That's the title of LATer Christopher Knight's latest on the fracas over whether the arts should be cut off from the economic stimulus bill.
Lilly cited a government study that showed at least 3 million arts industry workers are in support jobs—electricians, carpenters, seamstresses, janitors, accountants, publicists, etc.—and they'll be just as out-of-work as a Wall Street trader or a Wal-Mart clerk if an arts center cuts back or closes. So what gives? Why are so many blind to the simple reality that arts workers are real workers?
I chalk it up to our celebrity culture.
Funding for theater? Tim Robbins doesn't need money! Funding for art museums? Jeff Koons is rich! Funding for concert halls? Yo-Yo Ma is a superstar!
The glare of the celebrity spotlight obscures our view of the ticket-taker at Robbins' play trying to make ends meet, the preparator at Koons' museum exhibition struggling to put a kid through college or the education program coordinator at the concert hall where Yo-Yo Ma performs who has a pile of medical bills. Their jobs are at risk.
I'd like to hear stories from real live ticket-takers, preparators, education coordinators, gallery assistants, et al. Are any of you faced with extinction or have been laid off already? I want to hear about the work you do (or did), how much you make for it (This is the internet! You can be anonymous!), and whether you think the stimulus bill would affect you.
Leave them in comments and I'll bump them up to Slog.