Integrity and personal example compelled me to link to Conor’s response to me, which I failed to do, and I must. So linked. You should read it, if you read my previous post on the matter. And, if you must, you can read the comments which are universally about me, and, well, not cordial.
Personal insults don’t bother me on a intellectual level, although of course they hurt– in my experience, the only people who claim that personal insults don’t hurt are people attempting to shield themselves from the pain of personal insults. (I am called both a totalitarian and fascist, and a pussy, in that combox. I would have thought those were contradicting claims!) In my defense, though, both Conor’s response and the response from the comments misrepresent me in the same way that Conor is sure he has been misrepresented. They claim to argue that I am calling for politicized art. But, of course, the claim of my post was exactly that the NEA conference call wasn’t about politicizing art. I could be wrong about that! It wouldn’t be the first time. But I was not excusing politicizing the NEA; my entire point was that no such excuse was necessary because no such thing took place. To see so much vast verbiage expended at attacking me for endorsing politicized art, when my entire point was that I didn’t think such a thing was happening, is discouraging.
The self-critical process is invaluable, but it is also always in short supply.
Incidentally, should Conor ever show up in the comments section of this blog, personal insults against him would not be tolerated, both because of my personal regard for him, and because of this blog’s comment’s policy. I am told by those in the know that it is childish for us to care about such things, but we do, and I am proud that we do.