Thursday, January 27, 2005

Exposure to Alternative Lifestyles

Do you think the debate regarding federal (NEA) spending on controversial art is the same as the oen regarding federal spending on controversial public broadcasting (NPR, PBS, CSPAN, etc . . .)?

I tend to think that they differ with the money spent on the latter more justified. While I support almost complete "no strings attached" funding for the arts, I think I support controversial public broadcasting even more. While no one needs to experience Sensation
in order to be a productive member of society, we do need to learn to be respectful of other people even if we disagree with their life style.

To make it clear, I'm talking about art/programming that doesn't violate people's rights.


Blogger Vergasy said...

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7:13 PM  
Blogger Vergasy said...

I think the principle involved is that same in each case: publicly funded art/expression/speech--I don't see any normative difference between the two. When that is the case you have to make a practical argument, which Allan does.

Here's some thoughts:
-Perhaps NPR et al are better able to self-support through user fees, donations, etc than art would through user fees, patronage, etc. We might have non-negligible amounts of NPR-ish stuff without public funding whereas urine soaked crosses would disappear entirely if funding were pulled.
-I think things like Sensation serve the valuable purpose of forcing us to assert and reaffirm our commitment to First Amendment values, and that opportunity may arise less often without public funding.
-If learning to be respectful of those you disagree with is a good that should be funded by the public, should we pay talk radio not to carry O'Reilly, Medved, Savage, Limbaugh, Prager, Doyle, Hewitt, Ingraham, and the rest of my favorites?

7:23 PM  

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