Friday, January 30, 2009


Artist Bailout: $50 Million Not Enough
by R.J. Thomas

So it turns out that HR1, Obama’s giant stimulus bill that’s going to save the world, one contraceptive, lawn care company, STD prevention program at a time has a little coin for all us starving artists. Well, probably not all us starving artists. Probably only the ones who are government and NEA approved. You know, all those right-wing expressionist types. However, if you think the currently allocated $50 million just isn’t enough (the cost of camel hair brushes being what they are these days) there’s a handy petition you can click over to (conveniently listed at the bottom of this post, so as not to divert your attention from this scintillating prose) where a group of artist is requesting a meager 1% (that’s $8.19 billion of the current $819 billion dollar behemoth) stimulus bill while simultaneously asking that President Obama appoint a Secretary of the Arts.

Hey, I’m all for it. I mean, there are at least a dozen black-box theaters in the Valley that could use a coat of paint. And it’s imperative that at this time of world-wide crises, where the country is engaged in two wars, we take the time to really bear down and work on a getting top flight Secretary of the Arts. It’s just what we need because… uh… of…uh… you know. I mean, come on people!

And as filmmakers I feel we should get a crack at the cash (though I regret not being able to apply for it in person as my Gulfstream is in the shop). “Our generation deserves no less.”

I mean if you think about it, a film really fits well into the whole stimulus plan. It’s an expensive, short-term project that pays a select group of people a relatively high wage and if we start working on one right now, we probably won’t get it off the ground for at least a year, maybe two if we really drag out development. Perfect! Who’s in with me? I have a million ideas. In fact, I think this is the perfect opportunity to do that great Horatio Alger adaptation I’ve been dreaming about.

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