Monday, January 22, 2007

Cultural Product

The new rules for crossing the Canada-US border have the tourism mavens of Hawgtown all in a dither. They are convinced that the Yanks are too stupid or too self-absorbed to bother coming to Canada if they need a passport to get back home. Why bother, eh? We can see McNuggets and Burger Kink down the street. Don't need to go to Hawgtown or any other Canajun town.

Ontario Today on the Mothercorp interviewed a guy from the Hawgtown Tourist Bureau (or whatever it's called.)

(Aside: I checked the Ontario Today web page to find out the man's name and get all the facts straight, but there's no text version of the interview, only audio, and you need RealPlayer to hear it, and I really didn't feel like downloading yet another audio software device just to listen to a six minute piece and then I've got more software cluttering up my hard drive and trying to cajole me into free music download trials and librarying all my music and making playlists and organizing podcasts and having RealPlayer fight with Widows Media Player and iTunes for dominance over Larry's audiovisual experience and who's going to be the Default Player and choosing your favourite psychedelic visualization when you listen to music, and skins, you know what skins are? and goddam you can only handle so much of this crap and when I had the computer rejigged a couple months ago it came back all clean and devoid of superfluous stuff and who needs to add more, eh? I ask you...So, anyway, no names, no facts, just what I can remember off the top of my inflated head.)

Ontario Today. Tourism. The man from the Cat Detector Van said he could detect a purr at 400 feet, and Eric, bein' such a 'appy cat was a piece of cake.

Sorry, that was an unnecessary Monty Python digression.

Ontario. Tourism. Hawgtown. The man from the tourist trap said the need for passports would likely discourage Yanks from coming into Hawgtown to spend their pesos. Business travellers, sure. But regular down-home touristas? Uh-uh.

How to entice them? They've been looking at different markets in the US. Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington. Why? Because these places have a vibrant cultural component. And Hawgtown does too. Frank Gehry architecture. ROM. Theatre! ART! Music! Ballet. Opera. Homeless people under the bridges. They figure people who are interested in those sorts of things in the US would be attracted to the same things in Hawgtown.

But that's not what I want to talk about.

What got me was the way he talked about it. It's not Theatre. Not ART. Not Music. By Gawd, it's cultural product! Little did you know that we here up in the wilds of Southern Ontariariario have some of the finest cultural product anywhere in the world that cultural product makes hearts beat faster! Yessir, I get wet just thinking about a close encounter with some yummy cultural product.

Hey, all you potes, all you righters and musikantes! How do you feel about having the sweat of your inspired cerebrations labelled cultural product? It makes me all warm and fuzzy, I tell ya!

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