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What is Worth?

There has been some talk - and government action - regarding the arts funding in Canada that I must humbly admit I have not been paying enough attention to.

I remember feeling quite lucky to live and work in the arts scene in Belfast as it was abundant not only with talented people but also the money to support those people in the creation of good work.

It's a bit sad that my home country seems to not want to see the value of art as it relates to the well being of every day life.

Margaret Atwood has written a very great piece on this here:

To be creative is, in fact, Canadian


After reading today I am reminding yet again how frustrating it is to prove worth. That human worth has been relegated to the economic factor.

That we can see the benefit in bankers because they make money. That there seems to be this theory that only rich snobs wander around at art galas and events.

That even the act of mentioning that maybe there is worth outside of bringing in money tends to draw large scoffs and sighs and lectures about how the economy works and that we as countries would be destitute without the good people who go out there and make money.

I can tell you that the economic crisis that seems to be sweeping the U.S. did not happen because the arts were over funded. Perhaps if those industries had been dissected the way in which the arts is, there wouldn't the crisis that they are facing.

And I also know, that when people, who are losing money and are now faced with higher taxes because of the largest bailout in the history of the government, it won't be the bankers they'll turn to for comfort. For escape. It will be their books. Their children's plays. Hell, even their television shows.

I realize I'm mixing two different countries and two different issues. But the point remains about worth and how we define it.

And that Canada, for all our 'distinct-ness' from America, is on a very slippery slope towards the world that we know of south of the boarder.

And why this election is so incredibly important. Because Stephen Harper means business. Family values aside, he will change this country if he can. We've been lucky our parliamentary system has stopped him from doing it thus far.

And perhaps that's equally as scary as what the Americans' economy is facing right now.

I'm sure there's a book in there somewhere. Now, if I could just get the funding to write it...

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