Yes, I’ve fallen off the face of the Internet.

First, there was a canoe trip into a world where the only electricity was the unbridled kind that comes with thunder. And then, in September, I started down a new path. Graduate school. Currently, my sharpened pencils are scribbling out a one-act play for a playwriting course and busy jotting notes in another, all towards a MFA in Creative Writing.

But the best part is that I’m doing what I love to do: making stuff up.

And as I attend more readings than ever before and gaze out over a classroom of people who also appreciate the act of commenting on the world in a creative way, as humans have been doing for millenia, it pains me to hear what our prime minister has to say about the arts. “I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see … a bunch of people at a rich gala … all subsidized by the taxpayers, claiming their subsidies aren’t high enough when they know those subsidies have gone up, I’m not sure that’s something that resonates with ordinary people,” Stephen Harper told reporters this week.

That’s funny. Despite my poetic nature, I always thought I was more or less an ordinary person, with a dog, a mortgage, taxes to pay and, oh, yeah, voting to do. And don’t even get me started about WHO gets to go to those “rich galas”. My invitation – and the ones for the thousands of other struggling artists out there – must have gone missing in the mail…

But, as usual, Margaret Atwood says it better than I can.

Please click HERE to read her thoughtful essay about all this seemingly prehistoric clap-trap (enlightenment, anyone?) and then think about the question she poses: what kind of country do you want to live in? Does it involve a few diverse shades of dissenting voices or is it all just a single tone of Conservative blue?