Museum of Modern Art is a strange place. It has everything one would expect from a first class art museum, but in many respects it is more like a zoo. Your friendly neighborhood blogger went to MoMA on his day off from work to check out art like Gustav Klimt’s Adele Bloch-Bauer II, but instead struggled not get to swept away in a rip tide of tourists taking selfies.
Perhaps the best way to describe what it feels like to walk through MoMa is to use a painting analogy: I felt like Georges Braque’s “Man with Guitar” (1911). It’s easy to feel like you’re coming apart at the seams as a cacophony of laughs, giggles, squeals, shuffling feet, and jumbled conversations make it incredibly difficult to properly take in each artist’s work.
While it is impressive that any museum in the world can convince the average tourist to pay $25 to view Marcel Duchamp’s “In Advance of the Broken Arm” (1915) — yes, that’s right, Mr. Duchamp literally hung a shovel from a ceiling and deemed it art — packing in as many people into a museum as humanly possible isn’t necessarily a good thing.
MoMA is certainly a place every art lover should go to — once. I suppose Mr. Duchamp would call me a “bourgeois” snob for saying it, but I don’t care: It’s hard to appreciate art in a museum when families are invited to run around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.
There is plenty to do in New York City if you love the arts. Unless you have a burning desire to check it out, I would suggest looking at the snow shovel in your garage, pretending you’ve just seen “art” by Duchamp, and calling it a day.
I’ve been reading a lot of liberal responses to the debt ceiling fallout. Whereas once the media simply tried to label the Tea Party “racist”, we are now “madmen” and “actually unhinged,” according to New York Times op-ed columnist Kurt Anderson (emphasis his). The only thing that is mad is our Mad Debt, as Mark Steyn points out for National Review Online:
“Cutting federal spending by $900 billion over ten years” is Washington-speak for increasing federal spending by $7 trillion over ten years. And, as they’d originally planned to increase it by eight trillion, that counts as a cut. If they’d planned to increase it by $20 trillion and then settled for merely $15 trillion, they could have saved five trillion. See how easy this is?
As part of this historic “cut,” we’ve now raised the “debt ceiling” — or, more accurately, lowered the debt abyss. Do you ever discuss the debt with your neighbor? Do you think he has any serious intention to repay the 15 trillion racked up in his and your name? Does your congressman? Does your senator? Look into their eyes. You can see the answer. And, if none of these parties seem inclined to pay down the debt now, what are the chances they’ll feel like doing so by 2020 when, under these historic “cuts,” it’s up to 23-25 trillion?
Most independent voters will read Mark Steyn’s analysis of the situation and conclude he’s a pretty logical guy. In fact, I would wager that most people would (even those who disagree with him) concede that he’s an incredibly smart man. But yet, according to Kurt Anderson, the millions of people who agree with the Steyn’s sentiments are “unhinged.” Obviously, Mr. Anderson has never read F.A. Hayek (another undeniably smart man):
It is a common mistake to regard National Socialism as a mere revolt against reason, an irrational movement without intellectual background. If that were so, the movement would be much less dangerous than it is. But nothing could be further from the truth or more misleading. The doctrines of National Socialism are the culmination of a long evolution of thought, a process in which thinkers who have had great influence far beyond the confines of Germany have taken part. Whatever one may think of the premises from which they started, it cannot be denied that the men who produced the new doctrines were powerful writers who left the impress of their ideas on the whole of European thought…Once one accepts the premises from which it starts, there is no escape from its logic. It is simply collectivism freed from mall traces of an individualist tradition which might hamper its realization,” (F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom).
Smart conservatives know that to dismiss liberalism as “a mental disorder” is to set the conservative movement up for failure. The left has incredibly sharp minds at work promoting an ideology that should not be taken lightly. While I hate to give advice to the guy who flat-out says that I’m an unhinged lunatic, I can’t help but advise Kurt Anderson to rethink his position. The Teaparty is composed of millions of people who are familiar with economic giants like F.A Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams, among others. The Teaparty turns to the Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and the timeless principles so eloquently articulated by our Founding Fathers, to guide them. To dismiss the Teaparty as a bunch of “madmen”, one wonders how Kurt Anderson feels about the Founders…
Actually, we know how liberals feel about them—and it’s not warm and fuzzy. In order to hide their animosity towards the Founding Fathers and the magnificent document they produced, liberals refer to the Constitution as “a living document” (i.e., it means whatever it is they want it to mean.) Only by viewing the Constitution in that light can liberals work around what has been an impediment — and a source of frustration — to their central planning for ages. In order for them to succeed, they need power. In a country of 400 million people — each with their own thoughts and dreams and desires —it requires incredible power to get everyone “in line.” The Constitution stops them in their tracks, which is why its defenders must be labeled “unhinged.”