Matthew Good Speaks Out of Turn

13 Jan ’06

I blogged yesterday about the new design here and mentioned that I had turned to the excellent work of Thought Mechanics – a joint gig by Theron Parlin and Matthew Good – for inspired design. Well yes, actually, it is that Matthew Good (I’m sure he’s by now weary of hearing that). Matthew has an excellent blog (Matthew’s hacked version of the Squible theme originally developed by Theron is actually the bones of this design) where he writes mostly on politics, international affairs and human rights. Today he writes about the Bulte campaign fundraising issue, a frequent recent topic for this blog also. Gist:

The most important realization that any Canadian can make about this country’s music industry is that it is almost entirely beholden to foreign parent companies. Now, many of you might be labouring under the false assumption that the primary concern of Canada’s foremost corporate music giants is the promotion and support of domestic artists, but nothing could be further than the truth. Canadian companies exhaust the majority of their energies promoting large international acts, basically acting as little more than regional sales offices. Below those concerns is found whatever investment remains in Canadian music, an investment that over the last decade has rapidly declined. That’s not to say that all interest is gone, or that there aren’t a few good people left out there with their heads screwed on straight, just that their options are limited by those above them.

People have, for quite a few years now, asked me why I refuse to attend the Junos. The answer is rather simple. Because they’re not really about supporting or celebrating Canadian artists, they’re about supporting and celebrating an industry that doesn’t really have Canadian artistic interests at heart. They’re actually about celebrating an industry that has foreign shareholders interests at heart. I have yet to figure out what that has to do with supporting and helping develop Canadian talent, let alone why it warrants a television broadcast. But it most certainly speaks to our character – that we can’t find it within ourselves to fight for something uniquely ours, but rather are content to settle for a second rate version of someone else’s bad idea.

Michael Geist, of course, has been making exactly the same point for ages. There is much, much more in this excellent post.

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