April 11, 2008

Bill C-10: Censorship of the Arts?

Been a lot of press about this lately. Bill C-10, among other things, provides the federal government with the means to refuse tax breaks to films and television shows deemed too violent or sexually explicit for the greater good of the republic...err, I mean the public. It appears that the bill was passed with little or no opposition--mostly because very few politicians actually read the bills in their entirety before voting (you learn this in Poli-Sci 101, in case you're wondering).

The Conservative government suggests this is a way to prevent child pornographers or extremely violent (that's not vague, is it?) content from being funded with federal funds. Click here for the article. But we can't place the blame on their shoulders this time. The bill was authored in 2003 by the Liberal party, on the cusp of elections, and was swiftly struck down.
However, most people in the film and television industry are scratching their heads. Since when has the government ever funded child pornography or excessively violent material? Now the arts have yet another loophole to jump through for public funding (if Tolstoy were still alive, he'd be a happy man). Banks will balk at funding a project deemed offensive. And who decides what constitutes "excessive" anything? Article here.

To me, this reeks of bullshit religious agenda. Where else do you find people trying to prevent problems that don't actually occur? So I snoop around a little and wouldn't you know it, the imbecilic Charles McVety--and people this man is as brainless as they get--claims his evangelical group of cronies have been lobbying for this for months. This guy is the Canadian link to Benny Hinn, Jerry Falwell and all those snake-oil sellers south of the border. Strike another blow for American influence I guess.

Sadly, this time the arts take a hit. Nothing new. History has shown us that the majority of destroyed art has come at the hand of religious ideology. You'd think we would have figured it out by now.


Sam said...

Start a petition.

Ken Dyck said...

I agree. If the government is going to fund the arts, the decision of who gets funding should made by a group of independent artists based on artistic value, not by some prudish politicians or according to overly restrictive criteria.

Thankfully, computers and the internet are making it cheaper and easier to create and distribute art. In the future, perhaps the costs of making art will shrink so much that government funding becomes irrelevant.

Harry Tournemille said...

Sam, I am far too lazy to start a petition. But if you start one, I'll sign it....ha ha.

Ken, an independent panel is a good idea. In fact, David Hume, when discussing aesthetics (the human response to beauty in art), suggests the very same for deciding on what is "good art"--though it's a drawn out process over several decades.

Thanks for the comments.