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billions of dollars, institutions which-wittingly or not-consent to a deep embeddedness within corporate and bureaucratic America, by targeting its tastes as their competitor, and its purse as their provider. Leonard Shapiro replies: GOALS AND PERCEPTIONS: If we are to agree on goals, this is what we must agree on: The world can be infinitely richer and better than it is. Art should be everywhere. (Monuments in every neighborhood,statues on every block, gardens,circuses,strollingplayers,streetart,light shows, weather art.Art on every building, art in every school, mazes, waterworks , happenings,carnivals,storytellersin the parks,dancers,puppets, music,fantastic temples, mosques, churches, Gothic vaults in the subways , city-wide dances.) I say do it through creative public works. You say do it privately. In my experience, "Do it privately" is a code phrase for "Don't do it at all." "You can't legislate conscience, you have to change people's minds, not the laws." This is what we were told on the freedom rides and sit-ins 30 years ago. You don't get art at home by driving it out of public spaces like a forbidden cult, but by fostering it as a public value. We need to open doors, not hide behind them. ARGUMENT: Askanas and Carey don't even mention the central, practical economic proposal of my article: to generate funds for national cultural endowments through the royalties on artistic work itself. Taxes, royalties, and usage fees are the means we have as a society for generating money for public projects. Why aren't these questions asked about "defense"? Supposedly because this is the one thing we all need. This is the core question, the unassailable working assumption of empire. The most destructive and expensive weapons the world has ever seen have not been able to defend our families, freedom, love of each other or relationship to the land from the greed heads; but if our culture were strong enough, we could defend it without weapons. Their whole argument is based on identification with some presumed silent majority, mute Afrikaaners with112 out children, without spirits, who don't take public transportation, who have nowhere to go. SUB-POPULATION WITH SPECIAL NEEDS? We are all part of several subpopulations . If there is a justification for government, it is in seeing all the sub-populations' collective needs as part of the general good. That's what makes these public issues. (The notion that the inner life is a special need of a sub-population seems to be a recent narrow development of capitalist materialism-isn't it true that most cultures through most of human history have recognized the spiritual needs of their citizenry as at least equal in importance to their material needs?) WHO ARE "WE"? We are the nurses. We are the memory. We are the tattoos. Yes, I am part of all these "we"s. I am a theatre artist not a critic, a hooker not a pimp. We speak in tongues. We are the people trying to make a life in the rubble of Darth Vadar's failed real estate deals. We are all so deeply hooked on the spectacle created by advertising and its Frankenstein commercial culture, that we can't see the forest for the tabloids. Any glimpse of reality is desperately hard to come by. Of course we can only talk about ourselves. Artists are Shamans not priests. We are wounded with our society's wounds. We bleed its HIV infected blood. We speak for those who can't speak, because we speak for ourselves. DEMAND FOR SPONSORSHIP. "If one takes money from Coca-Cola, one must be prepared to explain how the results benefited Coca-Cola." CocaCola takes money from us. Coca-Cola is one more drug pushed by our masters to keep us in thrall. Fuck Coca-Cola. Take their money. Break their bottles. THE NEED FOR ENDOWMENT. Cold War fantasy: "that 'underground' singers, secret cabarets, illegal publications played a more important role in promoting the self-understanding of iron-curtain societies than did the official institutions, however good." This proposition is a Hollywood projection based on cultural ignorance. The underground singers, secret cabarets and secret publications...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 112-114
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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