Art

Meet Libertarian Artists

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From Sunday's New York Times' profile of art-throbs Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, a.k.a. "The Art World's Ruling Couple":

"We're famous for supposedly being crazy right-wing Republicans," Ms. Feinstein said. "I've had fights with people at art openings about it. I once had an art critic say to me, 'If you get your way, it will become like "The Road" ' — that Cormac McCarthy book! I just think that in no society should there be one ruling party. And in New York, there's way too much of the Democrats — we've got to have a little bit of something else."

On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being full-blown right-winger and 10 being full-tilt left-winger, they put themselves more or less in the middle, both of them espousing an essentially libertarian agenda. And both are quick to wonder why it's a given that an artist should have liberal leanings when, if making art is a consummately individual expression, a libertarian bent seems a natural choice.

"What we're talking about is this idea that artists are supposed to be critical of the capitalist art world and the free-market art world — that there is supposed to be some underlying shame in that. It used to be a lot worse, but these days, everyone is co-opted."

Can you imagine? Wealthy, successful artists who "defy others' expectations of how artists should look and live." More power to them.

And how does the Times respond to the couple's pronouncement—pretty clear—of being libertarian? In the next paragraph, the writer writes, "Because of their conservative stance, it's easy to think of the couple a bit old-fashioned" (emphasis added). Got that?

Read more here.

The supposed irremediable opposition between capitalism and art is, needless to say, one of the biggest crocks of shit ever sold; luckily about the only people who buy it are critics and artists who tend to become less interesting over time. I don't subscribe to Wallace Stevens' pronouncement that there's a difference between appreciating art and owning it (and he was a huge collector), but the neo-Romantic posture that art and capitalism are mortal enemies is just stupid (and, interestingly, at odds with the classical liberal leanings of Romantics such as Shelley).

For more Reason coverage of how commerce and culture are often the best of buds, go here.

NEXT: This Week in Free Speech

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  1. It’s Feinstein, not Feinsein.

    1. Franken-steen?

      1. In other news, a $1.5 million dog.

        1. At least he’s cute. Alot of the rarer breeds are incredibly ugly.

          1. For much less, Sony will offer a robotic facsimile that can also pee on your expensive carpet in the same way as the original version…

            1. THEY TALK ABOUT ME LIKE A DOG!…oh wait, you said carpet, not shoes. Sorry. BTW, it’s gonna rain some more today.

        2. I wouldn’t consider selling my sweet Heather dog for ten times that amount.

  2. Doused as I am in hyper-liberal academia and with a liberal-arts background myself, I find that the leftism of the artist is merely an honest summation of their talent and its worth. Maybe the only honest self-evaluation that most of them will ever engage in.

    Monetary success in art, or fiction/playwriting/screenwriting has about the same odds as becoming a professional athlete or becoming a rock star. It takes a combination of talent, force of will, and a little blind luck on occasion to really accomplish it. And the low odds means that 95% percent of art students will never amount to anything and will be incredibly lucky to find any sort of job with even a tenuous relationship to creativity or skill.

    If they want to keep doing their art–following their passion–they know that someone will have to support them. It might as well be the state after their parents finally cut them off.

    1. Being a starving artist is easier now than ever before.

      1. Especially when libertarians have no qualms about stealing your work.

        1. Re: Anonymous,

          Especially when libertarians have no qualms about stealing your work.

          Stealing what work?

          1. For the No-Name Bandit, the insult doesn’t have to make sense for it to count.

            Damn Libertarians!

        2. Did somebody steal some of their paintings?

    2. Re: Sugarfree,

      Monetary success in art, or fiction/playwriting/screenwriting has about the same odds as becoming a professional athlete or becoming a rock star. It takes a combination of talent, force of will, and a little blind luck on occasion to really accomplish it.

      Which explains why mediocre artists want the government to seize by force someone else’s money (in Tony-ese, “taxing them”) and give it to them to subsidize their “vanguardist” (i.e. ugly) work…

    3. This is completely untrue with regards to actual art schools. I went to Otis Parsons and almost everyone I know that went there has a creative job or is successful as a fine artist. Now for the people that can’t hack it at art school and go to university for fine art or something this could be true.

      1. A sizable majority of people with art degrees didn’t go to an art school. That’s like saying “The job market is great if you have an MBA from Yale.”

        1. fair enough but I think the Univ. art degree should be referred to as an MrS degree. lol

          1. Yup. Spot-on.

            I asked one of my students why he was going to art school… he said “So I can take naked photographs of the girls in the art program.” I seriously love that kid. I’m going to die a little inside if he ever gets around to graduating…

            1. Yup. I had 2 friends in high school, one a photographer and the other a painter. They both were able to get this hot-as-balls girl we were all lusting after to pose nude for them.

              Bastards.

            2. I asked one of my students why he was going to art school… he said “So I can take naked photographs of the girls in the art program.”

              World, meet the first honest art student.

    4. And the low odds means that 95% percent of art students will never amount to anything and will be incredibly lucky to find any sort of job with even a tenuous relationship to creativity or skill.

      A lot of (successful) artists didn’t go to art school.

      1. i don’t know if its “a lot” more like some

  3. It seems that posing as a liberal is a big part of the business of art.

    1. This^^

      John Waters film Pecker is a great look at how the art world works.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126604/

  4. Man, The Jacket has some balls. Those glasses look a little like those worn by Matt Welch in the recent present.

  5. To The New York Times, I would imagine being a libertarian makes you a fascist wingnut.

    1. FoE-

      My left wing friends have a very difficult time with libertarian political thought. The usually think in a left/right dichotomy, and the best they can do with libertarian thought is that it is “selfish” or anarchy.

      1. Lefties tend to feel that if something exists that there must by some rules established by government.
        The idea that rules can exist without government force to back them up simply does not compute.
        The concept of limited government doesn’t make sense. It’s all or nothing.
        Therefor libertarians must be anarchists.

      2. Oh, and libertarians are most definitely greedy and “selfish”.
        How dare they want to keep their own property?

        Lefties are so much more noble than libertarians because they are always willing to “share” (as long as what they are “sharing” belongs to someone else).

        1. I like to take whatever they are holding out of their hand, say a drink, and pour 1/3 of it out, drink another third, and then give them back the rest. When they look at me shocked I explain that 1/3 was wasted by the government, 1/3 was used to provide for someone else (me) and they are fortunate to keep the rest. If that doesn’t educate them about property rights, taxation, government force, and morality then at least I took 2/3 of their drink. Fuck them.

          1. I’m partial to SugarFree’s backpack example.

        2. libertarians are most definitely greedy and “selfish”. How dare they want to keep their own property?

          But they don’t. They believe that the product of an artist’s mind (be it a novel, a song, a painting) is not his to begin with, that he has no exclusive right to profit from it, that anyone who can use it without paying for it is morally justified in doing so. It’s hilarious when “libertarians” attempt to defend property rights while simultaneously arguing against the concept.

          1. Depends. Not all liberarians are against intellectual property rights.

              1. Fair enough. Amended to indicate the anarchists here who call themselves “libertarians.”

          2. I think the argument comes in between physical property and intellectual property. And not all libertarians (at least not everyone here) disagree with intellectual property rights.

          3. Um, you have free and exclusive access to whatever idea you want. However, once you “share” that idea, you have given up your rights to it. It would be like carving out a boat from a piece of driftwood and then putting it back into the ocean. Once it’s gone, you can tell everyone that you made it, but you no longer have sole rights to it.

            But if you keep the boat it’s yours. Same thing with a painting. You can own the canvass, but once you share the picture with someone, they can copy it as best they can. It would be ridiculous to think that IPR’s would extend that far.

            However, for simple utility’s sake, I think most libertarians are willing to compromise as long as the time limits or restrictions are not too unrealistic.

            1. But we should keep in mind the fact that it is possible to make contracts along the lines of, ‘I’ll only show you my painting if you agree not to copy it.’ If we’re talking about music, say, there is a contract stating that the buyer cannot put the music on the internet. If they do, they’re in violation of that contract. However, this says nothing about the person who downloads the music – they have done nothing wrong.

          4. Libertarians are for copyright laws.

            Anarchists and communitarians are not.

            1. Re: Mongo,

              Libertarians are for copyright laws.

              False.

              http://www.artsjournal.com/fly…..t_and.html

              http://libertarianalliance.wor…..-property/

              IP law is the invention of government, it has NOTHING to do with property rights but with creating government-sanctioned monopolies.

              Ideas cannot be property, because they are NON-rivalrous and non-excluding. YOU would be NO LESS wealthy if you and I possessed each a copy of a book.

              1. Yeah, you should have said “some” libertarians.

                IPR’s are much different than “natural” property rights. It does get muddy, but I see limited reasons why they are useful. Some libertarians would get rid of them entirely, but personally, I don’t think that’s a wise approach. I think Adam Smith and Jefferson had it about right. Basically, “Yeah, they suck, and we know they’re not natural rights, but the alternative could be much worse. Best we just limit them to short periods of time to ensure the idea-makers can still reap a profit.”

                1. What Mike in PA said.

                  Unfortunately, they’ve become another vessel for rent seeking blood suckers.

              2. Those are long articles in those links, Ol’ Mex. I’ll check ’em out later…

                Mike in PA comes closer to my views (so far).

              3. False.

                Yeah. True Scotsmen oppose copyright laws.

              4. “IP law is the invention of government”

                The government does not “grant” a patent or copyright, in the sense of a gift, privilege, or favor; the government merely secures it?i.e., the government certifies the origination of an idea and protects its owner’s exclusive right of use and disposal.
                -Ayn Rand, “Patents and Copyrights,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

                “Ideas cannot be property”

                An idea as such cannot be protected until it has been given a material form. An invention has to be embodied in a physical model before it can be patented; a story has to be written or printed. But what the patent or copyright protects is not the physical object as such, but the idea which it embodies. By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that that value is created by the originator of the idea and may not be used without his consent; thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought into existence.
                Ibid.

              5. “YOU would be NO LESS wealthy if you and I possessed each a copy of a book.”

                I as an author would be less wealthy if YOU bought (or stole) one of my books (because you valued it) then made 10 copies for your friends (who also valued it) who were too cheap or unscrupulous or unprincipled (e.g. “libertarians”) to buy it.

                1. But what right did you have to those 10 would-be sales? Are we supposed to defend your hypothetical profit?

      3. I think I’ve figured it out. Liberals think that they are the enlightened people who have discovered the Truth, and that conservatives are the poor, unenlightened people who have been forced into believing falsehoods by their dumb hick backgrounds. Libertarians confuse them, since they clearly are at least partially enlightened, but are not liberals. In their minds, anyone who has achieved enlightenment yet is not an economic liberal (in the US sense of the word) must be motivated by greed and selfishness, as opposed to an entirely selfless liberal, or a conservative who has been tricked into believing such fabrications.

        1. There’s a word for that: Heretic.

        2. It’s the one-drop rule why they hate us so.

      4. Re: Polynikes,

        and the best they can do with libertarian thought is that it is “selfish” or anarchy.

        But… it IS selfish and anarchic. You have to reply with “Yes, so, what’s wrong with that?”

        “Well, you shouldn’t be selfish!”
        “Why not?”
        “Because it’s not being good!”
        “Being selfish is not being good? How does that work?”
        “Well, you have to share!”
        “Really” To whom?”
        “Those that have less!”
        “And those that have less than I, to whom do they have to share? Someone that has even LESS? And then what?”
        “No, no, no, only to a certain level!”
        “Oh, I see! So, once you reach a certain ‘level’ of ownership, you suddenly are NOT selfish! All I have to do is become the lesser of man and I will suddenly NOT be selfish no matter what! Is that it?”
        “Well, it sounds stupid when you say it like that…”

        1. I don’t see it as all that selfish. I want everyone else to be able to keep their stuff too. If selfishness were the primary motivator, I wouldn’t have a problem with using force to get more for myself. There is nothing illibertarian about giving away some or all of your material possessions and there is nothing inherent in libertarianism that is selfish. That is up to the individual.

    2. It’s something in the water. After three years up there, my college friends started yelling at me about Fred Phelps at a bar. WTF?

      1. And even given that, most anti-gay conservatives still think Phelps is a steaming sack of shit. The only people defending Phelps’ free speech rights are…libertarians.

        Oh wait.

        1. What do you mean “Oh, wait?” Aren’t we defending his free speech rights while hating what he says and how he chooses to say it? He’s scum of the earth and has every right to be. I’m more surprised SCOTUS agreed with us than anything.

          1. SCOTUS almost invariably rules on the side of free speech. No surprise at all.

          2. He’s scum of the earth and has every right to be.

            Well said.

            Even though it offends me. 😉

        2. I was also yelled at for Bush, the Iraq War and told that all farms are own by corporations.

      2. “Fred Phelps and a homosexual walk into a bar…”

        Something like that?

        1. And when I told them that a truly zero-emission vehicle was impossible, they thought “hang glider” was a witty retort. I told them to try and take a hang-glider to work Monday.

          1. You need new friends.

            1. I blame NPR and this Red Diaper Baby one of them was dating. He’s dating a lovely young woman now, and the whole group is recovering.

          2. What about a bicycle?

            1. You produce CO2 just by breathing. If you are exerting yourself to ride a bike, you are creating excess CO2. Even shoes are a CO2 emitting “vehicle.” You are going to exert yourself more sitting at home than walking to work.

              I know it’s not all the same, I was just enjoying winding them up. I was riffing on the corrosive skeptic/nihilist “no action is logically necessary” argument.

              My friends are really not stupid, but they never really learned how to argue.

            2. 🙂

      3. Fred Phelps hosted an Al Gore fund raising party. Search for “Fred Phelps Gore”

  6. You don’t even go back as far as Shelley. E. E. Cummings was also a classical liberal, who, I guess, could be considered the last of the Romantics.

    1. That’s lower case, you hayseed.

  7. Liberals are as predisposed to groupthink as conservatives or any other member of an ideology with schlerotic intellectual reflexes. This is how you retain your street cred with the community. Thinking outside the box isn’t tolerated – and hence you will be labeled with that which the group despises the most.

    The quote highlighted “Because of their conservative stance, it’s easy to think of the couple a bit old-fashioned” reveals the writer to be just such a liberal and unable to think outside his/her own sphere of comfort.

  8. I can understand how capitalism and art could be enemies.
    Capitalism is about creating value. You create value, someone else creates value, you trade value for value and now you both are richer for it.
    Art, by definition, has no purpose.
    So where is the value?

    1. You don’t think music has value? It might not be easy to quantify, but if someone makes good music I’m willing to spend $15 to listen to it.

      The obvious difference being that there are a TON of people who produce shitty art, and shitty art has no value to someone other than the artist.

      1. Which is why NPR exists, to play shitty music and interview people nobody wants to hear from.

        1. Yeah, that Beethoven fellow was one shitty musician.

          1. Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!

            1. They make a cream for that.

      2. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but it sure seems as if the shitty are the ones raking in the most money.

    2. setting aside the millions (billions?) spent on decor each year for a second, value is obviously in the eye of the beholder.

      someone, after all, keeps buying rush albums. though i see no value in such dark arts, to presume it has no purpose or value is as silly as presuming any good or service i don’t partake in or agree with has no value.

      1. someone, after all, keeps buying rush albums

        You, like the staff of Rolling Stone, have no taste.

      2. Ironically, an artist I know is a HUGE Rush fan.

        (Although even he will admit Roll the Bones sucked.)

      3. someone, after all, keeps buying rush albums
        I betcha he has a neckbeard, lives in his parents’ basement, and has an awesome wizard airbrushed on the side of his van.

        1. i’m sure the venn diagram of rush fan and neckbeard is pretty dang close to 1:1.

          i kid, somewhat. some of my best friends are rush fans. and i forgive them.

          You, like the staff of Rolling Stone, have no taste.

          i agree the staff of rolling stone has no taste. i, on the other hand, have been described as light and airy, with a hint of rosemary.

    3. Value in this sense might be better described as utility.

      1. Good point.

      2. Utility is a value.

    4. “Art, by definition, has no purpose.”

      By whose definition? Informing, criticizing, interpreting, entertaining, manifesting expression and provoking reaction, and a myriad other functions don’t strike me as purposeless.

      1. I guess I should have said “no useful purpose”.

        1. Looking pretty isnt a useful purpose?

        2. you’re an idiot

        3. Being emotionally inspired is not a useful purpose?

          1. Not in my opinion.

            1. Art is man’s metaphysical mirror; what a rational man seeks to see in that mirror is a salute; what an irrational man seeks to see is a justification?even if only a justification of his depravity, as a last convulsion of his betrayed self-esteem.

              Between these two extremes, there lies the immense continuum of men of mixed premises?whose sense of life holds unresolved, precariously balanced or openly contradictory elements of reason and unreason?and works of art that reflect these mixtures. Since art is the product of philosophy (and mankind’s philosophy is tragically mixed), most of the world’s art, including some of its greatest examples, falls into this category.

              -Ayn Rand, “Art and Sense of Life,” The Romantic Manifesto, 39.

              Art (including literature) is the barometer of a culture. It reflects the sum of a society’s deepest philosophical values: not its professed notions and slogans, but its actual view of man and of existence.

              -Ayn Rand, “Bootleg Romanticism,” The Romantic Manifesto, 129.

    5. Creative works of all sorts have immense value. The U.S. produces hundreds of billions in creative content every year–books, movies, music, and even fine arts.

    6. you are an idiot

    7. Art, by definition, has no purpose.

      Art, by definition, has purpose. Its purpose is to communicate a message, even if that message is (as Messrs. Niven and Pournelle once said) that flowers are pretty.

      The fact that so many “artists” think that their art needs no purpose explains why so much art is crappy. If you think that “expressing your feelings” creates “art,” even if no one else can understand what the fuck you’re talking about, then you will create absolute shit for art. Unless you’re a genius, of course, and even then it’s because you can’t help but communicate your message because you’re just too damn good.

      1. The fact that so many “artists” think that their art needs no purpose explains why so much art is crappy. If you think that “expressing your feelings” creates “art,” even if no one else can understand what the fuck you’re talking about, then you will create absolute shit for art

        A-Fucking-Men.

        1. well, not everything has a “message” or even a “Message”.

    8. Re: sarcasmic,

      Art, by definition, has no purpose.
      So where is the value?

      Nothing has a purpose. WE humans give it a purpose: It’s called Subjective valuation.

      Oh, BTW, don’t get near my art – can’t trust you.

      1. i thought every living things’ purpose was to reproduce.

        1. Humans can select their own purposes. That’s the neat thing about us.

        2. Re: skr,

          i thought every living things’ purpose was to reproduce.

          That’s what my wife believes… almost every night. I need B12 shots…

      2. Oh, BTW, don’t get near my art – can’t trust you.

        While I may not recognize the value you have in your art, I do respect other people’s property.

        1. Non-artists talking about art is like news anchors talking about nuclear reactors.

          1. What exactly qualifies someone as an “artist” who is qualified to talk about art?

    9. That’s just dumb. Everyone gets to decide for themselves what is valuable. People buy loads of art all the time, therefore it is valuable. Pretty simple.

  9. The New York times is really brain dead: one can attend swinger parties, snort cocaine, support homosexuals, support the porn industry, play violent games etc. but because one supports capitalism then one is labeled a conservative.

    1. Best not to mention that there is an individualistic, freedom-loving alternative to collectivist progressivism.

    2. I outconservative all of you.

    3. Progressives tend to dominate my social circle for some reason. An unexpected benefit of this are the skills I’ve honed in responding to being upbraided over my “conservative” views. Someone recently tried to put me on the spot at a party by asking for my thoughts on allowing gay couples to legally adopt children. I told them that the prospect made me a slightly uncomfortable because it seems discriminatory against gay singles. The party got a bit awkward after that.

    4. This is why I like the term Libertine. No one ever even thinks of me as being anything near conservative.

  10. I once had an art critic say to me, ‘If you get your way, it will become like “The Road” ‘

    I recently watched about ten minutes of the movie. Apparently the premise is everybody with an IQ of more than 45 has been selectively killed off.

    1. I highly recommend the book – I haven’t seen the movie yet.

      1. McCarthy’s earlier works are much richer. Though I did enjoy them, I’ve found his recent books to be a bit too sparse.

      2. The movie is pretty true to the book.

        I don’t understand the critic’s quote unless the critic meant to say everything would become dreary and colorless.

    2. Any movie with a Nick Cave soundtrack is A-OK as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Have you heard his latest band Grinderman? I dug the second album — the concert gig was fantastic!

        1. Of course I have. It is awesome.

      2. Hey Warty I found some music you’d like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0

        1. I’m going to give rectal your home address, you sick fuck.

          1. Isn’t that death metal?

          2. Fuck me. I’m going to slip some roofies in his drink and just set rectal on him.

        2. That thing is some new pop-musical form of Poe’s Law. It’s probably parody, but no one can really be sure.

  11. I like her dress, even if it does look like Peter Max threw up on it.

  12. The movie is just a mind-numbing morass of stupidity.

    1. You praise it too highly. It made The Postman look like a smart, tight, oscar worthy film.

      1. Umm…

        Maybe I am just a dumb conservative, but I didn’t see much difference between the movie and the book (I loved them both).

        Why all the hate for the movie?

  13. Art, by definition, has no purpose.

    How else am I supposed to hide that stain on the dining room wall?

    1. Paint. Not only does it cover the stain, but it adds value to the surface by sealing it and making it easier to clean.

      1. If you’re going to toss out aesthetics, I don’t see any point in painting walls. Or cleaning them, for that matter.

        1. I know you’re just being a smartass but I’ll respond anyway.

          Since painting and cleaning is cheaper than replacing, there is a utilitarian value in painting the walls and keeping them clean.

          1. still is just a justification under aesthecism unless you eat off your walls

          2. Not if we just had concrete walls. Just throw on some more concrete to patch!

            1. concrete, you bourgeois pig. dried mud and clay is good enough for the prols.

              1. Mud? Dung and straw only, you capitalist oppressor knuckle-dragger.

                1. Hmmm, dung could be scraped from the walls to serve as fuel.

                  I stand corrected.

                  1. What? Burn my art? Philistine!

                    1. You’re doing it wrong, dude.

                      Come back, sarcasmic! I wasn’t being a smartass! Really! I was just taking the concept to an extreme.

                    2. I wasn’t being a smartass! Really! I was just taking the concept to an extreme being a smartass.

                    3. I meant what I was saying as much as you did, so nyah.

        2. I don’t think you can toss out aesthetics. But you can in a round about way say that art is about creating a biological response in the purchaser (some sort of neurological or endocrinic change that the buyer wants).

  14. “I’ll take one art, please!”

  15. Though I seem to gravitate towards controversial art, John Currin’s paintings are putrid .

  16. If they’re so damned successful, why can’t they afford chairs?

    1. +whole lots

    2. Look again. They have two chairs. They’re just stupidly not sitting in them.

      1. which means they’re so successful mere chairs are too pedestrian for them. They instead have internal body gell inserts that allow them comfort in any seating eventuality.

      2. There are 4 chairs.

        1. [Tortures JW some more.]

      3. No true libertarian would ever prefer sitting on the floor to sitting in a chair. It just defies logic!

        1. Not even a Japanese libertarian?

  17. Hipsters irritate me, no matter their political leanings.

    I’m just wondering when I became such a curmudgeon…

    1. 19-dickety-two?

    2. Lately I find myself agreeing with all of your posts. Are you single and do you have a morally casual attitude?

    3. Isn’t calling someone a “hipster” a compact means of expressing contempt for youth? I think Currin is pushing fifty.

    4. Grade: F. You FAIL.

      Describing everyone “artsy” as a hipster and then ragging on hipsters is the most pass? meem on the internet.

      1. “Meem” is now the latest meme.

  18. The supposed irremediable opposition between capitalism and art is, needless to say, one of the biggest crocks of shit ever sold…

    Indeed. I can tell you from first-hand experience that without support from wealthy, capitalist patrons, there would be no public art *at all.*

    I once held a $1 million check from one of our donors, who owns a chain of car dealerships, handwritten, palsy and all, by him personally from his personal account. We have another donor who is a filthy capitalist owner of a well-known company, who has given my arts .org $10’s of millions.

    By the way, these same dirty money-grubbers frequently give millions and millions of dollars to the education programs of artistic .orgs, expressly for the purpose of making the performing arts accessible to students and low-income people who otherwise couldn’t afford the tickets.

    1. Selfish bastards.

      1. Oh, I love throwing that down when the regressives around here start whinging about “the rich.”

        THEY SIGN YOUR FUCKING PAYCHECK.

      2. They’re why lynching should still be legal.

  19. The supposed irremediable opposition between capitalism and art just about everything else is, needless to say, one of the biggest crocks of shit ever sold[.]

    Pretty much.

  20. Even the art of the Renaissance, long held up as the crowning acheivement of human artisic expression, was a big advertisement for the donors. The public these days has a hard time reading the paintings where bolts of silk lying around the frame indicates that te silk merchants guild ponied up the dough, but the renaissance era public had no such difficulties.

    1. 16th century product placement?

  21. Look again. They have two chairs. They’re just stupidly not sitting in them.

    Those are not chairs. Those are visual depictions of chairs, made of spiderwebs and fairy dust.

    They are wisely not sitting in them, because it is obvious those chairs are incapable of supporting anything more substantial than the Male Gaze.

  22. I made the conscious decision right after college to get into bidness to make money, and pursue my various musical interests as an avocation.

    My sister went off to be an opera singer in NY.

    30 years on, she’s now teaching college in Bahston (good for her), has no money, and frankly is kind of miserable b/c of limited options. (PS Still has a WONDERFUL voice…obviously never became the Next Beverly Sills?, more’s the pity).

    I have tons o’ money, get to be a capitalist prick, buy REALLY nice instruments, and play in a couple bands as time permits.

    You wanna go for it and maybe hit it big? Good luck. I hedged my bets, and kinda feel like I got the best of both worlds – plenty o’ money AND can “practice my art”.

    The two need not be in conflict…

    1. So, your basic point is that she ended up infinitely better than you because she’s not stuck in Michigan.

      Am I reading this correctly?

  23. Luckily for artists, rich people like hangin’ with them.

  24. It always always comes down to ‘roads’. “What about the roads?” Now there is a new twist: “If libertarians have their way, it will be like “The Road” except there will be no roads.”

  25. No offense, but why are you using the PNG format for color photos?

    And why are you putting an oversized photo (height 511px) into a 250px box?

    And people wonder why this site is so GD slow.

  26. On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being full-blown right-winger and 10 being full-tilt left-winger, they put themselves more or less in the middle, both of them espousing an essentially libertarian agenda.

    How does being halfway between a fascist and a commie make one a libertarian?

    1. I suspect that this scale of one through ten nonsense wasn’t even mentioned in the interview and is just the author’s ham handed way of illustrating a concept he’s completely illiterate to.

      1. “Oh, now I get it. So you’re, like, a centrist?”

      2. When asked if I am on the left or the right (the equivalent of 10 vs. 0 for asshat progressives), I used to say “I am neither. I am up.” Needless, to say my warranted arrogance never went over well with most assholes. Now when asked about my political leanings, I usually respond with something like “Fuck you, I’m eating” or another great quote from the cinematic masterpiece that is Idiocracy.

        1. “Go away! ‘Batin’!”?

  27. Why all the hate for the movie?

    Do you seriously expect me to believe that feckless moron could keep HIMSELF alive for any length of time, much less contrive to get the kid to the ripe old age of eight (or whatever)?

  28. Who drove to the cocktail party after the interview?

  29. What unnatural depraved act does that statue portray?

    1. It is saying, “Go fuck yourself”

  30. “The supposed irremediable opposition between capitalism and art is, needless to say, one of the biggest crocks of shit ever sold; luckily about the only people who buy it are critics and artists who tend to become less interesting over time.”

    I don’t it’s entirely baseless, so much as making too much of the fact that the market for challenging art is necessarily going to be limited; most people lack either the will or the capacity to rise to the occasion.

    If we were talking about works of math as entertainment instead of works of narrative/aesthetics, we’d have to accept that most people are not going to have the capacity or desire to deal with the really specialized, complicated shit. Even the smarter folks are going to cap out at Calculus II unless they have a real interest. Instead, Michael Bay would sell a million copies of Consumer Economics 4, and people who develop the truly brilliant theorems would struggle for money and recognition because only a limited group of people are capable of understanding and apply their work. Though I’m sure that’s a terrible analogy in many ways…

    Oh, SLD, of course.

  31. You know, there are some great reasons why free market capitalism is good for artistic expression. I have discussed some of these reasons, in the particular case of musical art here.

    Sadly, I haven’t seen many of these reasons being put forth by the libertarian people commenting here. No, as usual we just see a bunch of the normal shallow crap about how unpopular art is inherently inferior to art that sells by the boatload, because, after all, more people like it, which must make it better, right? I mean, who wants to look at ‘vanguardist’ (i.e. ugly) stuff except a bunch smelly pretentious leftist hippies, right?

    Sometimes I think that libertarians are their own worst enemies. If they would just shut up and let reality prove them right (by providing historical examples instead of engaging in childish ranting), libertarianism might not be as completely marginalized as it is.

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