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Old 01-15-2009, 11:08 AM
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Ries Ries is offline
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Re: Sec. of Arts petition

Virtually every thread on this forum seems to degenerate into the same argument-

That is, "what I like is GOOD ART, and what I dont like is BAD".

Which is silly.

If there was an absolute standard for beauty, that was universally true, then every man on earth would want ONE woman, because she was the MOST beautiful. (except for those of us who wanted that one most good looking guy)

Of course, this is not true. Just like each of us finds different women attractive, each of us can like Chamber Music, or Heavy Metal, or Mahler's Symphonies, without the other stuff being BAD.

Anyway- most government arts organisations fund ALL kinds of Classical Music, I only used Chamber Music as an example, but Glenn jumped on it- why, I am not sure- maybe he thought my other arguments were sound enough that he had to find something to pick on. The NEA does not fund much Heavy Metal, I am pretty sure- that is a commercial art form (and I certainly believe it IS art) which finds its own funding in the marketplace.

The US government does fund pretty much all types of classical music, though, from Chamber Music, to Symphonies, to Opera, along with other types of less commercial music, including folk, ethnic, jazz, and so on.

And I think that is a good thing.

The commercial marketplace supports itself just fine- I have no problem finding the latest John Legend, or Toby Keith or Lil Wayne song, in fact, I work hard to avoid them.

However, there is a lot art, music, theater, dance, and other arts that are not so commercial. This is the work that the government often helps see the light of day. The strict right wing libertarian viewpoint is that since Classical Music is only something like 1% of the overall market, we should just allow it to die.
After all, if consumers wont spend money on it, it cant be worth anything, right?

Meanwhile, rap music has been number one in sales, radio play, awards one, and popularity for at least ten years now.

Now me, I take the radical viewpoint that the government should support some arts that are not the most popular, and most commercial.
Including, of course, non-commercial musics like classical and jazz, along with non-commercial arts of many types.

Any time a human being is involved, there is an "agenda".
But Government arts funding, far from enforcing an agenda, tends to be a levelling agent, funding a wide range of artworks and performances, that even out any market enforced distortions.
Many things you would never see in a major museum, if they only showed the stuff that sold lots of tickets, is supported by NEA grants- and that includes art that is so wide ranging there is something everyone here likes, and also something everyone here hates.

Which is as it should be.
If a museum isnt showing something you hate, they are doing it wrong.
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