Saturday, May 07, 2005

Speaking of Signs

Congratulations to Art Hall, but I meant what I said about liking the idea of the signs. If your driving down Dreamland, at either end you'll see a pair of signs that look suspiciously different from all the others. Keep an eye out for these:

Propositions Pass

Looks like all the propositions passed. Tax breaks to the elderly in a military retirement town proved more than a little popular. If this portends the future, when the boomers retire we will all be working 25 hour days to make up for their entitlements and self-created tax breaks. I like old folks as much as the next guy but what are we going to do when that's 75% of the poulation? Anyone want to bet on the Me Generation sacrificing its retirement for the benefit of the next generation? I suggest younger workers open up their IRA's sooner rather than later because they will be paying for the retirement of two other people in addition to themselves. Start saving now!

Signs Didn't Stop Art Hall

In District 8 Art Hall has 50.94% of the vote. Let that be a lesson to you David Earl. The people have spoken, They said no to David Earl and Associates and yes to Art Hall. 50.94% may not be a resounding mandate, but it ain't bad in a 5 man race.

It Takes a Majority of the Whole City to Win. Duhh!

According to The Red State :

9:41pm - Final numbers: 98.48% reported, Castro 41.81%, Hardberger 30.13%, Shubert 26.43%This was always Casto's to lose. I believe Hardberger has the momentum to push ahead while Castro will have to regroup to figure what to do next. You have to win the city by taking the city, not just a part of it.
This seems to be the lesson of the season. What is hard to fathom is how so self-evident a fact escaped two out of the three overeducated lawyers running for Mayor. It boggles the mind.

Hooray Schubert Conceeds!

Schubert just conceeded to Hardberger. Why not to Castro, who last I checked was in the lead? Hell, I don't care who he conceeds to as long as he appologizes to all the citizens of San Antonio for his pathetic excuse for a campaign. I guess he wants his votes to go to Hardberger. This was to be expected, but it still does not bode well for Julian in the runoff.

Hardberger's Strategy Paying Off

Here's a quote by Hardberger from The Red State:

Hardberger: We will continue with our strategy. Julian focused on his base and the Westside. Shubert worked District 8, 9, & 10 and nothing else. We were the only one who worked all 10 districts.I don't see them getting anymore numbers just working the base.
This sounds like it was taken directly from a coiuple of recent posts at this blog. I'm sure it wasn't, but still its interesting. Maybe its like I said, "your going to have to get up early in the morning to head off Phil at the pass."

Amen Brave Heart

Over at Newshog A very wise Scotsman has made some observations that bear repeating:

"In the main, I would say local media coverage has been singularly uninformative about the various platforms and issues, especially the TV station news. Other than the fact that one mayoral candidate likes to change places with his twin brother at official functions and another is upset about potholes in the roads, the TV told San Antonians nothing about where each candidate stands on the issues."
This is regrettably quite true. WOAI has made an effort with its Follow the Money segments, but the other stations have been deplorably derelict in their duties. Worst among them has been KSAT 12, whose viewers won't know there has even been an election till they read it in USA Today.
"The best coverage by far has come from local bloggers, like the San Antonio Election 2005 blog, The Jeffersonian and Band B blog - but as always the number of people reading blogs is limited."
Who would dispute so self-evident a truth?
"Truthfully, the cult of glorious ignorance here in Southwest Texas stuns me. It stuns locals who managed to get a mind well enough prepared with facts to have a basis to work with too It is particularly bad amongst men, many of whom regard education as somehow unmanly. You can't be a man unless you remain ignorant of all the world's knowledge that doesn't involve cars, football, basketball and the proper use of a barbeque."
If he thinks it stuns a foreigner, try being an aspiring intellectual local male growing up in such an environment. It can actually be hazardous to your health. Ignorance has indeed reached cultic proportions among men. In fact, to use too many big words (these include little words their unfamiliar with) is reason enough to question ones sexual preference. To be interested in culture or history or philosophy is somehow considered effeminate. Witness the declining population of males in Humanities departments at universities, or at universities all together. The Feminist are going to get their wish to rule the world because the cult of the Mook has caused men to abdicate completely. I doubt they’ll do much better than we did, but at least this time it will be their fault.

If you doubt the pervasiveness of Mook Anti-Culture, note that even in this elite bloggosphere, where even the folks I disagree with are smarter than your average bear, when I wrote on the prospects of a San Antonio NFL franchise, the fiber lit up all over town. When I wrote a couple of posts about the Arts… nothing but the sound of crickets. By the way where were you on those posts Newshog?
"Then there's the schools, also known as day-care. The standards of education in Texas are poor by the standards of Georgia. Just ask my teen daughter who has experienced both in the last 12 months. The teachers mostly agree that standards have been dumbed down to the max, but daen't stick their heads up to say so. Texas is not a "right to work" stateYou know, there is something wrong with standards when my daughters school can proudly tout the fact that 930 out of 2,700 pupils got straight "A" grades in every assignment and test for English in the last 12 months. Have school supervisors never heard of the Bell curve? If over a third never failed to get less than 90%, then it's the grading that is wrong, not the students who are doing well"
I wouldn’t mind them constantly raising my property evaluations to pay for public schools if Johnny could actually freaking read! But they take my money, curve the grades, cheat on standardized tests, water down the curriculum, hire incompetent teachers and then hog tie them, pump all the cash into sports and send me the bill. F#*% that. Send me your kid and I’ll teach them to read. (but not to cuss) What's more I’ll see that your kid knows the names Washington, Da Vinci, Socrates, and Moses and can still hold his own if a Mook tries to kick his little butt for it. I might even go down to the little ignorant bully bastard’s house and hand his Daddy his own a#%, for not keeping his little turd in check. What really cheeses me is when I drive by Churchill high school and see all the Cadillac Escalades in the parking lot. Why again am I subsidizing the substandard education and indoctrination of the ignorant spoiled brats of people a hell of a lot richer than me?

Amen to Newshog ! I don’t know why it takes a foreigner to tell us what’s right in front of our faces. Shame on us.

One caution to Newshog though, don’t make the mistake that many carpetbagger Yankees make about the South. Slow talking does not necessarily mean slow-witted. Many a Yankee has lost his wallet that way. Then again, I'll wager many an Englishman has been fleeced due to a similar miscalculation.

Ranten N. Raven's Bash

Did any one make the blogger's bash at Pavilion #2 at McAllister park? Sorry I missed it. I failed to check The View from the Nest for a couple of days. My bad. Let me know how it was?

Red State Live Blogging Hardberger Campaign

For a view from the Hardberger offices checkout The Red States live blog at Continue reading "TRS inside the Hardberger Campaign"

From the looks of things, they're going to be feeling pretty upbeat over there.

Don't Vote Euclid: Outsource Instead

This is a respose to Euclid. If you are not Euclid and are tired of me droaning on about the Arts just click over to Cincinnatus or Charles K. for something more to the Canaanite taste. (No offence to these fine folks intended.)

Great name, by the way. Are you familiar with the painting by Raphael located in the Papal apartments entitled "The School of Athens?" In it, he portrays Socrates as Leonardo da Vinci, but in a grouping of figures in the upper right, he portrays himself in a self portrait as Euclid. So you are in good company.

RE: Which of our mayoral candidates is thinking about art in terms of Santa Fe-like?
None of them are!

Julian sees Art solely in political terms. He views its relevance through the prism of Chicano Art. In the 70's this movement arose as a means of expressing minority resistance to what was believed to be the tyranny of majority culture and its exclusion of minority voices. Unfortunately, this movement was mostly ignored by the New York-based mainstream Art establishment because it focused on the visual narrative and frequently dealt with religious themes. This made it out of step with the Modernist and Pop markets. Besides, the New York scene already had a minority of choice, namely the Queer Art movement, with its highly charged homoerotic imagery. The innately controversial nature of so-called Queer Art's subject matter makes it shocking, and as everybody knows, shock sells. So Chicano Art remained mostly in the barrio preaching to its choir.

Since most Art collectors are wealthy Anglos, Chicano artists have had some difficulty selling their works on the open market. Hence they have tended to focus on murals and Public Art projects for funding. This is where Julian comes in. He sees the role of the public sector as one in which municipal funds are provided to create public works that advocate a particular political point of view. Chicano artists tend to have some pull in their community, so appeasing them is a necessary act for any politician seeking the Chicano vote as his base. But even in this context, Julian's approach is token and self-serving. He would provide some public funds to directly subsidize the livelihoods of a small portion of his constituency. He has no real appreciation of the role of the Arts in general in the community at large, but sees its function only in a parochial context. That this irritates los gringos, is just an added bonus.

I was involved in the production of two of the most significant Chicano Art Exhibitions ever mounted, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation and the recent exhibit of the works in the collection of Cheech Marin. While I personally have a great appreciation for many of the works produced by Chicano artists, to expect that wealthy Anglo Art collectors are going to be flocking to San Antonio to acquire Chicano masterpieces seems unrealistic. I for one, think this is a greater loss to the Art collectors and museums than to the local Chicano artists. One day the locals will sell their paintings and the Anglo collecting and exhibiting world will come to regret its lack of forsight. Hence Julian's approach is at best insufficient as a means to turning San Antonio into the Santa Fe of Texas. At worst, it represents pandering to ethnic animosity at tax payer's expense.

Phil Hardberger views the Arts as cultural desert. A nice way to top off a day of spending millions on pouring concrete, but ultimately an expendable commodity that represents an unessential economic dietary indulgence. He doesn't know the difference between Chicano Art and Santa Fe style, and unless he is decorating a new country house, he doesn't care. He falls into the "finger-painting is cute when children do it" crowd. As a trial lawyer it takes big money numbers to get his attention and as such, the numbers presented for the Arts don't make his radar. The funds generally proposed amount to pissing in the budgetary ocean. He thinks that resisting such trivial spending is in bad taste and unnecessarily isolates him from potentially encroaching on Julian's base. He would probably not object to throwing a few bucks out there for the occasional Chicano barrio mural as long as he doesn't have to drive by it everyday. As far as a vision for San Antonio as a Cultural Capital of the Southwest, don't look to Phil. If he gets a jones on for culture, he will fly his tax abated jet to a real Cultural Capital somewhere else.

Carroll Schubert is just a philistine. To Carroll, Art is something that concerns queers and Chicanos only. Since he doesn't like either of these groups and they don't vote for him, his attitude is F#%* them. That Western Civilization was built on cathedrals and the Renaissance escapes him entirely. He will not allow one thin dime to be "wasted" on what is to him, at best a capricious indulgence, and at worst a means of subsidizing the undermining of his right-wing political base's ideology. His shadow never darkens the doorway of a museum, so the only thing he knows about the Arts is what the queers and Chicanos tell him, and he doesn't like what he hears. Schubert can be counted on to denounce any investment in the Arts as wasteful, despite the fact that like Hardberger, wasting money by the millions on lining the pockets of developers bothers him not one bit.

Even the cultural elites who sit on Boards of Trustees and various Art Councils around town view this as a hobby. Almost none of these people have a vision of San Antonio as a Cultural Capital. This would put the focus on the Art instead of on them. That would be viewed as counterproductive to their real agendas, namely upward social mobility in their petty little country club worlds. "Civic pride" to these people means having the tailor let out your Cavalier uniform for Fiesta. Unfortunately the outlook for the development of San Antonio as an Art Mecca is bleak at best. At worst, any such endeavor would be actively fought by almost all of the interested parties.

When it comes to the Arts in San Antonio, in essence we're screwed by the bunch of Art-loathing, no-talent, ignorant, dim witted, visionless, unimaginative, parochial, backward, condescending, inept, incompetent, illiterate, bibliophobic, inbred, arrogant, corrupt, miserly, moronic, tasteless, greedy, petty, vain, egomaniacal, misanthropic, mean-spirited, sociopathic, self-dealing, self-serving, self-enriching, self-obsessed, self-deluded, social climbing, glory mongering, peasant stomping, concrete pouring, pencil-d#*k philistines who rule my home town.

Maybe we should just outsource our local government to the folks who run Muleshoe, Texas. At least this would be a step down the road to upward cultural mobility. We might even get fiscal responsibility and clean water to boot.

Sorry if this was more than you wanted to know, but as you can tell, this is my hobbyhorse. When someone puts a nickel in my ear on this subject, I tend to go off like a pachinko machine