Counterpunch on the NEA

John Halle john.halle at
Mon Jan 24 12:26:10 PST 2000

>From the Jan. 1-15 Counterpunch:

We still like Jesse Ventura's style and applaud his position on the National Endowment for the Arts, namely that it should be abolished. Government funding for the arts inevitably yields bad art. As our friend Steve Kelly, a political organizer and artist, observes: "When you take a federal grant, you're asking to be censured." Ventura says in the second installment of his interview with Playboy, "If you're going to ask the government to subsidize artists, then you might as well subsidize stock car racers, too." This comment illustrates that the governor still has much to learn about the political economy of the US government. Stockcar racing is already heavily backed by federal dollars. Indeed, its three biggest sponsors: big oil, big sugar and big tobacco are among the top recipients of federal largesse.

A rather extraordinary amount of factual inaccuracy and tortured logic compressed into one short paragraph-or so it seems to me. In any case, with friends like these who needs distinguished connoisseurs and supporters of the fine arts like Trent Lott or Jesse Helms.

On the other hand, they do give Marc Cooper the bashing he deserves.

Wow, you just can't trust anyone anymore.



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