The South

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Art For Art's Sake

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Memo to the Museum of Modern Art: YOU ARE DUMB.

What are you thinking? Who are you trying to kid? I mean, I know support for the arts is largely a liberal stronghold, but putting your museum in the hands of Chelsea Clinton? I'm sorry, but I cannot support that move.

I don't know if you think turning the reins over to Chelsea will get you in good with Bill and Hillary, and get extra funding your way if Hillary wins in 2008. That seems like the most likely reasoning. But she's clearly not qualified to continue the exploration of the modern and post-modern aesthetic that has been your hallmark since your inception.

And you know it, too. That's why there was no press release. That's why it was kept all hush-hush. On the down-low, even. If it wasn't for one brave South Carolinian soul, obviously a fan of sculptor Richard Serra, trying to get the word out about your political pandering, your dirty little secret would have stayed hidden forever.

But the protester has to share at least a little bit of the credit to Mitt Romney, who, as governor of Massachusetts, knows a little something about supporting the arts, and as a Mormon, knows something about the dangers of putting women in charge of things. He saw the threat to exhibits like "50 Years of Helvetica" and homed in, ninja-like, on the protester, giving their sign the coverage it deserved. That sign? ACTUAL SIGN TIME!

"NO TO OBAMA OSAMA AND CHELSEA'S MOMA"

People are up in arms about the sign, and quite frankly, I think my liberal brethren are missing the point. Some are getting upset that Mitt Romney holding up a sign that some felt perpetuated the right-wing slur that Barack Obama is, phonetically, practically a terrorist. But I think it's clear to me that this is a list of three items, not two. No, it doesn't use what elitists might call "correct punctuation" to make that clear, but anyone who cares that deeply about the arts is probably familiar with the works of e e cummings, and is clearly engaging in homage.

Some others are snickering into their lattes, convinced that this fine, South Carolina Republican Mitt Romney supporter's intent was to refer to Hillary Clinton, and that "MOMA" is a misspelling of either "Momma" or "Mama". Which is exactly the kind of anti-Southern bias that hurts us in elections.

This isn't some cultural backwater we're talking about, people. This is South Carolina. The Wal-Marts there have sold DVD players for over a year. And I would point out to you nay-sayers that "Big Momma's House", "Big Momma's House 2", and the first season of "Mama's Family" have all been released in digital versatile disc format. So even if this protester WERE some kind of backwoods hick with missing teeth, regressive politics, and poor taste in entertainment, they'd have ample references within reach for either correct spelling of "Mama".

I'm afraid, fellow lefties, that Ockham's Razor cuts deep, and we must begrudgingly admit that Mitt Romney and South Carolina care more deeply about the arts than we do. And vote accordingly when November 2008 rolls around.

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