Culture en péril

Just saw a great video trashing the Conservative’s cuts to the arts and centralized review of spending, featuring the lead singer of the much-loved Québec band Beau Dommage. Basically, he asks for funding to attend a music festival, then starts to sing his biggest hit, a ballad about a heartbroken seal. But the French for “seal” is “phoque”, and… well, you get the picture. It’s been up for five days and so far 500,000 people have seen it (6.5% of the population, if they’re all from Québec). A blogger has kindly added English subtitles for those of you who don’t speak French (see the video’s description for instructions on turning them on).

Just as in Toronto and Vancouver, Harper was never in danger of getting any MPs elected in Montreal. But this isn’t going to help him win MPs in Québec City, or out in Saint-Fin-Fond-du-Lac-Nul-Parte, where everybody knows the words to this song about a seal, and no-one knows the words to the national anthem.

Edit: Harper’s made his stance even more clear now — he says that “ordinary people” don’t care about the arts. Funding cuts and censorship for the arts is especially big in Québec, though, so look for Harper to avoid repeating that one in French.