Friday, November 07, 2008

God Bless The NEA!

While the nation remains in the hazy depths of the Obama Hope Coma brought on by his historic victory on Tuesday (doesn't it feel like it's been a lot longer than three days?), the great majority of the country has inadvertently (some intentionally) forgotten that we are still unfortunately under waning days of the Bush Administration. Although we can all take solace in the fact that January 20th is relatively right around the corner, we are certainly not out of the woods yet. In fact, this 70 some odd day period until Inauguration Day could be the most unpredictable days yet. Whether it's doing some last minute hostage negotiations, handing out presidential pardons like candy, or preserving the ideals of the dying Federalist Party within the judicial branch, with any outgoing presidential administration in full lame duck mode, there's no idea what crazy shit they'll pull.

I mean, wouldn't you do the same thing if you were told over two months prior that you would be replaced at your job by someone you fundamentally disagree with and there would be little to no repercussions for your actions during your remaining months of employment? That's why a lot of other jobs just give an outgoing employee a short two weeks and have the security guard keep an eye on them when then they take their stuff out. At least with the standard downsized wage slave the worst you can expect is some stolen office supplies or inappropriate mass emails, with the President you're talking about the reigns of the country and the free world.

In any case, while the Obamarama continues, the Bush administration has already started on its exit strategy. In what will most likely be the first of an increasing number of under the radar efforts to preserve the Bush legacy, the president has just recently appointed everyone's favorite hyper patriotic, neo-conservative country music superstar Lee Greenwood to a 6 year term as one of the 14 members of the National Council on the Arts. Had it not been for my unexplainable obsession with all things Lee Greenwood, this subtle little legacy of the Bush years would have been completely overlooked by me over all the election headlines.

And in the end why not Lee? I mean who is more in touch with the contemporary American arts community and of the plight of artists in general than Lee Greenwood.

You can keep those elitist art directors, turtleneck wearing dance troupe leaders, overly critical authors, snooty museum directors, and other pretentious members of the American creative intelligentsia. How many of them are willing to (at least in song form) "gladly stand up" next to America and "defend her still today"? How many of them make Toby Keith look like an Al Qaeda operative? How many of them can pull off the oh so difficult white short shorts and unbuttoned carnival barker shirt look so well?

Of course this isn't as earth shattering as stuffing the Supreme Court full of conservative Justices before you leave but it's still a little piece of the W. years that perhaps may even outlast the Obama presidency. It's definitely something for all you musicians, performers, and artists out there looking to improve your chances of scoring some funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Have an operetta that needs financing? Maybe you should throw in a song about the heartland of America. Need some funding to continue your series of contemporary abstract expressionist paintings? Try adding some more red, white, and blues. Need extra dough for that public art installation criticizing the war? It couldn't hurt to change the message to "join the army."

As for me, I think this may be the year I'll finally get enough support for my interpretive dance production of "God Bless the USA".

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