New “recent comments” box

August 25, 2008

I really like the blog design I chose among the huge number of pre-formatted models WordPress offers for free (hey, free hosting deserves the occasional free plug). My only disappointment is that it doesn’t display your comments right after the post (unlike this one)- one has to click the “x comments” link to see them. So… I replaced the “recent posts” box on the right with the “recent comments” box to at least make them more visible.

Speaking of feedback… As a little weekend experiment I posted a comment on a bunch of Conservative and Liberal blogs (jeez, I forgot about Dippers – like most Canadians), with a link to this post. The rather transparent attempt at self-promotion generated a nice number of hits. WordPress doesn’t register visitors IP adresses, but it does track referrers… I notice that Conservative blogs were much better than Liberal ones at generating traffic to my site. I’m not drawing any conclusion from this – just one more data point, that’s all.

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Holy fuck, who writes those things?

August 8, 2008

Speaking of leaky blabbers… Canwest’s David Akin says he obtained “Conservative talking points”about the decision to scuttle the PromArt program, a $4.7-million pot of money to promote Canadian culture by sending artists to international gatherings and small tours. Groups like the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and Toronto’s “lo-fi noise and weirdo casio-driven rock” outfit Holy Fuck will have to do without.

A few comments:

  • The language justifying the cuts is incredibly over-the-top. Past beneficiaries are “a general radical”, “wealthy rock stars”, “ideological activists”, “left-wing columnist and author who has plenty of money to travel on his own” (that’s old Gwynne Dyer apparently). It goes on… you can smell that particular variety of high-octane scorn only young right-wing radicals and Warren Kinsella seem to be able to produce. They really except a spokesperson to go on some radio show and spew out that kind of rhetoric? I mean, other than Pierre Poilievre?
  • I hope those “Conservative talking points” are indeed the party’s, but the way Akin seems to work and the fact that he has a quote from a nameless “government official” (not me), indicate it comes straight from the Minister’s office. I hope I’m wrong.
  • There can be a perfectly legitimate reason why the program is to be axed. As part of the government’s program review, each Department has to identify the least-useful programs in its inventory and find new uses for the money (or send it back to Treasury Board – yeah right!). I seem to remember it’s Foreign Affair’s turn to go on the bloc, along with half a dozen of others. PromArt looks like a good target for Foreign Affairs, as I suspect it’s not critical to the Department’s Core Mission, whatever it may be these days.

AUGUST 11 UPDATE: Okay, so the Globe and Mail Ed Board refutes my third point.