"Ordinary folks don't care about arts" - Harper

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
"Ordinary folks don't care about arts" - Harper

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people.

[url=http://www.thestar.com//article/504811]Toronto Star[/url] and other news sources.

Unionist

To Stephen Harper's chagrin, the following brilliant video has been "resonating" among "ordinary folks" all over Quйbec, with over 400,000 viewings since it was posted six (6) days ago!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What a hoot!

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Unionist:

I hope you don't mind if I post the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhgv85m852Q]subtitled (english) version of the the video[/url]. They did an excellent job and everyone should get the full benefit of the jokes.

500_Apples

To be fair to Stephen Harper, I don't think it's clear that "ordinary people" care about the arts beyond hollywood productions and professional sports.

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]To be fair to Stephen Harper, I don't think it's clear that "ordinary people" care about the arts beyond hollywood productions and professional sports.[/b]

Are you suggesting I'm not an ordinary person? I'd give you my immediate reaction to that but I'd probably get myself banned.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I heard a conservative on the CBC yesterday explaining that the other parties were lying about cuts and that the cons had actually increased funding. Then he let the cat out of the statistics bag. Their "increases" to arts and culture includes all the money they have promised for the torch relay and the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympics and Para Olympics.

Fun with numbers to obfuscate. Typical.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

quote:


Originally posted by 500_Apples:
[b]To be fair to Stephen Harper, I don't think it's clear that "ordinary people" care about the arts beyond hollywood productions and professional sports.[/b]

Hey, we aren't necessarily talking opera here... I look at the success of things like the Montreal Jazz and Comedy Festivals, the whole Folk Festival circuit out west... lots of small town celebrations with live music. Government of Canada sponsorship for most, and lots of "ordinary people" in attendance. And how dare you use the words fair and Stephen Harper in the same sentence [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I heard a conservative on the CBC yesterday explaining that ... the cons had actually increased funding.[/b]

That was debunked fairly well by [url=http://impolitical.blogspot.com/2008/09/harper-appeals-to-ordinary-peopl... blogger[/url].

farnival

hmmm...cultural/intellectual purges...where have we seen this before?

Stalin?

Mao?

Khmer Rouge?

Steven Harper?????????

[img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

watch your backs you smock wearing elitists....the brownshirts are coming with a majority near you.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by pogge:
[b]Are you suggesting I'm not an ordinary person? I'd give you my immediate reaction to that but I'd probably get myself banned.[/b]

My immediate reaction is that your reaction is completely irrational, and that you seemingly don't understand basic statistics.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by bagkitty:
[b]

Hey, we aren't necessarily talking opera here... I look at the success of things like the Montreal Jazz and Comedy Festivals, the whole Folk Festival circuit out west... lots of small town celebrations with live music. Government of Canada sponsorship for most, and lots of "ordinary people" in attendance. And how dare you use the words fair and Stephen Harper in the same sentence [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]


Good point.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You obviously share Stephen Harper's contempt for the "ordinary folks."

This isn't the USA.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

To echo bagkitty's point. I live out in the boonies with 'ordinary' folk and the 'arts' are a pretty big thing here. Festivals, concerts, small town theatre, artisan fairs and art shows abound. Pretty much every single country fair from tractor pulls to pumpkin festivals have an 'arts' component and a lot of small towns have artists co-ops. It may not be big city opera but to say that ordinary folk don't care about airy fairy arty stuff is pretty laughable.

writer writer's picture

quote:


[url=http://www.thestar.com/FederalElection/article/505025]Layton attacks Harper over forestry, food[/url]

... he took Harper to task for refusing to say in French what he said in English yesterday about "ordinary people" not caring about arts funding.

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have actually gone up — I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper said in Saskatoon on Tuesday.

But because the Tories' $45 million in cultural funding cuts are hugely controversial in Quebec the Prime Minister declined to make the same claim in French.

Layton, who attended a large concert protesting the cuts in Montreal last night, said Harper lacked the "courage" to be so brazen in French.

"He's hiding behind his sweater."


Edited to add: Harper's barbed shot at whining elites attending glitzy affairs was curious, given that his wife Laureen is the honorary chair of the National Arts Centre's gala next month in Ottawa. [url=http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hwjo9Ou9MiHkjWZs17hOT8-XzY... Press[/url]

[ 24 September 2008: Message edited by: writer ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by bagkitty:
[b]Unionist:

I hope you don't mind if I post the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhgv85m852Q]subtitled (english) version of the the video[/url]. They did an excellent job and everyone should get the full benefit of the jokes.[/b]


Wow - I've been away from YouTube too long! This is the first time I've ever seen the 'closed captioning' and 'full size screen' options.

Left J.A.B.

quote:


Originally posted by ElizaQ:
[b]To echo bagkitty's point. I live out in the boonies with 'ordinary' folk and the 'arts' are a pretty big thing here. Festivals, concerts, small town theatre, artisan fairs and art shows abound. Pretty much every single country fair from tractor pulls to pumpkin festivals have an 'arts' component and a lot of small towns have artists co-ops. It may not be big city opera but to say that ordinary folk don't care about airy fairy arty stuff is pretty laughable.[/b]

Absolutely, there is a large summer theatre ciruit that is attended by lots of ordinary folks. This is crock given how much these activities described by ElizaQ contribute to local economies.

Left J.A.B.

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]To Stephen Harper's chagrin, the following brilliant video has been "resonating" among "ordinary folks" all over Quйbec, with over 400,000 viewings since it was posted six (6) days ago!

[/b]


That is the funniest thing, in any language, I have seen in some time. This needs to get spread around and go viral somehow.

500_Apples

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]You obviously share Stephen Harper's contempt for the "ordinary folks."

This isn't the USA.[/b]


You're a true Canadian patriot.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by writer:

Edited to add: Harper's barbed shot at whining elites attending glitzy affairs was curious, given that his wife Laureen is the honorary chair of the National Arts Centre's gala next month in Ottawa.


I hope this is marked, somehow, with a protest or something. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

farnival

so, these "ordinary folks", y'know, like plumbers, electricians, painters, roofers, delivery truck drivers, textile factory workers, florists, hairdressers, caterers and food prep workers, designers, hardware store employees....the list is endless....

when they come home after a hard day working....at a music festival, film set, recording session, or even perhaps a mural painting gig in their local community with disadvantaged youth....do they think that their jobs are elitist and the paycheque they derive from such work doesn't "resonate" with their family or landlord or bank holding their mortgage?

does harper really, honestly think that "arts" is just fancy gala balls and cocktail parties?

what about those horrible arts elietists that he has maintaining his websites and designing pooping puffin ads? shouldn't he fire them for being a burden on his bottom line?

lagatta

I worked on a project that won a Prix Gйmeaux (French-language Gemini awards, what Harper was sneering at). Doubt very much that anyone but the producers and the administrators of the production company behind it make more than $50.000 a year - and those that make more are working very long hours, and don't have the benefits of Harper's business buddies) - and a lot of us make considerably less.

Harper carefully said "rich gala", but it sounded as if the artists themselves were rich. There are very few wealthy Canadian artists, and a lot of us in cultural work are borderline poor. Someone pointed out that the pretty frocks the ladies wear at those things are rented or lent, and of course all the gentlemen's tuxes are. You want them to show up in jeans? Then you'd be complaining about artists who are contemptuous of the audience.

Boom Boom, the arts are making a huge difference in the largest settlement in your parts, La Romaine - there are a lot of young Innu people who have thrown themselves into musical and other creation. It has made a huge difference in their lives and is one of the positive Aboriginal stories we hear too little about.

And I'm damned glad about the closed captioning. That is another "perk" [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] they'd no doubt like to cut.

We have a writer friend who is blind (he lost his vision in Lebanon after a bomb blast during one of the civil wars there). Radio dramas and cultural programming on CBC and Radio-Canada are as important to him as closed-captioning is to hearing-impaired people.

And yes, cultural work includes a host of trades and blue-collar jobs.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by lagatta:
Boom Boom, the arts are making a huge difference in the largest settlement in your parts, La Romaine - there are a lot of young Innu people who have thrown themselves into musical and other creation. It has made a huge difference in their lives and is one of the positive Aboriginal stories we hear too little about.

Yup! Also the Coast Festival this summer was subsidized.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by writer:
[b] Harper's barbed shot at whining elites attending glitzy affairs was curious, given that his wife Laureen is the honorary chair of the National Arts Centre's gala next month in Ottawa. [/b]

Oh great. Now that you've outed her, he'll probably cut off her allowance.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by bagkitty:
[b]Unionist:

I hope you don't mind if I post the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhgv85m852Q]subtitled (english) version of the the video[/url]. They did an excellent job and everyone should get the full benefit of the jokes.[/b]


Thank you, bagkitty, I hadn't seen the subtitled version.

writer writer's picture

It does smack of some kind of jealous snit, seeing her dress all pretty and head out the door without him, to go to those fancy events he just doesn't get.

Meanwhile, back in realityland, this gala talk has little to do with the lives of most who are in the arts.

I loved this comment at [url=http://blog.macleans.ca/2008/09/23/btc-at-a-rich-gala-all-subsidized-by-...

quote:

Probably leaves out the 99% of artsy-fartsy types who go home from their waiter/waitress jobs and just want to turn on the TV.

It's Me D

quote:


hmmm...cultural/intellectual purges...where have we seen this before?

Stalin?

Mao?

Khmer Rouge?

Steven Harper?????????


Even worse: Stephen Harper actually supports the arts less than the others on this list, except maybe Pol Pot.

Jingles

quote:


"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have actually gone up — I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper said in Saskatoon on Tuesday.

quote:

When I hear the word culture..., I release the safety on my Browning

[ 24 September 2008: Message edited by: Jingles ]

Tommy_Paine

I'd rather not think of myself as ordinary, but I suppose I am. Work, though, is something I deffinately do. Actual work, nothing you could do from behind a desk, or in a three piece suit.

I must say that when I get home, I don't ordinarily turn to something artsy fartsy to wind down. Unless a long shower with my wife's rather artistic home made soap counts.

But there are other times us working stiffs might turn to the arts for enrichment. For example, when I hear a guy who hasn't worked a day in his life thinking he can speak for working people, it makes me want to get all Jackson Pollock with his face.

torontoprofessor

A small point: neither in the clip nor in anything else quoted by the Toronto Star, does Harper ever say that ordinary folks don't care about the arts. The Toronto Star headline is misleading. It's usually a sign of clear thinking to be accurate when representing what someone else said, whether you agree with what he said or not.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by torontoprofessor:
[b]The Toronto Star headline is misleading. [/b]

The Toronto Star headline is not literally accurate - but it's far from misleading. In fact, it analyses Harper's brutally philistinic actions and words, and crystallizes their true meaning. Thus, it is actually [i]leading[/i] the reader to the truth behind Harper's ugly cynicism.

al-Qa'bong

When I saw that Michel Rivard was in the clip I immediately thought of making some kind of crack about how the Conservatives' attitude toward the arts is "phoquй," but then the clip itself made the joke. I guess it was too obvious.
By the way, the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3zBPnIYavI&NR=1]long version[/url] of the pub is pretty funny too.

quote:

Originally posted by torontoprofessor:
[b]A small point: neither in the clip nor in anything else quoted by the Toronto Star, does Harper ever say that ordinary folks don't care about the arts. The Toronto Star headline is misleading. It's usually a sign of clear thinking to be accurate when representing what someone else said, whether you agree with what he said or not.[/b]

This quotation:

quote:

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people,"

clearly shows Harper misrepresenting the meaning of culture in order to justify his funding cuts. I suppose his characterization of the arts as the domain of rich whiners is done out of his love for both the arts and accuracy in language?

And on whose authority is Harper qualified to speak about what us "ordinary" folks like? In our family we get out of the trailer every once in a while to go to Folkfest, Roughrider and Blades games, the opera and ballet, demolition derbies and monster truck rallies.

Last week we went to a play, after which one of the actors asked us to consider becoming a sponsor of the theatre company. In a civilized country she wouldn't have had to do so.

[ 24 September 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Not to mention that millions of 'ordinary people', whom I assume are to be opposed by other conservative buzz words like 'intellectuals' and 'latte liberals', work in the arts doing lighting, carpentry, costuming, ushering, bartending, security and the numerous other jobs in the tourism industry that exist directly because of major artistic attractions (Stratford, Shaw Festival, Montreal's festival season, etc.)

But, as many have already pointed out, the statement that the arts are nothing more than galas, and that most Canadians are only affected by the arts when it comes in the form of a Hollywood blockbuster is ludicrous; and, in fact, an example of the audacious elitism for which Harper wishes to indict the arts.

triciamarie

Well, sorry, but I don't see much inconsistency in Harper's position. It's not the small-town community concerts and plays and little crafts festivals that he's targetting; those aren't "art" as he's defining it. It's the edgy, forward, more challenging (and I include opera and ballet with that), less small-c conservative, read: urban programs that he's publicly scaling back -- or at least that's the impression being given out, which amounts to the same thing in an election campaign.

It's anti-big city, plain and simple. This is a party without a single seat in the three biggest cultural centres in the country. This stuff solidifies Harper's appeal to many rural voters I talk to. This is a guy, they feel, who is making the right decisions, the hard decisions, not wasting money on nonsense like fancy art and culture, or empty justice.

The only thing that sets them back about Harper is that he broke his word about fixed election dates.

al-Qa'bong

quote:


It's anti-big city, plain and simple.

No, it isn't simple. I live in a small city in the middle of the prairies, where the survival of the arts is a constant struggle. We ain't the elite in these here parts.

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Timebandit Timebandit's picture
lagatta

True. I imagine Timebandit is too busy working to weigh in on this discussion.

Edited to add: Speak of the devil! [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: lagatta ]

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Haven't had much time for anything in depth. We're shooting right now, I'm home with the paperwork today.

Very few people in the arts make a lot of money. Even film and tv producers. Some make a comfortable living, but much of the time if you don't take on multiple roles you may have a hard time making ends meet -- especially in the documentary world. And the non-factual world is very hard to get into, very competitive, so you could be sailing along great, get canceled and then have a tough year. I'm certainly making less money than I would be if I'd stayed with the gov't job I had 11 years ago and quit to do this. Or if I'd put all those extra years of education into a professional degree.

We have a problem with home-grown content in this country for several reasons, not all of which I have time to get into right now. We have problems with distribution, for one thing, giving preference to the promotion of American content. We can look at Corner Gas as an exception -- it did fantastically well with Canadian audiences, but CTV promoted the shit out of it. If they hadn't, it wouldn't have performed nearly so well.

There is a conception that all the "arts" people in this country are making content that only the "elite" or artsy types watch -- not so. Sure, some do and we need to support the innovators who break the initial barriers that the mainstream adopts later or in less extreme form. However, at least in the tv and film world, there is a great deal of attention paid to generating accessible content and drawing audience share. To suggest otherwise is sheer ignorance. Who wants to make something that doesn't get seen?

And about the "rich galas", Doyle hits it on the head. These are put on via corporate sponsorships, not government grants or funds. It's a flat-out, bald-faced lie that Harper hopes people who don't get invited to fancy shindigs like the ones the missus puts on will suck up with righteous indignation.

The man is a snake. It's an insult to snakes to say so, but a more apt analogy is beyond me at the moment.

Back to the vast amount of paper to be killed in the name of art...

triciamarie

quote:


Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
[b]

No, it isn't simple. I live in a small city in the middle of the prairies, where the survival of the arts is a constant struggle. We ain't the elite in these here parts.[/b]


Never said you were and I would never use that term concerning art or artists because to me, that's just buying into that same whole tired populist conservative worldview.

All I'm saying is, let's recognize this for what it was: Harper's pre-writ campaign. Candidate positioning is the whole objective anytime leading up to an election. This is the PM singing to his choir, and if we don't follow the tune, that's because we're not in it. It's an emotional appeal that he's putting out there so if we're going to poke any holes in it, it will only be by using the same kind of rhetorical tools.

The dictator angle works for me, but the thing is, I'm not the one who might ever in anyone's wildest dreams consider voting for him.

The wife hypocrisy angle seems promising.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

quote:


Originally posted by triciamarie:
[b]Well, sorry, but I don't see much inconsistency in Harper's position. It's not the small-town community concerts and plays and little crafts festivals that he's targetting; those aren't "art" as he's defining it. It's the edgy, forward, more challenging (and I include opera and ballet with that), less small-c conservative, read: urban programs that he's publicly scaling back -- or at least that's the impression being given out, which amounts to the same thing in an election campaign.

It's anti-big city, plain and simple. This is a party without a single seat in the three biggest cultural centres in the country. This stuff solidifies Harper's appeal to many rural voters I talk to. This is a guy, they feel, who is making the right decisions, the hard decisions, not wasting money on nonsense like fancy art and culture, or empty justice.

The only thing that sets them back about Harper is that he broke his word about fixed election dates.[/b]


No, you don't get it. He's cutting all of us. Regional culture will suffer equally or more than urban culture. Cut off the film and tv tax credit, the regionals suffer even more than the big city production companies. Cut off the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, you cut off the small producers who need it to make Canadian stories. Cut off traveling artist grants, you make it impossible for regional artists to get a following.

This isn't about urban vs rural. It's about a puffed up idealogue pretending he's all grass roots. It's about silencing voices that he, personally, doesn't like.

You sooooo do not know whereof you speak.

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: Timebandit ]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Sineed

Today's Globe: [url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/Taber]Laureen Harper declines invitation to arts gala.[/url]

quote:

In an e-mail from the election campaign trail yesterday, Mrs. Harper did not answer the question as to whether she cancelled because of her husband's comments and the kerfuffle he created over the issue of arts and culture in Canada. Rather, she said it was because of campaign constraints.

Sineed

quote:


At present, we are a very creative country. For decades, we've been punching above our weight on the world stage - in writing, in popular music and in many other fields. Canada was once a cultural void on the world map, now it's a force. In addition, the arts are a large segment of our economy: The Conference Board estimates Canada's cultural sector generated $46-billion, or 3.8 per cent of Canada's GDP, in 2007. And, according to the Canada Council, in 2003-2004, the sector accounted for an “estimated 600,000 jobs (roughly the same as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil & gas and utilities combined).”

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080924.wcoarts25/BN... Atwood[/url]

triciamarie

quote:


Originally posted by Timebandit:
[b]This isn't about urban vs rural. It's about a puffed up idealogue pretending he's all grass roots. It's about silencing voices that he, personally, doesn't like.

You sooooo do not know whereof you speak.[/b]


What makes you say that? My husband is a (small city) artist (with a day job) and a number of our friends are also artists, both part-time and professional, various media, so I think I do bring some perspective.

And honestly, from where I sit, the silencing dissent thing, while great and helpful to conservative interests over the mid to long term, just strikes me as peripheral to the central objective of brand management in an election campaign.

It's probably even secondary to just the general mayhem and confusion and infighting (case in point) that has resulted from these cuts.

Puffed-up ideologue I can go along with wholeheartedly but the man intends on on getting reelected and he is not stupid.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Facebook group: [url=http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=41692823152]Ordinary Canadians DO SUPPORT the Arts, Mr. Harper. You are dead wrong.[/url]

excerpt:

Mr. Harper is wrong on arts funding and he must be made to understand that real people - ordinary Canadians - really do support the arts.

Regardless of your political stripe. Send Mr. Harper a message through this site AND through your local candidates that you want arts funding restored.

al-Qa'bong

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b][url=http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=165099]Holy phoque, Stephen Harper[/url][/b]

quote:

Here, Rivard plays a small-?scale music festival curator appealing to a panel of bow-?tied, elderly [sic], unilingual Conservatives for government funding. Part of his pitch includes singing a Quebecois folk song about a seal.

It isn't a folk song, but Beau Dommage's (the long version of the clip had the inquisitors calling Rivard "Mr. Damages") 1970s tune, [i]La complainte d'un phoque en Alaska[/i].

If you get the chance to hear it sung in the right venue by the right people, the song can sound like an anthem.

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: al-Qa'bong ]

Unionist

[already reported above]

[ 25 September 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

mauser98

we owe the artists a living.

Maysie Maysie's picture

quote:


Originally posted by mauser98:
[b]we owe the artists a living.[/b]

What the phoque? The troll is gone.

Caissa

Troll? I just thought he was a socialist that recognized that the production of art was a meaningful form of labour [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

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