Desperate times can lead to fast, foolish solutions. I’ve been fuming all day since getting the news that the Oregon legislature is trying to push through a bill that would allow the State to raid millions of dollars in funds that individual citizens specifically donated for the arts.
The bill’s big idea, of course, is to spending these contributions on badly needed operating expenses, rather than on the arts. The long-term damage of this tactic is obvious; why should anybody contribute to this fund again, when it can be reallocated at any time to become the State’s mad money? What a galling breach of public trust.
Once again the arts finds itself cast into an unfair dichotomy: arts vs. education, arts vs. health care. It’s a false spectrum that has to be shattered once and for all, but anyway:
Others have sounded the alarm already, including the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition, Art Scatter and Culture Shock, and they all provide us with the means to speak out against this shameful proposal. Please visit these sites for information about what you can do. The outcome of the protests – an outcome which may come as soon as this weekend -- will tell the nation whether Oregon is really run by progressives, as we like to think, or by a panicked passel of yahoos.
Meanwhile, Nancy Lublin has a money-making proposal I can actually support. Based on the fact that the average wedding costs 20K, she says all we have to do is legalize gay marriage and an estimated 60 million megabucks will flood the economy. How….stimulating.
Nancy, I like the way you think. And Cousin Tabitha, thanks for bringing this to our attention.