Saturday, December 04, 2010

My Proposal to John Boehner

Rep. John Boehner
1011 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker-designate,
It gives me tremendous confidence in you as a leader that before you have even assumed the gavel as Speaker of the House, you are already demonstrating a willingness for government to intervene in the private sector and control what art private citizens like me can view.

The Smithsonian Institution has buckled under the pressure you brought to bear on them for having the audacity to exhibit a work of art by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, a work that may well have offended you if you had taken the time to view the entire exhibit. You are a busy man, and probably don’t have time to stroll through an entire art exhibit before making up your mind what art is okay for me to see or what is not.

It is encouraging to see that you are ready and willing to move us closer to a state like China’s, freely intervening in the private sphere in order to control political and artistic information so that the public can be trained to view the world correctly. That’s a key to China’s strength, you know. In order to compete in the world, we need more dictators like you.

You could, however, go further still. In these troubled times, can art really be trusted to send people the right message? From what I have observed, creative expression tends to advocate for dangerous things like respecting points of view different than yours. What can this lead to but dissolution of our union? How are we supposed to support the war industry, reward the wealthy, and project American dominance throughout the world if we have an educated and thoughtful citizenry?

Controlling artistic expression in the United States is a daunting task for a government that thinks of itself as a democratic republic, but now that I have seen you are willing to bully a privately funded exhibit into censoring a highly regarded work of art in accordance to your views, I think you might be up for the job.

Perhaps we could institute mandatory licenses for working artists, to be approved by Congress. The Tea Partiers may scream that you are creating a new bureaucracy, but you can make the case that this bureaucracy is necessary – and maybe we can save money by simply not issuing any licenses. That keeps it simple. What little costs remain, maybe we could make the unemployed pay for out of their unemployment checks. Until we get rid of unemployment insurance altogether, that is.

Please send me your list of approved artists so that I may arrange my gallery visits, and my thoughts, accordingly.

Most Sincerely,

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