May 30, 2007

The Brett Lamb Sheltered Workshop

Brett Lamb;

Anyhow, speaking of glass houses, some right-wing blog written by an artist who airbrushes cheeseball, kitsch paintings on motorcycle helmets, linked to the walk post and sent a couple of -- expected -- odd and offensive people to the comments (now deleted). Sociopaths and right wing blogs! They go together like ... dragons and boobies!

Now, that was a really interesting comment - in effect, a smear directed not at me as much as it is those honest working guys (and girls) who come to me with their wish list and a bike helmet, goal mask, or racecar.

We call automotive airbrushing "candy art" for a reason. It reflects the customer's whims, not the artist's. It's supposed to be fun and decorative, but rendered with the seriousness reserved for the potentially temporary. That's because this style of art is sometimes painted on objects known to hurtle down racetracks at speeds approaching 200 mph.


Indeed, these particular customers trust that your prep and paint technique won't result in the failure of structural integrity when they crash. Because eventually, they all crash.

Brett Lamb knows all this. Or he should - he's a graphic artist. And he's probably worn a silk-screened t-shirt at some point in his life. He may have even seen "boobies" and "dragons" cover art on a '70's rock album. And I'll bet he knows that when he screws up the cover of a program guide, the customer doesn't die.

Which brings me to the real point.

As it turns out, when he's not documenting the stalking of rich people by Toronto Star columnists, he's art director for the "Hot Docs" film festival;

For me, work on this year's Hot Docs festival began almost a year ago -- the first ad for RealScreen announcing the 2006 festival was due the day after the staff wrap party. It's a very satisfying project: it's quiet for several months, then things build slowly in the fall with Doc Soup, then the pace picks up in the new year and for the final two months it's madness as we juggle deadline after deadline ...

Finally, it all comes together! Tonight is Opening Night and from here on it's parties and screenings (and more work, but that's the life, eh?).

I wonder - from where does "Hot Docs" get a portion of their funding?
"The Ontario government has announced it is spending around $600,000 this year on programs to help artists improve business skills, reported The Globe and Mail April 30. Among the programs: film-industry training labs at the Hot Docs festival..."

Isn't that thoughtful. Channeliing tax dollars towards filmmakers who find themselves unhappily excluded from that merit-based community known as "people who create stuff people will pay for voluntarily".

You see, for reasons that have never been clearly explained, select members of the "arts community" are actually sheltered from their own lack of market appeal through programs and funding provided by various arms of government!

Hot Docs is one of 34 film festivals across the country supported by the media arts program at the Council. Support for media arts festivals is aimed at raising the profile of Canadian independent film and video artists and their works, and helping them connect with distributors, exhibitors and broadcasters.

In other industries, these people are called "corporate welfare bums".

It's not new for elitists to direct ridicule towards the whims and tastes of working class Canadians. You'd just think that subsidized elitists would exercise a little self-restraint.

While Brett may offer precautionary advice that the road to artistic misery is to allow money to "dictate what you do" - that's the path that I and the oilfield workers, electricians, lawyers, doctors, and engineers who ask for "kitsch" on their helmets, cars, shop vehicles walk every day. Beyond the shiny, huggy, distainful realm of the publicly funded arts, there exist people who do that miserable, cheesy, commercially viable work to earn the bucks to pay the taxes to prop up the budgets of films and festivals that keep the kind of creative genius required to generate posters and brochures from having to sully itself with a second job behind a Burger King counter.

You know, if someone actually scraped these artistic parasites off the public tit, it might inspire a few of them to create something worth paying for.

Or, increase the number of available workers for the food service industry.

Win, win.

Posted by Kate at May 30, 2007 3:02 PM

Very well said Kate. Maybe you could airbrush some sour grapes onto a stick, to be subsequently re-inserted into the hypocritical whiner.

Posted by: tom at May 30, 2007 3:36 PM

They'd starve to death.

If I had need of a helmet, I'd probably (if I could afford it), come looking for you to paint it. I think your work is quite well done.
Dorkus Maximus likely doesn't comprehend that all art is not alike. If so, there would be no need for such things as an edikashun, as we could all get rich throwing paint blobs at a canvas, or in the case of Farrah Fawcett, throw blobs of paint on a canvas, then writhe around mixing and smearing it with your boobies(there's that word).
Of course, artwork with boobies/dragons probably would be classified as commercial art, and we all know it is to be frowned upon at all costs, much as artists like Robert Bateman & Paul Calle are referred to as mere 'illustrators' because one can actually identify the topic of their works.

Posted by: Dagny Taggart at May 30, 2007 3:41 PM

Yes - "Voice of Fire" ?

Prized stripes that enhance the artistic wealth of a nation.

Robert Bateman?

Not so much.

Posted by: Kate at May 30, 2007 3:45 PM

Interesting thing is how disappointing most of these documentaries will be. I spent considerble time in my younger days rushing off to see some widely touted documentary which usually turned out to be on a level of a university project. Sometimes there was a message, usually a cliche, invariably it was badly produced, pretentious and boring. The festival and the films are all about "getting it" and letting everybody else know you get it by making the right noises at the at the right time. And don't point out how ragged, if not naked, the emperor really is. Oh, and he's got a really small willy, but don't snicker at it.

Posted by: zoot peaches at May 30, 2007 3:46 PM

I just got this idea for a dress made out of raw meat, do you think the public would like to help pay for it? the steaks about $500, I was going to do a bhurka - but tasteful - you know, either lamb or beef.

Posted by: cal2 at May 30, 2007 3:47 PM

Unbelieveable! My daughter and her best friend are proud owners of customized Queen's Mining Engineering Hard hats compliments of Kate. Their response when they received them from me was that they were soooo cool and the envy of all of their classmates. Feel free to post their picture Kate. I am so sick of government subsidized 'artists' mocking the real ones. Cheers. Sandra

Posted by: Sandra at May 30, 2007 3:48 PM


Posted by: Lance at May 30, 2007 3:49 PM

Nice work with the scalpel. Ever think of medical school?

Posted by: Alan at May 30, 2007 3:49 PM


It may be difficult to comprehend, but such as you describe is not to be considered welfare, but a *right* into which the chosen are born. To consider it otherwise would not be progressive nor liberal thinking.

It goes something like this: "you heathens shall work, so that I may play at being an artiste (sic).

Posted by: Yoop at May 30, 2007 3:56 PM

>In other industries, these people are called "corporate welfare bums".

Which makes Brett just a... _regular_ welfare bum.

All in all, I prefer being "a pig in a fright wig" -- with a well paying private sector job and groovy benefits.

Brett's jealousy of those more successful than he is is quite startling.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at May 30, 2007 3:56 PM

Can anyone remmeber RAT FINK?

Posted by: spurwing plover at May 30, 2007 3:57 PM

Graphic designer? The guy's a hack. That's why he's parked at the government nipple. He'd otherwise starve.

Posted by: irwin daisy at May 30, 2007 3:59 PM

"Brett's jealousy of those more successful than he is is quite startling."
Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at May 30, 2007 3:56 PM

But it drapes so well on him. Sackcloth just doesn't have that fine hand... ;-)

Posted by: Yoop at May 30, 2007 4:05 PM

Ah Brett.

Just another wannbe failed liberal artist sucking at the government teat and believing he is entitled to suck at the government teat.


Posted by: Fred at May 30, 2007 4:10 PM

Remember '12 dead rabbits hanging in a tree'? I wrote to Sheila Copps re the taxpayer dollars that got handed out to that 'artist'. The answer I rec'd was--"Rulers all through history have supported the arts"!
I don't know which statement made me more angry--comparing Liberals to Rulers or calling this woman with the dead rabbits an 'artist'.

Posted by: George at May 30, 2007 4:22 PM

Geez, Kate's launching off the top turnbuckle today. Nicely eviscerated, and deservedly so.

Posted by: Damian at May 30, 2007 4:27 PM

"You know, if someone actually cut these artistic parasites off the public tit, it might inspire a few of them to create something worth paying for."

Geez Kate it's great to have someone sum of for the teat suckers the feelings of your supporters.

Many thanks Kate, and well said.

Suck it up Bret!

Posted by: Joe Molnar at May 30, 2007 4:28 PM

Alle kunst is umsunst wenn ein Engel auf das Zundloch br├╝nzt. Well OK -- I agree...

Posted by: Orlin at May 30, 2007 4:39 PM

more bellyaching from another trough-wallower.....I would imagine the twit worships at the altar of dr fruit fly as well......when they cannot win the argument, the personal insults and attacks start flying....this is just the start, mark my word....

Posted by: kingstonlad at May 30, 2007 4:57 PM

Likely one of the best smackdowns on SDA.


I'm keeping Kate's comments handy for next time I discuss the merits of "art" with some faux-elite "artiste" types I know. It'll make their heads explode.

Well done!


Posted by: mhb at May 30, 2007 5:03 PM

I now realize I have been doing this all wrong.

As an owner of a small welding shop I have the opportunity to do ornamental security bars quite often. Usually in mural form. Taking the orders from the customers and suiting there desires. And charging an incredible amount since it takes an incredible amount of time to do this sort of art.

I now know that I should get government funding, charge less to the customer and do whatever I want rather than try to fit to their preference.

I'm sure they'll be happy.

Posted by: Northern Nut at May 30, 2007 5:07 PM

Only people with brains can appreciate the need for a helmet.

Posted by: Chicklet at May 30, 2007 5:20 PM

Hmmmm... "Rulers have supported the arts" ... in truth, some did, some didn't. Some had taste, some didn't. The work done for the ones with taste is basic to our music and visual arts. The rest is forgotten. It would be amusing to think of The Brett performing a composition for Prince Paul of Eszterhazy (Haydn's patron) or showing a painting to Pope Julius II (Michaelangelo's great patron). He would be ejected by the fourth footman before he knew what had happened to him!

Some *rulers* had taste; boards of civil servants have none, but they must hand out money to keep their own jobs. Fortunately there are still some people with wealth and taste who do keep a few good artists going; and not always with so much wealth.

Posted by: John Lewis at May 30, 2007 5:21 PM

By the way, I went to his original blog and 1/2 the comments are snickering little comments from his gal pal, Rantonia.

Posted by: Chicklet at May 30, 2007 5:23 PM

We had a beautiful window painted on our living room wall opening onto a warm sunny summer field of flowers, stream and birds. Makes me feel warm looking at it on a cold winter day. The artist was a friend of my wife's and also worked as a bartender to make ends meet. Monique took about a week to paint this scene and we chatted as she worked.

She stated that because she was fairly successful selling her paintings and work she could not get any government grants, not that she wanted them. Those who did get them were in her opinion not very good artists and usually painted modern art that doesn't require much skill and rarely sold any of their art but continued to receive grants.

I have two pictures on the wall that my son did in public school and IMHO they are better than most of the crap shown at Ontario Art Gallery.

Posted by: David Hand at May 30, 2007 5:30 PM

I've got a lot of respect for artists and artisans who make a living from selling their work.

Somewhat less for those who make a living from being popular with bureaucrats in Toronto.

Posted by: The Phantom at May 30, 2007 5:41 PM

Just remember Kate, it can only be considered art if the only point of sale is the tax payer trough. Anything that people are willing to pay for out of pocket is to be belittled at all costs.

Speaking of which! Think it is possible to paint a paintball mask, one of the flexable ones?

Posted by: Jim at May 30, 2007 5:44 PM

Which Toronto Star editorial staff said to me, "If I ever lose a hundred pounds, like Antonia did, I hope people will at least be able to notice"?

That's gotta hurt.

I'd forgotten about the boxer boyfriend too.

Posted by: Mississauga Matt at May 30, 2007 5:48 PM

Dang Kate, I just looked up "Voices of Fire". We paid $1.3 million for that?

Truly we are governed by idiots.

Posted by: The Phantom at May 30, 2007 5:50 PM

Kate, the fact that your art is commercial really does degrade its artistic value. It lowers it into the ranks of that of other crass commercial artists working on commission like, oh, say Michelangelo, Raphael, Gainsborough, Mozart, Beethoven, or Strauss. Really, why wallow with such ruck when you can ascend to the heights of artistic Parnassus with the likes of, um, you know. . . uh, that guy who sent his poop to various museums around the world, and um, that guy (or was it gal?) that did "Quest for Fire" . . . (or was that Voice of Fire?) ... or something like that anyway?

Posted by: DrD at May 30, 2007 6:11 PM

I'm not sure I'd want to wear one of those helmets. I'd be afraid I might break it.

Posted by: JDN at May 30, 2007 6:13 PM

Oh, a whole lot of them get "broken". About 1 out of every 6 shown on my website have been through some mishap or the other - the Ratfink died under a pickup truck, another in a 5 bike pileup at Brainerd, Jeff's clown-skull thingie was damaged in a 60 mph get-off into a chain link fence. Everybody eventually walked away. After the casts came off, at least.

Posted by: Kate at May 30, 2007 6:23 PM

I remember an artist on a talk show talking about the grant system, etc, and the foolish idea it frees people to do what they want. He pointed out that people try to come up with work that fits the granting fetish of that particular season and committee.

Posted by: zoot peaches at May 30, 2007 6:38 PM

Brett whines so much . . must be taking lessons from Newfoundland Danny . . now there's an ungrateful whiner

Posted by: Fred at May 30, 2007 6:44 PM

Brett reminds me of the people I would socialize with at my son's playground in Toronto. Many were "producers, "film-makers" and "artists," and all were receiving government money. We politely viewed much of their work and, honestly, it was usually just horrible.

I can understand if the government wants to commission a respected artist to design a new museum or other large community project -- they are in the public eye enough that their work is properly vetted -- but the thousands of art grants approved by bureaucrats are really ridiculous, and people like Brett should think twice before they draw attention to themselves.

Posted by: chip at May 30, 2007 7:04 PM

After actually visiting this fellow's blog, and reading his comments section..............

90% of the comments are from the author and his friend. How incredibly pathetic. My 12 year old cousins could whip up a bigger online crowd than these sadsack losers from the former centre-of-the-universe.

Who's the real sociopath? Stalking Conrad Black is OK? And towards what end, exactly? Because he's a somebody, we have the right, no the obligation, to simply loiter outside his home? In fact, to do so sponsored/directed by their media employers?

(BTW, the Dion video is SO funny! he's even harder to understand than Jean Poutine (copyright, Rick Mercer when he was a little funnier) who was an international embarrassment of historic proportions.

During the Clinton era, I was travelling through LAX, and dressed a bit like a Saltspring Shrubbie. I was pulled over, and asked what I thought of the Canadian PM. I said he was a joke, and the immigration agent smiled and said welcome to the US................

Posted by: Forest Miner at May 30, 2007 7:05 PM

As DrD said, the Vienna School (transgressive 'new' artists, remember) ... had patrons and produced work to order.

Hell, von Stuck (teacher of Klee and Kandinsky) produced a bazillion versions of his "Sin" for wealthy clients; it was in demand because it had boobies, after all.

The idea that "popular" creations done for money, that include nudity or anything else that the client likes are not "art", well... I guess that can be claimed, if one is deeply ignorant of art history or very, very selective.

(Or maybe he dislikes proletarian decoration of useful objects rather than art-for-art's-sake installations, and thus a large part of the art created throughout human history?)

Posted by: Sigivald at May 30, 2007 7:06 PM

I remember back in my Alberta days, an author was looking for some grant money to help with a book on the disappearance of the grain elevators. For those not of the prairies, elevators were as much a symbol of the prairie culture and lifestyle as it was a building to hold grain. Kind of like the flatlander's lighthouse (which are disappearing too, btw).
Anyhow, for a project like that he was turned down flat but the book on Bubbles Galore, the montreal stripper was given something like $50,000. Go figure.

I've contemplated submitting a request for an arts grant based on something totally out there (as in left field)but decided that I would have a tough time living with myself.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at May 30, 2007 7:13 PM

BURN. Well done Kate.

Posted by: Saskatchistanian at May 30, 2007 7:13 PM

Suggested employment tactic for government-employed 'artistes': "Do you want fries with that?"

Posted by: davie at May 30, 2007 7:18 PM

Kate wins.

Posted by: Shere Khan at May 30, 2007 7:19 PM

Wow. Fantastic.

I wish I could come up with retorts like this when I'm presented with the opportunity in my career. I usually just start cursing and swearing and revert into my native Irish-Newfoundland twang that no one understands anyways.

I love it when the gloves come off Ms. McMillan. Hell hath no fury...

Long before I paid attention to politics, long before I read or knew SDA existed, I knew of Kate's helmet work and its reputation from happy motorcyclists showing off her work on various motorcycle forums. The day I poked around some of the links on SDA after stumbling upon it and realizing that it was one in the same and she was also I champion breeder and shower of fantastic looking dags was a happy one for me.

First time I ever heard of this Brett Eew character was today.

Posted by: bagadonitz at May 30, 2007 7:32 PM

There must be steam coming out of that dude's ears. That happens when you get sizzled. Kate, remind me to never piss you off.

Posted by: a different Bob at May 30, 2007 7:46 PM

Someone needs to alert Iowahawk to this.

Posted by: Beer and Guns at May 30, 2007 7:52 PM

This sounds like a job for The New Criterion.

Posted by: Leonardo Duh Vinci at May 30, 2007 8:00 PM

Curiosity got the better of me and I checked out a link or two from this Brett charactor's blog. I'll give the lad credit. He certainly knows where to find taxpayer's dollars. An Image Fest link goes to a page that gleefully thanks no fewer than six scources in three different levels of government for your generous donations.
Your taxpayer's dollars, here, in Canada, well, really in toronto, being sucked up by "artists". Gasp! I'm not making this up.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at May 30, 2007 8:07 PM

De gustibus non est disputandum.

Therefore, the state should not fund art. At all. That it does so is solely a testament to the whining of the incompetent. Just like with the state funding businesses, or NGOs.

But what do you expect? As H. L. Mencken wrote: "The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods."

The only viable option for the honest citizen is to heap scorn on the parasites inhabiting the sordid pile of fetid waste fed by socialism. So, thank you, Kate, for your brilliant essay. To all those artists and business people and everyone else who is accepting state (also known as tax-payers hard earned) money to support anything that does not have to be done by the state, I say: get a job, you lazy bum.

Posted by: Vitruvius at May 30, 2007 8:08 PM

Sociopaths and right wing blogs!

"Sociopaths" isn't right. I think he meant "parasitophobes".

Posted by: Ugh at May 30, 2007 8:11 PM

Biologists have a proper word for "parasitophobes", they call it "the immune system". Philosophy has a proper word for "parasitophiles", it calls them zits (more formally defined as pimples on the butt of society).

Posted by: Vitruvius at May 30, 2007 8:25 PM

Just tuned in & you've made my day. Way to go Kate!

Posted by: Buglady at May 30, 2007 8:39 PM

If you sell art you .....well you sell out. kinda like Seeger did when Chevy used his like a rock song in a commercial.


Seeger got how much? Cool.

That art world is so screwed up....If I like your art, ie I think it is something of value to me, I give you something of value for it, ie money.

If not, I will not pay you(unless gov't counts as me...I guess it does) therefore, you have no money. No money = no food.

Now paint a picture of dogs playing poker and i'll give you twenty bucks so you can buy Beer and popcorn

Posted by: jeff.k at May 30, 2007 9:09 PM

Wow. Kate really wielded her Cluebat on Brett Lamb. The guy's head must be full of lumps.


Posted by: Toontown Kid at May 30, 2007 9:23 PM

Wow. That really silenced the Lamb.
(sorry, couldn't resist)

Posted by: lyle bert at May 30, 2007 10:24 PM

You win Kate...priciples,hard work, capitalism, art that doesn't need 'tax grants' to survive(somebody tell Atwood it is possible)and the real winning point a zinger punch to the left totally unexpected.
And those guys on bikes look like a talented bunch too.Libs don't like that.
Are Lambs tails long enough to tuck between there legs when they run away?

Posted by: vf at May 30, 2007 10:59 PM

Well Kate, as a customer of yours, I'd just like to express my appreciation of your fine work. Sure it doesn't have three big stripes or any religious symbols in urine, but I still think it is fine work. For those who have not gone to Kate's werk page - the pup at the top of the page is mine and Kate did an awesome job painting her.

Posted by: holdfast at May 30, 2007 11:02 PM

Ha.... I always seem to visit very late when you post a good ass massage on some sanctimonious twit!

Love ya Kate ;)

Posted by: OMMAG at May 30, 2007 11:16 PM

You have to like that: two artists deeming each other's work irrelevant.

Posted by: Edward Stun at May 30, 2007 11:56 PM

Poor Brett. I've tried so hard to like him since I hosted a Toronto election blog and invited him to submit cartoons. But he's such a lightweight - always parading these shallow preoccupations as if they're proof of his sensitivity and fine judgment.

Posted by: rick mcginnis at May 31, 2007 12:12 AM

"While Brett may offer precautionary advice that the road to artistic misery is to allow money to "dictate what you do""

I could sell a tonne of stock photography if I spent all day photographing yuppies shaking hands, typing on laptops, and yakking into cell phones. That's not what floats my creative boat. I'm more interested in the narrative I'm building out here on the prairies.

So I have a day job that pays my bills.

This gives me the artistic freedom I need with my photography to pursue my interests. I may not be quite as productive as Mr. Lamb is in terms of sheer quantity, but it feels good not to be beholden to the commercial interests of customers or the ideologies of whatever government is holding my purse strings.

"I was going to do a bhurka - but tasteful - you know, either lamb or beef."

I'd do it in pork, but I'm kind of a bastard that way.

"I've tried so hard to like him since I hosted a Toronto election blog and invited him to submit cartoons."

You're in my bad books for wasting your time writing, Rick. A person who creates portaits like you do should be chained to a camera 24/7.

(That's a compliment.)

Posted by: Sean at May 31, 2007 1:00 AM

Brilliant Lamb-CHOP Kate ! I love it when you do that!!!

Posted by: Sammy at May 31, 2007 1:50 AM

?You know, if someone actually scraped these artistic parasites off the public tit, it might inspire a few of them to create something worth paying for."

I doubt it. Have you ever seen some of the shit they product? Who the hell would pay for that crap?

Horny Toad

Posted by: Horny Toad at May 31, 2007 2:23 AM

A bloody slaughter!
That opening quote is the height of prototypical leftist arrogance...

Posted by: Knight of Good Mr. Iron Man at May 31, 2007 2:25 AM

Wheeeeeeee! Sliced him and diced him. Lamburger

Posted by: geothermal at May 31, 2007 2:55 AM

Anyone who does a job well and isn't a parasite living off his/her neighbours, meaning they're making an honest living and aren't hanging off the tit of the Nanny State, shouldn't be the butt of anyone's condescension or judgment.

Obviously, Brett Lamb needs to grow up--but what are the chances? Coddled, entitled, arrogant, swaddled in government cash for life, and used to getting his jollies by putting other people down, this guy sounds like the eternal adolescent. Is he gay, too, I wonder?

Posted by: 'been around the block at May 31, 2007 7:28 AM

Hey, of course, what Lamb didn't comment on was Kate's smarts and ability to write. 'Used his tirade about her "kitsch paintings" to divert the reader from her ability to cut to the quick in a political argument and hoist idiots on their own petard.

I guess he's finding out the hard way...Yea, Kate! Way to sock it to this bully-girly-man.

Posted by: 'been around the block at May 31, 2007 7:34 AM

"Anyhow, for a project like that he was turned down flat but the book on Bubbles Galore, the montreal stripper was given something like $50,000. Go figure."
Posted by: Texas Canuck at May 30, 2007 7:13 PM

Hey!!! Now there's a thought. A painting of Bubbles Galore atop a grain elevator, wearing nothing but a goalie's helmet and a smile, and appearing all *perky*. (Well, you might have to imagine the smile part. Well, maybe the *perky* part, too) Now there is art that would sell!!!

Someone should be preparing the grant request right now.

Posted by: Yoop at May 31, 2007 7:50 AM

Less money for the arts! More money for prisons!

Posted by: Vic at May 31, 2007 8:22 AM

Wow, Kate, that was awesome! Not only did you win, you obliterated him! Wasn't even a contest! What a "Lamb"-chop! It was a real "Lamb"-poon, you might say! Definitely made minced "Lamb" out of him. Like leading a "Lamb" to the slaughter! Hahahahaha! As others have mentioned already, your devastating post was brilliant! Nay, not brilliant -- genius! Yes, it was absolute genius! In fact, YOU'RE a genius! You're my hero, Kate! Yes, you are! Yes, you are! Go, Kate, go! Kate! Kate! Kate!! KATE!! KATE!!!

Posted by: Fawn at May 31, 2007 8:49 AM

"In fact, YOU'RE a genius! You're my hero, Kate! Yes, you are! Yes, you are! Go, Kate, go! Kate! Kate! Kate!! KATE!! KATE!!!"

Posted by: Fawn


Posted by: Yoop at May 31, 2007 8:56 AM

Kate, you've more on the ball than Brett Lamb and the many cultural fraud artistes. You go, girl!

Posted by: Machiavelli Jr. at May 31, 2007 9:00 AM

Thank you very much, Sean. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a living as a photographer - you've noticed, I know that - even in Toronto, so I have to use the other string on my bow to make ends meet. I like to think of it as an adult decision - one of the first real ones I made in my life, actually, but let's not go into that. One that doesn't involve gov't grants, incidentally.

Besides, if I didn't write, you'd be down one more conservative voice in the print media in five cities across the country, so, you know, I'm just doing my bit.

Posted by: rick mcginnis at May 31, 2007 9:29 AM

...a journalist who doesn't like to gossip would make a pretty piss-poor journalist...

If that's how they understand their job, no surprise there is nothing to read in MSM.

Posted by: Aaron at May 31, 2007 9:49 AM

You know, "Fawn" - for someone who utilizes the comments function (and my bandwidth) here as frequently as you have lately, that kind of sarcasm should probably be accompanied with either a paypal donation or a graceful exit.

Posted by: Kate at May 31, 2007 10:02 AM

I find that a lot of "art" is conceived with the only goal of being different, avantgarde or shocking. This is supposed to impress people who want to be considered "kulchured". If someone expresses some hesitation or criticism, it must be because they just don't "get it". (barbarians) In my view, it takes more than a gimmick to make art.

These excerpts are taken from CBC reports:

"Over the space of two decades he (Istvan Kantor) has been banned from numerous galleries, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada, for splattering "X" marks with his own blood on the walls."


"A performance artist who once lay naked in a shallow grave with a vial of his own blood dribbling out of his anus is among seven winners of one of Canada's most prestigious visual arts awards this year.

Described by the jury for the 2004 Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts as a "no-holds-barred, neo-Dada" artist, Toronto-based Istvan Kantor is being honoured for his entire body of work, which blends music, kinetic sculpture, multimedia installations and, most famously, performance art.

In the early 1980s, Kantor began a series he eventually entitled his Blood Campaign.

In the first instalment, Restriction 1, he suspended himself naked, filled his mouth with his own blood and assumed the lotus position. In Liaison Inter-Urbain he dug a shallow grave, inserted a vial of blood into his anus and contorted himself so that the blood flowed into his mouth."

This is considered art.

On second thought, maybe I would have paid to see that from some sort of awful fascination that anyone would (or indeed could) do that.

Posted by: rita at May 31, 2007 10:05 AM

It's always revealing when some stilted lefty pismire feels the need to drip hubris on the "low brow" right..very revealing.

It shows that so-called self-professed enlightenment is not above puerile name calling

It displays congenital insecurity and cravenness

It shows us common folk who may consider "dragons and boobies" to be artistically relevant that class (elitist) bigotry is alive on the left and you will be judged "unworthy" by personal tates which are not shared by a narrow minded self professed cultural nobility.

Frankly, people like Brett Lamb who hide their bigotry behind a facade of pseudo-urbane self sanctimony are the core human frailty that fuels leftist elitist bigotry...and why the self professed ruling class left elite are so roundly despised by populist masses...I know that when I personaly am exposed to smarmy elitist doggerel (such as this Lamb creature spews) I simply offer them a few speed bumps in the mouth to calm their neurotic hubris.

Hopfully he was just having another "episode" and will crawl back into the cloistered abyss of urban left intellectual inbreeding with his own kind.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at May 31, 2007 10:28 AM

Ihh and did I mention Brett displays ho the "enlightened" can be base line ignorant?

Sorry Brett but you needed that ;-)

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at May 31, 2007 10:31 AM

That's nothing, Yoop. Now here's an example of some REAL fawning.

Posted by: Doe at May 31, 2007 10:50 AM

Doe - I was just about to do that same thing!!!


Kate, oh Kate, how we all love thee so! You legitimize our views oh so well, and we absolutely MUST show our appreciation by all agreeing with you, wholeheartedly!

Posted by: Throbbin at May 31, 2007 11:14 AM

Nobody has to agree with my positions or the items I draw attention to. There are plenty of commentors who debate with civility on a variety of sides here every day.

But what is expected is that you respect the fact that this blog is my private property, and setting the rules is my privilege.

In the same way that I would evict you from my home for insulting me or smearing the walls with graffiti, I have the right to evict you from my digital property as well.

And I'm not interested in your opinion about that. It's a take it or leave it.

Posted by: Kate at May 31, 2007 12:02 PM

"That's nothing, Yoop. Now here's an example of some REAL fawning."
Posted by: Doe at May 31, 2007 10:50 AM

"Doe - I was just about to do that same thing!!!
Kate, oh Kate, how we all love thee so! You legitimize our views oh so well, and we absolutely MUST show our appreciation by all agreeing with you, wholeheartedly!"
Posted by: Throbbin at May 31, 2007 11:14 AM

Well, there is a difference between:

"I disagree!"


"I disagree because..."

Posted by: Yoop at May 31, 2007 1:27 PM


That was the most poetic smack-down I've read in a very long time!

I assume the parasite in question won't feel the requisite shame as public sector trough-feeders never do.

Still, you made my day again!

Posted by: Warwick at May 31, 2007 2:10 PM

Nice try, but I volunteer most of my time to the festival, which is why I'm listed as a sponsor. I volunteer on lots of things. You should all volunteer for something!

Posted by: blamb at May 31, 2007 2:12 PM

I volunteer to cut off all funding to the arts and suggest that you start charging market rate admission/pricing if you want to eat.

I volunteer my low opinion of any patron of today's crap they call art.

Posted by: Warwick at May 31, 2007 2:30 PM

It's worse than we thought.

Now it turns out that, by the implications of his own admission, Brent is an underemployed, unmarried guy with no children, no dependant old parents and too much time on his hands.

Does anyone with a real job, responsibility and family have time to volunteer let alone for something fun and cushy like a film festival?

Posted by: extravaganza at May 31, 2007 3:14 PM

Nothing wrong with volunteering your time and/or expertise to a film festival or any other thing. A lot of community centers, hockey and other sports leagues would not exist if it weren't for volunteers and those damn chocolate covered almonds.
To derive your income from grants and "fundraising" is entirely different. Like those womens groups that were at the government trough for so long. They ate up money just organizing their campaign to ask for money. NAC or SOW or whatever they called themselves never did an honest days work for those they claimed to represent.
I managed to hold down a full time job, raise a family and volunteer for a community center all at the same time. Tough, sure but then the self-satisfaction was worth it. And yes, I did apply for many grants and some municipal monies did come into the center (matching our funraising). That is why the neighbourhood kids can now skate in the winter and have a soccer pitch in the summer. One doesn't volunteer in order advance one's career or shouldn't.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at May 31, 2007 4:30 PM

I grew up in a very small town and volunteerism was part of the culture. It's how you connect with your community.

Posted by: blamb at May 31, 2007 5:14 PM

do you people even know blamb? cause im reading these posts and this discussion canNOT be about the person i know.

brett is an entrepreneur with a thriving business! he has clients on a waiting list because he has so many companies who want to work with him. he volunteers his considerable expertise to a not-for-profit and you find fault with that? the man is busier than most people i know and still finds time to take part in things he supports.

poetic smackdown?? these critical posts aren't even accurate! so you have an internet slander campaign of ignorant idiots patting each other on the back for something that isn't even valid.

the fact that this kate person responded so harshly tells me their is a grain of truth in what brett originally posted.

Posted by: estrojenn at May 31, 2007 6:04 PM


only blamb is allowed to mock others and those he mocks are only being big meanies if they respond.

Posted by: jhuck at May 31, 2007 6:59 PM

hey estrojenn

blamb sounds like a dork to me. If you respond, then there must be some grain of truth to it.

Posted by: jhuck at May 31, 2007 7:02 PM

To be clear, MY mockery was the response.

Posted by: blamb at May 31, 2007 7:32 PM


I linked to your blog with a post containing nothing more than screenshots of Zerb's comments on a chat forum, and the words "Related: Disturbing Images" - to draw attention to her juvenile stalking behavior of a public figure.

You replied with an attack on my professional abilities, unauthorized use of images from my website, and now have the audacity to accuse me of a "smear" ?

You don't need to reply. You need to see a dermatologist. Skin as thin as yours needs to be tended to.

Posted by: Kate at May 31, 2007 8:23 PM

As Dionsky would say: "blamb, the dog.."

Posted by: felis corpulentis at May 31, 2007 11:18 PM


Apparently poor diction was part of your community as well.

Try an active verb:

In my community, you volunteer.

Ditch the "isms".

Posted by: Farmer Ben at May 31, 2007 11:32 PM

Hmm it seems there's a Kathy Shaidle who received " a number of Ontario Arts Council grants, including a Work-in-Progress, to finish her first poetry collection" around 1991 -which was around the same time she started to collect 4 years worth of government disability while at the same time, it seems, she "started to finish" Lobotomy Magnificant -which was short listed for a GG Award ( congrats on that btw) and was published by Oberon Press ( who I'm sure never received a Canada Council Book Publishers Grant ... right?)

Is that your pal Kate or some other hypocrite? I guess she's entitled to her entitlements though.

Posted by: Nbob at June 1, 2007 1:35 AM

Yep that's me Nbob.

You'll note that 1991 is not the same as 2007. My philosophy about govt arts funding changed. I hope that you too experience that wonderful thing called intellectual maturity someday.

I was never a big fan of it but getting that first cheque is like crack; even the best of us can get hooked. I've paid back all the money I got, in taxes, which never amounted to more than the few thousand bucks.

I was more or less in constant all over, untreatable pain and bedridden for most of my time on disability, with only a few "good" hours to live/write, unlike many of the people who go on it because they just don't feel like working. And I met them all the time, believe me.

I felt guilty every moment I was on it and couldn't wait to get off. Not a few of my fellow writers asked me why I didn't just pretend to stay sick so I could keep collecting.

Again, I've repaid what I took (it wasn't much, believe me) as a taxpayer. I don't think modest govt disability is such a bad thing if you are genuinely disabled.

However, I would encourgage able bodied young people to pay for private chronic illness insurance instead, as early as they possibly can. I've had a bank account, a will and even a funeral plot since I was a kid; had I been more with it, I would have thought of private insurance too and saved the system the trouble of looking after me. I deeply regret not doing so.

Being unable to turn a doorknob is a lot different than wanting to sit at your desk all day and scribble. That's why it says "started to finish" -- it took me years to finish some poems because I couldn't hold a pen.

I have no control over the fact that all Canadian publishers accept arts funding. Were I a publisher I would not. I doubt you'd have turn down the offer to have your book published by one of the country's oldest small presses on account of that. I certainly wasn't about to. I take the GO train even though it gets subsidized too. The alternative is to live in a tree and eat bugs, if complete ideological purity is your highest good.

Accusations of "hypocrisy" are always the first refuge of the mediocre mind.

Try again.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at June 1, 2007 9:44 AM

Estro: "There". That is all.

And if that's not the "blamb you know", why is he posting it on his blog? Are any of the quotes from his own blog either a) inaccurate or b) somehow not his words?

If not, well, your "knowledge" of him is irrelevant, as it posits knowledge not in evidence.

He might be busy, but I notice no denial of grant money, eh?

Mocking people for doing popular "kitsch" is a bit odd for someone "busy" fulfilling popular orders for stock photography, that amazing bastion of artistic fulfillment*, no?

(Also, I notice he said Except that when you think about it, you realize that a journalist who doesn't like to gossip would make a pretty piss-poor journalist. - which is farkin' stupid.

Aren't journalists supposed to research and report facts, not gossip and rumor?)

* Which is not to deny that doing pro stock photography is a matter of serious craftsmanship; it takes skill in no small measure.

But to complain that someone else's work is "kitsch", when you take stock photos for a living? That's hilariously un-selfaware.

Posted by: Sigivald at June 1, 2007 7:54 PM

like i said - internet idiots agreeing with each other and patting each other on the back.

blamb doesnt receive arts cancel grants. he makes his money from paying clients.

im done with this thread because, really, its proven itself to be as ridiculous as this woman's terrible airbrushing. isn't even original artwork.

Posted by: estrojenn at June 1, 2007 8:21 PM

Accusations of "hypocrisy" are philosophic masturbation for those with no arms.

Posted by: Farmer Ben at June 2, 2007 9:29 PM