Everyone who has experience with government bureaucrats knows that no matter their dedication to the tasks at hand, an equal if not greater portion of their daily efforts appears to fall into the category of “Cover Your Ass”.
I honestly feel for a lot of these people. Many are in positions where they inevitably alienate somebody no matter what they do while being constantly evaluated by superiors whose agendas shift with the ever changing winds of public opinion or political necessity.
It’s perfectly understandable that the last thing they want in their lives are those troublemakers who come along insistent on speaking truth to power.
I mean, c’mon, the job’s hard enough. So it makes sense that the thought crosses some minds of pretending the problem isn’t real or insisting that “There’s nothing to see here”, so they can get on with whatever.
In a worse case situation, it’s even possible that the full force of a bureaucracy can be brought to bear on those who refuse to Shut The Fuck Up.
And that means that while the bureaucrat’s job is hard, it’s just as hard or harder –- and perhaps far more courageous -- to refuse to be silent.
Despite those realities, it has always annoyed and frustrated me that so few of those with great ideas about improving the Canadian film and TV industries are willing to confront or even openly question those who make or administer the rules.
There seems to be this palpable dread that they’ll go on some kind of enemies list. And so they remain silent, allowing bad situations to evolve into worse ones.
Several months ago, I posted a clip featuring a housewife named Becky Gerritson, who, finding herself swept up in the shit storm surrounding potential IRS targeting of political groups in the US sucked it up and spoke out.
As I said at the time, you don’t have to share Ms. Gerritson’s politics or values to sympathize with her feelings and understand her passion.
Last Sunday, during a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Obama assured his nation that months of investigation had proven there was “not a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS case.
Yesterday, Ms. Gerritson was back before a Congressional Committee begging to differ, her passion and courage once again very much on display.
You can’t help wonder how different the Canadian TV and film businesses would be if those who advocate on our behalf as adamantly refused to pull their punches.