Wednesday, January 17, 2018

U.S. Government Funds Study Of Bulgarian Bells

                Don’t think there’s any room to cut the federal government’s budget? Think things are too tight as it is? Proud that your hard-earned tax dollars are going to fund so many truly vital programs? Believe conservative Republicans are just hard-hearted skin-flints?
                Last month alone, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded $12.8 million for some 253 projects as part of its latest funding cycle, according to the Washington Free Beacon. That’s exciting! To what end were these critical research grants awarded? (By God, let’s hope we don’t have a government shutdown, or programs such as the following may be in danger of being somewhat “underfunded”)!

                Here are a few of the indispensable projects that are receiving public money:

·         A study researching “poor posture.” (Not good for you. Stand upright. That’ll be 100-grand ).
·         The creation of an “immersive” video game about alchemy. (What?)
·         A study of “propaganda,” based on the premise that Fox News can brainwash liberals. (They are already brainwashed, that’s why they are liberals. Ever tried to watch MSNBC?).
·         Creation of a virtual exhibition of over 90 pieces of New Deal era art, all from the town of Gallup, New Mexico. (I don’t recall that this was a particularly rich period in art history. Maybe Gallup was an exception).
·         A book-length study chronicling the history of California wine-making, and its intersection with labor relations. (“The Grapes of Wrath?”).
·         A study of bells…in Bulgaria. (If this is too broad a topic, perhaps it could cover just the bells of Sofia, Bulgaria).
·         A study exploring “18th century sexuality.” (There was no internet, television, or phone service. No radio. No cars. No light bulbs or electricity. No wonder why they had so many kids).

Maybe they could combine a few of these crucial projects, thereby increasing efficiency and cutting costs, while making them significantly more interesting. If, for example, there was a virtual exhibition of New Deal era art exploring 18th century sexuality and its intersection with wine-making, I’d be there with my Bulgarian bells on.  
In all seriousness, it is high time the NEH and the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) were tossed on the ash-heap of history. Taxpayers must demand accountability, or the government will run even further amok.
And then it will fund a virtual exhibition of it doing so…and a book-length study of its fiscal debauchery.


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