I am not political. I am not a democrat or a republican, I am an independent because I refuse to be defined by partisan politics. But try as I might to avoid blogging about political issues this comment really just flat out pissed me off...And given this blog is rather ballet focused, I felt compelled to put in my 2 cents. (I included some pics of Balanchine's Stars and Stripes just to make this rant a bit more pleasant. )
In an interview on Sean Hannity's Fox News Talk show, Sarah Palin is quoted as saying:
"NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn't be in the business of funding with tax dollars -- those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14 trillion debt that we're going to hand to our kids and our grandkids. Yes, those are the type of things that for more than one reason need to be cut."
So I have to ask, why are the Arts "frivolous?" Why is that a profession that people are always willing to cut first? Let me tell ya, if we had more artists working in business and politics you'd be surprised at the results. Artists are creative thinkers and know how to think creatively to solve problems. Artists are aware of the world around them, they take it in and they let it affect them as often this is what inspires them to create. They naturally see problems and want to address them. Artists can be dramatic and sensitive, yes, but that passion usually comes hand in hand with perfectionism and ideals...Ideals that they will do anything to uphold. That's right, artists know what it's like to "suffer" for their art. They commit themselves to the job they have chosen to undertake and they put everything they've got into it, no matter what it will cost them. They want to do it right, they want to be perfect.
They want to create something lasting, something meaningful and something good. In my opinion, we need more artistic people in power. And how the hell will that happen when arts education and endowment programs are completely slashed from the budget?
No matter what people may say, the arts are a huge part of our economy and our quality of life. Would you want to live in a world with no music, movies, television, dance or theater? Cause all those mediums, including television, rely on artists and were built by artists.
But I don't need to wax on about it. The numbers speak for themselves. According to this recent article in the LA Times:
"Debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. "Reality is we have 15 million Americans who are out of work," said Palin. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts. The NEA is one linchpin in that sizable economy."
So with Palin's plan we raise that number of out-of-work Americans to over 20 million. Yeah, great idea. Look, I know that there is an argument to everything and spending cuts are inevitable, but I'm angry that for whatever reason, the arts are always the first to be attacked, and in reality how much damage are they really doing? I can only think that people attack the value of the arts because they themselves have no artistic talent and I suppose they just don't get it. They are uncultured, unoriginal, mindless drones who have no imagination or intelligence. And I suspect that most people know that...particularly when it comes to Palin. I just wish people would stop putting her on the air.
Ok, I'm off the apple box. (Until the next rant!)