The problem with this particular group of guys isn't that they invoked the Vietnam War at all, it's that they did it for a really shitty reason. To suggest that any subject matter be restricted to any artist is a low-key expression of censorship and should be resisted. Politically sensitive, controversial imagery needs to be available; to declare it off-limits infantilizes the role of music and art, and our expectations from it.
How do you procure distinctions if you only have a modicum of talent? Join the Canadian music biz. I honestly can't tell you the exact number of distinct music award ceremonies there are in Canada because I lost count at 33. I've watched almost every person I know snag one. It's almost like when each kid gets a prize at a children's birthday party.
And so now we have an even bigger story. Godspeed "slams" Polaris! My social media, full of music biz people, is awash with arguments about whether or not the band's position is respectable or bullshit. Many call them hypocrites, dicks, fake anarchists, for accepting a prize if they don't agree with what it represents. Some people seem very angry about the whole thing. I am not.
Unfortunately, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's rant about Polaris' corporate hypocrisy (given its claim to be about recognizing "artistic merit") undercut the coolest thing about their win. Their Constellation records label boss (who does have Godspeed's dreaded "gov't. culture-money in his pockets") accepted on their behalf and said they'd be using their $30,000 winnings to fund musical instruments and musical education for Quebec prisons.