsidize the airfare, the restaurant meals, or the seven euro package of roasted almonds in the hotel room minibar. If international travel is the cost of doing business for some of these people, let that be factored into their revenues & expenses, and let them charge the proper price for their product. That other allegedly free-market nations’ governments are siphoning funds confiscated from their taxpayers for this purpose hardly justifies its presence here.
    I am saddened that so many (see above) of my fellow citizens have so little respect for the taxpayer that they defend its principle (sometimes by questioning the patriotism of those who know we can stand on our own two feet without the demeaning handout), or belittle its cost (“relax, it’s only a few million a year…”).
    If invited to do so (relax, lefties, it’ll never happen), I would seriously consider taking an unpaid leave of absence to review all federal government activity in a fiscal year, and list in a yellow book all expenditures that are within the federal government’s constitutional powers, a blue book for anything outside the constitution’s powers that were nonetheless promised by the party that won election in the last ten years, and a red book for anything else (which would include many of these “just a few million a year” inanities). The purpose would be for the federal parties to debate the withdrawal timetable of everything listed in the red book, a sunset clause formula for everything in the blue book, and a frank debate on how to apply themselves better to the mandates in the yellow book. Avi, you would pay your own way to play with the kangaroos, but you’ll have your self-esteem back! CBC, see ya. Coporate welfare: bye-bye. Etc.
    That the economic impact of pink slips to so many would be so huge is a magnificent testament to the absurdity of continuing this insane inflation of government activity. Let public service workers go, free up the incredible amount of office space they fill up, absorb the bump in unemployment, let these people find “real jobs” out there, and watch the economy recover. Slash government spending, retire debt aggressively, cut taxes massively. Rent for office space will go down as supply goes up: start a business! The labour market pool will swell, so salaries will drop a bit; great, lower cost of doing business, and the income tax slash will help the middle manager public servant paper pusher tolerate a lower income in a real job.
    I know, I know, it’s unpatriotic to think we could do with less government, apparently. I’m sorry, the last re-education camp weekend obviously did no good…

  50. I always hesitate to court a discussion that is based upon ideology, by madeyoulook seems to be desperately looking for some polarizing banter.

    I’m not sure I can rise to the challenge, but allow me to enter the lions den.

    Madeyoulook, you dirty crook, you stole your mother’s pocket book.

    Based upon this week’s numerous entries, you appear to have been the recipient of a publicly funded education, probably post secondary, maybe graduate. I assume you didn’t receive a BA or have studied the arts of any source then.

    As you know, up until grade 12, it’s really only universities that have not been completely been publicly funded – and heavily subsidized by “the taxpayer”.

    Have “our” funds been wasted on your education?

    Wouldn’t we have been better off sending you to welding school instead? There seems to be a shortage of them here now in parts of Canada.

  51. Sadly,madeyoulook,re-education assumes that there is education in the first place. Libertarianism isn’t a function of education. It’s usually misdirected anger.

  52. madeyoulook seems to be desperately looking for some polarizing banter.
    It being too far-fetched to expect that respect for the taxpayer might find someone, anyone, in agreement. Actually, it probably is too far-fetched, so I guess I am guilty as charged on that one.

    allow me to enter the lions den
    Meow. Don’t be shy…

    Madeyoulook, you dirty crook, you stole your mother’s pocket book.
    Actually, my mother stole mine, by voting for governments to send the bill to my generation. I have been dutifully paying taxes for years now to whittle away at the balance owing, but alas governments keep up with the power trip, doing more and more without ever stopping what they were doing before, and voters seem to support the “do more and more” parties more than the “respect the taxpayer” parties. So much so that I am having trouble even finding a true “respect the taxpayer” party. My own pathetic attempt to salvage my children’s future prosperity is to increase awareness, for which I am grateful to Macleans.ca for its indulgence. And I thank you for reading it and reflecting on it.

    Based upon this week’s numerous entries, you appear to…
    So that’s where my tea leaves got to! Does your guess at my profile somehow invalidate my way of thinking?

    Have “our” funds been wasted on your education?
    Ah, that’s it. I probably went to public school, so I should be grateful and keep quiet about expanding government.
    Well, if my way of thinking (Canadian artists, journalists & businesses should be allowed to sink or swim without forced support from taxpayers) does not toe the permitted-thought party line, I suppose you might argue that they were wasted funds. If there was some way to reliably predict which kindergartners might grow up to be right-wing philosophers spewing their unwanted venom on blog comments, would you advocate that we not waste the dough on these fools, and send them straight to a trade school instead (in the debatable hope that a trade school will blunt an indivdual’s ability to think for oneself)? Would anyone want to live in such a country? On second thought, don’t answer that, I think I (would rather not?) (already?) know.
    No argument, by the way, that we are suffering a lack of talented people developing skills in the trades. Too bad we’re so heavily subsidizing tuition in pub crawling, oops, I meant poli-sci studies, for our future burger-flippers.
    Callout to constitutional scholars: isn’t education a provincial responsibility? If so, at the federal level, legitimate debate would centre around how much equalization and direct grants feed provinces to oversubsidize education, or how much meddling the feds are undertaking in the provinces’ field of responsibility. That is, if it’s ok for us lions to request such a debate.

    See, I was really a cute little pussycat.

  53. Ok, ok, ok. No more artists abroad. No more people giving speeches in foreign countries with government assistance. No more musicians in hotels. Let’s just stick to the core business of the federal government, thise which Conservative-minded and Libertarians can agree on. The items of great national importance. The ones clearly described as federal in our consitution.

    Important things, like walking trails in hotly contested ridings:

    http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=160794&sc=79

  54. Gee, Dot gave me a graduate education, and Sisyphus evaluates that I had none. Tell me, comrades, should I go get (more) education or should I attend anger management sessions?

    Actually, thanks to Richard’s link to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s latest “investment” in the prosperity of a hiking trail, I’d better sign up for anger management. Otherwise I might need a subsidized doctor to manage my high blood pressure whenever I get to see a subsidized doctor, if I am lucky, in the next three years.

  55. MYL writes: “So that’s where my tea leaves got to! Does your guess at my profile somehow invalidate my way of thinking?”

    Actually, my leap of faith was based upon your comment in another pw blog on university rankings: “Shh, people, not so loud! McGill can lead the world, just so long as it is number 2 in Québec.”

    Frankly, your protestations should be put in this context, and context is important.

    I could say more, a lot more, but I won’t, only to note that you didn’t reply to my conclusion that you didn’t obtain a BA, or take any related courses – a conscious decision made in your adult (not kindergarten years). Which would make your anti-arts funding argument lame.

    But, maybe if you do in fact have a liberal arts degree, it may explain what appears to be your underlying philosophy “I’m already on board, thank god. Now for heaven’s sake, pull up the drawbridge”.

  56. you didn’t obtain a BA, or take any related courses – a conscious decision made in your adult (not kindergarten years). Which would make your anti-arts funding argument lame.
    Ah, now I am starting to see the picture. My opinion is unworthy because I have not been trained properly. Please, tell me more, so that my re-education can progress.

    But, maybe if you do in fact have a liberal arts degree, it may explain what appears to be your underlying philosophy “I’m already on board, thank god. Now for heaven’s sake, pull up the drawbridge”.
    Or, option 2, I am an ungrateful SOB who benefitted from screwing over the taxpayer that it is unworthy of me to wish to now show the taxpayer some respect. Darn, now I am confused again.

    Here is poor widdle taxpaying me wondering why self-employed business people who sell their artistic talents for a living somehow can’t possibly fend for themselves without state-sanctioned thievery from my paycheque, when there are so many other self-employed business people who seem to have figured out how to make a living.

    You know why there is no “respect the taxpayer” party? Because it’s not just taxpayers who vote. There is a sizable portion of the population who benefits from this forced transfer of wealth out of the productive economy, and who therefore see nothing wrong with this. Serves them right, those rich creeps, bleed them for all they’re worth, there’s a child going hungry, bleed them, bleed them some more, Avi wants to go to Sydney.

  57. I’m sure had you let the unicorns on the Ark, they’d have ultimately formed the “respect the taxpayer” party.

    It’s not what you know, it’s who you, Noah.

    Excuse me as I retire from further stimulating debate.

  58. Thus endeth the incomplete re-education of one misdirected-anger-filled drawbridge-drawing libertarian, who at least now has an inkling as to why respect for the taxpayer is extinct. I will forevermore wave my fist in anger at the rain. Good night, Dot.

  59. Hey madeyoulook – take a hike!

    After all, the government’s paying for it…

  60. Well, given that it’s the seventh day, I’m sure you’ll rest well.

    For 1/0

  61. Well, I’ll say this, madeyoulook gets a lot of mileage out of his anonymity.

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