Hmmmmmmmmmm, I know what to write! I don’t know if I should. Should I? Tell me if I should, right this second. Yell, in my face.
I am leaving. Not Cowpuncher, I will die or get my ass kicked out first, but I will never leave. I am leaving this city. Why? I have kids. I am not connected with what I eat. I am not connected with the neighborhood that I live in. I am a leech. I am nothing. I scorn the stupid shits that are hooked on meth/ sex/ heroin/ booze that ask me for change; I never know their names. The only people that care that I am leaving are reading this right this second and I am not leaving them.
Calgary, I love you. I love the memory of you.
I loved it when there weren’t men and women coming in you that wanted only to make the quick dollar and leave. I loved when you used to be hated by the world and not needed by it – now I am afraid you’re both. I remember when you a whisper on the map, now you crowd, with sharp little elbows, all of your neighbors. Now, you have a million minions at your biding. You are the new heart of the west. And that heart has turned black. I still believe in you so much, it almost pains me inside to know how great you can be.
This is not why I leave though. I want to be a part of your reclamation, your re-birth, your renaissance.
I have watched as you have made the living of the artist into a farce, oh Calgary you wonder why you can’t hold artists here. I will tell you. The artist’s voice is not heard here. With your old lady PTA politics you don’t allow the music heard along your streets, although you give free license, you give no license to be heard. You push the poor out of the core so that the suburbanites don’t have to deal with those dirty rag-tag hordes, but those hordes move themselves to the suburbs to be viewed at the leisure of soccer moms in Signal Hill or Cranston, there is no solution, only movement. Thank God for places like Cantos that stand as a testament to what you can be.
I leave Calgary because I want my kids to know how to cut a tree, how to plant one, and how to start a fire. I want my kids to know how to raise an animal with dignity, and then be able to dispatch that animal with the same dignity that it was raised. There is no outlet for that here. My children, hopefully, will be able to play a Bach suite and then fire a 12 gauge and have the same sense of confidence in both actions. There is no outlet for that here.
I am sorry. I did my best. I tried, but I failed you Calgary. My earnest vanity and naivety drove me to think I could change you, I am a battered women that needs to heal – escape and gain strength and come back to face the one, the one who committed the atrocity. I have watched you, watch you with my binoculars and I have seen who you spend your time with. The one that think that the music scene has gotten better because of external forces, join a band and see how much that ‘Saddle’ gets for you. A tear in a bucket.
I am not going to be such an asshole that I offer criticism without reprieve or solution, so here is what I think:
1) Allow your artists, creative types, and so on and so forth, to play freely among your streets and parking lots and parks and other public places. Let them breath without fear of retribution.
2) Make some spaces for us. Places that are cheap, not a hand out, but accessible to the fiscal terms of an artist. There are schools sitting doing nothing, just collecting dust that can be used for sculptors, painters, composers, etc…
3) Money is not everything. How much did it cost to make the statue of David? I am sure that does not matter, what matters is that the object was completed and now humanity has that as a testimony to what can be achieved. The bottom line really is the bottom.
4) Let people raise their food. Dedicate land in parks to people who live in apartments that want to grow lettuce and potatoes. Let the chickens into backyards. What does this have to do with art? I am going to answer that question with another question: how does one feed another’s soul when they can’t feed their own.
I don’t want this to be negative, I want this to be a great positive thing.
Well, what does this have to do with Cowpuncher? Quite a lot, I am moving and that means that things will change a little, not a lot, but a little; it would be foolish to think that they won’t a little. But, Cowpuncher is as it always will be – a movement.
I love you,