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June 20, 2005

Am I Crazy, Or Is It Impossible to Capture a Terrorist Using "Art"?

Top Secret deep-cover goverment source "Deep Stoat" sends the following observation:

Listed below is a selection of organizations that received federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in fiscal year 2005....

Assuming passage of the bill reported by the full Senate Appropriations committee and sent to the floor of the Senate, the NEA is set to receive $126 million next year, an increase of $5 million over its current funding level. In contrast, Senate appropriators are set to underfund President Bush’s budget request for defense by $7 billion.

Let's be honest. Art should pay for itself. If it's not paying for itself, it's not good art.

What about "great art" that can't find a large enough audience to make itself profitable?

Look, we all do things we don't want to do. If you're a writer or sculptor or whatever, and you want to serve the not-very-high-paying counter-culture, I'm sorry, take a day job or mix up your transgressive works with some commercially viable stuff. You can do the commercially-viable stuff under a psuedonym if you like.

I'm tired of paying money so that artists (both alleged and actual) don't have to compromise their integrity by doing work that might actually support them. No government agency is paying me money to turn this crap out; perhaps if I were on the taxpayer's dime I'd feel differently. But I'm not so I don't.

Examples of the important "art" being funded by the NEA follow. It's not that each grant is very large, especially by the standards of our drunken-sailor US government welfare regime. But the size of the grants don't matter. I don't spend money on brussel sprouts because I don't like them and there's no point in spending money on something I neither need nor want. It doesn't matter that they're 2 for $1.59 at PathMark.

As Michael Kinsley observed, long before he descended into nasty knee-jerk hackdom, you have every right to be part of the counter-culture. But you don't have the right to be counter-culture on someone else's dime.

Sorta runs contrary to the idea of "counter-culture," actually.


Feministt Press, Inc. – City University of New York

$35,000

http://www.feministpress.org

What can you find on the Feminist Press website?


1. Customers can purchase “Families”, a children’s book that according to Feminist Press explores “realities such as divorce, stepfamilies, adoption, single parenting, and gay and lesbian parenting through the curious, affectionate, and nonjudgemental eyes of six-year-old Angie as she introduces readers to her multicultural groups of friends.”

2. Under the section entitled “Teacher Resources”, readers can find “The New Lesbian Studies: Into the Twenty-First Century”. According to Feminist Press, this collection “explores the history of lesbian studies as well as its current impact on conceptions of identity and community, teaching, academic disciplines, university practices, and the development of feminist and queer theories.” If teachers submit a brief review to Feminist Press about how this educational resource was used in the classroom, they are eligible to receive a free book!

3. Under the “Special Projects” portion of the web site, readers can also find a massive list of links to various leftist anti-war web sites and organizations, including MoveOn.org, Amnesty International, and International A.N.S.W.E.R.

4. Under “Events”, readers can find a list and description of events held by Feminist Press. Past honorees at the organization’s events include Sen. Hillary Clinton and former democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder.

According to the Feminist Press web site, advertising rates for the “Women’s Studies Quarterly” range from $125 for a half-page to $350 for a full page.

Children’s Book Press – San Francisco, CA

$30,000

http://www.childrensbookpress.org/

On the website, readers can find and order “Antonio’s Card”, a book about a child and his feelings on Mother’s Day. According to a description of the book, “Antonio loves words, because words have the power to express feelings like love, pride, or hurt. Mother’s Day is coming soon, and Antonio searches for the words to express his love for his mother and her partner, Leslie.”

“Rigoberto Gonzalez’s sensitive and lovingly crafted story of Antonio’s dilemma will resonate with all children who have been faced with speaking up for themselves or the people they love.” The book is recommended for children ages 6 and up.

This book is also listed as a teacher’s guide under the “Teaching and Learning” section of the web site. Children’s Book Press notes that the “Gay-Lesbian” and “Mexican-American” communities may be most receptive to the book.

A press release from the organization notes that “the main conflict of the story is not the same-gender relationship between Antonio’s mother and Leslie. Instead, their relationship serves as the setting and the story focuses on learning to accept other people’s differences.”

Coffee House Press – Minneapolis, MN

$30,000

http://www.coffeehousepress.org/

From the web site, readers can order “Summit Avenue”, a novel that details the “story of a young German immigrant experiencing her spiritual and sexual awakening.”

“This turbulent tale, while apparently telling of a lesbian relationship, is talking even more about the flight back into the mythic depths of womanhood – the old, pre-Christian, woman-centered community.”

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posted by Ace at 02:32 PM

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