Country Living Series

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Snark of the week

I just love it when people prove my point.

This fellow took exception to last weekend's WorldNetDaily column, Artistic Parasites. So he took it upon himself to write this long missive which, inadvertently, proves my point since he is clearly an artist (or musician, in this case) who couldn't make it on his own without government subsidies.

He left his full contact info which I could have included, but I don't want to (a) encourage anyone to visit his website or (b) encourage anyone to send him snarks. Let him think he "won" the round.


Dear Ms. Patrice Lewis,

Every couple of years or so I happen across an opinionated editorial of such extraordinarily striking pungency that I just have to respond in kind. Your recent World Net Daily piece, "Artistic Parasites," is just such a one. Naturally, I passed it along to numerous arts contacts across the continent so they could share in your thoughts. So, as one rural ragged redneck to another, let me say I found your content and terminology extremely offensive and derogatory.

To some, God gives the insight to create art.
To some, God gives the skill to draw pictures, write prose or verse, or make songs.
And to some, God gives the mentality to call such people "artistic parasites," "creatives" and "artsy-farts."

Lately, it seems that teabaggers and a certain brand of creepy christians (small case deliberate) work overtime to make the latter a traditional family value. They have helped me to become a believer in evolution--theirs!

We artist types have had quite enough of some 30 years of that type of hate speech from self-appointed manure spreaders determined to dumb down and destroy every attempt to raise some arts above the lowest common denominator commercial level that pervades so much of our lives.

While I do not approve of urine as a means of photographic enhancement, I do not condemn all artists and funding sources just because one such controversy got through. Furthermore, that example is over 20 years out of date as are the congress folks and religious moralizers who still cling to it as the highest point of their artistic experience. I had thought we had finally neutralized most of those derogatory group names like "japs," "krauts," "spics," "wops," "kikes," "niggers," and "fags." But we still seem to have to contend with derogatory artist terms. Too bad. We still intend to sit at your lunch counter. And one day we will eat your lunch.

Yes, I'm happy to be a "creative." I've received a few grants. Some of my works have failed while a few have done well. I'm not wealthy but I do a little better than minimum wage. I'm happy to be able to have health insurance. I know of no real artists who will immediately quit their jobs just because they have health insurance. I'm a victim of Hurricane Katrina and the insurance aftermath. Like most everyone else down here, I listened to neighbors swear they were going to burn down insurance companies and eat the agents' children. Inefficient as the government and FEMA were, it was still the government that made the grants that made going on with life possible for me and many others. What insurance companies provided was stonewalling, lies, cheap payoffs and a 200% increase in home insurance rates. Now, with a relative in the medical field, I've seen similar stuff on the health insurance plate. I have no empathy for that kind of free market extortion and the blind and vicious people who espouse it. Freedom with a balance of social safeguards might be a good thing. It worked pretty well for King David's Israel.

Meanwhile, from my Mississippi coastal home, I remain in humble awe of what spiritual values our best selling, free market, wealthy, brilliant, important, talented and subsidized oil executives and Wall Street banksters have just contributed to the Gulf of Mexico. Our local residents should be ashamed of themselves for calling on the government for help in containing BP and the oil spill. They should just suck up and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, muck and gravity notwithstanding. After all, the free market can fix it. Like Grover Norquist said, government should be small enough to be able to drown it in a Gulf of Mexico, er...bathtub.

Now, if I have not sufficiently insulted and offended you, please advise. I would be willing to try again.

Most cordially,

Ken D-----
Artistic Parasite and Arts Advocate


  1. I can see Ken D.'s next artistic work. It's a depiction of himself with his foot in his mouth.

    Ken, if hypocrisy were an art form you'd surely win the grand prize.

  2. I read the article and your blog, Patrice. Ken D. isn't entitled to what I earn. I'm not entitled to what he earns. It's really that simple. If he wants to support what I do or make, that's his choice. If I want to buy his music, that's my choice. Simple. No need to steal from each other.

  3. He should have added that God gave some the ability to earn a living without being parasitic.

  4. Art is what you do after you've put dinner on the table.

    1. Spoken like a true non-artist. A real artist will forego almost anything when he's hooked up with his 'art.' Whatever his choice of medium might be. I've knowh artists so channeled into their work as to paint right past mealtime. I've done it myself. Art is what keeps man and woman from going crazy dealing with life. It is much needed.

  5. "What a Maroon!"

  6. I'm an artist. I make films and theatrical productions. I want it to be paid for by sponsors who support the project, and the people attending them, not the rest of the people! I don't see why anyone thinks the government has to pay for anything not involving the defense and basic necessary functions for running this nation. Though of course, my fiance is very supportive of my work and wants to help fund it... and he worked for the military. lol. But it's not like I'm going to want money for nothing from the gov!

    Another problem is censorship. If people have pay taxes for "art", the government could start deciding what is "art" and what's not, and if your vision doesn't match theirs, no funding. Their goes equality. And, if all money goes to their preference, we will probably have a very limited (biased) selection of entertainment to choose from.

  7. Ken, I stopped reading in the 5th paragraph, because you invented things Patrice didn't say. She didn't condemn "all artists and funding sources," and she didn't use any "derogatory group names like "japs," "krauts," "spics," "wops," "kikes," "niggers," and "fags."

    So you have ZERO credibility with me. Buh BYE!

    Bill Smith
    Photographic Artist

  8. so ashamed that there are people like this guy in my homestate of mississippi...he needs to remember that it was his fellow mississippians who were first to come to their aid in the aftermath of hurricane katrina...and i remind him that we came to give aid not handouts. i live in northeast mississippi and besides having storm refugees from slidell la. staying with us for three months with their dogs and cats, we also had much storm damage to take care of at our own cost and labor. if he was a good enough "artiste" he could have turned the tide so to speak on his woes and created some real art that someone thinks is worth paying for. get a job dude, and if you cannot find a job then go to some other state and leach off of them for awhile. your kind are not missed. many a famous person has washed dishes or whatever until they make it and many more don't make it big until after they are six feet under.

  9. I personally do not care if somebody tries to make art by throwing their feces like a monkey or whatever. My issue is that they should not be given grants to subsidize such ridiculousness. If they make a million dollars a year or $57 that is really just their problem. Insurance and Katrina are separate issues.

  10. I'm sorry to say, I am NOT surprised at Ken's attitude. Before the military relocated us, I was a professional freelance musician in an area for 20 years. In the local orchestra, there were MANY of the same kind of whiners! "I'm an 'artist' so shouldn't I be paid at least as much as a teacher???" Well, not if the demand's not there! Yes, we all (only time I'll lump myself with most musicians) spent many, many hours/years practicing knowing that there would most likely not be a spot in a professional orchestra for us. But that was our choice! I don't understand why some adult musicians 'suddenly' realize that their craft is not highly paid - duh!

    Also, there was a scam among orchestral musicians for a while concerning unemployment. (I did not encounter this in my area, but in another region of the U.S. I suppose it probably did happen in many places.) Because of the way many orchestral contracts were written, the musicians were technically unemployed for 2-3 months in the summer. So, they all filed for unemployment! I suspect that many who did summer wedding gigs did not report them as that would've offset "their" unemployment benefits. All of the musicians that talked about doing this were practically gleeful in their beating the system! I will say that when the unemployment limits began, I literally laughed out loud, thinking of how these musicians screwed themselves! (I even heard a professional musician once say that George W. Bush caused the demise of her symphony! Hmmm…couldn’t it have been the fact that the musical director had a salary about 4x what everyone else’s was and that there was much financial mismanagement? Nah, probably not.)

    Another point from Ken’s snark was his weak attempt to call out this article on its supposed anti-homosexuality theme. Since there are many homosexuals in the arts, Ken decided to take this article as a slam against them. In true liberal format, he took one point (some arts’ dependency on the gov’t) and mixed it with another issue (discrimination against homosexuals). Perhaps Ken’s memorization skills need to improve as I don’t remember reading anything that could be construed as, forgive the PC term, homophobic.

    As a not-employed-full-time musician, I know all about the health insurance soaring premiums. However, instead of blaming the insurance companies, I see governmental interference as the problem - the medicaid/medicare billing practices in which the poor doctors/hospitals are barely able to cover their costs due to the ridiculously low payments they receive from the gov’t. Wow! Did I just say poor doctors and hospitals? I must not be a very good musician if I’m siding with (small, medium, big) business! Oh yes, that’s the business owner side of me coming through.

    As a former small business owner, I know all about the government (state or federal) trying to get in your business to tell you how to run it. At one point, the State of Ohio was considering forcing employers to provide health insurance for ALL employees, part-time as well as full-time. My husband and I decided that if it was passed, we would be forced to fire everyone. At that time, we had 4 part-time employees and about 20 musicians hired as contractors for lessons. WE had no insurance during those years of growing our business! We certainly were not going to be forced into providing it for 24 others. In the later years, we did hire a full-time employee and offered a health care package. But it was our choice to do so.

    Let me please offer an apology on behalf of the conservative musicians and artists out there. You won’t hear a lot from us, since the mouthy, liberal artists tend to hold serious grudges and (shock of all shocks!) discriminate against you if they feel you don’t agree with their lifestyle choice let alone their political beliefs. We’re out there!


  11. So, the music scene is pretty much like the Hollywood scene. Walk in lockstep with us, or you'll not get the good gigs (parts).

    Why is it that "free exchange of ideas" only counts if you agree with them?


  12. i bea hick frum misisspi. Simpl serch found his kontact.

  13. I been readin' overt' that place 'n seen whut Don done wrote 'bout this stuff that's got that other boy's knickers all in a knot. So this here's to that redundant feller, Don.

    Hay that wa'rnt bad fer a unejikaded post hole diggin' manure
    spredder! Purdy dang klevver if'n ye ast me. Rekkin that ol' boy Kenny
    figgered it out? He shore is a hoot ain't he? Rekkin' he c'n yodel too?
    Well, anyhow...
    It shore tikkled me what you rote.
    That good lookin' wife o' yourn done good to give you the pencil this

    You'ns keep yer heads up an' yer powder dry,

    frum yer guitar-pickin' mixed breed blanket-ass Bible thumpin' song writin'
    artistik country girl nayber,

    Angelfood McSpade

  14. Of what use is a mirror? It is not a window that we can look through and we must be in front of it to make use of it. Patrice hung up a mirror and it looks like Ken stepped in front of it and didn't like what he saw. His description of that vision tells me a lot more about Ken than about Patrice.
    In times past, which I am barely old enough to remember Hollywood had what they called angels, People with enough free cash to finance the movie. When the movies hit the theater the cash came back and stars got rich. This is a proper function of art. However our authorities thought these angels should fund the likes of Ken without the possibility of recouping their investment. Today only the government has the investment money and they waste it.

  15. "Meanwhile, from my Mississippi coastal home, I remain in humble awe of what spiritual values our best selling, free market, wealthy, brilliant, important, talented and subsidized oil executives and Wall Street banksters have just contributed to the Gulf of Mexico."

    How nice another idiot that believes that the oil companies prefer to dril fifty or so miles off the coast and 5k feet below the surface just to start out instead of a few thousand yards in substantially less deep water to go after oil not to mention the ease of drilling whilst on dry land.

    I surely pray daily that some will educate themselves in the "hope" that a clue will somehow appear in their feeble minds as to why our government forces the drillers of oil wells to take more and more risks at deep core drilling at depths that are difficult at best to bring our energy to market.

    If only our libtards could put their words into acts of conservation as in sell your cars and quit using the a/c during those mils summer nights in low humid conditions as NO, LA. Perhaps they can go back to using clay and steel pipes for plumbing or perhaps dig pits and erect sheds for their wastes. Back I say to the stone age, for them.

    How naive this Kenny is, indeed.

  16. I caught the tea bagger insult immediately. Stating "... I do not approve of urine as a means of photographic enhancement", and calling Patrice a tea bagger is a non sequitur. One of those two positions, (1) Patrice is a tea bagger, or (2) crucifixes in urine is not a good thing, has to be wrong.

    Ken says the crucifix thing is twenty years out of date. And the left's pulling out the McCarthyism card is how many years old now? Almost three score, is it not? Thats but one example among many. See, I figure this guy is a leftist because he accused Patrice of hate speech.

    Hate speech is any speech a liberal doesn't agree with.

    With respect to the Gulf oil spill, unless Ken walks everywhere, Ken is as guilty of the spill as is everybody else who buys oil or oil derived products. If nobody bought oil, nobody would drill oil wells. If people suddenly decided they had to have two inch long quartz crystals along their sidewalk or driveway, then somebody would dig a hole in the ground somewhere to get two inch long quartz crystals. So it is with oil. No oil purchase = no oil well = no oil spill. Oil purchase = oil well = accidents from time to time.

    And finally, this guy calls himself a parasite, a lower order life form? I can see it now. "What do you want to be when you grow up Johnny?" "I want to be a parasite!" Maybe they do this in the arts communities, but out here where people work to make something of themselves, it's unheard of.

  17. It is very revealing that this character finds "your content and terminology extremely offensive and derogatory", but he does not seem to find the same content and terminology to be "inaccurate".

  18. You could have quoted the following from "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert A. Heinlein (which sold 100,000 copies in hardcover and over 5,000,000 in softcover). The following was said by character Dr. Jubal Harshaw:

    "'Artist' is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called 'Doctor.' But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once . . . and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer-reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror . . . or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for 'technique' or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I've reached him-or I don't want anything. Support for the arts-merdel. A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore!"