Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 22, No. 3, 2023
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Jason McDonald
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David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Don Dewey
Chris Barry
Howard Richler
Gary Olson
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
  Music Editor
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
  Photographer Jerry Prindle
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
Emanuel Pordes
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Charles Tayler
Naomi Klein
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Robert Fisk
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Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward




For more of Liz, visit her fashion/brenda website.


The Met Gala has rolled up its red carpet for another year. The annual event came off with all the usual fanfare and also inspired an internet meme.

Comparing this annual irony-free Zoolander walk-off to The Hunger Games is a bit of amusing hyperbole for a Twitter subset attuned to the clueless decadence of late-stage capitalism.

For the uninitiated, the Met Gala is Christmas for the fashion glitterati. Or do I mean Halloween? Either way, it’s the one night of the year when celebrities can stop pretending to be normal and humble, really let their hair down and not feel judged about appearing on Epstein’s client list.

That’s Kim Kardashian inside the gimp suit, which was designed by Demna Gvasalia—the person behind Balenciaga’s creepy bondage teddy bears.

The Met Gala’s theme changes from year to year but the ‘rules for me and not for thee’ flavour is evergreen. This year it was Karl Lagerfeld. The progressive, lib-feminist, body-positive, pro-equity guest list didn’t seem to mind paying tribute to a man who once fat-shamed Adele, compared Syrian refugees to Nazis and pooh-poohed the #metoo movement.

As Hunger Games comparisons go, 2021 was a banner year. Pandemic protocol demanded all guests be masked but it looked as though only the waiters complied. This despite Vogue magazine helpfully suggesting glamorous options such as Jennifer Behr’s scattered Swarovski pearl version, which retailed for about $200.

2021 was also the year Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned up in a dress with the words ‘tax the rich’ scrawled across the back. She then proceeded to stiff the people who provided her dress, jewellery, hair, makeup and various accoutrements. It took months and an Ethics complaint for contractors to get paid. Asked about the delay, AOC blamed a staffer.

Next year’s theme is still up in the air but Twitter has generously floated suggestions, including “cannibalism” and “The Purge.”


George Orwell knew a thing or two about totalitarian societies. In his dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four, London’s lower classes live abysmal lives while a tiny ruling class enjoys absurd decadence. In real-life London, King Charles III just completed his transformation from mere human to monarch.

Ordinary Brits, despite living through the lowest standard of living since the 1930s, were asked to pledge an oath of loyalty to a nepo-baby whose valet squeezes toothpaste onto his toothbrush every morning.

Perpetual war is another feature of dystopian societies. War is a handy way to chew up the fruits of working-class labour without raising their standard of living. As everyone knows, Ukraine is at war with Russia. The Ruling Class has chosen a side in this conflict and in case anyone forgets which, it will find imaginative new ways to remind you.

That, of course, is Jill Biden and granddaughter Finnegan making a bold “Slava Ukraini” statement. (Because there was a Matlock marathon on TV it’s not protocol for US presidents to attend coronations, the President stayed at home.)

Ever since Putin invaded, there’s been an ongoing campaign to demonstrate support for Ukrainian freedom. As well as including the yellow and blue flag emoji in social media profiles, supporters have dumped bottles of vodka with funny letters on them down the drain, banned Russian pianists from orchestras and removed Dostoevsky from university curricula.

Never mind that the Crime and Punishment author was condemned to a Siberian labour camp for reading banned books. In war, as they say, truth is always the first casualty.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government censors all media. Here in the Great White North, we have the Ministry of Truth CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) for that. Also, organizations like Egale Canada, a non-profit fighting for the rights of 2SLG-Q.

Wait a second. That’s not right . . . Let’s try that again . . . fighting for the rights of 2SLGB-Q . . . Dammit! Come on brain . . . you can do this! –the LGBTQ-R-S-T- Ah f*** it!!! Never mind!

In an open letter to the Commission, Egale has demanded Fox News be removed from Canada’s cable packages for expressing opinions different from their own rhetoric “aimed to provoke hatred and violence.”

The government-funded group singled out “false and horrifying claims” made by Tucker Carlson. The CRTC has launched a public consultation based on Egale’s demands.

I have good news and bad news for Egale Canada. The good news is… no more Tucker Carlson! As everyone knows by now, he and Fox News have parted ways.

The bad news is . . . more Tucker Carlson! After some behind-the-scenes wrangling with his lawyers, Tucker announced he’d be continuing his show on Twitter.





Arts & Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the Library and Archives Canada.
ISSN 1718-2034


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