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H Niyazi

Are things really that bad that you've dragged Goya into this! Goya saw some truly horrible things - whatever the ramifications of the funding changes may be - the solution does not lie in trivialising the past, nor using it as an analogy for an entirely different set of social circumstances.

There are indeed some very difficult times ahead - for everyone. With each step forward in a particular direction, there are several layers of variables that need to be adjusted for - population growth, job market changes and technological developments to name a few.

It's never going to be an easy fix - but whatever room there is for some sort of consensus - it needs to be based on dialogue and compromise. I think James Vernon is on the right track - if you want to get something to the negotiating table - calling your opponents philistines or baby eating addicts is not the best step forward!


Paula Humfrey

Must demur, H. I don't think the Goya allusion trivializes the past. Present circumstances are indeed dire. People are being bloodied. That being said, I agree that dialogue is crucial. I think it's the locus of that dialogue that is in question.

Martha Nussbaum's book (referenced by David in his post) is timely. So, in this context, is Nussbaum's separation from her ex, Cass Sunstein, who recommended in 2008 that "the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-'independent' advocates to 'cognitively infiltrate' online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups." See:

"Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal"

And today we have this:

"Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling." See:

"The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom"

I wholly agree with you about the importance of charting the variables in play, demographics and tech innovation first among them. But we're not in a position to negotiate terms unless we fully understand the efforts that are being made to kill dissent. Art is key to finding ways to talk amongst ourselves about this issue. Then we can step forward fully apprised of the varieties of fear that underpin the Con-Dems' moves.


Art History Today

H- I tried to respond to you last night, but the comments feature was playing up. Th eating children is a metaphor, but I'm but not the only one that thinks so- check out this surreal take on the students riots. http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/18/the-kettle/

You don't think things are bad over here? I beg to differ: the ConDems Christmas present to the UK academic community has been to tell them that cuts will start next April, well before the new tuition hike is introduced. I haven't spoken to any people as its the holidays, but on the blogs, Facebook etc, the mood is of mounting anger at a government that is intent on smashing the humanities into little pieces. I'm predicting not just a winter of discontent, but a year or more of it.

Vernon talks a lot of good sense- here's another article of his that's just appeared- but a government like this isn't going to listen to the voice of reason. http://publicuniversity.org.uk/2010/12/19/the-real-vandalism-is-in-parliament-not-on-the-streets/

Art History Today

Paula- I must read Nussbaum's book, as I've only read interviews with her on line. I didn't know about Sunstein, but it just goes to show how all these things are tangled up together. BTW, here's a link to the Valuing the Humanities conference in London last week. It's long, but Nussbaum speaks within the first 30 minutes.


The Obama and FCC links don't augur well for the web, and we've got our government over here trying to get the ISPs to self-regulate or be dictated to. Having said that I don't think the censorship they're talking about is practicable or would be supported by the public.

Have a good Christmas.


Lingzhi Toxin Tea

Eating the Young - Art History Today

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