Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm an Elitist Who Loves Glitzy Affairs and Whores.

Hi there. Grab a stool, open your beer. I have something to get off my chest. Ya...I'm talking to you buddy. Let's start....

Hate politics? too. But, it should be pointed out that Stephen Harper is a disliked Prime Minister, much in the same way Brain Mulroney was, but that won't stop him from being re-elected. And it's not just a Canadian practice...look south and Google...Nixon. Harper's leadership capabilities still register around 20% and the country will elect a party that has less than a 40% vote. Much like Nixon in the height of his powers. But that's Canada. Monkey-see, monkey-do...a term I've heard from the media elite about the ALL the politicians. But that's another story and frankly, I hate the media.

Hey! You know the old joke:

A Canadian comes to a fork in the road. One sign points right and reads: Panel Discussion on Heaven. The other sign points left and reads: Heaven. The Canadian stands there and scratches his/her chin, then chooses the sign on the right: Panel Discussion on Heaven.

Today I did a spit-take with my French-Dark Roast coffee, ruining a good pair of pajama pants and a muscle shirt. I couldn't believe my ears. Harper had this to say about the Arts community:

“I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people, you know, at 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, he said during a campaign stop in Saskatoon.

Before I explore this, let me just state: I'm finding the other candidates a bad alternative that excite no one. I don't know which way I'll vote. I'm watching and listening...and get this...thinking. What terrifies me? He has a point. The only thing I was offended by, was classifying me in a group that is elitist. I've worked on a farm for several summers, I was a paperboy, an usher, a bartender, a waiter etc...toiling all the time to make a living. And I still am. How does that make me an elitist? Yeah....I write screenplays and work 14 hour days as a First AD, eight months of the year. But is that elitist? You tell me. But don't call me elitist because I love what I do.

My hours actually add-up to something higher than an oil-rigger. Trust me, I asked a few when I was shooting a show on an oil rig this summer. Interesting, no? Is my job as physically back-breaking? No...but I'm not stupid. I guess that makes me elitist. Apparently, according to Harper, I'm part of the cocktail-sucking whores who hang around at galas. Then again, Harper's wife is off to a swank party:

"Mr. 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." - Globe and Mail.

Maybe he's just pissed the misses is going to a 'do' and he can't make it? What if she meets one of those dirty-womanizing artists? Who knows what will happen?!

Anyway, I'm getting carried away. I do that. Back on point: Politicians love it when we talk about how special we culture-workers are and how important we are. They want more of that. It makes us easy to exploit. We become a wedge issue instead of an actual discussion. A 'niche' topic, just like Aboriginal issues, which by the way, have yet to show up on ANY politicians platform.

This election reflects a tide turning on the perceived wisdom of the elites be they in Government, on Wall Street or from Show Business. The fact that some "Famous Canadians" like Wendy CrewsonColm Feore and Paul Gross stand up in public and whine, does not do my heart any good. Where are the First Nation artists and the middle to lower-income 'art-workers' in all of this? Like me...

That's right...we're working our ass off. And I can't afford the flight to Toronto to have a press conference.

What really needs to happen? We, the artists, have a PR problem. All of us in the 'cultural industries' have failed to educate and connect with the public. Harper and his government know this, and will use the eternal culture and arts debate to their advantage. The Conservatives, and the public, need to see that we're hard working people with most of the same life goals they have.

Culture affects every-walk of life. It's economic and it's about the national soul.

For too long, we've insisted we deserved special treatment without delivering anything "they" could feel proud of. "They" being the Canadian public and mean-spirited, divisive politicians of EVERY BRAND.

Case-in-point: The loathing directed at our athletes during the first two weeks of the recent Olympics is what we get every day because "they" helped us and we didn't bring home anything they could be proud of -- or maybe even feel connected to.

Unfair? Yep. But that's what the Canadian public does...including standing at the crossroads and scratching their chins.

Most artists of all walks, know that we are up against a broken broadcast and film and council funding systems. But the public, doesn't know that.

I firmly believe the real artists in this country will survive what's coming. But the fake ones and their enablers are going to take a serious hit. -Jim Henshaw

The old models don't work and we're dead if we keep defending them. You may not like it, but as I stated before...The Hog is in the Tunnel.

Anyway, vote as you see fit, just vote for the love of Pete.

And, oh yeah, well I worked on a farm I learned how to use a gun. Glad the Conservatives feel that's of use.

I love all of you.

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