Thursday, March 03, 2005

Explain To Us Again Why Art Is A Luxury

Cutting the Arts is a popular move all around. Nobody but snobs are going to argue. Those who love Art always disagree about what it is, and nothing rubs people the wrong way faster than No-Talent getting Big Money from the government. Most of us think we have children who can draw as well as most of these people anyway, and most of these people live in New York so why should I care?

Real People can’t afford to pay for Real Talent because it is priced out of our range. Is it fair to expose people to something they can’t afford? All it does is make people dissatisfied with the Ordinary Crap they can afford. Real Talent is attracted to large bodies of cash the way waterfowl are attracted to bodies of water. The larger the Talent the larger the cash, etc. This is called the Beauty of the Marketplace.

Genius belongs on another level entirely: it’s rare and therefore extremely expensive, so it isn’t really for us anyway. Expensiveness is the only way we know that it is actually by a Genius at all. If you have to ask how much an actual Genius costs you obviously can’t afford it. The idea has been put about that a very small percentage of our tax dollars ought to be spent to help Ordinary People club together to pay for something Really Great—a bona fide Work of Genius––to put up where we all can enjoy it and feel inferior. And why not? You can’t sit in a large auditorium and listen to Giacometti or Renoir or Kinkade, but you should be able go look at their stuff in a Museum if you like. Money is the problem here; it always is. If you’re Rich and just spent a lot of money on something rare it defeats the purpose to make it less rare by putting it in a Museum where everybody can look at it.

Rich people are not stupid. Cutting Arts funding will not hurt them. It will, in fact, make their private collections more private and more valuable. And when you think about it, which we hate to do, sharing art, especially expensive art by Geniuses, sounds a lot like Communism to me. Don’t worry. Stopping Arts Funding will leave working Geniuses with nobody but Rich People to support them and they will quickly learn to be more gracious and flattering. They will learn to paint the kind of stuff that pleases their masters instead of interpreting the Zeitgeist, whatever the hell that is.

Ordinary People need to learn some understanding, some compassion along with their government-subsidized Art Appreciation classes. Sometimes we need to look at it from the Rich Person’s point of view. Making Art available to everybody through grants is plain counterproductive. Have you ever thought maybe Ordinary People don’t deserve Great Art? Most of us have to have Genius explained to us before we notice it anyway. Education is expensive, and why should Rich People who know everything already have to pay for that? If we were Rich we could afford the Explainers and the Geniuses both and have enough left over to buy a nice lunch.

Rich People aren’t actually born with Taste, they get it for their birthdays and for Christmas from their parents because their parents got it from theirs. Most of our Rich Cultural Heritage has always belonged to this same small handful of people as God intended. We get the taste our parents can afford, and won’t it be nice in a few years when the inheritance tax on the top 1% gets eliminated once and for all? Then there won’t be any point in the Rich sharing their household Geniuses with the rest of us Poor Folks, and we can go back to appreciating the portraits they commission of their attractive faces and the statues of themselves that they’ll always put up in the parks.


Blogger Malthusan said...

A fine post. I think your site more closely adheres to the Pasquino ethos than mine. That's probably because I suck at satire. Still, as that was my original intent, perhaps I'll give it another shot.

Thanks for dropping by my site. I hope you found it as interesting as I found yours.

Roby Conner

7:53 PM  

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