Oz pulled an Atwood quote on Harper today that made steam come out my ears. Go read it.
I call Godwin. This is ridiculous. Did you seriously* just call Harper a dictator? Did I really just hear you do that? Yes, it's true that dictatorships suppress dissent -- that's the fucking definition of 'dictatorship' -- but this particular excerpt stinks of some overly self-important whiner having to shell out for the top-shelf stuff herself when she's off telling the French how wonderful they are rather than having the taxpayer foot the bill. OK, maybe that's a bit reactionary of me. But it does seem like Atwood is overreacting quite a bit - nobody's in jail, nobody's even threatened with jail. Her overreaction weakens her criticism of a cut to arts funding by leaning on the threat-to-democracy angle rather than the more obvious (to me anyway) angle of the importance of Canadian art over the market's desire for it.
I do think Canadian art is important. I think it's good for our government to support it, because there are valuable pieces of art -- paintings, theatre, music, books, among many others -- that won't be made if there aren't grants to support them, because there's not enough of a market here for them. I disagree with the Conservatives' decision to cut arts funding.
But I disagree more with Atwood's knee-jerk reaction to it.