If you were a carpenter and you weren't very good at your job, odds are you'd have a tough time getting work, and eventually you'd have to stop doing it professionally on a full time basis and find something else to support yourself.
What probably wouldn't happen is that you would say your carpentry adds intangible benefit to society-at-large and that you make great sacrifices to be a carpenter despite popular rejection. You would most likely not expect that the government should give you money so that you could continue to practice your craft, which evidently is something you're not not good enough at to generate enough support so you can be self-sufficient.
Craftsmen and, well just everyone else in every line of work could take a page out of Canada's third-rate arts community, who think that the drivel they produce that only a handful of people care about should be subsidized by tax money to the tune of millions per year.
Great artists throughout history have painted or written because they had something to create or say that came from a passion in their soul. They were anxious for patronage, but real artists, the Van Goghs and Melvilles and Fitzgeralds crated in poverty out of love. They achieved success, in their lifetimes of after, because of the merit of their work.
But Merit need not be the key to success as an artist in Toronto. You can be a talentless hack, but if you have connections on Arts' Councils and whine loudly enough, you can still have taxpayers' hard-earned money deposited directly into your bank account st support your "art."
That may change soon. The new administration at City Hall has let it be known that cuts are needed and they have committed to keep taxes down. The prospect that they may have to create something in which someone is actually interested enough to pay for has sent Toronto's "arts community" into a full-fledged panic. The City Manager's report comes in tomorrow morning with the mandate to make either 10% cuts across the board or accept the recommendations of the consulting firm that has been examining city services over the last few months.
It's expected that arts funding, which is only of major benefit to marginal artists, will be first on the chopping block. They may not be able to fill theatre seats, paint pictures that people want to buy, make music that people want to hear or write words people are willing to pay to read, but Toronto's arts community does know how to scream loudly when they fear the government largess may come to an end.
So when you hear shrill shrieking tomorrow, its source will be from Queen Street by people who may actually, finally have to do something that someone values enough to pay for.