Yesterday (May 19), it was revealed that Vancouver, BC pop punks Living with Lions had drawn some very public and negative attention from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore over their new album's controversial, seemingly Christian-bashing artwork. A spokesperson for Moore noted that references to the Bible as the "Poo Testament" and portrayals of Jesus as a turd were "designed to offend a group of Canadians based on their faith," expressing his dissatisfaction at Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) for helping fund the record, titled Holy Shit. Well, the government agency has spoke out on the matter, and it turns out they were none the wiser to the artistic shenanigans.
A statement from FACTOR explains that while the organization's name is slapped on the package -- a mandatory measure -- it did not see the artwork prior to Holy Shit's release. The statement reads:
We realize that we have a responsibility to the public and our funders to enforce reasonable limits on the content of the projects we fund. For that reason, our contracts with funded parties include language prohibiting certain kinds of offensive material. All recipients agree to these terms prior to receiving funding.
In this case, the record in question was packaged with graphics and liner notes that some may consider offensive. This material had not been submitted to FACTOR prior to its release. We have communicated to the record label that there has been a negative reaction from some members of the public regarding the content. We are now reviewing these complaints.
We wish to be fair to all parties, and therefore will take the time necessary to assess the issue to determine whether further action is necessary.
Vancouver, BC punk statesman Joe Keithley from D.O.A. has also chimed in his two cents on the ordeal. Speaking with the Vancouver Sun, Keithley said he believes that the days of government-funded records may well be over because of the current Conservative majority.
"I think you can kiss FACTOR goodbye," he said. "Or at least they're going to get their funding cut in half. Here's the bottom line: Maybe on the next D.O.A. album I'll be writing about puppy dogs and helping little old ladies across the street. If it doesn't qualify, then the Conservatives won't give you the money and unfortunately that's the way they think -- not every person in the party does, but enough of them. It's unfortunate we've got four years of this BS to deal with."
Living with Lions, meanwhile, are looking on the bright side of the media shit storm. "Hey! We're playing Pouzza fest tomorrow night at Underworld in Montreal. Lets party," they tweeted earlier today (May 20).
More tour dates can be found here.