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Scalia being "controversial" again

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia committed an apparently unpardonable sin before a Juilliard audience yesterday. He audaciously suggested that if the government pays for art, that it should be able to, you know, choose what art it pays for.

I know, it doesn't sound especially inflammatory to me either. Still, there must be something we're missing, because it clearly touched a nerve or two over at DU. Check out the first few comments on Scalia's offense against humanity:

All I want is 45 seconds alone with Fat Tony.

Fat Tony is a perfect name for that slug

i'll hold him down for you... gladly

That pretty much sets the tone for the thread, don't you think? Later we have

Any time this asswipe shows up in public we need people with cameras just to annoy this fuck

what nut case invited that mutant worm there to speak?

Republicans like Scalia are retarded socially.... He's simply sick.

The Nazis liked to pick their own art too, and burned or stole the rest.

After Godwin's Law kicked in, I stopped reading. K will no doubt suggest I should quit reading the board altogether. Perhaps she's right, but it's still capable of surprising me. I've never expected rational political discourse there, but there are sometimes threads such as this one which nevertheless mystify me entirely.

I mean, maybe it's understandable. Maybe it has very little to do with Scalia's remarks and everything to do with personality. Perhaps if someone started a DU thread in which Scalia was quoted as saying "The sun is big and round!" we'd be treated to a barrage of "Fuck YOU, you fat FUCKING Nazi Guido Wop!" Who knows? Anyone with posting privileges over at DU want to undertake a scientific experiment?


I, too, wish you would stop reading that stuff over at DU. It's a waste of time and energy.

I'm probably one of the few Dem's who actually do not like the idea of the government funding art at all. I love art (especially music), but it seems to me we should have enough private interest in the arts such that the government would not have to chip in. Then we could avoid all these "government should get to choose" arguments that have been ongoing for a long time. Private citizens and groups could choose for themselves.

Although I understand Scalia's point, I don't like his analogy of "the piper calls the tune". The piper was a musician (artist), so this analogy would seem to support the idea of the artist, not the funding agent, choosing what art to create.

The actual aphorism is: "He who pays the piper, calls the tune."

"Anyone with posting privileges over at DU want to undertake a scientific experiment?"

I TRIED Barry, I tried.

Oops! I got the Scalia quote wrong. I must have been distracted. So now I agree with his analogy. And that makes it even more apparent that government should not be funding art, because if the government gets to choose what art to fund, then there will be large scale disagreements, because the government is such a huge thing, and there is never going to be a consensus on exactly which art to fund. I say keep art funding in the private sector.

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