Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A moderate thinker

I'm very pro-life, so it may come as a surprise to many people that I am not actually very conservative. I am sure that many liberals would read some of my pro-life stuff and roll their eyes at it. And I suppose some of the conservatives out there would read some of my other stuff and be shocked because I seemed like such a good conservative.

I do agree with many of the things that the Harper government has done. I totally agree with them in cuting funding to things like the Vancouver safe-injection project. We're not going to get rid of drugs by giving them a place to safely inject themselves. That money would be better put to use in detox programs. Perhaps in LONG-TERM detox programs. Perhaps the failure of some of these programs is that people don't actually STAY long enough.

I was all for the private member's bill making it a separate offense to kill a wanted unborn child. I think the government has "no balls" for backing down on that one.

However, when it comes to cutting funding for artists on the basis that we are funding some ugly stuff, well, doesn't that hurt the ones who create good stuff too?

I don't know if Celine Dion or Cirque du Soleil even need or get funding... I doubt Celine Dion even needs it, but there are others out there that could use a helping hand in promoting their music or art or filmography or whatever, people who aren't creating controversial or immoral art.

Apparently, according to one conservative source, cutting funding isn't even saving the government that much money. It seems to be all about shutting down objectionable art.

I happen to be an "artist" of sorts. I don't live off my art, nor do I need to. I would like to eventually publish a book or two, but I doubt I will need government funding to do so. But I know that being an artist, until you have made it "to the top" can be very hard. Most artists are not rich stars. Most of them are poor and struggling. Most of them need a "day job" to get by.

A culture needs art. Art opens people up to the beauty of things. Art passes ideas along. Art speaks to the soul. It speaks of the soul of a culture. To truly understand a society you must learn the language, and you must see their art, be it paintings, music, theatre, litterature, or other. Art is truly the soul of a culture. Art and faith used to be intertwined. Faith was expressed through art. People understood their faith better by listening to sacred music or looking at beautiful religious paintings. People were inspired.

It is true that art can be a tool for evil as well. But getting rid of art is not the answer.

The conservatives contradict themselves in this. In one breath, they stand behind people like Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn in their opposition to the Human Rights Commissions which would censor us from publically (and maybe even privately) expressing our opinions on controversial issues if said opinion is not the same as theirs. Yes, freedom of speech is a fundamental right. If you don't like what another has to say, you can choose to not listen to it. If there is no freedom of speech, if one side of an issue is continually censored, how can you have the whole picture?

In the next breath, conservatives then stand behind removing funds to artists on the basis that some artists are creating objectionable art. How can you have freedom of speech and then not have freedom of art? It does not make sense. If someone is creating objectional art, you simply do not go to see it. If noone goes to see it, then eventually, funding or no funding, it won't be viable.

There has also been mention of the government having the right to censor who should and who should not receive funding. This is dangerous. We may not like our tax money going to some art production with the title "F*ck Fest" or something similar but if we give the government that kind of power, what exactly are they going to censor?

What if it were a young, struggling Catholic production that was pro-family and pro-life, doing some kind of theatre act that promoted these values, and discouraged things like gay marriage. The government could just as easily censor this production as being politically incorrect. Would conservatives be so quick to promote government censorship then? Would they be so quick to cut government funding then?

There are better ways to discourage art we find offensive. The best way is simply to not go to see it. If noone is there to see it, it will die out.

Oh, and while we're at it, we can just continue to have 6 or 7 kids, bring them up to be morally solid people, and eventually the ones creating all that objectional art, and the ones going to see it, will all kill themselves off anyway, through abortion, euthanasia and contraception, or at worst become an insignificant minority again.

Did I just say that? Oops, I was trying to keep that a secret. We wouldn't want the dark side to know that we will eventually rule the world again simply by being the only ones left populating it.