Here's the Columbus Dispatch's breathless huzzah for the National Endownment for the Arts Rocco Landesman bold statement that the arts deserve just as much stimulupork as anything else:
His message: Creative jobs in orchestras, in theaters and behind easels are just as legitimate and worthy of taxpayer support as those in health care, road construction and other professions.
"There are 5.7million full-time arts-related jobs in this country; they're a real constituency," he said while touring a former car dealership transformed into productive space by the Columbus College of Art & Design.
"We're tired of being on the defensive. We're going to be on the offensive."
Let me be the first to say the Landesman has a point: If my taxpayer dollars are going to be flushed down the toilet that is stimulus spending, I'd just as soon see a rotten version of Once Upon a Mattress or Hamlet set in Battlestar Galactica's world as sit in traffic while ARRA funds are used to pave over streets that don't need a new topcoat.
I stand second to none in my interest in literature, music, visual arts, and more. And I stand second to none in suggesting that the arts, like religion, can only be made docile or complicit or craptacular by getting state funding.