People would rather be anxious than afraid; fear is productive and explores a change of heart; anxiety is static. Or, people would rather be afraid, but then are both compressed into anxiety and made addicted to it, media among the means. The long-range mission of force is domination; force, internalized is anxiety in the sense of useless feeling. In a state of anxiety, emotions are positioned hopelessly either by one’s choice or the strong appearance of inevitability. Fear is a dilation – preparation for a change – the utter opening of contradictory options. The real dread in a lot of conventional horror movies is not in fact fear (which is in Poe, Lovecraft), but in a tipping into immobility – the sense that nothing can be done… Your scream will not impact the action; action is closing in, closing down, causing endings. Fear is the ceaseless hunt for more life; it can have a spiritual use.
Poor Dog Group (a performance community) was recently called out in a very usual, very anxious Fox news “expose” in Los Angeles, rehashing (and rehashing is a tool of Force; colonialism banks on nostalgia and doggerel political structures) the paradigm that pits funding for the arts against funding for people in real need.
The reality is never so dualistic; the salaries of politicians, CEO’s, and even aid to people in real need is in competition with funds for people in real need. Leaving aside the definition of real and need – there is no way on earth that government funding for the arts, if curtailed would flow into the pockets of those in material need. And, having worked with (continuing to work with) people who are homeless – as often as not people want to emerge from suffering into something worth living for – a world artistically organized and expansive, rather than marked by the glories of administrative astringency.
The creative economy is at the core of the country’s present and future – this includes the arts, which have always been a laboratory for innovation in physics, in civics, economics (the movement of matter, services, goods…). Yet arguing our economic a) benignity, or b) utility is one of the ways the arts feeds into the anxiety directed against it. The argument in favor of a national statement of purpose, a governmental expression of patriotic value roots itself outside the market.
I had a grand-uncle in New Mexico who was a dust-bowl survivor, a cotton picker, a home steader, and ultimately a peanut farmer. We visited him on the site of his well managed, big square of dry-as-a-bone dirt manifesto, and he kept peacocks. They were mean, unclean, bossy (fearsome) and magnificent. We asked him why he bothered keeping peacocks in the middle of what he had to do just to stay solvent, and he said – “Because they’re pretty.” That’s what arts for. For fearsome prettiness; so that there may be something in addition to the dust and the toil. That’s enough. That’s the old time religion.
Check out the story at: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=513840723304&oid=15644208241&comments