Got this from a Facebook friend who will remain nameless — a Secretary of the Arts Petition:
To: President-Elect Barack Obama
Congratulations and thank you for all you do.
Your good friend Quincy Jones said: “…next conversation I have with President Obama is to beg for a Secretary of Arts.” [November 14th 2008 WNYC interview by John Schaefer on “Soundcheck.”]
We the undersigned support Quincy Jones’ plea.
Couple of questions from this antistatist freelance choir director. First, how good a friend of Obama’s is Quincy Jones — should that even matter? Second, if the National Endowment for the Arts hasn’t been destructive enough to the arts already, why add another paid bureaucrat to the Unitary Executive? Just throw more funny money at the NEA instead — it’ll subvert its stated mission sooner rather than later.
I don’t have the energy or desire to pick this apart rigorously; but suffice it to say that while I understand at some level the sentiment behind this petition, not only will I refuse to sign it, but I will forever refuse to fall in lockstep with artists who would use the coercion and thievery of the state to advance their cause “for the betterment of all.”
Is there a counterpetition? If so, I’ll sign it immediately. In any case, I hope that the president-elect ignores his “good friend.”