Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where did I put that fainting couch?

Pearls clutched firmly in hand, Big Daddy and his merry band of Victorian morality police are putting the smut producers on notice. Via the Globe and Mail:

The Conservative government has drafted guidelines that would allow it to pull financial aid for any film or television show that it deems offensive or not in the public's best interest - even if government agencies have invested in them.

The proposed changes to the Income Tax Act would allow the Heritage Minister to deny tax credits to projects deemed offensive, effectively killing the productions. Representatives from Heritage and the Department of Justice will determine which shows or films pass the test.

No, really. But it might not be as easy as they think.

Toronto lawyer David Zitzerman of Goodmans LLP says the government's plans smack of "closet censorship."

"The proposed new initiative, if not properly crafted, could potentially violate the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] and lead to possible legal challenges against the Minister of Canadian Heritage," Mr. Zitzerman said yesterday. "Such a provision could potentially lead to the government acting as 'morality police.' The existing definitions of pornography and obscenity in the Criminal Code should be sufficient for the government's purposes.

"Would this committee put money into Juno? It might not want to encourage teen pregnancy. Would the government put money into a film with a dirty title, like Young People Fucking? Would they invest in something like Brokeback Mountain? They might not want to encourage gay cowboys to have sex together in Alberta."

There are gay cowboys in Alberta? Somebody better tell NAMBLA-Dick ... he’ll be on this like a fat kid on a Smartie©.


David Webb said...

Gay cowboys? Sorry, I just can't resist the obvious joke. Blame it on being stuck inside due to the weather.

liberal supporter said...

Not surprising. They ran the trial balloon for what will be called "Suzuki's Law" over the last couple weeks. Unlike most laws named for a person, so that it can right a wrong that happened to that person, Suzuki's Law is to "protect the public interest" from alleged political statements made by anyone associated with a charitable organization.

As we know, any statement that is not approved by CPC Central is a political statement and therefore cannot be made by a charity.

Having come up with such a great idea to deal with pesky organizations with charitable status, they expanded it to include any kind of activity that might otherwise be eligible for tax credits.

This will aid the government's communications strategy of converting government departments into CPC organs, so that the level of dissent is decreased.

Ti-Guy said...

I'm just confounded by the idea that moral degenerates like Conservatives could even begin to make judgements about decency.

By the way, this is the type of thing that goes on at NAMBLA-Richard Evans's favourite Calgary watering hole.

liberal supporter said...

Well that's the whole point, they wouldn't be making judgments about decency. They would be making judgments as to how it affects their current quest for majority, and the future quest for "continuity of CPC government". Any production which casts our institutions in a favourable light would of course be not in the public's interest.

Like the commies, they consider themselves to be the arbiter of the public interest. "We rule on behalf of the People".

E in MD said...

Oh 'cmon, quit your bitchin'. You guys really didn't think you lived in a free society did you? ( or that free societies still existed in the Western hemisphere).

Hell Rudy 9/11 Giuliani as mayor decided to use his 'inherent authority' to shut down a museum exhibit that he deemed personally offensive and he's a fucking mayor! I don't recall there being a provision in the First Amendment that said "Except if the local government head gets a bee in his bonnet."

You're just following the lead of the Good Ol' US of A. Straight down the toilet.

The Seer said...

This is new? Unless I am mistaken, DaVinci's Inquest fell because it depicted Vancouver as a haven for prostitutes, drug dealers, and crooked cops and politicians while Vancouver campaigned to get the Winter Olympics.

Ti-Guy said...

Unless I am mistaken, DaVinci's Inquest fell because it depicted Vancouver as a haven for prostitutes, drug dealers, and crooked cops and politicians while Vancouver campaigned to get the Winter Olympics.

Where did you hear this?

Peter Dodson said...

I can't imagine freespeechers such as the Tories doing something like this. I mean, this is censorship, no?

Sir Francis said...

Great. So a cabal of faceless CPC-anointed bureaucrats will determine what is "offensive" and save the Canadian people the trouble of so determining for themselves. It's nice to see the party responsible for the notorious "Paul-Martin-Supports-Child-Pornography" campaign commit to the ethical supervision of our state-funded cultural initiatives.

You needn't worry, actually. The CPC's aesthetic criteria seem to be really quite liberal (not surprisingly, for faux "conservatives"). A couple of years ago, 50-Cent (violent American gangsta rapper and misogynist extraordinaire) embarked on a tour of Canada. A concerned (truly conservative) MP wondered why the government granted entry into Canada to a convicted felon with a history of violence, whose net influence on Canadian youth has been to turn woman-hating, cop-killing, pimping and crack-selling into sparklingly glorious adventures. The MP's name? Dan McTeague, Liberal Party of Canada.

And from the CPC on this issue? Total silence. I guess they saw no reason to deny an American millionaire ex-con the chance to make more millions by selling his poison (in person) to Canadian kids. Proof positive that CPC "morality" evaporates when in the presence of wads of greenbacks: like grateful whores, they'll happily open your zipper if the bread is thick enough.

Anyone wishing a positive reception to their Heritage proposal will simply need to offer the CPC a guarantee of a fat return-on-investment. Hard-core porn, for instance, would be a fairly CPC-friendly option--cheaply produced, populist, and anti-intellectual. One can well imagine a CPC-mandated documentary on the War of 1812: Naughty Niagara, featuring Tecumseh, Brock and De Salaberry porking their way through a seraglio of buxom camp-followers. It's a guaranteed hot-seller which, helpfully, takes the edge off the "anti-American" tone of the real story.

The Seer said...

ty-guy: Re: DaVinci's Inquest.

Seems to me, I read it in the Globe & Mail. But it's been a long time, I could be wrong about the source. The series was killed when the Vancouver campaign ramped up into high gear. There were complaints it put Vancouver in a bad light.

Ti-Guy said...

Let me know if you locate the source.

Unknown said...

Fat kid on a Smartie? I think NAMBLA-Dick would rather be on the fat kid.

They can't run as fast, y'know.

Beijing York said...

DaVinci City Hall was not renewed by the CBC. Now that may or may not be because of the content. Let's face it, CBC has been actively dumbing down it's content these past two years. Coincidence?

As for this proposed censorship regulation, the way that tax credits are awarded (two-step process) is such that there are many films and television programs that might fail to pass this "public decency" test before they even get into production. Without the provisional approval, producers have nothing to trigger financing. This is NOT like panels that designate a rating. This is cutting expression at the knees.

What I can't believe is that it passed through the House without any scrutiny or analysis. Where the fuck were the finance and heritage critics of the opposition parties? At least Bill Siksay had the honesty to admit that he didn't read the 600 page omnibus Tax Amendment Bill. Still, more evidence of Harper's US style of governing. He dumps EVERYTHING into one omnibus bill -- that's exactly what is happening in the US.

All arts funding was a whipping boy for the Reform Party. They didn't like tax payer money going to anything that was sexual or gay.

liberal supporter said...

They didn't like tax payer money going to anything that was sexual or gay.

I agree.

Let's stop the tax free status of the churches.