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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Frank Hamilton Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary! (66* d) RE: Senate Czars-committee on culture,scary! 23 Sep 99


jO, The conservative "right-wing" has always had an uneasy alliance with the arts since the artist tends to be "radical" and rebellious. The "religious" agenda offered as a solution for a supposed moral "regression" attempts to emasculate the power of art in the community, first by rejecting contemporary art as being morally invalid and second, by holding up a sanitized view of historical art and artists in comparison. Even so, the fact that Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Peter Illyich Tschaikovsky were homosexual, that Modigliani, Coleridge, had dope habits, and many were alcoholic or social outcasts such as Van Gogh or Gaugin, and others were Communists, or even facists such as Exra Pound is not lost on them. Hence for the conservative so-called "Christian" right-wing, art is considered the "enemy" that can't be controlled by "religion".

The recent shootings and reported violence are being used as a political football by these reactionary senators. First they'll start on Hollywood and then look for folkies later.

I lived through the period that all folk song singers were considered pawns of the Soviet Union. Hence, Burl Ives, Pete Seeger and Josh White appeared before the infamous House of UnAmerican Activities Committee which was presided over by the same reactionary politicians.

The Monica expose by the House had one clear motive, to discredit the standing Democratic president. When dealing with this reactionary mind-set, you see that for them, morality and politics tend to be one in the same. Pat Robertson, Buchanan and Ralph Reed have made this very clear. No attempt is made here to separate "church and state". Thomas Jefferson would have been horrified by todays Congressional manuever.

History is fraught with the model of the "Grand Inquisator" who seeks power either by burning books or destroying works of art and maligning the artist in the name of "Christianity", Communism, Facism or other prevailing cudgels of dogma. The folk singer or folk "revivalist" is pretty low on the Reactionary food chain these days but still presents a threat to them.

It's time for the arts community to speak out against this kind of repression with one voice. Time for singer/songwriters to write songs about it and for folks to get together and talk about it as we're doing here.

I think we need governmental protection against the abuses of political ideologues who attempt to impose their views on others. I still believe that we are the government with the power of the vote in spite of the seeming futility of that one vote.

It's a shame when these "repressors" are members of Congress. This is an old problem that's been with us for years. Historically, Americans have found the wisdom to make sane decisions and not succumb to right-wing extremism.

Damn, a long winded soap-box diatribe but coming from the heart.

Frank Hamilton


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