Category Archives: Seth On The Arts

Seth presents opinions about how others present their artistic wares.

HOW I MET YOUR INDEPENDENT DESIGN

A mere decade after my initial post, HOW I MET YOUR INDEPENDENT HUMOUR regarding the 2005-2014 sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, I have finally completed my witnessing of this most creative of television comedies.

Against SethBlogs’ standard procedures, my updated review must begin with some contrition. You see, in that first analysis, I brashly noted that the premise of the show (a dad in 2030 telling his two kids about how he met their mother somewhere between the years of 2005 and we didn’t yet know when) was likely too daunting to sustain coherently.

Mused 2010 SethBlogs:

“…the premise is a wee bit troubled: the idea of dedicating a plot to explaining to one’s future children how one discovered their mom is nice, I think, for a defined timeline such as a movie, but in the case of an open-ended TV series, it seems too difficult for the writers to keep each episode on point considering they don’t know when exactly to bring the mother in, and so in turn, they don’t know how exactly to relate each show to her eventual arrival.”

I can now report that—while I was perfectly right that the challenge the writers had set for themselves was “difficult” (well done, SethBlogs!)—I was wrong to suggest it was “too” much so (badly done, SethBlogs!). As it turned out, our writers were not toiling in the linear boundaries that most television writers reside. Instead, the authors of HIMYM were working in the realm of literary novelists where time, place, and perspective were free to wander outside the lines of sequential thinking. Yet, unlike their literary forewriters, the HIMYM creators had a sense of humour about both the lives of their characters, and about themselves, as they often pranked their future selves by having the dad-narrator reference peculiar future incidents which they would somehow have to finagle into later seasons.

The nine-year show is bursting with successful payoffs (as it high-fives those ideas prognosticated in past seasons) as well as retroactive payoffs (as it explains previous behaviours that we didn’t realize were mysterious at the time).

But this show is not just a non-linear story where jokes can be told out of order: instead, How I Met Your Mother is a collage of collages. Each season tends to live in a particular year between 2005 and 2014, but because our narrator’s memory is not limited by temporal rules, stories are bound more often by theme than by time. So, if an episode is about a particular bad habit of one of the characters, we’ll receive examples that might exist anywhere along the 50-year timeline of the show.

Perspective, too, is a mosaic on How I Met Your Mother. Along with the dad, guest narrators grab the microphone occasionally to tell the story of the episode, and the explanation for the alternative viewpoint is often as interesting as the plot, itself.

These collages of perspective and timeline work alongside the series-long arc of meeting Mom as we get many foggy hints about her, even though we don’t officially see her face until the end of the penultimate season. And, when the writers finally do let us meet Mom, they still aren’t beholden to our linear expectations: in fact, they first introduce our lead couple together later in the timeline than their long-anticipated first encounter, and so we actually get to know them as a duo before they “meet.”

The finale on the How I Met Your Mother timeline has—at this point in our real-world timeline—not been as popular as the show, itself. However, as with perhaps the greatest movie of all time, The Empire Strikes Back, which might have been titled, How I Met My Father, and which initially did not receive a positive critical reaction (unlike its precursor, Star Wars), I predict that our perspective will eventually shift in regard to HIMYM’s conclusion. While (semi-spoiler alert) the ending contains a twist on our expectations—and I admit that I, too, was miffed about it for an hour after watching—I now contest that it beautifully ties together an unspoken promise: it tells us why we’re being told the story. And that information, I predict, will change our future viewings of the show to being more meaningful than we’d realized.

Please don’t misunderstand my gushing: HIMYM is not a perfect show, and it has some dud episodes (even masters of situation comedy, such as Seinfeld, Frasier, and Jane Austen lose their way on occasion). Nevertheless, How I Met Your Mother is perhaps the most inventive sitcom I have ever met. Plus SethBlogs did get another thing right in my previous description: the show has lots of clever turns of dialogue. (Well spotted, Sethblogs!)

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM III: Interview By Time-Traveller, Todd Van Allen

SethBlogs’ lead writer, Seth McDonough, wrote a book, and he can’t stop talking about it.

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN (you are here)


I’m honoured to honour me by reporting that my book How to Cure Yourself of Narcissism has now reached interprovincial fame as I have been interviewed on comedian Todd Van Allen’s Ottawa-based podcast, Comedy Above The Pub.

TVA’s CATP has a fascinating set up as the elite comedian and storyteller launches himself and his visitors into conversation as though they’re at a pub, without artificial barriers of required topics, but instead with anecdotes and deferential curiosities that he surreptitiously ties to his guests’ wares.

Most fascinating  to my philosophical eye, the podcaster dances with time as the interview ends with a mini-discussion of the conversation just past, which then becomes the introduction for the later-released episode. To my ear this post-convo pre-convo sets the listener up with a much more accurate and vibrant introduction than if the podcaster had begun with a pre-written description of what might be approaching.

For the full podcast, listen here.

Or, for the video version, watch the live initial broadcast below (although, since the live broadcast was live, it lacked the ability to anticipate its post-show introduction, so I recommend listening to the intro above before watching).


HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN (you were just here)

SETH IN HALFMOON BAY

In the metro Port Coquitlam area of metro Vancouver, BC, my friend Erik D’Souza has been dubbed by the staff at Sethblogs, “the author-wrangler,” as he has achieved the difficult, convincing local authors to get out of our book jackets. He interviews us (including yours truly here and here), he tricks us into reading our work in public, and he even wrangled a group of us to publish a collection of short stories called New Beginnings, and then he donated all profits to the Share Society.

In short, I was delighted recently to finally be given the opportunity to put the prolific spotlight provider in his own spotlight, as I guest-interviewed him on his own broadcast, about his mystery novel, Death in Halfmoon Bay. That conversation is now available for your consideration here (or watch the video below).

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE STAR WARS

Disney and Lucasfilm recently announced that they would be producing a grand new collection of TV series and movies to expand the Star Wars universe beyond anything we fans could have possibly imagined. But Mark Hill, a satirical writer at The Beaverton, struck back at Disney’s “joyless” efforts, noting that:

“Media journalists predicted that most of the series would feature, holy crap can you believe it, lightsabers, incompetent Stormtroopers and, wait for it, spaceships. In response to this speculation, some dork on Reddit said ‘I hope we get to see some wurmpuses too,’ whatever in Christ’s name that means.”

Against my better biases, Hill’s profanity-led mocking of the expansion of our galaxy far, far away (as well as those of us cheering it on) got me chuckling like a Nien Nunb.

I even cheerfully paraphrased the article for my spouse on our nightly walk, and she laughed harder than I would have liked as Hill scoffed at us fans for buying:

“…clothes that say garbage like, ugh, ‘Reading my t-shirt, you are.’”

Cool! Where’s it selling?

I’m tempted to point out that Mr. Hill’s comedy, while amusing, calls upon a rather redundant set of jokes that we Star Wars fans have heard throughout our history. Yes, Mark, many of us are,

“…excited dweeb”s, who get worked up “to witness the adventures of Luke Skywalker’s distant cousin, one of the aliens who’s on-screen for two seconds in A New Hope…” (intrigue me!) “…and the Millennium Falcon’s sentient space coffee maker” (right on!),

along with any other scraps of detail George Lucas’s acolytes are willing to toss our way.

However, because I don’t want to seem as humourless as Hill’s familiar caricature of Star Wars’ fans implies, I’m going to instead take the path of the Jedi and support Mr. Hill’s cranky work by publishing here a complementary piece from the magazine, The Curmudgeon.

NO HOPE by Oscar T. Grouch

Curmudgeons everywhere have had enough. Disney and Lucasfilm are expanding their already oversized Star Wars universe with plans to make a pathetic collection of unnecessary new content. Grumps are not pleased.

“Why are these damn kids doing this to us?” one leading grumbler asked.

More Star Wars?” another said. “Great, now dweebs are going to be blathering on about it while I’m overpaying for my coffee.”

Desperate to stop the dorky domination, world-leading cranks have joined forces (pun neither intended nor acknowledged) with elite snobs to denounce Disney’s new Star Wars’ plans.

“We’re not happy about working with a bunch of hoity-toities,” one despondent crab explained, “but if you’re gonna take candy from a bunch of babies, you’re gonna need help distracting them first.”

“Exactly right,” a high-ranking member of the snob collective added, “this is not an ideal collaboration; but occasionally one must have an imperfect wine-pairing just to get through a meal.”

Leading this alliance of the snotty and the haughty is a rare dabbler in both groups, Mark Hill of The Beaverton.

With crotchety panache, Hill noted during the joint Snob & Crank depress conference that Disney is:

“…a joyless, all-devouring pop culture monolith that tells the same simple children’s story ad nauseam…”

“Precisely,” an elite-aesthete said. “You can’t give consumers what they want. That’s pure consumerism.”

“Bravo!” cheered another. “We mustn’t let this derivative and jejune nonsense persist!”

Then a dorky journalist—dolled up with dweeby glasses and a horrid holiday tie—humiliated herself by asking the leaders of the snob collective if there was a contradiction in their criticism of Disney for being “joyless” at the same time that the mouse-eared regime seemed to be bringing so much “joy” to their fans.

“That’s not the joy we’re looking for, my dear,” Beatrice von Snooterson explained.

“I don’t know about any of that,” one of the top grumps replied. “All I know is they’ve already made so much garbage, which I’m already not gonna watch—why do they think I’m gonna wanna see this new pile of junk?”

Hill brilliantly responded to the high-ranking grouch’s question by sardonically explaining that—contrary to all recognized guidelines of good taste—dorky Star Wars fans are obsessed with studying the detailed motivations and back stories of every galactic character as though they’re studying Shakespeare’s canon.

That provoked a crescendo of chuckles among the snobs.

“Ha, ha, they’re all dweebs!” one of the curmudgeons added.

“Hear, hear!” a snob called out with an elevated eyebrow. “Why do they insist upon exploring every particular of their make-believe world? Are they under the misapprehension that it’s real?”

“I must concur,” another snooty-voiced elite replied. “Moreover, if Disney absolutely must produce more Star Wars, surely they can provide something a little more grim and challenging to watch. Give us a movie about how Luke Skywalker had an eating disorder, and how he used his laser sword to fend off anyone who tried to help him.”

“Indubitably!” called out a nearby avant-garde filmmaker. “Now that’s the sort of bleakness for which I’m looking!”

Sadly, despite these crusty and erudite calls for Disney to stop imposing their vapid product on their vapid audience, neither the provider nor that consumer of Star Wars has agreed to discontinue their relationship. And it looks like there is little hope that they will any time soon.

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM II: Interviews By Rival-Writer, Erik D’Souza

SethBlogs’ lead writer, Seth McDonough, wrote a book, and he can’t stop talking about it.

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA (you are here)
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN


Well! I’m pleased to report that my book How to Cure Yourself of Narcissism has now found a starring role in two interviews, featuring yours truly excited and Erik D’Souza, author and author-wrangler.

First I was a brief guest called in to discuss etiquette on Erik’s Canada Day broadcast. (Click this link for our mini-conversation about whether Canadians are as polite as Americans claim we are, or watch the video here.)


Second
, this past weekend I was the inaugural long-form guest on Erik’s Writers in Our Midst publication. (See the video at the bottom of this post to enjoy a cheerful, if meandering, discussion of self-absorption in modern society.)

Now you might think that the fact that Erik and I are friends implies that Erik may have invited me for nepotistic reasons, but you would be wrong—embarrassingly wrong! You see, Erik and I are both writers, which means we are rivals, and therefore Erik is best off not making me look as grand as I normally do.

In fact, in the long-form interview, Erik celebrated our rivalry with some tough questions, such as, asking me if I—of all wonderful people—was a narcissist.

You’ll have to tune in (here, or watch the video below) to find how I escaped that perilous query.


HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA (you were just here)
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN

FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING II: A New Cheers

Well, by order of social distancing, I have been travelling to a galaxy far, far away for my creative productions.

FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING SERIES:

I: THE RISE OF CONFIDENCE 

II: A NEW CHEERS (you are here)


Recently, one of my top-three favourite sisters had a birthday, but again, social distancing prevented a proper gathering, so instead I decided to create a fusion of a childhood favourite TV show, Cheers, and of course the greatest movie franchise of all time, Star Wars.

Our tale is set in the Star Wars universe sometime after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and features a pair of Han Solo and Chewbacca impersonators (Han Sethlo and Coobacca). Our hero-impersonators enjoy travelling to strange lands “where nobody knows their name” to visit with unique creatures. This episode takes our delightful duo to “Earth.”

In honour of your time, I have only included here the opening and closing jokes of the episode. However, you will get to imbibe the excellent vocal and piano stylings of my talented Uncle Rick as he reproduces the Cheers theme for our intergalactic investigators.

May the 4th be with you!


Our previous episode tells the story of me promoting an anti-anxiety workshop through the uplifting lens of Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.


FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING SERIES:

I: THE RISE OF CONFIDENCE 

II: A NEW CHEERS (you were just here)

FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING I: The Rise Of Confidence

Well, by order of social distancing, I have been travelling to a galaxy far, far away for my creative productions.

FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING SERIES:

I: THE RISE OF CONFIDENCE (you are here)

II: A NEW CHEERS


Today’s episode features my efforts to promote a recent online workshop I was giving to my writers’ group wherein I provided suggestions for combatting the inevitable pangs of anxiety that rise up in most of our bellies before any public speaking venture.

With the assistance of our planet’s greatest-ever composer, John Williams, and the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, I present the following inspirational promotion. If you can listen to the swing of John Williams’ baton and not feel courage gathering inside you to take on those evil butterflies, then you’re either on the wrong side, or you’re a droid.

May the 4th be with you!


Our next episode will feature a collision of Star Wars and the great television comedy, Cheers.


FUN WITH INTERGALACTIC SOCIAL DISTANCING SERIES:

I: THE RISE OF CONFIDENCE (you were just here)

II: A NEW CHEERS

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM I: Quotes About Greatness, Compiled by SethBlogs

SethBlogs’ lead writer, Seth McDonough, wrote a book, and he can’t stop talking about it.

HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS (you are here)
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN


In honour of me, I’m delighted to announce that my book, How to Cure Yourself of Narcissism, is now available at every worthy-of-me virtual location (and a few in-person shops). It’s ready for your delighted perusal in the following nearby and faraway places:

In additional honour of this announcement, I would like to celebrate five of my favourite ego-driven quotes from the cinema:

(5) “Unless I’m wrong, and I’m never wrong…”

—Prince Humperdinck, The Princess Bride (1987).

(4) “I’m pretty sure there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.”

—Derek Zoolander in Zoolander (2002), honoured above by Seth Zoolander.

(3) “As a specimen, yes, I’m intimidating! As you see I’ve got biceps to spare… I’m especially good at expectorating… I use antlers in all of my decorating!”

—(singing) Gaston in Beauty & The Beast (1991).

(2) “There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.”

—Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride & Prejudice (1980).

(1) “Would someone get this big walking carpet out of my way.”

—Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars IV: A New Hope after that particular movable rug, the Wookiee, Chewbecca, helped rescue her from her cell in the Death Star (1977).

Congrats to ME!

(Simulcast on my Facebook author page)


HOW TO CELEBRATE MYSELF FOR NARCISSISM COLLECTION:

I: QUOTES ABOUT GREATNESS, COMPILED BY SETHBLOGS (you were just here)
II: INTERVIEWS BY RIVAL-WRITER, ERIK D’SOUZA
III: INTERVIEW BY TIME-TRAVELLER, TODD VAN ALLEN

SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO III: The Curiosity Of Tom Power

CBC Radio is a publicly funded broadcaster in Canada. Yet, in SethBlogs’ daily listening, their temperament is to present every story they encounter from a politically “progressive” vantage point. Against that pious bias, SethBlogs’ funded SethFM to the rescue.

SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO SERIES:

I: THE FUSING OF ART AND ARTIST
II: ARTISTIC SERVITUDE
III: THE CURIOSITY OF TOM POWER (you are here)


As any fan or foe of SethBlogs knows, I consider CBC Radio to be my nemesis. It’s not just that they have a slant regarding how our society should be run, they have a slope. This does not mean that they are always wrong in every conclusion they promote, but it does mean that their editorial policy is to never dig for nuance; so long as the item they are discussing claims to be progressive, they are for it.

Moreover, CBC Radio’s sloping presentation is more egregious than that of other biased broadcasters, such as FOX News (to the right) or MSNBC (to the left), because CBC Radio is publicly funded, and so has a duty to all of its constituents, not just to those who agree with them.

So each day—as I listen to CBC Radio—I hope for a break from their no-nuance policy.

Recently, for instance, CBC Radio reporters announced—with a progressively correct grin—that we now had proof of current racial bias in Canada’s policing. My ears opened wide to take in the details of this significant claim, only to learn that the alleged proof of racism could be found in the fact that a higher percentage of certain races are arrested by Canadian police than other races. The reporters gave no consideration to the possibility that the disparate arrest rates could be related to disparate crime rates amongst current Canadian racial demographics (due to various social factors, including perhaps historical racism, itself).

And we know that CBC Radio is aware that historical factors (beyond current racism) can contribute to differing racial demographics in the present, because they frequently talk about the lingering effects of historical injustice on modern groups. Now, of course, it’s possible that both current police racism and history are influencing today’s results, but CBC Radio is not claiming a possibility here: they are claiming a fact that—because we have differing arrest rates—we know that racism is the cause. This would be like assuming that, because online shopping is increasing, that modern Canadians hate going to the mall. That might be the case, but it might also simply be that Canadians get better prices online. I’m interested in the information either way, but—by not checking their work for logical errors—CBC Radio simplifies these discussions down to their lowest common assumptions.

So, as I hear these failures of curiosity, I often wonder:

Do these progressively correct CBC Radio stars realize that they’re ignoring worthy counter arguments to their assumed truths, or are they simply playing simple because that’s their job?

The poster voice for this question of mine is the sweet-seeming Tom Power, the current host of CBC Radio’s arts & culture show, Q. The man is so cuddly in his simplification of complex topics that he seems more dangerous to me than a more aggressive version of himself might be, as he lulls his audience into a belief that there is no possible dark side to his dogma.

For instance, I recall Power interviewing playwright and director, Robert LePage (before the latter failed an appropriation test with his Slav production), and Mr. LePage contemplated out loud whether the #MeToo movement might be overreaching in its possible tendency to reduce humour in the workplace. Power replied, with his fluffiest voice:

“Well, ultimately, I think that might be a good thing” [paraphrased from my memory].

And that was an end to it. Mr. LePage realized that he had been instantly vanquished by his soft-spoken interrogator, and he immediately admitted to our Mr. Power that he was quite right.

Now, Tom’s conclusion might indeed have been correct—perhaps, on balance, the reduced humour of some is worth the increased comforts of others in the modern workplace—but, before pronouncing his progressive judgement, I wonder if Tom might have shown a drop of curiosity about what sorts of troubling consequences for humour Mr. LePage had in blasphemous mind.

So, in answer to my question about whether Mr. Power is as simple as he seems—or if he’s just pretending to be because that’s his job—I counted the above failure of curiosity as evidence of a genuine blandness of mind. Yet, some days—when Q’s topic of discussion has no obvious socio-political implications—I notice that Mr. Power is capable of humour and thought beyond his simplistic progressive assertions.

So I have been torn by the mystery of Tom Power:

Is it possible that he is, in fact, a brilliant progressive strategist hiding in plain platitudes?

Well, recently, our Mr. Power finally proved to me which was his true identity.

On the other side of the Q microphone was Daphne Rubin-Vega, who is the lead voice in the dramatic podcast, The Horror of Dolores Roach, which features progressively-approved implications regarding gentrification and race. Now, personally, I don’t know whether gentrification is as morally harmful as we’re told by progressive advocates; on the one side of my brain, I empathize with those who cannot afford to stay in their established neighbourhoods, but on the other side, I do not like the idea of restricting who can come into and make changes to a neighbourhood. Moreover, I’m not sure which side of the gentrification debate has the best claim to our society’s overall welfare. So, being a gentrification agnostic, I’m always interested to hear arguments on both sides. But, of course, CBC Radio’s policy regarding gentrification is much more settled: gentrification is, by definition, immoral and even racist.

Yet, unfortunately, for our sympathetic Mr. Power, in this case, Ms. Rubin-Vega was not as gifted at staying on progressive message as Tom’s usual group-thinking guests. As we will discover in the following episode of SethFM, Ms. Rubin-Vega’s resulting ideological misstep forced the true Tom Power to reveal himself as he dove in to rescue his guest from her accidental wrongthink. While his brilliant and quick-thinking moral rescue mission proves Tom Power is not a simpleton, after all, his unplanned unmasking was an unexpected joy for your loyal SethBlogs.

Watch SethFM below for details.


SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO SERIES:

I: THE FUSING OF ART AND ARTIST
II: ARTISTIC SERVITUDE

III: THE CURIOSITY OF TOM POWER (you were just here)

SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO II: Artistic Servitude

CBC Radio is a publicly funded broadcaster in Canada. Yet, in SethBlogs’ daily listening, their temperament is to present every story they encounter from a politically “progressive” vantage point. Against that pious bias, SethBlogs’ funded SethFM to the rescue.

SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO SERIES:

I: THE FUSING OF ART AND ARTIST
II: ARTISTIC SERVITUDE (you are here)
III: THE CURIOSITY OF TOM POWER


I’m jealous of the progressive journalists, pundits, and their hybrid offspring who roam the airwaves of my intellectual nemesis, CBC Radio. The Canadian public broadcaster has constructed a safe zone for progressive ideas to run free without fear of contradiction. In this protected environment, the broadcaster’s journalists and pundits cheer on any progressive notions which claim to be combatting racism, sexism, and other notorious isms.

I’m jealous because I, too, am opposed to bigotry, and so I would love to enjoy the good feelings that come with allying oneself with all programs that promise to overpower prejudice; but, sadly for me, I suspect that many progressive policies (such as, say, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gender quotas in his government) are ethically dangerous, themselves.

I do not mean to suggest that my skeptical conclusions are always right, nor that modern progressive thinking is always wrong, but instead that—by affixing their anti-bigotry labels so confidently to their tunics—progressive advocates and pundits have relieved themselves of the obligation to critically consider the consequences of their favourite ideas. Sometimes they may be right, and sometimes they may be well reasoned, but there is no requirement of those features in order for them to dogmatically present their views on CBC Radio, where their faith-based resolve will never be tested.

Last month, for instance, the Montreal Jazz Festival cancelled its musical production of Slav in belated response to protests regarding the race of the presenters not matching the race of the black slaves they were depicting (five of seven singer/performers were white).

In celebration of this artistic reduction, CBC Radio’s curator of cultural conversation, Q’s Tom Power, interviewed musician, Pierre Kwenders, one of the vanquishers of the unusual production. As ever, our Mr. Power refused to signal anything but progressive virtue as he gently asked his guest for a report of his feelings about his censorious achievement.

While my instincts sympathize with the protestors’ criticism of the production’s strange casting, I am unable to cheer on the halting of art (even when people say they are offended by it). Thus, in deference to the skeptical inquiry that I (jealously) wish were present on CBC Radio, I offer my best impression of an artistic freedom fighter here in another edition of SethFM.


SETHFM vs. CBC RADIO SERIES:

I: THE FUSING OF ART AND ARTIST
II: ARTISTIC SERVITUDE (you were just here)
III: THE CURIOSITY OF TOM POWER