Monday, September 12

Art and Politics

I'm copying a post here which I posted on one of Charles' "Dead Threads"
(assuming the whole thing fits) not because I'm lazy, but because I have such mixed emotions about the topic.

I confess to not having read this thread and since the last post was over an hour ago, presume this to be a dead thread and that no one will read what I have to say. Nonetheless, there are some things that need to be said, whether as "I'm Number 1" (one of the dumbest things frequently said here at LGF or whether or not it's at the end of a "dead thread"). There are two problems for me here. One is I AM a civil libertarian. I believe our most precious rights are those of speech, worship, and press. I have taken flak from some folks out here over my stands on each of these issues (e.g., I don't think it should be illegal to burn the American Flag, despite the fact that if the numbers were roughly even (no more than say 3 to 1 against me)I would pound the crap out of said flag burner (ok, there are SOME conflicts in my belief system!) but nonetheless making it a crime to burn our flag is in my opinion wrong. Period. Then Charles throws something like this in my face and my automatic response is: maybe we should have a legal definition of "art" and "artists". I fear where such logic could lead (e.g., I don't like that particular piece of art - nor the nincompoop who "created" it) because it's against my side, politically. The fact that someone creates something as political art, which happens to be in direct conflict with your own political beliefs, ought not to be illegal per se. Although the "Christ on the Cross in a jar of Urine" would provoke the same sort of response from me as would the flag burner mentioned above (as I said, there are SOME conflicts in my belief system). I think the furtherest we should go in "defining" art and artist, however, is when said artist wants to display his/her art on taxpayer funded property, for to do so carries the imprimatur that it's ok with the taxpayer/citizen at large. And that is not only NOT TRUE but likely to be ABSOLUTELY FALSE (I think if "artists" depend upon feeding themselves by posting at the public trough, so to speak, said artists ought to step back, take as objective a view of their "art" as is possible, and either change it or scrap it; trust me, if it's something "people" want, you'll find exhibition space for it). If, after reading this, you are feeling at least SOMEWHAT confused, then welcome aboard!

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