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Will museum take risks? 

Is the Crystal Bridges Museum just going to be exhibiting G-rated family stuff, like 18th century painted landscapes or 19th and early 20th century folksy American stuff? You know, the supposedly spiritually uplifting stuff? The stuff that only good Christian parents would take their kids to?

Or will it also bring in a broader range of work that truly expresses all aspects of the human experience? Will it show current trends in the art world at large?

Will it take on risque art like Andres Serrano's Piss Christ? Robert Mapplethorpe's Self-Portrait with Bullwhip? Andy Warhol's Last Supper? Some of Francis Bacon's work? Caravaggio's Boy with a Basket of Fruit or The Musician?

What about the contemporary work of talented young homosexual artists like photographers G. Elliot Simpson and John Arsenault, the cartoon art of Steve MacIsaac, the fantastic fibre creations of Rowan Mersh or the figural paintings of Russian expatriate Alexei Biryukoff?

Would Crystal Bridges exhibit the Sylvia Moscowitz series of enameled pictures created by Arkansas's own Thom Hall, the registrar of the Arkansas Arts Center, replete with an artist's written description of his inspiration for the series?

In essence, I am asking this: Is Crystal Bridges Museum just going to cater to the tastes of Ms. Walton and the good Christian Republicans of Northwest Arkansas and exhibit only safe and supposedly spiritually uplifting work? Or will it dare to present the full range of the human experience through a diversity of works by great artists both past and present?

I used to believe that art was above politics, but since moving up here to one of the most politically conservative districts in the nation, I'm beginning to believe that the reverse is true. I would be the happiest man in Northwest Arkansas if Crystal Bridges proved me wrong.

Brad Bailey
Fayetteville

Republicans the problem

The Occupy protesters have really made waves. They want Wall Street barons to adopt standards of fiscal moderation and responsibility. Not gonna happen, especially if these protesters vote Republican.

Traditionally, Republicans do not want to tax, regulate or hold accountable Wall Street bankers. Democrats are the ones that want to promote fiscal responsibility. Also, most of the past half century, Democratic presidents have either reduced deficits, submitted balanced budgets for at least a season or produced a surplus, as President Clinton did. No modern Republican president has ever produced a federal budget surplus. Furthermore, all Republican presidents in the past half-century have produced higher deficits than their predecessors. Republicans normally create fiscal and economic disasters. Even Ronald Reagan's budget was a disaster. Democrats are most likely to keep Wall Street in check with federal standards of moderation and responsibility.

Also, Republicans say that corporations are the job creators. Corporations are not in business to create jobs. Corporations are in business for profit. That's the bottom line. Some think laying off workers who protest against Wall Street increases profit.

Gene Mason
Jacksonville

From the web

In response to a post on UALR chancellor Joel Anderson urging the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees to push the legislature to approve the DREAM Act, which would allow children of illegal immigrants the opportunity to attend an Arkansas university at in-state tuition rates:

I work at UALR and really admire Joel Anderson. It was especially comforting when the Lu Hardin thing blew up at UCA knowing that all chancellors would be scrutinized and that anyone could look under every rock and never find a bit of dirt on Joel Anderson.

Big Fun

I work at UALR and am disappointed by this decision. We have natural-born, law-abiding U.S. citizens who do not qualify for in-state tuition. There is also only a finite amount of money. Trying to provide a better opportunity for education to people who are here illegally than you do for your fellow Americans is not what Lincoln would do. It's not even what your average patriot would do.

Disappointed Employee

In response to a post titled "Why the super committee failed" on the Arkansas Blog:

It's not complicated, Norquist-pledging Republicans went into the discussions with the absolute that they would not raise taxes regardless of what the Democrats offered. I'm at least happy that this time Democrats didn't completely cave like they've done since 2000.

It's disingenuous for any media to present this story as one more policy discussion where the Republicans/Democrats are equally culpable. Sure, many, many times that's the situation, but when Republicans categorically state over and over that they will not relent on the revenue side of deficit discussions regardless, stating otherwise shows either journalistic laziness or bias.

And cutting 10 percent from the military industrial complex is one of the finest suggestions I've seen in awhile, though I'd cut more. But I know this will never happen 'cause they (Pentagon/corporate weapons makers) will terrorize us into submission should the possibility linger too long.

I need some positive political news; too many Republican debates are sucking the optimism out of my eternally optimistic soul.

zelda

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