Sunday, May 29, 2011

Living With Lions.....Living with the Tories

          So I might be a tad late weighing in on the “controversy” that Vancouver pop punk outfit Living with Lions new record titled Holy Shit: The Poo Testament caused last week...what controversy you may be asking yourself; well I’ll shed a bit of light on the situation for you.

          Living With Lions released their new record on May the 17th, now normally the release of a record from an indie band wouldn’t be any kind of news except maybe to their parents and Facebook friends, but when you decide to name your record Holy Shit: The Poo Testament and the images on the inside sleeve portray “jesus” as a large might be wading into the pool of trouble.
    LWL got $13,248 last August from FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), FACTOR is partially funded by Heritage Canada, well it seems that the right “honourable” James Moore, Canada’s Heritage Minister got wind of the record through various sources and then decided to declare the album's artwork depiction of Jesus "as a giant turd wrapped in a white sheet" to be “inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars”.  In the ensuing hubbub James Maunder, Moore's spokesman, said in a statement "The Minister has called Duncan McKie, president and CEO of FACTOR to express his profound disappointment with this content."...what he was really saying is that his office started getting calls and emails from deep pocketed campaign contributors saying that this was not a good thing and for him to do something about it.  Then we get word from LWL label Black Box Recordings that they will be pulling from the shelves all copies of the record and they will be returning the  $13,248 was a Loan not a Grant as most media wanted you to believe. Black Box said the album will return in a new version without the FACTOR logo and Canada wordmark logo acknowledgment "in the coming weeks," the label said.

     Now this is what gets me going, James Moore’s spokesman James Maunder said "The content of this CD is offensive and the fact that it is clearly designed to offend a group of Canadians based on their faith is simply wrong," my opinion their release was never designed to offend anyone, it was designed to get the band noticed, this was a great PR stunt, and it certainly worked according to all of the press that it has gotten in the last week or so (do you think you would have heard about this band otherwise?). And the Tories....what constitutes as “not offensive”? how many more artists will never get the chance to release something as a result of not receiving any funds from FACTOR just because FACTOR will now be so scared to touch something with any amount of creative controversy .

    And to all of the people that will read this and say that we shouldn’t be giving the “arts” money (I know you’re out there) please take a look at these numbers, cultural industries accounted for $84.6 billion worth of economic activity in 2007, about 7.4 per cent of the country's gross domestic product after only investing roughly $13 million dollars a year in grant programs and subsidies for the arts , that sounds like a pretty good return if you ask me.

Joe Cornelisse-SSGS

No comments:

Post a Comment