Art and protest
When Michelangelo finished his statue of David it was recognized for the triumph that it was. A holiday was declared and the statue was paraded through the streets of Florence.
Artists continued to lead the parade for several hundred years and then, in the 1800s, things changed. Artists continued to lead the parade but at such a distance that only a few of the most attentive followers could see them. The impressionists and post-impressionists, the leaders of their day, were lucky to be recognized in their own lifetimes.
In the 20th century things changed yet again. Artists continued to lead the parade but they failed to notice that, at some point, the parade went off in a completely different direction. The 1960s were the most divisive time since the Civil War. A prolonged unjust war, political assassinations, mass demonstrations, riots in the street and cities in flames were the order of the day. And yet, when we look back at the art of that time, we see minimalistic canvases with stripes and stains, cartoons blown up to epic proportion, and cans of soup. Where was the protest, where was the outrage, where was the HOWL? It has been said that the baby-boomer generation has not stepped up to support art like previous generations. Perhaps they are not there for art because art was not there for them. The best art of the 1960s was not in galleries and museums; it was on album covers.
Today the parade has all but disbanded. There are still gatherings that are moving in one direction or another and there are still people out there who believe they are leading the movement. What is lacking is some consensus as to where that movement is going. The Delta des Refusés does as good a job as any, and better than most, of pointing the way.
Born & Bred: Thus is the title of one of my Pinterest pages. I am a native Arkansan and avid Arkansas Times reader. I have lived in Little Rock my entire 32 years. I have experienced and watched a lot of changes take place in this state. I've met former President Bill Clinton, campaigned for judges, our former governor and have even shaken hands with Mayor Mark Stodola. This state was once called "The Land of Opportunity." For quite a while I believed wholeheartedly that great opportunities awaited me here in Arkansas. So with that in mind, I strived to do well academically.
I graduated from high school with honors. I attended Philander Smith College immediately following high school, where I obtained a B.A. in political science. I obtained my M.B.A. here recently and I remain optimistic of the opportunities that await me. However, I have applied to numerous jobs with annual salaries in the $40K-$80K range, but can only get offers from employers paying much less. I once believed that there were greater chances of financial success through a good education, but instead I see that Arkansas employers don't want to pay wages that meet or exceed the cost of living. Which, I don't know if you all have noticed, but it has gone up over the past few years.
Trust and believe that there are plenty of beds lying in wait in Arkansas's Department of Correction for those who choose not to pursue an educational path, but a criminal one instead. I have personally felt the impact of loved ones incarcerated in ADC. I also know that it's easier for an ex-con to boomerang back in there than it is for them to adjust to the standard of living in society. With the issues taking place with the Little Rock School District, there's a possibility that our youth will become more subject to violence and a life of crime than they are to a quality education.
I'd like to thank Max Brantley for shining the light on the chaos taking place with the charter schools and the test scores of those students in low-income LRSD schools. My children currently attend Brady Elementary, one of those schools mentioned. Thank you for also shining the light on the head of our state, Gov. Hutchinson. This guy is quite the character. I'm not sure how anyone's success will go under his leadership, especially when he and his comrades are in the pockets of the esteemed Waltons.
After reading the March 31 issue of the Arkansas Times, I learned some interesting things about Mr. Hutchinson. For one, who knew that he attended a university that was deeply rooted in racism? I sure didn't. No one thought to mention that during his campaign. My fellow Arkansans, this is who you voted for, remember? Also, who wants Medicaid in the hands of those "very wealthy with big corporate interests (Republican Party)"? I sure don't. Why is it such a big problem for the truly sick to receive adequate health care? Why is it such a big issue that a majority of Arkansas's poor and underprivileged are now covered? Don't even let me get started on the mandatory drug tests that were just stipulated for new welfare applicants. Mr. Hutson (recent Times writer) makes a good point. The effects of this will only trickle down to cost the state more. Wait a minute; I can't fail to mention this highway proposal. There is plenty of inner city roads that could use some much needed repairs. University Avenue, Fair Park, 12th street between Kanis and University, West 36th street in the John Barrow Community, to name a few, could use more than just pothole patch jobs. Here we are faced with a tax hike, though, to build a super highway after we just gave West Little Rock interstates a nice makeover. Please make better choices for our people, Mr. Hutchinson. For the record, neither Johnny Key nor Michael Poore is good for LRSD. I just wanted to make sure I pointed that out for you.
True enough, Arkansas is a Confederate and Republican state. So why blame today's leaders for the values they hold near and dear? Yes, "the war against the poor is in full swing." The Confederate flag still proudly flies in various places throughout this state. Anyone born and raised in this state certainly knows what it symbolizes. With leaders such as Asa Hutchinson, Tom Cotton, Leslie Rutledge, Treasurer Milligan and their party-mate Donald Trump, who really stands a chance of success in Arkansas? Certainly not lower-class individuals like me who also pay taxes and heavily populate this state as well.
I would also like to say to Mr. Suarez, the recent Bentonville resident who wrote in, imagine if you were walking down one of those streets in your neighborhood with a hoodie on and your skin was a whole lot darker. How comfortable would you be and how safe would you feel then?
From the web
In response to the Arkansas Blog post "Facts Win on Abortion":
And another thing: Having lost twice Big Time in the SCOTUS (first same-sex marriage and now abortion), when will the South finally give up trying to legislate hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny and homophobia in the name of "Jesus?"
Your latest losers?
"Mississippi clerks cannot cite their own religious beliefs to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, under a ruling a federal judge handed down Monday.
"The effect of the ruling by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves is that the state can't enforce part of a religious objections bill that was supposed to become law Friday.
"Reeves is extending his previous order that overturned Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage. He says circuit clerks are required to provide equal treatment for all couples, gay or straight. He also said that all 82 circuit clerks must be given formal notice of that requirement."
How much MORE time and taxpayer money will your GOP governor and attorney general waste devising mean-spirited and ultimately losing end-runs around the Constitution?
Facts have not been relevant to politics since the tobacco industry stood and swore their oaths before Congress. A sincerely held belief, however hopelessly ignorant and physically impossible, has been treated as the equivalent of information.
Are we turning a corner?
These right-wing, vagina-meddling, fetus-fetishing, gay-hating elected officials who want to put women back where they belong — in kinder, kirche und kuche — are seeing their world threatened once again by the onrush of present-day reality. Never mind the future; these people hate the world as it exists around them today.
They're not conservative, they're regressive. We should begin calling them that.
Black Panthers for Open Carry
In response to an Arkansas Blog post on the U.S. Public Interest Research Group's on the waste of money involved in freeway expansions:
Resistance is futile; livable downtown neighborhoods do not serve the paving good. All will be merged into the mega-lane collective.
No matter how many well-researched studies, no matter how many other cities are changing their transportation strategy away from ever widening highways. The AHTD is going to boldly move forward. Into 1960.