Coyle is the guy behind Dissecting Leah, a blog about Ms. McLaren. He quit doing the blog in September, and his last entry (see link above) gives a long, depressing, but mostly accurate list of his frustrations with the Great White North. Here is an excerpt, followed by no commentary on my part, because none is necessary:
Canada is a country overflowing with talent and yet it's products are - by and large - miserable at best. Why is this? I've lived in this country for most of my life and the people I know are smart, funny, interesting people. How is it possible that our nation consistently produces fifth rate cultural products?
The reason is simple. The reason is that the people who control culture in this country don’t give a fuck about it. And they don't have to.
It's not that they're evil, malevolent people, who eat babies while conspiring to keep our nation down; but rather the people who run our country's broadcasters, publishers, production companies and other media outlets are themselves a bunch of cynical business-people who just wouldn't know talent if it bit them on the ass and then later emailed them a message saying "I bit you on the ass earlier today, from Talent."
The truth is that the people that make these decisions get to keep their jobs because of legislation enacted by the government (these guys all know each other on a first name basis) which is designed to protect some ominous thing called "Canadian culture", when what it really does is protect these corporations from real competition… both from within and abroad. The result of this is that it tells the up and coming cultural producers to go fuck themselves. They don't need to sell interesting books or magazines or movie tickets or anything, because their subsidized paycheques will all just come out of taxpayers pockets, so they can all afford to work with the talentless hacks they've always done business with.
And that is precisely the message that Canada is giving it's artistic community: Fuck You.
So do you have an amazing idea for a movie? Fuck you, young promising director, the money's going to Paul Gross to make a shitty movie about curling, or whoever the fuck made Ginger Snaps.
Do you want make an interesting and funny TV show for CanWest Global? Fuck you, brilliant, unemployed producer, we're making Train 48.
Do you have a good idea for a novel? Fuck you, you unpublished nobody, this agency only works with "referrals" who write books about rural Saskatchewan.
Do you want a host a radio show for CBC radio? Fuck you, interesting person, we only accept people lacking personalities around here.
Do you want to write a hilarious weekly column for our newspaper, a Dave-Barry slice of life piece that will make everyone smile? Fuck you, you over-educated loser, the job's going to Rebecca Eckler.
Imagine that the NBA worked this way. Imagine that Shaq went up to the GM of the LA Lakers and said "I want to try-out for your team" and the GM responded by saying "Sorry, Shaq, thanks for applying, but the position is going to my nephew. He doesn't know much about basketball, being a 5'6 one-armed white kid from Oregon, but he's a quick learner." Just think about it for a second. Pretty funny, isn't it?
Now stop laughing, because this is the society we live in and it's pathetic, and it's not going to change.
(Thanks to Bookninja and especially Peter Darbyshire for alerting me to this.)