Atwood on Creativity

Margaret Atwood comments on the Harper culture cuts with language strikingly similar to that employed by user groups arguing for fair copyright:

Human beings are creative by nature. For millenniums we have been putting our creativity into our cultures – cultures with unique languages, architecture, religious ceremonies, dances, music, furnishings, textiles, clothing and special cuisines. "Ordinary people" pack into the cheap seats at concerts and fill theatres where operas are brought to them live. The total attendance for “the arts” in Canada in fact exceeds that for sports events. “The arts” are not a "niche interest." They are part of being human.

Moreover, "ordinary people" are participants. They form book clubs and join classes of all kinds – painting, dancing, drawing, pottery, photography – for the sheer joy of it. They sing in choirs, church and other, and play in marching bands. Kids start garage bands and make their own videos and web art, and put their music on the Net, and draw their own graphic novels.

Atwood is absolutely right.  Those sentiments should not be forgotten when new copyright legislation is tabled that restricts the creativity of "ordinary people."

One Comment

  1. ordinary people
    I saw this reference to “ordinary people” in an article about Harper the other day. I find this distinguishment between “ordinary people” and those who support the arts to be the most offensive rhetoric coming from the conservatives. The fact that Harper doesn’t consider me an “ordinary” person is so offensive, in fact, that I have no idea how he expects it to help me change my mind and vote for him. I feel pretty ordinary, frankly, and I’m a centrist on many issues. But this assumption of who is an ordinary Canadian and who is atypical is stupid and insulting. It makes me think that Harper doesn’t actually know any of the Canadians *I* know. Perhaps he hasn’t spent nearly enough time in the cities where the largest concentration of voters actually live. These people are perfectly “ordinary”, even if he probably wouldn’t be friends with them.