Thursday, January 22, 2009

Like What We Did for Education, Wait Til You See What We Do for the Arts

Slate magazine brings us Quincy Jones's proposal for a new cabinet post in the Obama administration:

We're getting a petition together for a secretary of the arts with a real Cabinet membership and all, because America is the only country -- whose music is probably most imitated in any country in the world -- the only country without a minister of culture or a secretary of the arts.

Quincy's inability to see a cause and effect relationship here reminds me of such amusing New York Times headlines as:

"Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling" (1997)
"Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops" (1998)
"Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction" (2000)
"More Inmates, Despite Slight Drop in Crime" (2003)

Mark my words, government oversight will be the worst thing to happen to the world wanting to imitate American music since "We Built This City" by Starship hit number one 1985.

To put it in another, more chilling, way, President Obama's influence in the distribution of American art will lead to a surplus of things like the poetry of Elizabeth Alexander.

You've been warned.

(Bonus material: Some random guy doing a passable impression of Elizabeth Alexander.)

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