• I’m jealous of the progressive journalists, pundits, and their hybrid offspring who roam the airwaves of my intellectual nemesis, CBC Radio. The 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.


    Posted by SethBlog @ 9:53 PM

  • 4 Responses

    • Louvain Says:

      Terrific Seth,
      Will be in touch.

    • SethBlog Says:

      Thanks Louvain. I look forward to your analysis of my analysis.

    • Tom Durrie Says:

      Excellent work, sir. These are issues that need to be discussed. Interestingly enough, it seems that the opera house is immune or the entire cast and chorus of Madama Butterfly (except for the three Americans) would have to be Japanese, and OMG that shocking bit of racism The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. Just wait until the do-gooders get a hold on that one!

    • SethBlog Says:

      Thanks Tom. Yeah, I know in Vancouver, opera choruses seem to have been forgiven their lack of racial authenticity, but I have heard of controversy surrounding opera companies which can’t find the “racially appropriate” performers to take the leads, as in this Calgary Opera case. As ever, the supposedly anti-racist moralizing actually impedes the ability of companies to put on anti-racist work.

      Hee, hee, you provide another sharp reference to The Mikado. I understand it’s a satire, but our modern moralists don’t always possess the sense of humour required to appreciate such a notion. Here’s hoping the work survives.

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