Art

New York Times Tries to Make the Case Against Cutting Arts Funding, Inadvertently Presents Excellent Argument for Cutting Arts Funding

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sideshow, indeed.

From today's New York Times, a sad story about what happens when states are forced to cut funding for the arts:

For 10 years Erika Nelson, an artist in Lucas, Kan., has been making miniature models of giant pieces of Americana, putting them in a van and driving around the country to show people. 

She has made tiny copies, for example, of the World's Largest Ball of Twine, which is down the road in Cawker City, and the World's Largest Can of Fruit Cocktail, which is in Sunnyvale, Calif….

But this year she may not be able to travel far. Kansas, which has one of the country's smallest state arts budgets, has decided to shrink it even further, to zero.

A traveling sideshow hauling a ball of twine and a normal-sized can of fruit cocktail actually sounds weirdly appealing. But we are out of money, and it's no-brainer to trim the 2,000 taxpayer dollars this lovely gal and her van were counting on for gas money to show her quirky wares to college students in Kansas.

Reason.tv on three reasons not to fund arts with taxpayer dollars:

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  1. fix linky, KMW? First one links to reason video.

  2. People are better off trying to get funding via kickstarter than through a bureaucracy/taxpayer shakedown.

  3. I thought she was doing high-concept performance art as a human parasite.

    1. Art imitates life.

  4. Can I get funding to do a live model of a giant minaturized to normal human size?

    1. This is just the thing the people need. Consider it done!

  5. Remind her to save her art — twine and fruit cocktail will be in high demand soon

  6. She has made tiny copies, for example, of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, which is down the road in Cawker City, and the World’s Largest Can of Fruit Cocktail, which is in Sunnyvale, Calif….

    Cue the progressives to tell us that America would be a cultural wasteland without “art” like this.

  7. Behold the face of the enemy:

    http://community.nytimes.com/c…..ecommended

    *head explodes*

    1. A real gem from that link:

      It is precisely during economically difficult times that support of the arts is most needed, when people need uplifting diversions and motivation.

      Yeah, because I can’t make it through another day if I know that lady isn’t driving her ball of twine cross country.

    2. What’s really sickening about this is the incredibly narrow definition of “arts” these people use. It really means “stuff that is so crappy no one wants it”.

      Because I’m looking around, and to me, it looks like art is booming. Music, movies, TV, video games, books, etc. There’s tons of that stuff everywhere. Not to mention all the free Internet stuff like videos and online games floating around, the makers of which are far truer artists than people begging/threatening that you support their “art”.

      1. What’s really sickening about this is the incredibly narrow definition of “arts” these people use. It really means “stuff that is so crappy no one wants it”.

        No kidding. Compare the works of art commssioned by the Catholic church and the wealthy during the Renaissance, with what’s put out by today’s worthless, sad-sack, no-hopers being churned out in American universities.

      2. Because I’m looking around, and to me, it looks like art is booming. Music, movies, TV, video games, books, etc. There’s tons of that stuff everywhere. Not to mention all the free Internet stuff like videos and online games floating around, the makers of which are far truer artists than people begging/threatening that you support their “art”.

        Indeed, someone made a live action movie based on the Smurfs .

        How much federal funding did that receive?

        1. It would be hard to come up with a worse example of consumer art than “Smurfs”, but it’s still a valid point.

    3. Good Eris, the hyperbole of those ridiculous comments is off the scale.

    4. *sigh* I had to look. Now I have to leave work early to have a colon-scraping.

    5. I may be too late, but after your head exploded, did you manage to get some of your blood and brain matter on a canvas? I’d like to sell it as high art.

  8. Funny, the progs love to hold flyover country in high contempt at every turn, yet lament the loss of funding for art to same flyover country.

    1. Cognitive dissonance is fun!

    2. Although it could just be a form of condescension.

    3. Without art funding for flyover country, those tractor-pullers will remain contemptibly-uneducated troglodytes.

      /prog-off

  9. LMFAO. A miniature of a giant can of fruit. The grocery store is full of them.

    1. Yeah, over the weekend I passed a produce display chock-full of replicas of that mammoth banana Woody Allen used in “Sleeper”.

  10. This is my response to this in mime:

    There, I said it. Or not.

  11. P.S. Our family happens to own the very rarest of dogs: a three-legged dog, but with a mysterious fourth leg.

    1. I should join the circus with that dog. The bearded man and the 3 legged dog (with a 4th leg of mystery!)

    2. Oh my god, i’m busting a gut here…three legged dog with mystery fourth leg…stop it man, you’re killin me

  12. “World’s Largest Ball of Twine, which is down the road in Cawker City”

    That’s a somewhat bullshit claim:

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128

    1. and it now has it’s own souvenir stand. If the stand is closed when you visit, walk across the street to the Twine Ball Inn — someone there may be able to alert someone else to open the stand for you.

      For those people that just GOTTA have a miniature, giant ball of twine.

  13. I googled income and taxes and found that $100,000 in income equates to approximately $10,000 in taxes. The $150 million to NEA requires 15,000 taxpayers who earn $100K a year to support it. Likewise the Nat. End. for the Humanities. Public broadcasting requires an additional 40,000 such taxpayers. Just those 3 waste buckets need 70,000 workers earning $100K a year to support them. Heck, i think Harry Reids beloved cowboy poetry takes up 12 of those taxpayers all by itself.

  14. Hey! Don’t cut my funding.

    1. I bet Dr. Who would be even more awesome if it wasn’t government funded.

      1. In the alternate reality where Doctor Who isn’t government funded, we actually get to see Rory and Amy’s wedding night in the TARDIS.

  15. Hey , at least this lady didn’t have any art involving pee.

      1. That can be fixed.

        1. She is pretty…I would pay a few bucks for the chance to piss on her.

  16. it is amazing that anyone thinks you need government to provide ‘Art’, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. The US rules the non-bollywood world with Music and Movies, and probably large novelty things like the largest rubber band ball.

    1. That isn’t the large novelty thing you are looking for.

  17. Arts funding can often bring more taxpayer dollars to the community. Of course, this is a terrible example of arts funding. In fact, it’s the worst possible example. Creating low-cost artist housing is a good example. Cheap urban renewal, bigger tax base.

    1. Arts funding can often bring more taxpayer dollars to the community.

      Another excellent reason to get rid of it. Cutting arts funding has a multiplier effect! Woo-hoo!

  18. I can understand taxes funding art. I don’t agree with it, but I do understand it. But for the life of my I cannot fathom how anyone would use that particular story of twine and fruit cocktail to elicit hand wringing.

    “Americana” would be a van full of miniature Americana icons traveling around the country ON ITS OWN DIME asking for 50 cent donations to see the world’s smallest replica of the world’s largest ball of twine.

    1. If “the arts” are so important and necessary to people, they should have no trouble funding themselves.

      The fact that they can’t support themselves tells you that nobody cares about it, and those that do don’t care enough to spend their money on it.

      The only reason “the arts” get funded is because the type of people who like “the arts” are the same people who like to spend other people’s money.

      1. The fact that they can’t support themselves tells you that nobody cares about it, and those that do don’t care enough to spend their money on it.

        It also shows how ineffective they are at marketing.

        Michael Bay is perfectly capable of making money out of his art, and that is because he has the marketing skills, or at least rents them from other people.

        1. Michael Bay is perfectly capable of making money out of his art, and that is because he has the marketing skills, or at least rents them from other people.

          Well I was gonna call it something else, but “art” works too.

          1. Ha ha ha ha, but again, fair point. There are a lot of artists supporting themselves in film, video games, through selling art or even doing other things and only doing art part time.

  19. it’s no-brainer to trim the 2,000 taxpayer dollars this lovely gal and her van were counting on for gas money

    I have cracked the Tony/Palosi economics code and run the numbers through it.

    By my calculations using the Tony/Palosi method Erika Nelson will be dead in a road side ditch within 5 days the cause will be starvation.

  20. When I spent public money on art, I got art. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people.

    Love,

    Larry.

  21. From the comments linked:

    I do not need the government to support the arts on my behalf. I am fully capable of doing it myself, and do so.

    Quite frankly, some of the things that have been cut, according to this article, are not worth supporting anyway.

    The arts needs to be supported by their patrons, not the government.

    Heresy, Tim W.!

  22. Check out how dumb this comment is:

    The Republicans won’t stop till it’s one big, redneck, uneducated, dumb, artless country. But they do support tax cuts for the rich who buy art for their second homes, don’t they??

    And the sheep vote for them.

    So…those rich people they’re complaining about are patrons of the arts. I can’t figure out what this person is really complaining about.

    1. I believe that their complaint is best summed up by one Professor Jones: “IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!!!”

  23. As an artist myself, I find it extremely stupid for the government to fund art. Art is very subjective. It’s also based on what society wants to see and experience. Funding what the majority of the population may find stupid is, well, stupid. Too many artists, however, pull stunts like this all on the government’s penny. If you want to make miniature stuff and drive around the country showing people, fine. But do it on your own penny, not on everyone else’s. If they want to pay you for what you do, they will. If they don’t, maybe find better art.

    If I want to make it as an artist, I better make some money. That entails hard work, advertising myself, and putting in many hours to make sure I find success. It’s called being productive.

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