DEFUNDING THE ARTS: A STORY ABOUT CONTROL
Written by ZenKC on May 2, 2019
Story by Chuck Tackett
“This is a story about control. My control, control of what I say, control of what I do, and this time, I’m going to do it my way.”
This article is dedicated to some of the artists I know that educates, entertains through their various talents promoting critical thinking and reflecting cultural diversity. They are Starla Carr – poet,Stephenie Hardaway – author, Luis Garcia – artist/designer Hecho KC Cultural Home Decor, Beth Byrd Lonski – clown, mime, physical theater artist, Shannon Blake – author, Philip Hooser – stage performer, Alex Martines – spoken word activist, Lucky Garcia- spoken word activist, Barry Jackson – musician, activist, JD Summers – musician, Don Adams- writer, Joel Barrett – writer, and David Luby formerly of Kansas City’s Gorilla Theater.
For decades, defunding the arts, defunding public radio and television, have been a consistent goal for the Republicans. Defunding men sports programs in schools have been non-existent while Title 9 (women sports) have not enjoyed that same privilege.
There is a certain segment of our populace that feels the arts is emasculating and worthless. I didn’t realize there was a gender assignment for being creative, for critical thinking and learning about different cultures.
Performing arts like dancing is a very grueling athletic sport. Male dancers are in much better shape and more flexible than traditional macho sports such as football. If you watch the television show “So You Think You Can Dance”, you would see it with your own two eyes how athletic those men are.
For centuries, we have been brainwashed to think that the arts in Europe are classical. Music, dancing,etc.. from non-White countries don’t have the same value. How dare we do critical thinking. How dare we expand our minds and look to other countries besides America and Europe. This is a story about control.
What I love about Netflix is that they carry international TV shows and movies. Watching these shows, I realized how Conservatives have been feeding us a line of bs. Plenty of these countries are forward thinkers regarding climate change, infrastructure, and modern architecture, how they use infrastructure to work with nature instead of against it.
Much to the Republicans’ chagrin, The United States as a whole is more culturally adaptive and accepting of a growing non-White populace. The arts help alleviate that ignorance. Musical artists from different genres. for decades have sung message about unity and one nation under a groove. Pitbull aka Mr.Worldwide is a perfect example. Let’s not play with each other. We all know why countries like Cuba where Pitbull’s parents are from and why the countries on the continent of Africa were defined as “shit hole countries.” His songs bring out unity amongst people while Republicans love to sew division and fear. This is a story about control.
It is not just music and dancing, but it is the performing art of acting that is political and inspires critical thinking. One of the latest episodes of “The Resident” tackled the issue of mortality rate amongst Black women giving birth is 3 to 4 times higher in the United States than White women. Black Lives don’t matter much to some doctors and hospital personnel. I had a taste of that 3 years ago while trying to get a kidney transplant. Long story short, I ended up having a Black surgeon giving me a kidney transplant at another hospital while a White surgeon would not. Shades of the Tuskegee Experiment.
Another example of the art of acting promoting critical thinking was one of the latest episodes of the TV show “The Orville.” The show used Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” to inspire and rally women refugees to fight for equality from their home planet where being female was outlawed. Men were able to marry each other. Men were able to have children. If you were born female, you had mandatory gender reassignment surgery to become male. Quite a switch.
Hopefully, more and more people will quit letting the Republicans brainwash them into believing that the performing arts are not necessary for a well-rounded education, creativity and a tool for critical thinking.
Chuck’s Chat operates under an open authority. Opinions and comments are always welcome. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org