05.24.2011 06:04 AM

In today’s Sun: we want a subsidy, maaaaan

Since I am the only person in this newspaper — and, possibly, the world — who has been a member of a punk rock band while simultaneously advising a prime minister, my editors believe I am uniquely qualified to columnize about the latest controversy to batter the sterling reputation of the Harper Government.

“You’re in that ridiculous punk band which has a name we can’t even publish in our family-friendly newspaper,” said my editors, wearing Sun standard-issue sleeveless tops and six-inch pumps. “And you were a willing accomplice to the socialistic, secular humanist tyranny of the Chretien dynasty.

So we order you to write about this evil Vancouver punk band that has upset poor James Moore. Failure will result in being subjected to continuous exposure to Theo Caldwell interviews of Jeb Bush.”

Aye aye, said I. One opinion column coming up.


  1. Cath says:

    Are you being paid to say this WK? (yes, we already know the answer:-)

    I’m not a fan of subsidies to the arts or sports….especially for adults. What’s most annoying is that there’s an expectation by some arts and sports groups that they’re somehow entitled to my money. Uh, no they’re not. If I want to support you I’ll got buy tickets to your events or buy your albums. Let the public decide with their feet who merits their cash or not – NOT a government.

    Helping out kids and families in a way that would support their interest is another thing entirely.

    How many of our successful Canadian bands, actors, sport figures got their start and their fame via gov’t subsidies and how many took advantage of the creative markets and marketing south of the border?

  2. Bill M. says:

    To avoid funding these nefarious sorts in the future, perhaps bureaucrats can white out the name of the band and just write Kairos thereby assuring funding is denied.

    A second alternative would be inserting a large rubber mold inscribed with “NOT” into the forehead of Mr. Moore. He can just bang his head on every request for funds that come across his desk.

    Anyone know if our government donated any funds to the rapture event this weekend? Sounds like the kind of shtick they’d be up for.

  3. Ed says:

    This happens to be one of the best articles I have read from you Warren. My favorite line is the one about how the only people upset by this are the SUN talking heads and the Harper GovernmentTM. They’ve been on this topic for almost a week on Sun news now. It just shows how unserious they are even about their own core beliefs. It is my one main complaint with Sun news network, that even when they have a legitimate bone to pick, they screw up the argument along the way from indignation to proposing a solution. Either it becomes obvious they aren’t telling you the whole story, they jerk hard-right to some free market solution (On Sun, free markets are the solution to everything!), or they just don’t give an answer. In this case, they let their argument devolve into a this-punk-band-is-abandoning-their-values schtick. Who in their busy life really cares about a garage punk band in BC? Besides, word is they learned how to abandon their values from the same Harper GovernmentTM that gave them all that money:)

  4. fritz says:

    Happy 70th. birthday Bob Dylan. The greatest songwriter of the 20th. century and a true punk.

  5. wassup says:

    War-Man: Your punk community will not be taken seriously by attacking Christianity… You don’t need spiky hair and a bad attitude to do that, anyone can.

    It doesn’t take guts, there is no cost, and certainly no glory, in preaching to us that the God is “not” unconditional love… we’ve heard it all before.

    Try taking on the real power in our society and then maybe we’ll cut you a break for the silly piercings, pimple outbreaks, and assorted “leatherette” wrist straps.

    Of course that won’t happen. It’s waaaaay too scary for punks who are afraid of their own shadow to attack Islam, The Human Right Commission Censors, Socialism, and the Powerful Public Service Union & Police Bosses. Here’s a dollar, shut up and sing.

    • Attack! says:

      Hey, annoying weak American beer ad slogan guy: it doesn’t take “guts” to be a slavish devotee of Ezra Levant who (anonymously!) parrots all his pet peeves and rants… but it is stomach churning. What’s Up, Chuck?

    • Torgo says:

      I don’t know, all of these bogeymen are trashed daily on Macleans, the National Post, Sun TV, Charles Adler and Fox News – and that’s even without mentioning all the Reformatory commentators on this website. Doesn’t seem to be that scary a topic, in fact, it seems damn profitable and trite.

      (Btw, try an old punk classic like “Holiday in Cambodia” by the Dead Kennedys and spare us your one-dimensional view of punk.)

    • I wasn’t aware Christianity wasn’t a “real power.” Or religion in general. Thank you for clearing that up. I forgot we live in a world where theology totally doesn’t trump reason.

  6. Transplanted Doerite says:

    I generally agree WK, but I wonder what the boys from Hamilton who wrote that catchy ditty, “Bomb the Boats, Feed the Fish” – and who proudly proclaimed that they were “In Love With the System” – would say?

    • Warren says:

      Forgotten Rebels? We played a gig at Rancho Relaxo with Mickey de Sadist and the revamped FR a couple years back. If Mickey actually believes in anything, I’m a hottentot.

  7. Transplanted Doerite says:

    Yeah, good ol’ FR. That must have been a blast.

    I saw them a few years ago in the ‘Peg when they had re-formed. It’s true what you say. I’m sure he’d write a great song about this story. What rhymes with Moore?

  8. Jeff says:

    Warren, I agree with your article until the end of it.

    I understand your history with punk, but who has dictated that every band that plays punk music has to be anti-government or have some sort of political leaning? Living With Lions are much more akin to a New Found Glory or Blink 182 type band rather than a politically charged band like Bad Religion or NOFX.

    The fact that they received government funding doesn’t mean that they’ve sold out, it means that they’re a smart band in a time where playing music for a living is increasingly difficult (especially in Canada).

  9. Dave says:

    I know a punk can’t be expected to use viz. correctly, but a law-talkin’ guy should be.

  10. “Since I am the only person in this newspaper — and, possibly, the world — who has been a member of a punk rock band while…” just sent me off on a little Wiki search followed by a youtube one. The late 70s punk and new wave were my favourite musical time ever.

    Anyways, Barney Rubble Is My Double just gave me a nice little nostalgia trip. I heard that one around here and there back then (maybe on CFNY or something?). Thank you for that! 🙂

  11. JStanton says:

    We already know that the Harper regime has a mandate to undermine democracy in Canada. Curtailment of free speech, when at odds with Mr. Harper’s opinions, is now government policy.

    Mr. Harper would have us believe that a mere $13k spent in arts funding is somehow reprehensible, while he spends hourly a multiple of that amount protecting the American oil supply in Libya, and on destroying US weapons systems sold to Libya, lest they fall into the hands of a new government. The US can manage these tasks for themselves quite adequately, I’m sure.

    As usual, it’s not about the money. It’s only ever about using the Canadian state to force Mr. Harper’s opinions on people, regardless of cost.


  12. Godless_Lawyer says:

    Money went to the label, not the band – and it was a loan, not a subsidy.

    So James Moore is just protecting the government’s investment by increasing album sales. This is part of the government’s 100% focus on the economy.

    Funny how all this righteous anger about the types of artists that get government funding comes after the NDP’s calls to increase funding for the arts.

    Welcome to our polarized Parliament!

  13. CQ says:

    What good is funding a variety of music bands if they don’t receive airtime on any of Canada’s radio stations and record sellers beside Wal*mart and Best Buy shut down every year. An internet outlet of the CBC doesn’t really count as the same.
    Arcade Fire – after six years wins the Grammy, Int’l Brit Award, and the Juno, meanwhile they’re only being played regularly on one out of the six popular modern music stations here in T.O. Good luck for any bands that are not at the top of the industry.

  14. Holy shit, a withdrawal:

    In light of the recent controversy regarding the artwork for Living With Lions’ album, “Holy Shit”, the band and label have voluntarily agreed to return the loan of $13,248.00 in its entirety, which was offered in support of this record. The product will be withdrawn from the domestic market immediately, and we requested our international partners to withdraw product internationally as well. We understand the band’s desire to maintain their creative integrity. Therefore the album will be re-released as a non-FACTOR supported project in the coming weeks.

    The material was not intended to be offensive, though we regret it was interpreted that way.

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