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Re: Very Random Thoughts
In <Pine.OSF.3.96.970630182524.5458Bfirstname.lastname@example.org>, on
06/30/97 at 06:46 PM, Jeff Shaw <email@example.com> said:
>I never post to CEDA-L except to bother people by asking for email
>addresses or to some serious wrongheaded thinking.
I don't usually post here either. I just enjoy watching some of my
colleagues a bit higher up in the food chain poke each other in the
eye. Plus, there are any number of interesting theory discussions
which it behooves me to keep tabs on....
>This is the latter. Of all the stuff to pick on, why pick public
>funding for the arts? Save that for fat old creeps like Helms.
What is the point of personal attacks? How would you describe Helms
if his politics were more agreeable to you? Why must we be so quick
to demonize those with whom we have disagreements?
>We are staring at said budget almost solely, though not entirely,
>because of a bloated military budget that began in earnest during the
>Reagan years and has continued to rise despite the end of the cold
<Sigh....> This is not accurate. I'll do a bit of poking around for
the necessary numbers, but this is just liberal mythology....
> This means a few things. First, when you say
>> It is silly to decide the
>> merits of funding program A by comparing it to funding
>> levels of programs B, C, D, etc. The only real question
>> ought to be: "Is funding program A a good idea or not?"
>you're wrong. Because when people make arguments about "other stuff"
>they are almost invariably FUNDING TRADEOFF arguments. Like, if we
>can find a billion dollars to build a fucking bomber that will be
>obsolete when completed, then people should be able to cough up a few
>grand so we can build lasting testaments to human culture.
Look, I *understand* that people like to make these sorts of trade-
off arguments. What I am suggesting is that it is an inappropriate
way to make spending decisions. Your position essentially reduces to:
"Foolish spending decision A (B1 bomber) justifies foolish spending
decision B ("Piss Christ")." Even assuming that there is a consensus
that A was a mistake, how does that foolishness justify *doing it
again* with B?
>Also, if you didn't know, the overwhelming majority of so-called
>"pork" in the federal budget is WELFARE TO CORPORATIONS.
Agreed. I presume you support efforts to eliminate such programs, as
>Not artists. Not AFDC mothers. Corporations. But the budget-conscious
>politicians don't give a shit about that, because 1) individuals are
>easier to pick on, 2) corporations give fat bank to politicians, 3)
>the benefits tohumanity that art provides can't be quantified in
>terms of numbers. You can't point to a year-end report and say "we
>got this much oil, or gold, or CIA drug money from that MApplethorpe
>over there." So politicians looking at the bottom line miss the
I don't think that they do. The fact that there is no obvious
utilitarian value to the NEA *doesn't* mean that its value lies
elsewhere. It could also mean that there just *isn't* any such
>I won't even bother going for the obvious double-turn. If artists'
>"integrity" makes them refuse grants, then Joe/Jane Taxpayer isn't
>shelling out dime one.
My point was that some of these folks make quite a show of turning
down NEA grant money. Wouldn't that suggest to you that they are not
going to simply disappear from the artistic scene without the federal
>I would think your reactionary views would support that.
What up wi dese ad homs??
>First, not all artists do controversial things. In fact, with the
>political climate the way it is, people that really want funding are
>advised to tone their shit down.
Exactly so. The argument is that artists *change their work* in order
to "please" the NEA grant committees. This is called "selling out,"
and I don't want my tax dollars being used to encourage it. I don't
object to artists doing "controversial things." Shit, that is
practically a *definition* of what "art" is. I just don't believe
that their chosen profession entitles them to subsidization by the
>Second, the role of the artist is to challenge. If some people don't
>understand it, that's not the fault of the artist.
What a provincial attitude! With all the "deconstructing" going on in
the world (not least in this activity), how is it possible to defend
the argument that a work of art has *any* fixed or precise meaning to
"understand?" De gustibus non disputandum est....
>Third, a pre-empt: don't even try to make the tired old "but my tax
>dollars shouldn't go to support that" argument.
<same fallacy as above, snipped>
>By the way, do you *know* the history of the
>photograph in question? You may want to research it.
Where? In the same book where you learned your "history?" Pass....
Bishop LeBlond Memorial High School
St. Joseph, Missouri
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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