25 September 2008

Cult of Personality, federal version

Margaret Atwood in the Thursday Globe:

Or is it even worse? Every budding dictatorship begins by muzzling the artists, because they're a mouthy lot and they don't line up and salute very easily. Of course, you can always get some tame artists to design the uniforms and flags and the documentary about you, and so forth - the only kind of art you might need - but individual voices must be silenced, because there shall be only One Voice: Our Master's Voice. Maybe that's why Mr. Harper began by shutting down funding for our artists abroad. He didn't like the competition for media space.

Of course, it's far easier and far more effective to just toss a few bucks at the local "culture" club right before an election to get them to sing your praises.

And you can still have what Atwood calls a cult of personality.