Re "Moved by art," Opinion, April 1
Morris Dickstein tries to make a case for government financial support of the arts by observing that they're "a source of optimism and energy" that helped us weather the Depression and could help us again through the current economic crisis. As examples of inspiration from the 1930s, he cites Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, the Gershwins, Benny Goodman and many others.
But I have news for Dickstein. All the great artists he names succeeded in the competitive marketplace. None of them waited for or expected government handouts pried from taxpayers, or aspired to slurp at the public trough.
Obviously a pious liberal, Dickstein also couldn't resist attributing opposition against socialism in the arts to "conservatives, many of whom consider the arts frivolous, elitist and, frankly, left-wing." Wrong again. I've never met a "conservative" who wasn't crazy about Fred and Ginger.