Actor Alec Baldwin is lobbying Congress to take more of my tax money and give it to the National Endowment for the Arts.
Didn't this gator-mouthed, gecko-butted jackass promise to take his pookie bear and his security blanket and go to some other country a while ago back?
Sweet jumping Vishnu, you just can't count on some people to follow through.
Anyhoo, I'm ambivalent about this whole NEA thing. I understand the desire to fund arts, despite the fact that the arts did just fine prior to the formation of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965.
What I don't understand is why Mr. Basinger -- sorry, Mr. Baldwin -- feels that it's perfectly okay to pilfer my paycheck for the funding.
Alec, you git, trust me, I fund the art I like. So does everyone else. Turn loose of my money, and let me get about funding more of it.
And I'm fuzzy on why Congress thinks they ought to have a say in the whole art thing, the Constitution of the United States being a bit lacking when it comes to mentioning art.
Not only this, but the very idea of a Government Agency funding art is disturbing on a fundamental level. In order to fund art, you must first decide what is, or isn't, art. You must, in a word, define art.
Does anyone really think it's a good idea to let the Federal Government define what art is?
So, here is one of those radical ideas of mine: It's my money. I sweated, and toiled, and occasionally bled for it. I would think that I should have a say in what art the money I bled for should support.
Something that damned sure isn't happening right now, I can tell you.
Yet, here is Mr. Baldwin who apparently believes (or wants everyone else to believe) that without Congress stealing a significant portion of my hard-earned dosh to fund an agency created in 1965, art will just dry up and blow away.
Folks, art has been around longer than politicians. In some cases the only traces we have of early people is their art. Art has survived the extinction of the Neandertals. The Pharaohs are dust, the Roman Empire is a memory, and yet art survives. Dark ages, Renaissance, Industrial Age, the basic human desire to create art has survived them all.
12,000 years ago, a caveman who spent his day dodging cave bears, dire wolves, sabre-toothed cats and mutant giant sloths with anger management issues, managed to paint beautiful pictures of local wildlife on cave walls.
I seriously doubt that lack of a NEA grant affected his artistic endeavours.
Nor, I suspect, did lack of NEA funding adversely affect Twain, Thoreau, Poe, O'Keeffe or the countless others who used art to express themselves in America for decades (if not centuries) before the NEA stumbled onto the scene.
If the NEA is that good of an idea, it'll do fine on it's own. Cut it loose from the Gummint teat, and let it sink or swim in the private arena.
Let folks keep their cash, and use it to fund -- or not -- the art(s) of their choice.