Verdejost on Fri, 11 Feb 2000 13:58:09 EST

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Re: Syndicate: easy labels

Mirko Petric wrote, regarding my comments on Austria:

<< I do not see how one could fit, e.g Elfriede Jelinek into the
 description "these nice alternative sorts, bearing their fake leftist
 banners". >>

I don't think I named Elfriede Jelinek; I named Heinz Stussak, Michael Seeber 
and Wolfgang Ainberger.  I also generalised that some of the commentary 
coming on this list seemed to be from artists worried about getting cut off 
from their government funding, and ignoring the abuses that have occurred for 
some years in Austria regarding that (and certainly much other) funding.  I 
am passably acquainted with Austrian circumstances which frankly is largely 
mirrored elsewhere in Europe.  As an American, I am also pretty well 
acquainted with the situation there, where state funding has always been 
negligible for the arts (for armaments another story), but where the pathetic 
NEA, doling out very small crumbs to a national constituency was taken over 
some years ago by strident minority interests who now howl when political 
realities come knock the props from underneath them.  The NEA is more or less 
dead, as if an outfit doling out a whole few million bucks to the whole of 
the US (and of course the bureaucrats gobbling up, per usual, more than 50% 
of the handout), though had those in charge of running it had any real 
political savvy they could have kept it limping along, but no, a little 
epater les middle-class tax payers was more important.  

I will repeat though, the Austrian liberal-lefty coalition wallowed blatantly 
in the public trough, handed out funding to like-minded chums, and now the 
game is up and a new set of people will direct the who get what.  And much, 
very much, of the blame sits squarely in the corrupt lap of the supposed 
"left."  And story repeated elsewhere and at other times many many times 

jon jost
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