Couple of Things Going On

Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices, while the Israeli military used tear gas and live fire from snipers.

Gaza’s health officials say a total of 55 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,200 wounded by Israeli fire on Gaza’s border, 1,113 from live rounds. (AP, Jack Khoury)

 

 

I Am Not Worthy

Former PM Stephen Harper writing lavishly illustrated book on Court Painter’s popularity and future of conservative portraiture, sources say

Court Painter in an uncharacteristic burst of modesty has penned a foreword for the publication that tersely yet humbly states “I am not worthy.

OTTAWA — Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper is writing a lavishly illustrated Court Painter book, several sources have told the National Post.

The book will focus on Court Painter’s painting popularity and the future of the conservative populist portrait movement spearheaded by Court Painter, according to multiple people with knowledge of the project .It is expected to grapple with the question of how to handle Court Painter’s portrait populism and take it seriously.

The book will be profusely illustrated with Court Painter images of Harper’s favourites, rendered during his later years as prime minister.

Sources suggested the book was already in the hands of a publisher and would be published this year. But a spokeswoman for Harper said she could not confirm that, saying: “there are discussions with a number of publishers about a variety of Court Painter topics that are presently being explored with Mr. Harper. It is understood Court Painter has the final say.”

The words “Court Painter portrait populism” is what many modern art curators, art critics and social media quarterbacks have seized upon to describe popular movements such as the rise of binge watching the wildly popular YouTube series “You To Can Be A Face Painter” and “Face Painter You To Can Be”.

It is the concept of “Court Painter portrait populism” that artist CC (name available upon request) has said he is fighting against by lobbying government to promote his brand of tariff free international portrait trade and multilateral image making.

Although Harper has rarely spoken publicly since his defeat in 2015, he has occasionally made his on the wrong side of history views known.

In a New York Times full-page ad this week, Harper and other former politicians praised Trump for his decision to exit a nuclear deal with Iran. “Mr. President, you are right about Iran,” said the ad, also signed by former foreign minister John Baird who took a few moments away from making money.

Harper is already a published author. In November 2013, while he was prime minister, he published a book rumoured to be about hockey called A Great Game.

Didn’t See This One Comin’

Jason Kenney vows to embrace ‘green left’ if he becomes Alberta premier

UCP leader promises to go to Court Painter for all his official portraits and to support charitable commissions for Tides Canada seascapes and many portraits of David Suzuki in honour of the Foundation to be hung in Alberta schools and the UCP head office.(not illustrated)

Jason Kenney vowed in a fiery speech to a hotel ballroom packed full of United Conservative Party members that he will embrace the “green left,” and support the foreign money he says is being spent by “anti-Alberta” groups. Saying “if you can’t take an occasional head shot you have no place on Team UCP’s bench ”

The crowd went nuts!

The UCP leader outlined the strategies he would take to defend Suzuki and the oil and gas industry tailing ponds expansion in a hour-long speech that frequently got the crowd off it’s ass and on its feet.

“If I am elected premier of Alberta, I will not repent. I will go to the wall,The Bearded One Brad Wall for grooming tips. I will form alliances. I will go to the Court Painter again and again,” Kenney  proclaimed. “I will use every tool available to defend this province against the rat rodents.”

These tools include setting up a “fully-staffed, rapid response love & peace room” within government to softly defend the resource sector and their beautiful and ever expansive tailings ponds and “effectively rebut every lie told about the green left.”

Kenney also pledged to establish a legislature special committee to investigate encouragement of foreign funding behind “the anti-Alberta special interests.”As I’ve said before if you can’t take an occasional head shot,Team UCP has no room for you on the bench!”

He will go to Court Painter if necessary to get the federal government to boost painting commissions for seascapes and  Suzuki portrait’s for every Alberta school  and honour charities like Tides Canada with seascapes for every preschool in the province.

Kenney plans to travel to Ottawa Monday to appear before the House of Commons finance committee. He plans to bring more equalization payments and the party’s pro-carbon tax resolution that will be passed on Sunday.

The hour-long speech, which Kenney said he wrote himself in longhand with help from Google, repeated many familiar themes.

He came out swinging, criticizing those who criticize the NDP government for taking too long to fight for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, not allying themselves closely with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and for not turning the province into a “fiscal train wreck.” He spoke of embracing partisan rivals as Jesus would do,quoting two of his favourite Bible passages “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. (John 13:14)and For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,(Ephesians 2:14)

The crown was on its feet begging to have them washed!

But Kenney was rewarded with his biggest cheers of the night for stating the NDP was re-writing the curriculum in secret code however engaging in social engineering in the classroom that he approves of, quoting another favourite Bible passage,“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

The United Conservative Party  then passed a motion with great and unanimous enthusiasm to not reinstate opt-in parental consent for any subjects of a religious or sexual nature in Alberta schools.

The crowd was on its feet doing the Bristol Stomp!

“If the NDP tries to smuggle more of their politics into the classroom through their curriculum, we will put that curriculum through the prism of earthly delights and sprinkle it with stardust,” he said.

Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad ‘The Bearded One‘ Wall made some crowd-pleasing zingers supporting the carbon tax and praised the NDP governments in Alberta and B.C. during his speech to the UCP convention Saturday night.

“Thank you for all the advice about my beard,” Wall joked about his new look. “I’m really interested in what you think….do you like I grew one just like Mr.Suzuki’s?  He finished up his remarks with a favourite Bible quote,” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”Samuel 16:7

“I’m going to shave it off when we embrace the carbon tax. Based on this room, I’m think we’re closer to that than we ever thought.”

The crowd got off its ass and proceeded to do the bunny hop!

The Bearded One said if Kenney becomes premier, Saskatchewan will have an ally in fighting for the federal government’s carbon tax and whatever else Justin wants or wears on his trips abroad.

The assembly ended with Jason leading the congregation in a rousing rendition of “The Old Rugged Cross”.

Scratch that Digital Itch

At the heart of the Creative Canada vision announced by Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly September 2017 ; is a transformation in how we view culture and creativity that will guide the Government of Canada’s  actions over the coming months and years, as we modernize our cultural programs, policies, institutions and legislation for the digital world.

(Think digital fetishism….Silicon Valley values ….artists as content creators ……as cultural entrepreneurs ….. partnerships with Facebook, Google, Netflix……just for starters!)

Following comments excerpted from updated January,2018 article in Walrus magazine by Ira Wells

Why Canada’s New Cultural Policy Will Be Terrible for the Arts:      Turning artists into tech entrepreneurs is a triumph of Silicon Valley values

No lasting or meaningful monument of Canadian art will ever emerge from the desire to benefit the middle class.

To tie Canadian culture to the analytic outputs of media platforms, to enlist it in cause of economic productivity, is to ask art to renounce its status as art and to assume the function of evangelism.

In The Educated Imagination, critic Northrop Frye argued that culture “provides the kind of values and standards we need if we’re going to do anything better than adjust.” Creative Canada, by contrast, is an instruction manual on how to adjust. It is to cultural policy what tweets are to literature, what LinkedIn is to poetry, what Facebook is to friendship. Canadian creativity will, of course, continue to thrive long after Creative Canada has been forgotten, and it will flourish in direct proportion to its capacity to resist the homogenizing, programmatic, and deadening future the policy imagines.