Sunday, December 06, 2009

Some important food for thought, well expressed, by Mr. Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes:

"So: a visual artist has been commissioned to create a work that celebrates their community and the cultural olympiad. But, like many Vancouver artists, he or she lives in East Vancouver. He or she sees the lack of social housing, the lack of addiction counseling. He or she is impacted by their immediate environment, and, like many artists, wants to reflect this environment through his or her work.

The artist cannot afford studio space. Artist grants have been slashed. So he or she accepts the commission, but is unable to draw a causal link, a link between the conditions that make his or her immediate environment so unbearable, and a public agency that has vampirically siphoned billions of dollars from the agencies that could provide a remedy to this situation."

If anyone is unclear as to my own position on the matter, the Olympic Games are a travesty, symbolizing all that is repulsive about western culture. BC taxpayers will be paying for Gordon Campell's expensive party-on-credit for many years to come, at the expense of services we're now told are unaffordable, given the "tough economic climate" -- affordable housing for single parents, the disabled and the mentally ill; education; funding for cultural producers of all stripes; treatment beds for addicts too sick to properly care for themselves.

A society is measured by the respect and dignity it accords its least fortunate members, and Gordon Campbell's British Columbia -- to say nothing of VANOC's Vancouver -- fails miserably on this count.

Some of my friends are participating in the Cultural Olympiad. I make no judgment of them, other than to say that I, personally, would be ashamed to take Olympic money.

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