Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor Film Festival Slapped

24. April 2006 • Juliew
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On April 18th, the Michigan House Subcommittee for the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL) made its FY 2006-2007 budget recommendation. Selected “highlights,” including a special Ann Arbor Film Festival Amendment are below.

The Subcommittee’s Recommendation
Increase State funding for Arts and Cultural Grants by $265,900. (A $50,000 reduction from the Governor’s recommendation).

Arts Grants Prohibitions
1) The department shall not award grants for projects or activities that include displays of human waste on religious symbols, displays of sex acts, or depictions of flag desecration.
2) Added a new subdivision to also prohibit funding for projects or activities that are not directly funded, but are in conjunction with an event or exhibition that include displays of human waste on religious symbols, displays of sex acts, or depictions of flag desecration.
3) Added a subsection that allows the department to withhold any remaining undistributed grant payments for a recipient who doesn’t comply with the above prohibitions. The recipient also may be disqualified from future grants for up to 5 years.

Representative Taub (R-Bloomfield Hills) Amendment
The Department will not award funding to the Ann Arbor Film Festival, or its successor, for a period of two fiscal years beginning October 1, 2006.



  1. Great. Just when I’ve finished cutting all the scenes of coitus amidst a backdrop of burning flags and feces covered crosses (it wasn’t human feces, for the record) from my latest film in order to secure that last round of funding…I’ll have no where to show it.

    Why is Taub so down on Ann Arbor?


       —FAA    Apr. 24 '06 - 10:41PM    #
  2. Reminds me of those glorious weeks when the Dawntreader
    displayed a large picture of a naked movie star with a piece of duct tape across her breasts.

    o tempora, o mores! springs to the lips, but somebody’s already said that…


       — kate    Apr. 24 '06 - 10:45PM    #
  3. This is typical Republican feces. It often shows up and gets smeared over budget bills. Then, later in the budget process, it is wiped away.


       —David Cahill    Apr. 25 '06 - 01:03AM    #
  4. I wonder why the film festival was singled-out. I thought people from Bloomfield Hills loved Ann Arbor.


       —Brandon    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:38AM    #
  5. Where are all the urban planners? How can we have a ‘Cool City’ without a film festival and with PG art? The Gays and the ‘Young and Hip’ will be moving to Grand Rapids, the downtown will suffer, yet again, and the parking will get worse… OK so maybe the parking will get better, but the downtown will get worse.


       —cb    Apr. 25 '06 - 09:25AM    #
  6. Well, I would like to know why he did that, but to some degree, I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing. The AAFilm Fest has been going down hill for years, IMHO. It seems that at some point the non-narrative crap took a big leap in that festival. It also does nothing to support local filmmakers (there was also a certain point when the international entries got much larger). I don’t know who’s running it now, but for a while it was a group that represented their own interests and didn’t allow for any input from the public. It’s time for them to get off their buts and stop wasting money on crap they don’t need and get back to just focusing on the Film Fest. They wish they were big, and spend like their big, but they’re just small-fry.


       —Just a Voice    Apr. 25 '06 - 01:31PM    #
  7. It’s about the funding. You can still have your art exhibits that smear elephant dung on a picture of the virgin Mary, you can place a crucifix in a jar of urine, or place a flag on the floor to be walked on. You just can’t require other individuals to pay for your disrespectful, immoral acts.

    It’s about priorities. With state finances being in such bad shape, perhaps we should focus on food, clothing, medical care and housing for the poor before we publically fund desecration of religious symbols or distribution of pornagraphic materials. Maybe we could use our limited funds to attract employers to replace the automotive plants that have left. Maybe we could provide better K – 12 education and jobs training.

    Can any rational person really consider the film fest to be the best use of public funds?


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:11PM    #
  8. Karen Luck “Can any rational person really consider the film fest to be the best use of public funds?”

    Yeah, I was just saying the other day to a friend how I think that the #1 cause of the U.S. deficit under the Bush Administration isn’t corruption, or pork, or overspending on the military: it’s actually all those billions of dollars we spend on the arts.


       —todd    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:46PM    #
  9. Nope, this is not about the film festival at all—that’s a smokescreen. The legislature simply wants to distract people away from its own misdeeds.

    Something very strange is happening in the state senate. I don’t fully understand it myself, or why the Senate’s leadership is so terrified of its own members. They have clamped down and stopped all kinds of uncontroversial bills from moving, supposedly to prevent anyone from bringing up an amendment that they can’t bear to have voted on in public. But the media is paying no attention.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Apr. 25 '06 - 03:49PM    #
  10. Clearly, it’s time for an Ypsilanti film festival to apply for state funding.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Apr. 26 '06 - 03:36AM    #
  11. I heard an interview on NPR with the author of this ammendment, and the trouble stems from seeing a tampon stop-motioned across a floor and into a cup or something. He could barely describe it, as it was apparently so beyond the pale. And yet…
    Yes, Karen, we should be funding these things. While certainly I will grant that they are a lower priority than providing social welfare programs, let’s not be disingenuous— Taub has no desire to fund those either and their mention is a canard at best.
    The reason why we should fund these things without restricting content is because we wish to live in a rich society, an Aristotlean good life. Part of that good life is not only confronting those parts of society that make us uncomfortable, but doing so with some sense of reflection. This is one of the best and finest things that the state can do. And further, I’d be willing to be that a) you haven’t seen any of the work in question (to be fair, neither have I), and b) had you seen it (from the descriptions that I have read) you would be hard pressed to classify it as pornographic, in that I can’t imagine a prurient reasoning behind tampons crawling. Perhaps your, and your Republican bedfellows’, kink runs a little stronger than mine, but I hardly feel that society needs to be protected from all of the things that might turn you on.
    Further, even as there is no single piece of art that everyone can agree is worthy, that is not an argument for relinquishing funding of the arts. It is an argument for making the arts funding more robust so that these pieces can compete in the intellectual marketplace on their own merit, rather than the vageries of capitalism.
    This is bad legislation written by petty men with the inherent purpose of curtailing the freedom of us as citizens. For proper rhetorical flourish (since this phrase never fails to bring a grin to my face), Why do you hate America, Karen?


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 04:06PM    #
  12. (This is all sort of orthagonal to the very real point that the Ann Arbor Film Fest has sucked for the last several years and is likely to only get worse, though this will certainly be seen as a rallying point for the pretentious and “shocking” that comprise the current administration of said festival. While Vikki was terrible, the current folks are worse.)


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 04:08PM    #
  13. The original posting mentioned a prohibition of exhibits that include displays of human waste on religious symbols, displays of sex acts, or depictions of flag desecration. This is a direct reference to a publically funded display in New York City a few years back. Yes I saw pictures of the desecrated religious icons as there was quite a controversy at the time and generated much press nationwide. If I remember correctly, the mayor closed down the exhibit at the time.

    Trashing another persons beliefs and disrespecting religious icons does not make us a rich society. I strongly disagee that “this is one of the best and finest things that the state can do.” I can’t imagine what type of logic would lead someone to think in this way, but I concede that you are free to do so. But your freedom stops at the point where it imposes a financial burden on those who are the targets of the offensive. I’m not for censorship. Anybody is capable of putting together a POS and calling it art and charging admission. Just don’t make me subsidize this pile of crap.

    I love America. It’s the best country in the history of the world. The best thing the state can do is “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” Exactly what part of the constitution authorizes Congress to use taxpayer money to fund offensive, pornographic art? Or any art for that matter? Do you think the general welfare is benefited by viewing feces smeared on religious symbols? Would a war vet consider it beneficial to see crowds of people walking on an American flag?

    I am not nor have I ever been a member of the Republican party. Although I admit I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past, I believe both parties are far too liberal and dishonest.

    I am not “shocked” by the Ann Arbor film fest. It would be “shocking” only if they showed any film with a conservative slant.


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:03PM    #
  14. ” Yes I saw pictures of the desecrated religious icons as there was quite a controversy at the time and generated much press nationwide. If I remember correctly, the mayor closed down the exhibit at the time.”

    And he was wrong to do so.

    “I can’t imagine what type of logic would lead someone to think in this way, but I concede that you are free to do so. But your freedom stops at the point where it imposes a financial burden on those who are the targets of the offensive.”

    First off, I’m not surprised that you can’t understand the argument. You don’t seem like someone with a lot of imagination. The best and highest thing that society can do is encourage the experimentation that allows us to progress. That inherently means that there will be failed experiments, bad art and terrible ideas. Second off, there is no idea that is not offensive to someone and arguing that the state cannot decide to fund them because someone might be offended and compelled to support those ideas is laughable. That ignores both the idea of civic responsibility (something that I find Republicans are often devoid of) and precedent. I find the drug war offensive, yet I am compelled to fund it.

    “Exactly what part of the constitution authorizes Congress to use taxpayer money to fund offensive, pornographic art? Or any art for that matter? Do you think the general welfare is benefited by viewing feces smeared on religious symbols? Would a war vet consider it beneficial to see crowds of people walking on an American flag?”

    To answer your last part first, my grandfather fought in WWII and he was an avid defender of flag burners during the Vietnam conflict. For him, the flag was less important than the freedom it represented. I’m sorry that you’re too cowardly to face such a position honestly. The general welfare is benefitted by reminding people that a flag is just a flag and that our freedom is more important than the symbols of the small-minded crusaders who would oppose progress and liberty.
    To return to your previous statement, the part of the constitution that allows art to be funded is through Congress and their dispensation of funds. Unless you were also making some vague literalism argument about how we shouldn’t fund roads or the internet or universities or health care etc. I know that it can make one quite aroused to argue from a textual position, but literalism is not the friend you think it is here.

    Some day, Karen, you may realize that the real benefit of state-sponsored offense is that you will realize that it really isn’t such a big deal and you’ll grow up and out of it. Why is covering the flag in shit offensive? Because the flag has some inherent dignity? Why? When someone disrespects a symbol, if the intent is to offend people who like that symbol, why be concerned with it? And truly, when people complain about Serano or the Piss Christ, you have to question their faith if such a small slight to their God is enough to make them enraged. My God is a mighty God, Karen, and He doesn’t mind being smeared with shit any more than He minds seeing people naked. It’s a shame that your god seems so petty.

    “I am not nor have I ever been a member of the Republican party. Although I admit I have voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past, I believe both parties are far too liberal and dishonest.

    I am not “shocked” by the Ann Arbor film fest. It would be “shocking” only if they showed any film with a conservative slant.”

    That’s a shame, Karen, because you live in a liberal country, founded by liberals, grown by liberals and maintained by liberals. Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Jay… All liberals, Karen. You may think that you love America, but you love the small and petty America that’s put forth from pulpits and pentecostals, not the real and glorious America that was the world’s most successful liberal experiment. If you’d just admit that you’d be happier in Iran, I think you’d feel better, Karen. They take piety seriously. Here, one of our founding fathers (the only US president who was never president) got federal money to write a book of fart jokes, Karen. Why? Because it was funny. And it probably sent John Adams ‘round the twist.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 05:36PM    #
  15. js wrote: ”(This is all sort of orthagonal to the very real point that the Ann Arbor Film Fest has sucked for the last several years …)”

    Care to elaborate on that? Any films in particular exemplify your opinion?

    ****

    Karen wrote: “Do you think the general welfare is benefited by viewing feces smeared on religious symbols? Would a war vet consider it beneficial to see crowds of people walking on an American flag?”

    Hey! http://tinyurl.com/oaazk

    Anyway, those are side issues to the film festival being singled out. Neither of the things you mention happened at this year’s Ann Arbor Film Festival. In fact, the Ken Burns’ Best of Festival Award went to “Back Home”, a documentary about social injustice in another part of the world where the filmmaker was rescued by American journalists.

    Karen: “Just don’t make me subsidize this pile of crap.”

    The MCA budget is tiny by any standards but one of the biggest economic justifications for funding art (including museums, theaters, galleries, festivals, music, dance, etc) is to attract people to this state to live and set up business. Without artistic activities raising the quality of life, what’s to make MI stand out? Commercial interests can just as easily take their money to another state or even another country.


       —kj    Apr. 26 '06 - 06:20PM    #
  16. Y’know, if I hadn’t thrown out my programs for the last couple of years, I’d have a lot more ammunition. Here’s an old livejournal entry I did on it from about, what, 3 years ago? http://panaphobic.livejournal.com/2004/03/16/


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 07:28PM    #
  17. JS
    “My God is a mighty God, Karen, and He doesn’t mind being smeared with shit ” Was this a direct quote to you personally or can you refer me to the text from which you derived this observation?

    I don’t lose any sleep over the offense. My argument is if you feel it is a benefit then you should pay for it.

    kj
    Without artistic activities raising the quality of life, what’s to make MI stand out?

    Maybe its lakes and forests, its seasons, its sporting events, its affordable housing. If we are using our state’s museums, theaters, galleries, festivals, music, dance, etc. to attract residents then we are in trouble. Michigan does not stand out in these areas. If these were important to me I would choose Chicago, New York, or San Fransisco. Do you think anyone moves here or any business locates here because of Ann Arbor’s film fest?


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 26 '06 - 07:32PM    #
  18. Of course not—they move here because of the affordable housing, lakes and forests on the Old West Side.


       —Dale    Apr. 26 '06 - 07:35PM    #
  19. ““My God is a mighty God, Karen, and He doesn’t mind being smeared with shit ” Was this a direct quote to you personally or can you refer me to the text from which you derived this observation?”

    Oh, Karen, do you really want to wade into epistemology and theology with me? Or even assert that quotation/textuality is the standard? I’m willing to bet my knowledge about sacred texts is equal to yours, and I doubt I could find a passage where God decries graven representations being disrespected. In fact, Karen, isn’t there a bit in the Bible about not making icons of God in general? Shit on God is only a concern if you believe that God isn’t infinite, Karen. If he is, he’s both the shit and the icon. Why do you want to deny God his dominion, Karen? Why do you hate God?

    “I don’t lose any sleep over the offense. My argument is if you feel it is a benefit then you should pay for it. ”

    So should you! It’s your civic responsibility! Just like I pay for libraries that house books like Mein Kampf or Who Moved My Cheese. I’m not sure why you’re against responsibility, Karen. Maybe your parents didn’t raise you properly.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 07:42PM    #
  20. “Do you think anyone moves here or any business locates here because of Ann Arbor’s film fest?”

    Actually, I know a couple of small businesses that are (or were) here because of the film festival. They did 16mm editing and production work, and since this is one of the last festivals in the world that accepts 16mm entries, they were here. But don’t let facts get in the way of being wrong, Karen.


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 07:44PM    #
  21. Let’s not abuse visitors who are not similarly abusing you. I am sure Karen’s parents raised her properly. Nor does she hate God, I imagine.

    “God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he reap” (Romans 3:8) is probably a good summary of the Biblical attitude; I doubt that people putting excrement on pictures of God are principled icon-oclasts and Puritans who are upholding the 2nd Commandment against graven images: rather, they appear to be mocking religion and God instead. (Besides, putting a cross in urine a la “P-ss Christ”, is not technically putting an image of GOD in urine, unless it is a crucifix with mounted Christ. So, the “we’re just mocking graven images of God” argument fails there. Would you be happy with people going to the bathroom on a Star of David? I wouldn’t.) ...And no, for most of us, God is not excrement. Sorry.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 08:13PM    #
  22. Yep- makes sense now. Your parents taught you responsibility so now you feel obligated to fund obnoxious art and reluctant to fund libraries. This explains alot about why you hate rational discussion. If God is both shit and an icon what religon is it that you expouse?


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 26 '06 - 08:29PM    #
  23. Karen, do you think that the foster kids you work with would not or do not benefit from educational and cultural activities like film festivals, museums, art galleries, etc.?

    Do you also not believe that people move to Ann Arbor for jobs and to start companies because of the cultural opportunities here? (“value added”?)

    If the answer to either of these questions is no, there is no way you can have a conversation with anyone here (nor most people from Ann Arbor, I suspect), because these are so clearly agreed-upon as to be axiomatic.


       —Dale    Apr. 26 '06 - 09:06PM    #
  24. David— Once again, your lack of knowledge prevents you from contributing. Piss Christ (which is OK to type, David) isn’t just a crusifix. Feel free to actually know what you’re talking about once in a while, David, as it will mark a charming contrast.
    And I’d be perfectly fine with people shitting on a Star of David, because the God I believe in is more harmed by those small-minded folks who seek to act in his name than by people trying to garner momentary noteriety through shocking displays and controversy. Further, that quote from Romans applies to divine retribution, not the acts of man.

    “If God is both shit and an icon what religon is it that you expouse?”

    The doctrine that God is all-powerful and all-present. Which is a pretty basic underpinning of all Western religions past Plato. Deism? Pantheism? Unitarianism?

    “Your parents taught you responsibility so now you feel obligated to fund obnoxious art and reluctant to fund libraries. This explains alot about why you hate rational discussion.”

    Aww, Karen, if I were to take your rhetorical stance, I’d say from your retort that you’re reluctant to fund things like the Lincoln Memorial but feel obligated to make sure that Mein Kampf is in every library. See how that’s not actually the point that was being made? The point being made is that I am both obligated and proud to fund both. That means that I fund art that I disagree with personally (and gladly) just as I feel that it’s a great idea to have books in the library that I disagree with as strongly as possible. The best way to deal with bad ideas and ideas we disagree with is to put them in front of the public and let people make up their own minds. Even when they like something obnoxious or stupid. That’s why I don’t mind having the Bible (or the Book of Mormon or the Koran or the Vedas) in the library— having it there enriches our whole culture, even though it’s a poorly-written bunch of hogwash for the most part.

    And yeah, my parents taught me that I have a responsibility to both question my society and government, and that I have an obligation to support my society even when I don’t necessarily agree with all of the decisions that are made. Didn’t your parents teach you that, Karen? Why not?


       —js    Apr. 26 '06 - 09:09PM    #
  25. From Wikipedia, I see the “P-ss Christ” thing is a crucifix with body mounted; but I had said, “unless it is a crucifix with mounted Christ”, so I’m covered. ...And, if there were no Christ on the cross, you’d be comfortable with it?

    Then again, you’d be comfortable with people defecating on a Star of David. I don’t think you’ll be getting the B’nai B’rith award for anything this year, believe me. Say hello to the campus chapter of Hillel for me. ...I see you are insulting Karen’s parents again, but I am still not sure why; she is not the one who is comfortable with Nazi-type activities like relieving oneself on the symbol of the Jewish people. And the Bible quote (which is Galatians 6:7, actually, although I misread the source as being Romans 3:8…no big disaster here) is about God’s retribution FOR “man’s” (people’s) bad behavior which mocks God.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 26 '06 - 09:25PM    #
  26. Christ (blasphemy and pun intended)!!! Just so there’s no argument over what the Piss Christ is:

    It’s a photograph. If one didn’t know it was a plastic Jesus in a jar one would likely assume it was Jesus through dirty lens filter and/or under a heat lamp. Big deal. I thought people got over this thing a decade or two ago.

    Then again, you’d be comfortable with people defecating on INSERT RELIGIOUS SYMBOL HERE…

    Comfortable? Maybe, maybe not. But I wouldn’t make a stink about it (I’ll stop the puns now, I swear). What makes me uncomfortable, and getting back to the original post, is any law, proposed or enacted, that imposes religious ideas (or contains the word religion, for that matter, aside that whole Amendment I thing).

    Great. Now this web site will never get funding.


       —FAA    Apr. 26 '06 - 09:57PM    #
  27. Nor its successor.


       —Dale    Apr. 26 '06 - 10:03PM    #
  28. It’s Piss Christ, dipshit. The words don’t have any special magic, and you can type the name of the piece without dying.
    And as long as morons like you play the Nazi card when faced with speech they don’t like there will be a need for people like me to tell you that you’re fucking retarded and need to have your tea parties in private. The public sphere should be loud, contentious and impolite because those are good ways of measuring how much freedom we have. It takes no effort to defend an idea that you agree with, and every effort to defend an idea that you loathe, if I may paraphrase a Justice. And by funding those ideas that we don’t agree with we strengthen our democracy and our civilization. If left up to you and Karen, we’d be milquetoasts hiding in cupboards lest the world offend us.
    And as I said, if God’s annoyed that I mock him let him tell me himself. Until then, the Bible’s bullshit, Solomon’s an adulterer, Mohammed’s a pederast and Jesus is a dead virgin who was right about some things and totally backwards retarded about plenty else. If Hillel asks me, I’ll tell ‘em the same thing: Stop taking yourself so seriously or get fucked.


       —js    Apr. 27 '06 - 01:34AM    #
  29. So now I’m the d-psh-t f-cking retarded moron who keeps typing “P-ss Christ”. I’m omitting so many vowels, it may as well be Hebrew.

    I have no desire to hide in a cupboard, but I realize that though we have the freedom to behave like asses or other words for donkey, we are not OBLIGED to behave that way. Call it taste, maturity, or whatever, but it’s there.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 01:58AM    #
  30. Karen:

    You saw the pictures of the NY exhibit? Wonderful. Had you gone to the exhibit or, I don’t know, bothered to read a little bit about the painting or the artist, you would have avoided the mistake that literally millions of conservatives made in reacting to the art in question. I went to that exhibit. Among other pieces, there was a mural of the virgin mary on display. If I recall, she was black and her breast was made of elephant dung. The artist explained that he chose elephant dung to represent her breast as it had some sort of symbolism in traditional african culture – fertility or life or something like that. It wasn’t mean as a sacriledge. The virgin mary was not being desecrated.

    But Mayor Rudy, yet to be minted 9/11 hero, wanted to shut the building down. He said that artists were flinging dung at the Virgin Mary. In short, he created a national outrage over nothing, and somehow, years later, the great lie has claimed another. Congrats Karen.

    So where do you get off? You didn’t understand the NY exhibit before you called it a desecration, so I don’t think you have the right to editorialize on the Ann Arbor show, on what is and what is not offensive art. You don’t like something that is taxpayer funded? You have a vote. But you don’t have a line item veto on art that you find objectionable. Art raises the quality of life. Even bad art.

    On the rest of it, JS is 100% right.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 02:12AM    #
  31. Careful Dan. The “parents” remarks??


       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 02:15AM    #
  32. Ok. Maybe 95%.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:05AM    #
  33. Then again, this the same book burning bullshit coming from the “family values” camp – a group that loves to tell us that bad kids come from bad parents. That sword cuts both ways, and frankly I don’t think js is wrong in turning it around.


       —Daniel adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:12AM    #
  34. Karen,

    Do you get worked up over the Billions of public tax dollars being shipped over to Iraq and our young men and women being shipped home in body bags? Or is your outrage limited just to offending artwork? Just curious.


       —John Q.,    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:46AM    #
  35. “So now I’m the d-psh-t f-cking retarded moron who keeps typing “P-ss Christ”. I’m omitting so many vowels, it may as well be Hebrew.”

    No, David. You’re the dipshit fucking retarded moron who keeps typing “P-ss Christ.” The difference is that these words aren’t the dangerous magic you make them out to be, and your pusillamity marks you as an intellectual coward. Flat out, David, if you can’t even bother to type the title of the work, you can’t have your opinion taken seriously. Sorry. I know it’s worth more to you to be a mincing sissy than it is to be honest, but luckily we’re not all bound by your taboos.


       —js    Apr. 27 '06 - 05:01AM    #
  36. I don’t get worked up over billions of public tax dollars being shipped over to Iraq and our young men and women being shipped home in body bags. Government is responsible for protecting its citizens from threats from abroad. I served in the U.S. armed forces in a foreign country, so I know personally the sacrifices that have been made by brave soldiers. So please stop referring to my parent’s training – I am not a snot nosed brat who just left home and still visits my parents for laundry or allowance.

    My comments were not specifically made about the Ann Arbor Film Fest, but the funding of the arts in general. I am not imposing my moral values on anyone as I believe in free expression. Just don’t make me pay for attacks against my (or others) beliefs. In our country, dung smeared on pictures is an insult, so spare the BS about reverence. Mayor Rudy understands the majority response to this type of “art”. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he got the nomination and was elected as our next president.

    Regardless of what you may think being isolated in the republic of Ann Arbor, the rest of the country is not liberal and hasn’t been for some time. Our nation’s map is a sea of red with isolated specks of blue around universities and urban areas.

    Bad art does not raise the quality of life. A personal relationship with God not only raises the quality of life, but its longevity. Repent and Believe and You Will Be Saved. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. May God Bless You All!


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 27 '06 - 12:34PM    #
  37. Karen:

    Wait a minute. “In our country, dung smeared on pictures is an insult, so spare the BS about reverence. Mayor Rudy understands the majority response to this type of ‘art.’”

    Are you kidding me? Karen: I’m telling you that the majority was wrong. That you are wrong. This isn’t a debatable issue and it isn’t “BS.” The artist was paying homage to the virgin mary. Plain and simple. Millions of Americans got it wrong. That you’d press on after being corrected suggests either stubbornness, ethnocentrism or both.

    But it isn’t that you and others got it wrong – saw offense where there was none – that really irks me. People can have different reactions to art. That’s fine. What bugs me is that rather than accept the fact that bad or offensive art will be produced alongside great, transcendant art, your first reaction is to pull the funding on it.

    Art enriches life. Unfortunately, many different kinds of art can’t survive without outside funding – private and public. Arthur Miller relied on outside funding in his early years. Its important that we fund it because great civilizations have great art. And when we start funding it, we can’t then pick and choose what comes out. That’s not art. I’m not asking you to like or even agree with everything that is produced through programs like the NEA. I’m saying: Take the bad with the good. You can’t have one without the other.

    “Regardless of what you may think being isolated in the republic of Ann Arbor, the rest of the country is not liberal and hasn’t been for some time. Our nation’s map is a sea of red with isolated specks of blue around universities and urban areas.”

    I love comments like this – as if being on the winning team is far more important to you than being right on this issue.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 01:31PM    #
  38. Karen—would you do me a favor and point out to me some good art? And, if you wouldn’t mind, would you explain why you think it is good? Also, would you point out to me some bad art, in the same genre? Then, if it’s not too much trouble, explain to me why the good art is better than the bad art?

    Then, could you eliminate all subjectivity from those evaluations and explain why I think the good art is good and the bad art is bad? And, while you’re performing this necessary exercise for distinguishing good art from bad, explain why someone from another cultural or ethnic context (even someone living in the USA) must agree that the good art is good and the bad art is bad.

    If you’re unable to do this, your emphasis on the distinction of good and bad art doesn’t hold up. (In fact, I think few on AU could do it, but no one else is saying that art we think is bad doesn’t have a place in society.) But I think that’s already clear.


       —Dale    Apr. 27 '06 - 01:42PM    #
  39. Dale,

    Since you are such an expert on this piece of artwork which paid homage to the Virgin Mary, what is the significance of the numerous cutouts from porn magazines of naked buttocks which were pasted all over the “artwork”? You crack me up. Since you expressed your opinion it is no longer a debatable issue???? Your opinion is not a “correction” – its just your opinion.


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 27 '06 - 02:00PM    #
  40. I’m sorry. I was responding to Dan not Dale. My bad.


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 27 '06 - 02:03PM    #
  41. Please Karen, I don’t want your blessing; or any other religious dogma you want to post. This discussion was about the funding (or lack of funding) for art; and god and religion play no part in it.

    Funding the arts, as well as education, has always been difficult for politicians because they have to fund things which, by definition, are inefficient, sloppy, controversial, shocking etc. but at the same time they want to dictate the content so that these ventures are sanitized of any controversy. Of the two, the arts always take the bigger hit because there are fewer pragmatic reasons to support them and more of the content can make them sweat. But they should not be sanitized, they are messy affairs (like raising children) and if you do not have the stomach for Piss Christ or any of the many, many works that push at the limits of thinking and making then you should make your own cocoon, fashioned with Martha Steward and Norman Rockwell, and stay there.

    As far as the actual funding goes, the paltry amount offered collectively by our governments from the local to the national levels is embarrassing; and then they have the nerve to impose puritanical restrictions. I am pleased to have my money support artists who explore controversial content, conservative or liberal. I want to be challenged. I am not afraid of not understanding or being shocked.

    Karen, you wrote, “I am not imposing my moral values on anyone as I believe in free expression. Just don’t make me pay for attacks against my (or others) beliefs.” I don’t think you really believe that. I think your back is up solely because this is your god this time. I found it interesting that you followed and contributed to a string a few months ago regarding cartoons lampooning someone else’s god and didn’t even bother to point out that maybe the cartoonist could have been more respectful. Tell me would you support (not fund), but intellectually, verbally, wholeheartedly support Serrano in his endeavors? Will you speak, or even shout out, that these types of questioning, art works are great and challenging? Is his work something that you simply do not want to pay for but you really, really want it to exist? Are you pleased that someone is exploring religion, your religion, in this way? I do not get that feeling.

    I applaud js and Daniel, for pointing out Karen’s ignorance (and Rudy’s) of the original art works. Most of the artists we consider great today had their moments where they were vilified for their work due to content, or misunderstanding, or both; particularly backed up by some reference to god or religion or morality. Now those same artists’ work adorn the walls of college dorm rooms, and tee shirts, and magazine ads all across the country. Go figure.

    Hell, in the name of religion, Galileo was tried and forced to confess that the Sun went around the Earth only to be formally pardoned in 1992! Explain that. With god on your side…


       —cb    Apr. 27 '06 - 02:31PM    #
  42. Karen:

    First the painting is “immoral” because an artist smearing the virgin mary with shit. When I correct you (twice) for not knowing what you’re talking about, you (finally) take the time to have another look at the painting. Now its not about the elephant dung, but about the porn cut outs. Give me a break.

    Second, allow me to distinguish for you the difference between fact and opinion. Fact: The artist wasn’t defacing the virgin mary with the elephant dung. Reverence can take many forms, and here the artist used an traditional symbol to pay homage. As much as something can be objectively true, this IS a matter of fact.

    I was very clear, however, that you’re still entitled to your opinion – to view the art how you like. If you still view the painting as “offensive” in spite of the fact that the artist meant the use of elephant dung reverently (not to desecrate), I would argue that you’re either supremely stubborn or supremely ethnocentric. Unlike my factual assertions about the painting, this is a matter of opinion, and feel free to disagree.

    If anything, this conversation underlies the subjectivity (and value) of art. One man’s art is another (wo)man’s vulgarity. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean that the painting didn’t have value or that it doesn’t deserve our support.

    I have not claimed to be an expert on the painting – just someone who bothered to seek the truth before passing judgment. What a concept, huh? I don’t know what the porn cut outs are about – possibly to contrast the difference between something that is holy and something that is profane. In light of what you know now about the painting and about the artist, what do you think they are about?


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:03PM    #
  43. cb

    I’m sure you’re not the only person on this site that doesn’t want me to post religious dogma. But I bet you are thankful that you aren’t required to pay for it. I am not opposed to the free publication of cartoons lambasting anyone’s religious views. Check out Doonesbury for its frequent publications or watch the Simpsons for a few episodes. The cartoons lambasting the depiction of “another God” could have been more respectful. But the artist is entitled to their opinion. I have a choice whether or not to fund these. There is no inconsistency in my position.

    In my opinion, I don’t believe that Serrano’s art (that which I have seen or heard of) is great or challenging. If it’s not already obvious – I am not an artist. I have no desire to prevent others who may appreciate his art from supporting it or buying it. His work is offensive to Catholics. The virgin Mary is not my God. I am not a Catholic.

    Galileo was at odds with the leadership of the Catholic Church. With God on my side… I will state that the Bible does not contain any reference to the Sun revolving around the earth. Galileo’s dispute was with men, not God.


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:18PM    #
  44. Karen:

    Taking a step back, I don’t think that this is necessarily a religious/secular, left/right thing – though its often the religious right that’s attacking art, artists and the NEA.

    Even though the image of the virgin mary doesn’t hold any sort of significance for me, I’ve seen art that has offended me a great deal. At that same NY exhibit, a guy had made a collage depicting a famous child molester out of tiny school photos of British elementary students. I found it pretty damn offensive.

    But I didn’t go running to the mayor’s office and demand that they yank funding for the museum. Several reasons:
    1) Like I said before, you can’t pick and choose – either fund it all or fund none of it. We choose the latter option at our cultural peril.
    2) Somebody else probably took something away from it. Hell, even I took something away from it.
    3) Like a lot of things, it comes down to tolerance and an appreciation for the value of art. Applaud what moves you, tolerate what doesn’t, and keep the art coming.

    I think that cb is right in that there is a level of disenginuity here. This isn’t about funding. This is making something you don’t care for go away – about sterilizing culture.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:46PM    #
  45. An article about the epistemological functions of imagination in religion as demostrated by ‘ostentatio genitalium,’ or the depicted genitals of Christ

    “I don’t get worked up over billions of public tax dollars being shipped over to Iraq and our young men and women being shipped home in body bags. Government is responsible for protecting its citizens from threats from abroad.”

    I’m sorry, that’s a basic abdication of your responsibilities as a citizen. Not only should our government be protecting us, they should be protecting us wisely and responsibly. At the very basest level, that of fiscal responsibility in the war in Iraq, that is demostrably not the case. At the more important level, where the question of per death benefit comes out, it’s hard to make a case there. I’m sorry, Karen, but it seems that your tendency towards being an ideologue has made you a supporter of suffering in this case. And you’ll note that both this pope and the last one agreed with me. It seems that some times, your God takes a back seat to your politics.

    “So please stop referring to my parent’s training – I am not a snot nosed brat who just left home and still visits my parents for laundry or allowance.”

    Your advanced age has not yet imparted you with the responsibility required to be a good citizen, Karen. I suppose you’re right, that at some point those failings become your own and not your parents, though I can’t help but think that if they had just tried a little harder you might have turned out differently.

    “Just don’t make me pay for attacks against my (or others) beliefs. ”

    Sorry, Karen, can’t be helped. In a pluralistic society with universal taxation, everyone has to pay for something they don’t agree with. Be it ethanol subsidies or Huckelberry Finn, that’s just the cost of civic responsibility. You’ll note that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t seek to define through your representatives what you feel the priorities should be, only that your petulant refusal to go along with anything that might affend your tightly-wound sense of dignity is childish. (Which brings us back to your parents.)

    “In our country, dung smeared on pictures is an insult, so spare the BS about reverence. Mayor Rudy understands the majority response to this type of “art”. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he got the nomination and was elected as our next president.”

    Well, you’re an idiot on two counts here Karen, and it doesn’t seem like you have the moral courage to confront that. The dung is part of a creation myth, which doesn’t take much brain power to understand so long as you’re not frigging yourself every time you condemn something you don’t understand. As for the second, “Benito” Guilliani is an adulterer who’s already squandered his political capital. We all have our secret dreams, Karen, but your fantasies of Rudy’s cool presidential hand on your thigh will have to stay unfulfilled.

    “Regardless of what you may think being isolated in the republic of Ann Arbor, the rest of the country is not liberal and hasn’t been for some time. Our nation’s map is a sea of red with isolated specks of blue around universities and urban areas.”

    Well, two things here Karen, first off the divide really isn’t that statistically significant. It’s about 50-50. Second off, that’s due to a tremendous failure on the part of the religious combined with the rapacious actions of corporations. The heart of this country is liberal, Karen, and maybe if you’d paid more attention in Civics instead of swooning over John Birch you’d have learned that.

    “Bad art does not raise the quality of life. A personal relationship with God not only raises the quality of life, but its longevity. Repent and Believe and You Will Be Saved. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. May God Bless You All!”

    Even bad art raises the quality of life, Karen, otherwise people wouldn’t spring for Thomas Kincade paintings. Further, in terms of quality of life, art activities improve quality of life for seniors above the level attributed to religion. And pets are better than both. Further, universal health care would be even more effective.
    Karen, you seem to have learned John 3:16, maybe you should take another look at Matthew 25:35-45. Chick Tract Christianity impresses me less than good works.

    “Since you are such an expert on this piece of artwork which paid homage to the Virgin Mary, what is the significance of the numerous cutouts from porn magazines of naked buttocks which were pasted all over the “artwork”? You crack me up.”

    Jesus came out of a vagina, Karen. It’s OK to think about fertility symbols, which include both the Virgin Mary and booties. (Though I know it makes you wince to just think about Jesus coming out of a vagina).

    “I will state that the Bible does not contain any reference to the Sun revolving around the earth.”

    Karen, you need to read your Bible more closely. See: Joshua 10 and Ecclsiastes, along with references in Job, Psalms, Judges and Isiah. But hey, you’re wrong about civic responsibility, you’re wrong about art, you’re wrong about the very book that you pretend to live by, why should you bother to examine it? Karen Luck, wrong for America.


       —js    Apr. 27 '06 - 03:55PM    #
  46. “I’m sure you’re not the only person on this site that doesn’t want me to post religious dogma. But I bet you are thankful that you aren’t required to pay for it.”

    But I do pay for it; I support all religions whether I want to or not. My mother sits in an office every week and counts the money her church hauls in and do you know how much of that goes to taxes? None. Every church, synagogue, mosque, temple etc. is exempt from taxes, even I believe the televangelists. But we (all of us) pay for the roads to their buildings and the water and sewer and I don’t have a say in next week’s homily. (The churches then spend their money fighting for prayer in the public schools attended by children who do not wish to pray.) And of course, there are no bad products from our support of religion, never an accident that might not be considered well … appropriate from a person of faith. I cannot think of one time when I thought that my support for religion was not being spent wisely… except for those bombastic hate-mongering missionaries, the philandering ministers, thieving clerics, and of course the pedophile priests.

    But the conversation is about funding art, not religion, because we all know that getting religious institutions to pay their way is a non-starter.

    “In my opinion, I don’t believe that Serrano’s art (that which I have seen or heard of) is great or challenging. If it’s not already obvious – I am not an artist.”

    I am sure the same or similar comments were uttered about, Picasso, Van Gogh, Duchamp, Matisse, Cage, Warhol, Maplethorpe, Johns, Manet, Cezanne… oh the list is so long. And Karen you should look up Johns he ‘desecrated’ the flag and put penises in museums. I am not sure if he was funded by the NEA, but his work is held in our museums now that it is worth a lot of money. Your response is the classic, ‘I don’t know nothing about art, but this is not art”; one of my favorites. I usually let it slide when I am in a museum but when used to argue against funding the arts it cannot stand. Karen, go and read a damn book before you publicly denounce something you admittedly know nothing about. Karen, go and kick yourself for being so self-centered, pig-headed and myopic that you ignore someone’s informed caution that you might not have the facts and instead argue with him citing completely wrong information. I don’t know about your parents but you were not paying attention in elementary school, we used to get graded in ‘study habits’ Know your facts before you open your keyboard.


       —cb    Apr. 27 '06 - 05:17PM    #
  47. JS
    I just did a complete search of Joshua and Ecclsiastes, along with Job, Psalms, Judges and Isiah. References to the sun rising or setting are not equivalent to saying the sun revolves around the earth. References to the sun traveling across the sky as the day progress are not equivalent to saying the sun revolves around the earth. You are wrong. I noticed you did not include the exact verses that you believe that state the “sun revolves around the earth”.

    The pope is not God. He is an authority for Catholics only.

    cb
    Last time I checked we paid for the roads and the water and sewer to all the museums as well. You are wrong to suggest that I am judging what is or isn’t art. I prefer to lump it all together myself. If all the funding for the NEA dried up tomorrow the total impact on the quality of my life would be zilch. If you weren’t so self-centered, pig-headed and myopic yourself, then you would realize that there are alot of people who share my point of view. Get over it.


       —Karen Luck    Apr. 27 '06 - 06:00PM    #
  48. “If you weren’t so self-centered, pig-headed and myopic yourself, then you would realize that there are alot of people who share my point of view.”

    Karen, I don’t believe that I, or anyone else on this side of the table has been self-centered or pig-headed. I’ve tried to convey to you that art is good, not just because I think it is good, but because it IS good for all people. That’s a very egalitarian, unselfish point of view.

    Thus far, your only response to that has been to say that “if all the funding for the NEA dried up tomorrow the total impact on the quality of my life would be zilch.” First, this is factually incorrect, as I guarantee that you’ve come across publically funded art at least once in your lifetime and had some reaction to it. Think, I dunno, the virgin mary painting that we’ve been talking about on this board for the last 36 hours.

    Second, your basic argument against public arts funding is that you, Karen Luck, don’t like art – an argument that fits the definition of “self-centered” to a T, in that it centers around you. You cannot argue that art is bad, or that having more art is bad for society, because art is good and art makes human’s happier, smarter, richer, better. If both of those things are true, then yes – in the same breath the government ensures our safety, in should also to ensure that this other public good will continue. And if the goverment is funding it, it cannot pick and choose what not to fund, because that wouldn’t be art.

    That other people agree with you does NOTHING to logically advance your position. Yes: There are a lot of people in this country who think that art doesn’t matter to them. As it happens, there are also a lot of people out there who still think that some wacko nutjob artist sacreligiously smeared shit on the virgin mary. And there are people who think babies come from storks and that conservatives eat their young. They’re all wrong to different degrees. Not because I think so. Not because I say so. Because they are.

    And if I need to make a case why art raises all boats, then I fear that we’ve lost you.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 06:34PM    #
  49. Oh, Karen, try not to be so wrong. Here’s the Biblical case for geocentrism as presented against people like Galileo and Copernicus:
    First off, the Earth is presented as an “unmoving foundation.” (Psalm 93:1), which is echoed in many other places (Heb. 1:10, Psalm 104:5, the Genesis story of creation in which the Earth is created first, then the Heavens set around it). Ecclsiastes 1:5 talks not just about the sun rising, but also “hastening to its place” so that it may rise again. Psalm 19:4-6 describes the Sun as running on a course and completing a circuit. Constellations are continually seen as needing to be guided about their “courses” (Judges 5:20, Isiah 40:26, Job 38:31-33).
    As the earth is AGAIN AND AGAIN presented as unmoving (even in an earthquake, when it is “shaken but not moved”), and the sun and stars are presented as being MOVED in their courses again and again, Karen, most notably in Joshua where God STOPS THE SUN IN THE SKY rather than stopping the Earth, it is impossible to argue that the Bible does not have a geocentric view, Karen. To do so is to ignore the plain language of the Bible for your own ends.
    Not all fools are biblical literalists, Karen, but all biblical literalists are fools. And to make any other argument is to contort your mind tortuously rather than to use the god-given sense to reject the bunk of biblical astronomy.

    “If you weren’t so self-centered, pig-headed and myopic yourself, then you would realize that there are alot of people who share my point of view. Get over it.”

    Karen, just because you find other fools to stand with you doesn’t mean you’re not a fool. If you weren’t so self-centered, pig-headed and short-sighted you’d realize that your view is wrong, demonstrably.


       —js    Apr. 27 '06 - 06:51PM    #
  50. Karen

    Clearly you are missing my point so I will make it as clear as possible, without mention of upbringing.

    My taxes currently support both organized religion and the arts. With respect to organized religion there are both good and bad outcomes. With respect to the arts one can argue the same. Organized religion is big business. The arts, on the level we are discussing, are not big business. In the name of religion some try to cut our meager support for the arts. The arts on the other hand cannot and do not affect the status or tax implications for organized religion. Seem fair to you?

    I am happy to continue to leave the tax exempt status for organized religion; and I assume that that is way more money that we are talking about is used to fund the arts. I am also happy to continue to fund the arts, even the ones I may not enjoy.

    That said I am most surprised at the narcissistic comment from someone who recently gave me their blessing. You said, “If all the funding for the NEA dried up tomorrow the total impact on the quality of my life would be zilch.” So has it all been about you this whole time? Since you think you won’t be affected its OK to not fund the NEA. May I inquire just which religion you participate in that supports this kind of relationship with the world? What do you care if New Orleans is flooded? San Francisco falls into the Pacific? Shiites kill Sunnis? Hutu kill Tutsi? None of this affects you. Scary to think, “…that there are alot [sic] of people who share my point of view.”


       —cb    Apr. 27 '06 - 06:59PM    #
  51. 1. Even if I were a “d-psh-t f-cking retarded moron who keeps typing ‘P-ss Christ’ and is a pusilla[ni]mous intellectual coward who can’t have his opinion taken seriously and is a mincing sissy”...how do you keep track of all those epithets at once, by the way?..., at least I’m not sexually harassing Karen Luck as you may be doing, see “We all have our secret dreams, Karen, but your fantasies of Rudy’s cool presidential hand on your thigh will have to stay unfulfilled.” I’d be interested if you’d say that to her face, especially with her husband, brother, son, or father around, not to mention the police. So who would the real “sissy” and “coward” be then?

    2. As for omitting letters: so every news commentator who says “n-word” instead of the full racial slur, is now a coward and mincing sissy? Where do you get that from??

    3. More on Karen: “Your advanced age has not yet imparted you with the responsibility required to be a good citizen, Karen. I suppose you’re right, that at some point those failings become your own and not your parents, though I can’t help but think that if they had just tried a little harder you might have turned out differently. ...your petulant refusal to go along with anything that might affend your tightly-wound sense of dignity is childish. (Which brings us back to your parents.)

    Well, you’re an idiot on two counts here Karen, and it doesn’t seem like you have the moral courage to confront that. The dung is part of a creation myth, which doesn’t take much brain power to understand so long as you’re not frigging yourself every time you condemn something you don’t understand…. ...Karen Luck, wrong for America.”

    Did you even read what you wrote? More possible sexual harassment (“frigging yourself”), and all manner of abuse, age-ism, etc. This does not count as reasoned argument. And you are supposed to be a host on a site about “Ann Arbor Area Community News”, not “Ann Arbor Area Community Abuse”.

    4. As for dung: it is reasonable to pay attention to sentiments of the host country, America. I understand it when our military advises soldiers in Saudi Arabia not to go around gratuitously waving around copies of Penthouse and Playboy, and it is understandable if the symbolism of dung in this country makes people wonder if they want their tax money used for certain “artistic” displays.

    Not to mention that little “law” thing, see, e.g., Supreme Court rules decency may be considered in arts grants , “The federal government can require the National Endowment for the Arts to consider decency standards when deciding how to distribute its grant money, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a near-unanimous decision Thursday.

    The ruling came on a Justice Department appeal of lower court rulings that a law requiring consideration of “general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public” in granting public monies for the arts was unconstitutional.

    “We conclude that (the law) is … valid, as it neither inherently interferes with First Amendment rights nor violates constitutional vagueness principles,” wrote Justice Sandra Day O’Connor for the majority. ...”

    5. Bad art could improve the quality of life some, but there are always cost-effectiveness issues: e.g., maybe the US could pay Thomas Kinkade to paint the most “luminous” black velvet Elvis painting ever, for $10 million, but maybe that money could be better spent on body armor for our troops. For example.

    6. Nevertheless, Karen, when she isn’t being harassed and abused by site hosts here, might want to reflect that even the Washington Monument could be considered a form of publicly-funded art. So, I think it’s safe to say that some public spending on art is o.k., maybe even on the Ann Arbor Film Festival, within limits.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 07:10PM    #
  52. “I understand it when our military advises soldiers in Saudi Arabia not to go around gratuitously waving around copies of Penthouse and Playboy, and it is understandable if the symbolism of dung in this country makes people wonder if they want their tax money used for certain “artistic” displays.”

    Difference: Penthouse is still porn here. Difference: This is a painting that received a fairly prestigious award. This shouldn’t be a stretch for people. Look at the art. Find out why. Make judgments as you see fit. Karen skipped a few steps in there. Last, what’s with the “artistic” bit? Is that word in quotes because you’re skeptical on the artistic value of this piece?

    Yes, there are cost effectiveness issues – at a point. But as I understand it, the NEA isn’t exactly swimming in dough. So unless you can tell me where the waste is or how the money could be better spent, I say hogwash.

    I don’t disagree with the court’s ruling – to a point. Obviously there have to be some limits. But I’m fine with the NEA making those sorts of decisions.


       —Daniel Adams    Apr. 27 '06 - 07:42PM    #
  53. I support the NEA as a rule, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival too. And maybe the elephant-dung artist had serious artistic intentions, too. Still, I can understand those who might want to cut public funding or what-have-you.

    Penthouse is still porn here, but you can see the top of it peeking over the thing they use to cover most of the magazine in the rack at the 7-11 or whatever. If Saudis don’t want it sold at all, or only kept on U.S. military bases and not taken off them, that could be understandable.
       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 07:55PM    #
  54. David

    …and maybe Karen can consider the overt symbolism of the ‘Father of our Country’ being memorialized by the largest phallus on the continent.


       —cb    Apr. 27 '06 - 08:00PM    #
  55. Hey, I didn’t design it.—Just think of it as “world’s largest nail file shape” or something.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 08:02PM    #
  56. js is an 8
    David Boyle is a 9


       —Enneagram    Apr. 27 '06 - 08:17PM    #
  57. Thanks. Had to Google “enneagram” first, of course.


       —David Boyle    Apr. 27 '06 - 08:49PM    #
  58. The News reports that, in response to the threat of state funding cuts, the film fest has chosen not to seek state funds in the “near future” in this editorial:

    http://tinyurl.com/gf5ca

    The article side-steps the issue of whether government should support controversial art by saying that this is an opportunity for the film fest to secure other funding. It would be interesting to see whether the News is willing to put its money where its mouth is on this issue. They are not currently listed as a sponsor of the festival.

    Pfizer and Verizon are already contributing to the effort, which suggests that the News’ suggestion is not exactly revolutionary.


       —Scott TenBrink    May. 9 '06 - 04:26AM    #