Friday, May 13, 2005

Cut the National Endowment for the Arts

A couple years ago, furor erupted over a tasteless art exhibit at the Richmond (Indiana) Art Museum. Several local ministers and parents protested the exhibit because they felt it was inappropriate. Especially irksome was that the tasteless exhibit was within the local high school building.

The person in charge of the exhibit announced to the public that no amount of outrage would close the display. The opposition to this art exhibit was portrayed by many in the media as those less educated, less refined, narrow minded backwoods folk who were incapable of appreciating true art. For the next few weeks you couldn't open the newspaper without reading an article from one of these defenders of smut, whining, sniffling and shrieking in terror because of those "imposers of morality and underminers of the Constitution."

Had these cultural virtuoso's (along with local college students holding similar views) shown more responsibility toward community values and good taste, they would not be feeling the backlash they are continuing to experience today. They have done this to themselves. What a shame they didn't recognize that good citizens would be outraged by their lack to common-sense values and wholesome beliefs.

Most of us realize that artistic creativity is not measured by one's capacity to shock and outrage. Not everyone believes there is any redeeming value in a crucifix dropped into a jar of urine or the American Flag stretched out on the floor for people to trample over.

These purveyors of smut were given an opportunity- and with that opportunity came responsibility- to nuture love, respect and appreciation for art. Because they failed in their civic duty, American's are justifiably outraged. Fortunately we now have members of Congress who believe the National Endowment for the Arts has misused tax dollars and are taking action to correct this injustice. I can only hope that by having their funding cut they will have learned a lesson as to what "responsibility" means, but somehow I doubt it.

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