ROTHENBURGER: Why we need to spend money on museums, theatres and Olympics
‘ALL WORK AND NO PLAY makes Jack a dull boy.’ Jack Nicholson typed it over and over again in The Shining as his character descended into madness.
The proverb has been around long before Stephen King’s novel, at least since 1659, in fact, when it’s first known to have been written down.
Simply put, it means we need balance in our lives. To use another saying, truer words have never been spoken.
That’s why I disagree with much of what’s being said about the provincial government’s billion-dollar plan to replace the Royal B.C. Museum, and why I’m sure I’ll also disagree with what’s bound to be said about B.C.’s bid for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games, a bid likely to include Sun Peaks as one of the venues.
And why I disagree with one of the favourite arguments against plans for a performing arts centre in Kamloops.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear David of May 30th. You are are dead wrong in your assumptions. I have swallowed no opposition rhetoric.I am totally against tearing down the present museum. I came to that conclusion all on my own as have most of the population of BC regardless of their political stripe.What it is all about is trying anything to quell and at least quiet the strength of the present uprising of our aboriginal population. It,s not very long ago they were a stone age people and they have come a long way in a very short time,but many are are in too big a hurry. They have their own drummer. I respect that,Many mistakes were,and are being made but trying to change history is not the answer. Also a wise elder of the Kamloops nation said recently,” let the little ones lie in peace”. Good advice.
I think Mel is entirely correct, but I would take it a step further perhaps.
To say that items like this (museums, PAC’s, Olympics and the like) should not happen BECAUSE the money should be spent on social issues instead, is a politically created false argument, that people have learned to accept as not just a normal side to take, but actually a justifiable one … when in reality … it is not.
It is an argument that was created by political opposition to justify their dislike of government expenditure decisions. Why? Because its a simple, sound-bite-able message that can be fed to voters via the media, to sew distrust between voters and government … and its not new, the argument was used in Rome. It is effective and easy, and now it is an art form.
Just how many times in the history of any country has a government decided against what detractors will term as ‘a frill expense’, and instead actually solved a large social issue like hunger, homelessness or education? Not many. That’s just not how the world works.
To instantly jump on the bandwagon of; a ‘waste of money when addictions or homelessness could be solved with that money’, in reality only shows that the commentor has swallowed opposition rhetoric programming completely. At the end of the day, only the opposition will benefit from any of this. A voter, a homeless person, a tax payer or a museum attendee dont.
I’m not saying any of these projects are appropriate or not on their own, just that this tendency to auto-slide from the consideration of one to ‘a waste of money when …’ is not correct, appropriate, workable or intelligent.
Its just sheepishly following a program.
A billion dollars to replace a perfectly good museum blows my mind! There are so many more things that need the funding, this is atrocious!