Monday, 13 June 2011

A dumber CBC

John Doyle's column in the Globe and Mail today says what he's been saying for years and what many Canadians who love the arts have been saying since the public broadcaster decided people who actually listen to CBC Radio 2 can bugger off because people who don't listen to CBC Radio 2 deserve a radio network that can give them what they can get in a hundred different places, oh, but without commercials. Doyle's point about how the arts are ignored on CBC is poignantly illustrated by a comment a reader made on Colin Eatock's excellent story last Wednesday's on the NAC's performance of Malcolm Forsyth's new work.

Here's the pertinent bit: "But it is a particular shame that CBC Radio, which has the option to record and broadcast this and other performances by the NACO, chose to deny A BALLAD OF CANADA to Canadians beyond the Ottawa and Edmonton (where it will be performed by the ESO next Remembrance Day) areas. Indeed, this piece should have been slated to be the cornerstone of a Radio Two Remembrance Day broadcast. But this is not the first time our national public broadcaster has passed on bringing Forsyth's accessible music to more Canadians. Wynnyk and I had a development deal with CBC Arts TV to create a television version of Forsyth's cantata, EVANGELINE (also featuring Carl Hare reading from the original Longfellow poem), a truly iconic Canadian story, but were quite dismayed when that network decided to scrap serious arts programming altogether, and thus ended the project. It is truly sad that Canada no longer has a public broadcaster committed to serious programming particularly television."

Harper would say all is well since the "majority" of Canadians don't want arts on TV, just like the majority (40 per cent) wanted him to tell the rest of us what's good for us. Isn't that almost a definition of Conservative? If I remember correctly, it took two people who objected to telling the government about how many pets they have to get the long form census killed?

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