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John Dizard : You came, you sang, you conquered

"Think of a hospital -- washed with disinfectants, its residents shot full of antibiotics. Most pathogens die, but the ones that live are supergerms, capable of breeding in pure Clorox and lunching on ampicillin. The Canadian cultural scene is not dissimilar. Any living forms are drenched with the disinfectant of government grants and bombarded with radiation from CBC talk shows. For original thinking to survive that selection process, it must be hardy indeed. In the States, by way of contrast, creative types are treated like free-range chickens, roaming where they please -- all the while carefully kept away from exposure to poisonous civil-service positions and protected from film-industry tax deals. The result: a class of pencil-necked culturati, unable to compete with red-blooded invaders from the North. Even Hollywood starlets are threatened. Think of poor Denise Richards in Wild Things; mere alligator food to the likes of Neve Campbell."

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