The debate on Marijuana is clearly one sided. However the right side now must focus on a different argument from their previous one in order to drive this case home. California has been the progressive leader in the revolution of Marijuana reform and debates in America. Previous discourse has focused on the fact that Marijuana isn't the deadly gateway drug that close minded politicians and power hungry authority figures have portrayed it to be. Obviously we are learning more and more about the benefits and medical aspects that moderate use of Marijuana has. Marijuana advocates must take a different approach and if they do this well I have no doubt that Marijuana use will be just as legal as Alcohol consumption in this country. This factor is the economic impact that Marijuana legalization and regulation will have in fighting our enormous budget deficit. Marijuana is a huge cash crop in America, there is no doubt about it. If legalized and taxed in a way that would give back to the state, then the large deficit would be nearly cut in half. Prison sentences and police resources to combat Marijuana users and dealers are pointless. They cost millions of dollars a year and result in overcrowding of state and federal prisons...No one benefits on any of this.
When will the law makers get their heads out of the sand? You have to motivate them with something they believe in....MONEY! The chance to make money on such a cash crop would be more than enough of a signifier for the powers that be to consider doing the right thing with this issue. We all know that Marijuana isn't the deadly killer that our grandparents generation considered it to be. But unfortunately in order to do the right thing we need to put a price tag on this issue rather than a tag of morality. Any responsible economist would agree that Marijuana sales would provide a tremendous boost to a state's economy. The debate is generally focused on California, but can be applied to a much larger scale...We should be considering a federal legalization...Obviously.
Here are some articles with some numbers:
Since the print media is going the way of the Dodo, I envision a future where all media outlets rely more heavily on the blog than actual physical medium. It is quiet possible that time honored periodicals like the NY Times also take the path of LIFE, and exist majorly online. This will no doubt save trees (and cost), but will the credibility be the same? will it be better? or will it be worse?
Media and cultural institutions often get bashed because they have a certain agenda. The media is obviously at fault for having agendas and supporting causes that are perhaps more beneficial to them for a multitude of reasons.We see how destructive it can be in the case of fringe anchors like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. People actually listen to them and bypass the whole fact checking step in the process of supporting a cause. If they did actually read multiple sources or tune into reality, then surely these TV personalities disguised as newscasters would have very little clout.
In the art world, blogging and criticism have risen to become just as essential as the artist and the artwork. I wonder why this is the case? Art criticism has always had an agenda. Whether someone champions a certain movement or art type is dependent on a multitude of things. Whether it is for personal wealth, to become famous, or for the love of the art itself, the critic is a strong voice that is often heard before the work is seen. I know people that will only go to exhibitions, shows or buy records based on positive reviews. Because reviews and blogs are so accessible many people might feel that bypassing the physical realm in order to enjoy art, music or film is no big deal. Therefore the critic becomes the harbinger of what we might consider art. The role of an art critic is fairly institutionalized in many ways. They often have an agenda and straying from such an agenda would lose credibility with the judgmental art world. even when they might no longer have the will to stand by their own words, they often suck it up and go for the long haul. Of course this causes their whole message to go stale.
Blogging is different because it contains multiple ideas in one post alone. Many times a blog post is overwhelming when it is stuffed with a barrage of images, multimedia and text. Blogging about the arts is tricky too. How does one blog stand out from another? What artists are they talking about and why? We don't know the blogger so much as we do the critic. The critic is famous and outspoken, a blogger often repeats what is already said. We all will be talking about Clement Greenberg and Jerry Saltz in the future but probably won't be talking about Perez Hilton so much in terms of historical importance. Besides a select few (mostly annoying) bloggers, the world of blogging is based solely in Internet culture. Internet culture is such a diverse and confusing environment. There is so much junk in front of our eyes but when we need to buckle down and research something more specific it is often impossible to locate. A blog isn't built for the purpose of scholarly research or discourse. It exists so that we can feel like we are contributing to the vast unknown Internet society where anyone who logs on and posts something can easily receive notoriety. On the contrary there are certain blogs that aim to promote a certain aesthetic or act as activism for a worthy cause. These blogs are often the blogs that are less known. Even Jerry Saltz has taken to the Internet to "make waves" in the art world via Facebook posts.
Is it too soon to declare the shift in our culture towards the Internet as positive or negative? I think so. However, the increase of art and cultural blogs on a daily basis is a sign that people are not going to be stopping. I hope it won't ever interfere with the way we communicate in the psychical realm. When lines get blurred it is often troubling. That said, I hope that this blog can evolve into more of a collective discourse. I know I am not one of those celebrity bloggers, nor would I want to be known for that. However, it would be nice to have intelligent discussion as a result of the ideas and writings I post.
Figurative Expressionism: Then and Now.
On Thursday March 25th artists Jay Milder, Peter Passuntino, and Bill Barrell will be engaging in a panel discussion with curator Adam Zucker (me) for Artists Talk on Art, a series of critical discussions in the Visual Arts. All three painters come from the Second Generation of Abstract Expressionism in both Provincetown and New York City. However, unlike their abstract contemporaries they have been using the figure as the harbinger for spiritual and political expressionism. With no mainstream support they started to show their work at their own galleries and formed an artist’s collective called Rhino Horn, where they created monumental exhibitions and attracted the attention of their peers and critics. The discussion will emphasize each artist’s individual career and present a collective view on Figurative Expressionism as it began and where it is today.
ATOA's Critical Discussions in the Visual Arts are held at SOHO 20 Chelsea, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 301, NYC
Thursdays, at 7:30 PM, with doors opening at 6:30 PM.
Check http://www.atoa.org/ for dates and details, or call (212) 779-9250