Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The magazine pile is very low at the moment. In fact, I'm all caught up on my reading. A bad sign.

The last issue consumed was THIS magazine. It was like a fine donut: digestible! because I skipped all the fiction and it was THIS magazine's annual special fiction issue. Ahem.

The issue was fine but the only article that really stuck out in my mind was the proposal by Hal Niedviecki to solve "the Canadian content issue once and for all". You see, our current Canadian content rules are a little dodgy. For example, to qualify as Canadian content, music must generally fill at least two of the following conditions:

M (music) -- the music is composed entirely by a Canadian.
A (artist) -- the music is, or the lyrics are, performed principally by a Canadian.
P (production) -- the musical selection consists of a live performance that is
(i) recorded wholly in Canada, or
(ii) performed wholly in Canada and broadcast live in Canada.
L (lyrics) -- the lyrics are written entirely by a Canadian.

Its the MAPL System (ha ha) and its why one of Brian Adams last recordings was not considered Canadian music even though Brian Adams is Canadian.

Now Hal doesn't tackle the Canadian music issue, but I think he's got the replacement for our current book, television and movie CanCon rules: a cultural document should not be considered truly Canadian unless it is set in Canada.

The rule is simple and it's harsh. But it may be necessary. Its absurd how much government funding goes towards awful made-for-TV movies that are created and produced entirely in Canada - but are set in the United States and sold to countries who can't tell the difference between good bad US TV movies and bad bad Canadian TV movies.

As Hal says himself: "Downside: an increase in the number of historic romances set in New Brunswick. Upside: an increase in the number of works created under the rubric of Canadian culture that actually reflect how we live in Canadian society"

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