I Prefer to Think of the Stimulus Bill Itself As a Piece of Conceptual Art


Artists demand their share of the loot.

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  1. You will experience d?j? vu.

  2. I saw something like this on Facebook the other day, petitioning for a “secretary of the arts” and some dumbass on there said that “America is catching up with the rest of the world in so many other ways right now, why not this?”

    I am a professional artist (music industry), and I know how dumb my people can be most of the time… but this really goes above and beyond anything I’d ever really imagined.

    The nations that have Ministers of Culture & Art… are… let’s think… China. Cuba… Iran…

    Good role models guys.

    Incidentally I went to Graduate School at New York University and studied music composition under Dinu Ghezzo – who is a pretty famous Romanian composer and who grew up composing when the Romania was controlled by Soviet Russia. He would have a freakin’ fit if he heard about this.

  3. Most of the signatures on the petition are poets. Now, I know I’m crass and uncultured, but I’ve gotta ask: wouldn’t it be totally doable to hold down a full-time job and still have time to write several poems a day?

  4. Well, at this point this petition has about 1700 more signatories. So congress, where’s my Metal Gear Solid 4 bailout?

  5. Mike,

    Writing a poem that people want to read (or will pay to publish) is another matter. But you’re correct that good writing isn’t a matter of funding, it is a matter of discipline and practice.

  6. Mike,

    You fool! That kind of logic could KILL my profession!

    “I don’t tip because society says I have to. All right, if someone deserves a tip, if they really put forth an effort, I’ll give them something a little something extra. But this tipping automatically, it’s for the birds. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just doing their job.”

  7. On a more serious note . . . by what sort of logic are these . . . “artists” gonna earn a bailout? Will they somehow reach the masses? Turn the masses towards a more cultured nation? What is the cost/benefit of this artist bailout? Cuz economics already explains why artists typically don’t earn much.

  8. Sean Malone,

    “The nations that have Ministers of Culture & Art… are… let’s think… China. Cuba… Iran…”

    France, Norway, Brazil, Spain, India, Canada, Denmark…

  9. O
    Reason forgot to
    tell us who the sponsor is
    will Reason
    report on that group’s
    links to the BHO admin?
    will Reason
    look into that, or
    would that against
    cosmo rules?

  10. Arts funding is handled by the Ministry of Truth in Oceania.

    I hate welfare artists but they never get the cash they think they will.
    Usually the arts funding goes to the opera,ballet,symphony,big museum type stuff so their patrons can “stimulate” some other part of the economy.

  11. Chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

  12. You will experience d?j? vu.

  13. SIV,

    You make an excellent point, my friend. Most colleges and universities take about 50% to 60% of all research grants. I would assume something along these lines would occur. It’s funny that people who are the loudest about university funding don’t understand that universities jack up tuition by the mean of the funding increase.

  14. Can we take it to the desert and burn it?

  15. Whoa! I could swear I’ve read your post somewhere . . . in the past . . . maybe . . .

  16. OLS,

    Down here in Georgia we don’t need your flimsy “proof” to know the country is now in the hands of dirty commies.

    We know about commies here. We used to send Larry McDonald to congress, AS A DEMOCRAT, until the soviets blew him and the airliner he was in out of the sky.We

  17. SIV,

    What the fuck was that?

  18. Explanatary link about the late Rep McDonald

    There was hardly ever a Republican further to the right.

  19. I anticipated your question and prepared a timely hyper-link Naga.

  20. OLS was self-linking to something about Leon Panetta being a KGB agent or something.

  21. Yeah, I clicked on a lonewacko link
    I should watch TeeVee or something instead.

  22. SIV,

    Insightful. Though I think you left this out.

  23. Excellent Naga,

    I think most proponents of Austrian economics would find that information edifying.

  24. Feedback would be appreciated! LOL!

  25. By the way, SIV. OLS is to be referred to as Chris from now on. His name being Chris Kelly. I know, I know, “How do you know that Naga?” Someone on Reason figured it out and linked it to a Sullum post. Link.

  26. What happens to the 101st special interest group that knocks on the door asking for 1% of the bailout money.

    I thought “gread” was what got us into this mess. Are these artists not being greedy?

  27. You’d think that they could find just one decent web designer in that mob of artists.

  28. The WPA supported Jackson Pollock

    If there was ever a reason to not put public monies into art, I think we just found it.

    Unintentionally funniest interview question. Evar:

    Susan Stamberg of NPR to Ed Harris on his portrayal of Jackson Pollock: In the movie, you do your own painting and they look amazingly like Jackson Pollock’s, how did you do that?

  29. Paul,

    Are suggesting that Pollock’s style did not include skills as well? Wasn’t he dating/married to that art critic/rich woman? Give the man’s networking skills some props.

  30. as an artist I must say I am totally against this, having gov funded art makes art, by default, turn into propaganda… what artist wants that? There is so much money and residencies out there for people doing cool art and creative things, like Creative Capital and then smaller grants, separate from the NEA… artists that want this bail out are just lazy bums who make crap and don’t innovate… boo on them. I think art making needs to stay competitive because out of these programs comes innovation on occasion (people working in new media) There is no need for a “ministry of culture” to decide what is and isn’t art. People can form their own cooperatives and programs and decide for themselves who to fund, and it means that great stuff will be made, NOT propaganda.

  31. “”The nations that have Ministers of Culture & Art… are… let’s think… China. Cuba… Iran…”

    France, Norway, Brazil, Spain, India, Canada, Denmark…”

    Yes… I’m well aware that other nations have ministries of culture other than the ones I listed. And frankly… I don’t care. At *BEST* this whole idea means tax-payer money goes to supporting nonsense that cannot under ANY circumstances be considered constitutional. At best… it’s a silly waste of money for which there is no need and no value. At *WORST*, however….. we wind up with an amazing abridgment of free speech. My point, with mentioning Romania, Iran, China, etc. was that government deciding what is acceptable art and what isn’t – or even choosing to put forth large sums of tax-payer money into art – will result in exactly what Sarah just said.

  32. Also… Jackson Pollock’s work is completely useless…

    When I was younger, I was at a museum with my father with some abstract paintings, and it spurred this conversation about how the purpose of art in a lot of ways is to provoke some variety of reaction. And on that scale, at the time, the art succeeded in annoying the crap out of me. So, it did pass our agreed upon definition of “art”………… But Pollock provokes nothing in me at all. I look at his work and see mindless, random, sometimes splotchy, meaningless lines that do not invoke even irritation. At best, a Pollock painting gets “Hmm… there’s more color on that wall than there usually is.” or maybe “Someone might want to clean that mess up.”

  33. At best, a Pollock painting gets “Hmm… there’s more color on that wall than there usually is.” or maybe “Someone might want to clean that mess up.”


  34. I was down on abstract expressionism too — until I saw what it looked like animated.

    Of course, Oskar Fischinger didn’t rely on a ministry of culture for support. Indeed, when he lived in Germany, the ministry of culture was a threat to his livelihood. Fortunately, he was able to get support another way: making an ad for a cigarette company.

  35. The WPA supported Jackson Pollock…

    The petition notes this as an achievement?

  36. A modes tproposal…ARTISTEs may have their bailout under the following condition; the signers of the petition must select a signer, and kill him/her on the Mall (such a dramatic piece of performance art don’t you think?) as a symbolic sacrifice to their ART. Thinking of adding a rider that the remaining members must cook & consume said sacrifice to show their solidarity.

  37. Insightful. Though I think you left this out.

    ::Shakes fist in the air:: NAGA!!!!!

    That. was. just. wrong.

  38. capitalist pig

    sees the trees not the forest

    greedy running dog

    Ize a ARTEEEEST! Gimme some money.

  39. Go figure. I never knew I could blame Jackson Pollock on Roosevelt, too. Can’t wait to throw that one around in debate…

  40. JW,

    Hope you weren’t at work when you clicked on it. LoL!

  41. Naga,

    I’m at work. You suck. Fortunately, I don’t currently have speakers hooked up to my computer. 🙂

  42. Sarah Hatton – As an artist I also hate this. You are right about a lot of artists being lazy morons just looking for the next scam. And the artists I know are completely ignorant when it comes to economics.

    That said, I’m consistently disappointed by libertarians’ opinions of contemporary art. You all sound like a bunch of rubes. Do we not like Pollock because his paintings don’t look like something? Is that the purpose of painting, to render something realistically? Didn’t the advent of photography (170 years ago) kind of take care of all that? Should everybody just keep painting like Jacques-Louis David or something? Pollock has his problems, but to suggest his work is worthless because it is abstract is totally ignorant stasist crap. Progress is a wonderful thing. May I suggest you get on board?

  43. Bside,
    Let me look at that Pollock painting again…Nope, still looks like crap. Then again, I’ve never been terribly artsy, so maybe that’s the reason.

  44. LMAO! Damn. I gotta remember those damn rick roll links are land mines just waiting to be stepped on by anyone, not just the intended victim.

  45. Hooray! I’ve been claimed “Threadwinner”…


    Now. Bside… I think I covered your point in my earlier post in the discussion of the purpose of art. You may disagree with my assessment, but I tend to believe art is something purposefully created with the intent of eliciting a response from the viewer/listener/participant/etc. Some art is more masturbatory than others, abstract art – most modern art – tends to be extremely masturbatory. Sometimes it’s cerebral and can be interesting if it’s interesting features get conveyed to someone other than the creator.

    Take Penderecki’s “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima”… The title gives it political and intellectual weight which it originally didn’t have. In it’s creation, Penderecki just conceived of it as an abstract and personally interesting musical experiment, but when it actually got performed, he added the title. In this case – that was enough for the piece to jump from random, odd and often irritating noises (which is still evoking a reaction, albeit extremely general and mostly obnoxious) to poignant, sorrowful and ghastly emotional & historical significance.

    On the other hand… you have something like Jackson Pollock’s “No. 5”

    Number Five… Thanks Jack. Not only does it not have any interesting characteristics intellectually, formally or in technique (is there any technique to random dripping of paint?) – he couldn’t even be bothered to put a title on it that might make anyone think.

    So… Bside. I’m hardly ignorant or even wholly disrespectful of modern art, and I even find a lot of post-modern art to be very worthwhile. Jackson Pollock however, can suck it. And not just because he wasn’t doing photo-realistic paintings.

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