Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Living With Lions

The Vancouver based punk band Living With Lions has returned $13,248 to the FACTOR program, a federally funded artist loan program, that makes loans to bands and musical artists in order for them to produce recordings, videos or engineering.
Why would they do that you ask? Well, there is more to this story than is being reported in the MSM. What? Why wouldn't the MSM give us all the details in a story? Because that is how those biased fuckers roll. It is up to average citizens, with rage burning in their hearts and a need for justice that cannot be satiated without declaring their contempt for this corporate controlled, bullshit spewing thought control machine, to make public the rest of the story, after the presses have stopped.
I cannot declare that I know the full reasons that the band decided to return the cash. An abridged version would be that they do not want to change their art to suit the suits. This is very, very common in the creative world, the people with all the money want the artists to tone down what they have said or created because someone, somewhere, might be offended.

The band had depicted Jesus and the bible in a disparaging way in the album that received the government grant and when a right wing commentator, named Ezra Levant, made it public on his television show on the Sun Network, a shit storm ensued and all the usual whiners crawled out from under their rocks and got up onto their soap boxes and next thing you know, James Moore, the 'Minister of Deciding What is and What is not Art', weighed in and made a public statement about how the government did not know what the artists had made until after the funds were given and blah blah blah...
So what. They shouldn't have to worry that every word or picture from an artist will comply with their self appointed standards council. Ever heard of a little thing called free speech or freedom of expression?
Unless it is 'hate' or 'inciting violence', then it is good to go. That's right, moralists everywhere, you may not like what some people say, but our Charter guarantees the right to free speech and free expression. It is a little piece of paper that was drawn up in 1982, that you probably haven't even read. And if you have, then I think you should read it again because you obviously didn't understand it.

I don't like pictures or words that disparage Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha or any other so-called prophet that millions or even billions of people follow. I find it offensive. But would I be so offended that I demand it be destroyed or removed or defunded? No, I wouldn't. Because I respect the laws of freedom that allow us all to say whatever we want. That is one of the pillars of our so-called democracy.

And as for Ezra Levant and the Sun Network, these moralists have no problem with the government pouring billions of tax dollars into wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the tar sands oil exploration or all sorts of other experiments in human suffering and environmental destruction. Ezra Levant wrote a book called Ethical Oil, if you can believe that. Maybe he is busy writing his follow-up, called 'Ethical Torture'.
The point I am making about Levant is that he gets all outraged when something offends him, but doesn't give a fuck about the people he offends on a daily basis. He published pictures of Mohammed and suicide bombers in his newspaper The Western Standard, back in 2006. These were the same pictures that were published by the Danish newspapers that caused massive outrage in the Muslim community around the globe. Danish consulates even came under attack. Those pictures offended literally a billion people.
Do I think Levant had a right to publish those pictures? Yes, I do. I think it was fucking arrogant and stupid but I must defend his right to do so. It is written in our Charter and it would be absolutely hypocritical of me not to stand up for that.
I am guessing that our federal government has given all sorts of grants and loans to people who have upset others with their opinions. It just so happens that we have a federal government in power now that has it's own mouthpiece, the same mouthpiece that Levant works for, Sun Networks.
This is the same Sun Networks that published the story about Michael Ignatieff posing with the US soldiers in Kuwait in 2002 and we later found out it wasn't even Ignatieff in the picture, this is the Sun Network that published the story about Jack Layton visiting a massage parlour in 1996 in Toronto and were investigated by the OPP for illegal journalistic practices. These stories would not have really mattered much had it not been in the last week before the federal election.
I smell a rat here, people. A foul, rotting rat, that is gonna stink up this whole country's discourse, like FOX news has done south of the border.
Again, these people have every right to say what they want, it is protected under the charter, just listen closely to what is said and the reaction that happens. It is always one-sided and what one person says or does or creates is offensive and hateful and what they say is news or opinions.
FOX news in the US has done a lot of damage to the political landscape in that country. Do we really need that kind of hate here?
As for Living With Lions, I am glad they gave the money back, instead of kowtowing to the man and altering their artistic vision. I won't be buying their music any time soon because I listen to jazz, classical and indie college stuff that I am sure they might find offensive.
And for people who are up on their soapboxes, trying to save the children and me from facing this type of 'offensive' punk music, I had never heard of Living With Lions last week and here I am writing about them. I also assume that the band will no longer need a FACTOR loan because their album sales probably just sky rocketed, thanks to all the publicity afforded them by said moralists.

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