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Tag Archives: art

Government Funding the Arts

There was this screeching, shrieking, wailing sound coming from Hollywood and the left recently. No, I’m not talking about Ashley Judd squealing about her noxious, much abused and hammered twat in DC a couple of days ago, or Madonna fantasizing about blowing up the White House (she may have misspoken and meant “blowing,” since there’s not much left for her to do as a dried up whore, who contributed to Queen von Pantsuit’s defeat last November by threatening blowjobs for votes). I’m talking about the collective howl of outrageary at the announcement that 45 is considering ending funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which sucked $148 million from the federal budget last year. While that’s a relatively small slice of the federal funding pie, it’s got to start somewhere.

And yes, I’m thrilled that this is finally a possibility!

The Arts won’t die without federal government support. The Arts thrived before the NEA came into existence in 1965, and they will continue to thrive after funding ends.

dickYou know what won’t thrive? Shitty art. Because if you suck at your art so much that you need the feds to steal money from the taxpayers to prop you up, and essentially FORCE those who wouldn’t normally buy your brain droppings to pay for your assery so you can continue “creating” shit like this, which looks like a dick exploded after a night of banging Ashley Judd’s infected cunt, then maybe you should find another way to make a living.

I should not be obligated to fund your hobby – and I don’t give a fetid fuck whether a dime, or a penny, or even a percentage of the penny I earned goes to fund your entertainment. That penny doesn’t belong to you. Go fellate a rabid platypus; you don’t need my earnings to fuel your creative juices. Go to work, like everyone else, and make something people want to pay for.

Art, cinema, music, theater… all those things will exist without taxpayer funding. Even non-profit theater companies make… uh… profits. The Met made some pretty good scratch last year, despite falling ticket sales. Why? Because they’re good, and apparently people want to attend the operas and other events there and are willing to pay for them.

As my friend Larry Correia said recently in a post that inspired this rant…

If you get good enough that your art actually moves people, then you’ll be able to sell it. If you get to where people actually really like it, you can even make a living at it (like me).

Until then, nobody owes you shit. Tax payers don’t owe you shit. I don’t owe you shit. It only took ten cents from my taxes? So what? That’s ten cents that could have went for something better than propping up your no-talent ass.

Here’s the thing. If the government funds something, it also has the right to control it. On a more micro level, if I give you money, I expect you to create what I want/find appealing, or I will withdraw my funding.

But if the government funds your art, and I find your used tampon glued to a black canvas, or that booger you picked and framed disgusting, I don’t have the right to withdraw funding from your bumbling ass, because I have no say in how the government spends my money.

At the same time, if some politicians decide you should be painting nothing but nativity scenes, they have the right to direct you to do that, because it’s public money you’re using to fund your creations. So just you wait when those eeeevil Christian theocrats take over!

turdIs that what you want? I doubt it. Withdrawing public funding from the arts protects it from unreasonable government government demands.

And frankly it protects my hard-earned dollars from being used to fund heinous fuckery like this turd. If I want to see shit, I’ll gaze inside my toilet bowl before flushing. I certainly don’t need to be paying for an artist’s rendition of last night’s digested pork chop and taters.

Let’s get it straight, Cupcake. You. Don’t. Have. The. Right. To. My. Earnings.

You have the right to excrete whatever hideous, boring, uninspired, churlish, plebeian pablum you want, from any orifice that strikes you. My only obligation should be that of non-interference. If the ass drippings you preserved on a canvas gain an audience who likes and appreciates such leavings, you will make money, because they will be willing to pay for it.

Art is a skill. Work to develop it. Work to improve it. Work to provide your audience with music, literature, paintings, cinema, and theater that touches them, makes them think, entertains them, and stimulates their senses.

Art is a product. Work to develop a product your customers will truly want, admire, appreciate, and be willing to shell out money for, and you won’t need government funding.

So don’t stick out your grubby paw and demand the rest of us fund your dream of becoming an “artist.” If you need that, chances are you suck anyway.

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Update on that painting

pictureJust a quick update, because I’ve been busy, and haven’t had the chance to catch up.

That painting – you know, the one Duncan Hunter removed because his tender labia got chafed at the controversial subject matter – was removed, because it apparently violated the rules of the contest it was judged to have won.

All the drama and the tug-of-war to garner the attention of the media was just so much bullshit.

“The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of students in every corner of our country — and visitors from around the world see their talents on display when they walk through the halls of our Capitol,” Reichert said in a statement. “However, with any competition there are rules, and these rules exist for a reason. This painting hung in clear defiance to those rules and was a slap in the face to the countless men and women who put their lives on the line everyday on behalf of our safety and freedom.”

Ryan told the congressman that the Architect of the Capitol made the determination, Reichert’s office said.

The rules of the art competition state: “Exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed,” according to the statement from Reichert.

There was some controversy on this very blog about whether Hunter behaved vaguely Reich-like when he removed the painting, because it was offensive. I agree the painting was repugnant, but as our guest writer Dave Hardin wrote, “The wall on which that picture hangs does not belong to Hunter, and neither did the picture. That wall belongs to us – all of us – and that picture belongs to a 17 year old high school student. That wall and what hangs on it is protected by Marines who served this nation long before Duncan Hunter could read or write.”

Hunter had no right to remove the winner of an art competition from the public walls, no matter how offensive he found it.

But it appears his drama was unnecessary anyway. All he had to do was ask the Architect of the Capitol to examine rules of the contest, and make a determination about whether the painting legitimately won.

It hadn’t.

But instead, Hunter decided to use his government authority to remove something he found offensive from a public venue.

Survey says: DOUCHE!

Dear HAG – Eat a Bag of Dicks

The Halt Action Group (HAG) – no, they really do call themselves that – has decided that the best way to voice their concerns about President-elect Donald Trump is by harassing his daughter Ivanka.

To that end, the Halt Action Group (HAG), founded by Gingeras, Powers, artist Jonathan Horowitz, and several others, initiated a campaign called “Dear Ivanka.” The group has an Instagram feed in which they repost glossy stock images of Trump along with earnest appeals about what they foresee as the dire consequences of her father’s politics—topics addressed include global warming, universal health care, and contraception policy. Hoping to “thwart the normalization of what was unfolding in front of our eyes,” Gingeras said, the group, comprised of artists, dealers, psychoanalysts, and even a few collectors, reached out to the artists featured in Trump’s Instagram feed. They asked the artists to join them and ask Ivanka “to answer for some of the hypocrisy she embodies,” Gingeras said.

Earnest appeals? Right.

More like hysterical whining and teeth-gnashing not rooted in any reality.

Let’s start with the fact that Ivanka is a successful businesswoman, who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase art and promote artists, who may or may not have had as much success with their work without her.  Let’s also point out that Ivanka Trump is not her father, and his “policies” have yet to be implemented, because…

HE’S NOT FUCKING PRESIDENT YET, YOU GUM-FLAPPING, WHINING SNOT GOBBLERS!

“Racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia are not acceptable anywhere—least of all in the White House,” the HAGs write.

Well, that’s fortunate since Ivanka is an orthodox Jew, and her father bucked the general GOP trend of trying to legislate bathroom morality – even before he won the nomination – by publicly declaring that transgender people should use whatever bathroom they felt was appropriate.

All these facts, of course, haven’t stopped snobby, self-important, elitist assclowns from harassing Ivanka Trump and, in one case, even demanding that she remove art she has purchased – her own property – from her home!

trumpIvanka Trump has posed for pictures in front of her art collection, including a painting by Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte, who recently Tweeted at her “Dear @Ivankatrump please get my work off of your walls. I am embarrassed to be seen with you.”

Really, asshole?

First of all, it’s her fucking property, for which she paid quite a bit. If she wants to wipe your painting with her kid’s shitty diaper, she’s within her right to do so. If she wants to hang a tacky, red “Make America Great Again” hat from a nail hammered right into the middle of your work that my cat could have painted by dipping his tail into some watercolors, she could. Because it’s HERS, you sniveling fuck goblin! You want to cough up the auction value of this trash you painted and buy it back from her? I’m sure she’d be thrilled, as she’s paid quite a bit of money for the art collection she displays in her home, and the artists she graciously promotes by doing so have benefited both financially and in terms of publicity.

In one post, Trump shimmies in front of a Dan Colen “chewing gum” painting; a comparable work sold for $578,500 at Phillips New York in 2012. In another post, Trump’s child plays the piano in front of a “bullet hole” silkscreen by Nate Lowman; a bullet-hole painting in the same palette sold for $665,000 in 2013 at Sotheby’s in New York. In yet another post, taken from a Harper’s Bazaar shoot, Trump poses at her dining table in front of a work by Alex Israel. A similar painting by Israel sold for $581,000 in 2014 at Phillips New York.

The hypocrisy is incredible! They were more than happy to take her money when she was just a businesswoman and the daughter of a real estate mogul who helped promote their work on the world stage. But now, because it’s en vogue in their snotty, quasi-intellectual circle jerks to hate Trump, they’re condemning her for nothing more than being the daughter of a President-elect whom they did not support!

cardIt’s not just the supercilious hypocrisy that bothers me here, but also the promotion of frothing histrionics by HAG, who staged a protest outside Ivanka’s home on in late November.

For the record, Ivanka Trump has nothing to do with their irrational fear of Mike Pence and his alleged “homophobia,” which has amply been addressed, had anyone bothered doing a shred of research. For the record, no he didn’t try to divert public money for “conversion therapy.”

For the record, Ivanka Trump has done plenty to help people who “don’t look like” her, you blithering ignorami! Some of the charities she supports are Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Life, the Children’s Aid Society, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Walkabout Foundation. And in 2010, Ivanka designed and sold a bracelet specifically to benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which “aims to raise money and awareness to educate and propel adolescent girls in need to the next generation of leadership.”

In addition to the protest, the group collected cards from people explaining why they are concerned about the president-elect.

‘I am a Muslim-American immigrant and I don’t feel safe,’ one card read.

‘You’re scaring the hell out of women,’ another said.

So she’s scaring the hell out of women by helping promote and educate them?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing that a woman can rise up and become a business powerhouse in her own right, outside of daddy’s sphere of influence?

She’s scaring the hell out of women by showing them what they are capable of with some creativity and ingenuity?

I guess it makes sense given the kind of pseudo-feminist toads who are engaging in this campaign of intimidation against her.

Success would require hard work, talent, creativity, and strength. These alleged “feminists” don’t exhibit any of those traits, and they’re too lazy to develop them. Instead, they wallow in their inadequacies and demand the world worship their flaws, rather than their ability to overcome them – as if their warts should be a claim check to others’ means merely by “virtue” of their ugliness, and as if their sores somehow make them more righteous. It’s certainly easier than working to evolve and mature as human beings or nurture nascent talents!

Maybe these pompous, overbearing ass bags should look in the mirror and really examine who is “scaring the hell out of women.” Is it the successful businesswoman, who uses her wealth and creativity to help others, including up-and-coming artists, the poor, and women worldwide…

…or the pompous, overbearing ass bags themselves, who are fomenting hysteria, spreading misinformation, and targeting the family of a President-elect they don’t like – something they vehemently opposed and screeched about when Democrat presidents were in office – merely because they’re related?

But that would require some self awareness and objectivity. I doubt they’re capable of either.

Inspiration

I’m on the couch this morning with a smooth cup of coffee, a large Saint Bernard at my feet, and a ginger kitten running around the apartment like he’s just ingested some jet fuel and is now burning it at Mach 6.

I’m at peace.

I turn on the television, just for some background noise to break the silence, and I immediately hear the grating voice of the Hairy Hemorrhoid™ barfing his latest promised diktat to an enthralled horde of reporters. I change the channel quickly.

The movie playing on some premium channel is “Paper Planes,” and Australian (I think) flick about a children’s competition to make the best paper airplane.

Typical. Nothing extraordinary about it.

I’ve missed the majority of the movie. I tune in just as a small boy on the screen is watching the creation he made of green construction paper fly into the hands of his father (who may or may not have been missing throughout the entire movie – I don’t know). And something about the look on his face – a look of love and relief (maybe?) and hero worship – something, coupled with the crashing sounds of the background music crescendoing took my breath away a little.

And that’s when I picked up my silly iPhone and began writing.

Inspiration. It could come from the strangest sources. The most unexpected sound, picture, person, or a moment in time could become a muse, awakening that flash of creativity, or love, or motivation.


Have you ever heard a piece of music that seemed to hit you directly in the heart – and hit you so hard, your breath literally caught in your chest, and once you began breathing again, you realized there were tears running down your face and your arms were spread, almost as if you were trying to meet the crashing wave of sound with your entire body?

I’ve had quite a few of those moments – especially when I was involved in musical theater and choir. I would hear a piece of music, see a photograph, read a book or a poem, and all of a sudden my own voice seemed to sound clearer and more powerful, my body would move more fluidly, and the words seemed to pour out almost without any effort at all!

It never really was that easy, but something hit that motivation button and gave me the heart and the desire to match, and surpass, that energy.

So what is it that brings tears to my eyes each and every time? What is it that takes my breath away and awakens my spirit?

In Russian, the word to describe inspiration is вдохновение. Literally it describes the act of inhaling, of taking that creative spirit into you, uplifting, becoming lighter than air that compels you to conceive that beauty that is within you.

I like the Russian word a lot. It describes precisely the spirit that inspires us to greatness. My list is eclectic.

Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

“Lacrymosa” from Mozart’s Requiem.

Snow.

“Seasons of Love” from Rent.

Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” sketch. I also love the fact that Da Vinci wrote in mirror image. I’ve done that since I was 12.

Venice. The canals at sunset.

Mountains.

Fall colors.

Military basic training graduations.

The movie “White Nights,” and watching old videos of Mikhail Baryshnikov dance.

Gershwin.

Dark coffee.

Steel and glass skyscrapers.

Billy Joel’s “Rootbeer Rag.”

Macbeth.

The Saint Crispin’s speech from “Henry V.”

Idina Menzel’s voice.

Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor.

My kids.

This is by far not a comprehensive list. Anything can inspire me at any time to be better, to work harder, to be more.

What about you? What inspires you?

I’m afraid I agree with Camille Paglia

I’m one of those people, who likes all types of music. My iTunes account contains everything from Mendelssohn’s Elijah to Sonny Landreth‘s smooth, bluesy slide guitar, to Broadway tunes to Snoop Dogg’s 1993 Doggystyle. Yes, I’m random and eclectic. I like everything, including Country, rap, Broadway, metal, and classical. I have everything from Glee soundtracks to Rock of Ages.

You know what I don’t have? I don’t have a single Lady Gaga song.

From the very beginning, when she burst on to the scene, I was sort of repulsed by her. When you’re forced to pay more attention to the weirdness than to the voice, the lyrics and the music, you know there’s something wrong. From the weird performance-artsy attempts to be overly original, to the stupid looking, unflattering outfits meant to do little more than generate talk, the one thing I paid no attention to was her music.

You know, when someone looks like this, it’s tough to think about anything other than the spectacle.

reg_600.gaga.ls.11413

Music? What music?

That’s why Camille Paglia’s latest column in the Sunday Times resonated with me.

Paglia feels, as I do, that Gaga’s continuous attempts to outweird herself are tedious. Not only that, but she sees past at what the uptight culture snobs turn their noses to show Eminem as imaginative and much more profound and creative than nearly any performer working today.

With amazing candor and clarity, Eminem has shown the full spectrum of male emotions on his albums, from a cooing tenderness toward children to ranting arias of betrayal and revenge. We see in him the agonizing ambivalence that is one of the principal engines of obsessive art-making from Michelangelo to Picasso…

Gaga with her constant costume tat fatigues the eye. Eminem in his simple hoodie looks like an ascetic monk, fed on apparitions and devoted to art.

I agree. Most people I know label Eminem misogynistic, disgusting, thuggish, classless and crude, but he’s so much more than that! Eminem is satire and a condemnation of everything hypocritical and snobbish in society. His prose is real and raw and yeah, sometimes it’s offensive, but it’s also profound and poetic. There’s nothing pretty about Eminem’s rap. I remember listening to the lyrics of “Stan” – a song he performed with Dido – so miserable and psychotic, as he raps through the mind of a stalker who fixates on Slim Shady (Eminem’s alter ego) and thinking, “This guy is a poet. He’s not a rapper, he’s a poet.”

Dear Slim, you still ain’t called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain’t mad – I just think it’s FUCKED UP you don’t answer fans
If you didn’t wanna talk to me outside your concert
you didn’t have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That’s my little brother man, he’s only six years old
We waited in the blistering cold for you,
four hours and you just said, “No.”
That’s pretty shitty man – you’re like his fucking idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do

Dido’s haunting music and refrain added to the melancholy of this song, and I could actually see the rain pounding against the windows as Slim Shady’s demented fan gets gradually more unhinged. The last refrain is a reply from Slim Shady, advising “Stan” to get some counseling, apologizing for not writing sooner, and expressing his hope that “Stan” doesn’t turn out like a recent news report.

“I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge
and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid
and in the car they found a tape, but they didn’t say who it was to
Come to think about it, his name was.. it was you
Damn!

When I compare this to Lady Gaga’s rambling that could have well been written on some kind of hallucinogen, I understand why she has to rely on her absurd appearance and desperate histrionics, I understand why Camille Paglia says Eminem is one of the most creative artists out there.

A hybrid can withstand these things
My heart can beat with bricks and strings
My artpop could mean anything

Could try to sell you out or I
Could show you all the reasons why
my artpop could mean anything

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy to see why Eminem doesn’t have to rely on weirdness and extravagant spectacle to get his message across. It’s painful, sometimes enraged, sometimes loving, sometimes caustic and sarcastic, but always creative. His appearance is severe – no odd costumes, no weirdness, nothing to detract from the ingenuity of his message.

It’s the obvious love Eminem has for his daughter…

Hailie, I know you miss your mom, and I know you miss your dad
When I’m gone but I’m trying to give you the life that I never had
I can see you’re sad, even when you smile, even when you laugh
I can see it in your eyes, deep inside you want to cry

versus…

Boy, we’ve had a real’ good time
And I wish you the best on your way
Eh eh
I didn’t mean to hurt you
I never thought we’d fall out of place
Eh eh, hey ey

It’s anger with the Iraq war…

Let me be the voice in your strength and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply by six…
Teen million people, Are equal at this high pitch
Maybe we can reach alqueda through my speech
Let the president answer a higher anarchy
Strap him with an Ak-47, let him go, fight his own war
Let him impress daddy that way

versus…

I’m the one who’s been coming around looking to loving you
You’re the medicine,
I need to heal the way you make me feel

I’m gon’ be manicured
You wanna be manicured
Ma ma ma manicure
She wanna be manicured

Is it really difficult to see why Eminem breaks all barriers, destroys all stereotypes and shows rap as everything from searing social commentary to catharsis – a cleansing of deep-rooted pain – in a very public forum to biting commentary about our society? You don’t have to agree with his politics or his views on society, but they’re creative and clear, saucy and sardonic, honest and hilarious!

Sometimes, I wanna get on TV and just let loose, but can’t
But it’s cool for Tom Green to hump a dead moose
“My bum is on your lips, my bum is on your lips”
And if I’m lucky, you might just give it a little kiss
And that’s the message that we deliver to little kids
And expect them not to know what a woman’s clitoris is
Of course they gonna know what intercourse is
By the time they hit fourth grade
They got the Discovery Channel, don’t they?

Meanwhile, Gaga’s sneering, arrogant, vapid lyrics and pounding electronic music invite you to lose yourself in nonsense and pretend there’s something profound in her exaggerated extravagance, and if you don’t get it, you must be too shallow to understand her pretentious message!

Meh, no thanks.

I may not agree with Eminem’s politics, but I’m intelligent enough to appreciate his talent for prose.

And while Gaga peddles mediocrity under the guise of pretentious profoundness that you must be too plebeian to understand, Eminem simply puts all of himself out there, and for better or for worse, I appreciate the honesty.

UPDATE: My sweet friend just posted this video on Facebook for me! Weird Al Yankovic hits another one out of the park, and reminds us that Gaga is about as original as the latest RoboCop reboot.

Yeah, it’s been done before. By Bowie. By Madonna. Even by Britney Spears. Wearing a meat dress adds a measure of Ick! to a sad, hackneyed routine.

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