>> Tuesday, October 06, 2009
The wake of the NEA non-scandal is about as deep and dispersed as that of drifting rowboat in mid-Atlantic chop . . . unless that's your boat and you have a telescope trained on your trail like Michael van der Galien and the folks at Big Hollywood,* in which case you'll mistake the chop for wake and start praying you hold out better than the Andrea Gail. Once you regain your composure, you will write a post much like the one van der Galien—whose Big Hollywood archive proves something or other about how profoundly white people feel about everyone not one shade shy of albino—wrote and make claims like this:
Federal agencies are turned into propaganda tools. This is something we haven’t seen in the U.S. since, well, ever.Technically, van der Galien is correct: even though the Federal Writer's Project, Federal Theatre Project, Federal Music Project and Federal Art Project not only existed, but had the word "Federal" in their names, if "we" were a 25 year-old Dutch conservative, "we" never would've "seen" anything like that "in the U.S. since, well, ever."
Because "we" aren't—and because we don't believing that having "seen" something is the only valid evidentiary standard—we're not overly concerned with the grievous threat Kalpen Modi and his ilk pose to the future of the American Republic. We should, however, concern ourselves with the fact that van der Galien wants to steal our artists and force them to create conservative propaganda:
[T]here is a reason the administration spoke to artists on the August conference call and was willing to take the risk of exposure: artists influence the people. The effect isn’t always immediate–it may take years for artists to truly influence society as a whole–but it’s there. If you want to “transform” society you need artists on your side ... Breitbart has taught us that the strategies the left has used to discredit the right can be used against them. We have to act on that, continue to do what Breitbart and some here at Big Hollywood have been doing. But we have to do more than that: we have to destroy and create.If you didn't chuckle at the phrase "Breitbart has taught us," you have no soul. That said, the fact that the art or culture even exists only occurs to conservatives when politics are involved. When Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize, for example, conservatives were saying things like "[nobody] takes this stuff seriously anymore" and "I can't remember the last time I read a literary novel by a living writer or attended a play by a living playwright." Pinter winked into conservative consciousness long enough to be summarily dismissed, then faded back into the staticky irrelevance of the living.
Had he lived long enough to have participated in that conference call, though, he would've blitzkrieged his way into their tactically fearful hearts and onto their lying lips like Hitler on Poland.
*By "folks," I mean everyone who's written about the NEA non-scandal except for Jayne "Animal Mother" Cobb because he lives fifteen minutes down the 91 from me and I value my life.