Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Branding Denmark III - Turning Culture into Commodities

The Danish film director Susanne Bier has been nominated for an Oscar for her movie Before the Wedding. Congratulations! Well done. The Danish film industry is getting increasing acclaim internationally. Denmark is a creative nation.

That is good news. What is not so good news are all the primitive robotic reactions it leads to among Danish politicians.

A wave of criticism is coming forth about the fact that Danish films are not mentioned in the Branding Denmark campaign that has just been launched by the minister of economic and business affairs, Mr. Bendt Bentsen.

The minister of culture, Mr. Brian Mikkelsen, now moves to the forefront of this important debate. He suggests that films should also be mentioned and perhaps receive a proportion of the 412 million Danish taxpayers money for the project. Novo Nordisk sells insulin syringes, Danfoss thermostats, and then the enterprising Danes also sell films. What's the difference?

What a wonderful world where everything can be commercialized! Selling sugar, body parts, plastic eyes, sports cars, films with a touch of societal criticism - it all amounts to the same thing: taking part in the great commercialization! It does not occur to the minister that perhaps a few aspects of our lives might be transported back, away from the commercial spere, - become decommodified so to speak!

Maybe cultural politics is the next item that is going to be exported form Denmark! Or Danish cartoonists' drawings of personalities from world religions. Logos/brands are items that might be exported. Or what about the very cartoons? Freedom of expression transformed into commodity? What a wonderfully creative idea! Perhaps we should wait until the Mohammed cartoons crisis is completely forgotten!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh. Films are not becoming more or less commercialized by being mentioned in the so-called branding campaign.

It is hardly anything new that Danish film receives government subsidies (not to my satisfaction; if the film companies don’t want to fund it with your own money why should the Danish tax-payers be forced to do so). And it is hardly choking news that films are commercial. You are just looking for reasons to become angered; no matter how dumb they may be.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Cosmic Duck said...

Perhaps the minister of culture should give money to culture because it is culture in its own right, and not because it is an exportable commodity.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear no! Culture is getting more money. What a Fiendish government. You must have a trivial life is this is enough to put you into a hysterical rant.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Cosmic Duck said...

I think Brian Mikkelsen should start exporting Mohammed cartoons to Sahara and see how much they'll pay for them. It'll do good to the trade balance.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no, that wouldent be a good idea. Since, as you might have noticed, the people who adhere to the religion of peace tend to react with violence if their tolerant religion is offended.
Poor muslims in Saudi Arabia, they have nothing but respect and tolerance towards other religions. How dare we offend such an enlightend country.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Cosmic Duck said...

The quran may be interpreted in a variety of ways, just like the bible.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite right. I just fund it ironic that that some Muslims reacted by attacking embassies, threatening to kill the cartoonists, participating in demonstrations where holy war was agitated. And all caused by a need to protest that some cartoons depicted their prophet as violent? Funny and sad at the same time.

Also funny that the Danish Muslims – being a minority themselves – are violently attacking other minorities such as homosexuals and people from Greenland.

1:02 PM  

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