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Home » Music

Political Soundclash: Malinowski condemns arts cuts

Submitted by on April 3, 2010 – 6:13 amNo Comment

Culture-Politics-1Jay Malinowski is objective. He has a degree from Queens, reads The Globe and Mail and The Economist, and has no problem admitting that, through tough times at the TSX, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has an MA in economics, is probably a safer bet than May, Duceppe, Dion or Layton.

But the lead man for Bedouin Soundclash differs with PM Harper on many other fronts. Malinowski believes cutting funds to artists because their creations don’t, necessarily, agree with the politics of a few people or the party in power is lazy policy.

“I don’t think the government would question whether Blue Rodeo gets funding,” he says.  But Holy Fuck, a band he says is talented and too easy to discredit because of their name, got its funds cut. “I assume it was just a knee-jerk reaction,” Malinowski speculates. “And I don’t know what they were thinking, but the reason they’ve given is totally insufficient.”

Malinowski says that when a government can decide without consulting with the public, what it deems appropriate and acceptable, we are living in dangerous times. He points out that “cultural programs are under scrutiny, not based on whether or not they’re important to the people but because, in essence, the government doesn’t agree creatively with what they’re doing.” That’s censorship, he laments.

On Afghanistan, crime, health care and democracy in general, Malinowski has an opinion. Crime? “Crime is not solved by harsher penalties; crime is solved by asking why people are committing crimes.” Health care? “If we put more money into helping people that are burdens on our society, we’re gonna save money and we won’t have to put as much into law enforcement.” Afghanistan? “If they really cared about Canadian safety, then why would they claim to want to pull out? Because there’s an election.” Democracy? “And that’s exactly what’s turning youth off politics: You can’t trust anyone. I’m not telling anyone how to think or how to votes, I just think the discussion is important.”

“In terms of making his policies, I hope Stephen Harper is using his heart as much as he’s using his head.”  Harper is not, however, Canada’s Orwellian Big Brother, Malinowski laughs. “I was just saying that as a joke. I think he’s probably a good-natured person, and he’s probably making decisions he believes to be in the best interest of Canadians.”

Remi L. Roy

Also appeared in XPress-10/09/08

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