Why Do You Need a Job, Rocco?

Being a political junkie, avid lover of all things Oklahoma and having immense appreciation for all arts, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that the new chairman of the NEA mentioned Oklahoma in his speech announcing his “Art Works” tour in Brooklyn on October 21.

As I started reading through the speech, I had mixed emotions between laughing at the ignorance and pompous attitude of Mr. Landesman and having that nerve in my neck tweak as he gushed about how Obama is next Ceasar (and this is a good thing?)… You could hear the thrill running up his leg.

Then I found it, Oklahoma. Here is what he said…

“I know firsthand that great art can come from the unlikeliest of places. A few years ago, I visited Eric, Oklahoma, where a museum was being dedicated to one of my idols, the great country music songwriter and singer, Roger Miller. He wrote the music for my first show, “Big River.” While driving the 140 miles from Oklahoma City to Eric, you pass the hometowns of Sheb Wooley, one of the creators of rock and roll, the songwriter Jimmy Webb, and Garth Brooks. What is in the water there? There are certainly no music conservatories, probably precious few music teachers, no colleges, no arts centers, nothing. Just an inexplicable concentration of genius.”

This type of “how does a back-woods red state produce a decent artist?” mentality isn’t abnormal for Landesman. In an August 8 interview with the NYT, Ladesman made multiple statements that he was against artistic endowments to rural areas or any areas without what he considers to have “artistic merit.” In that same interview, he talked about how the arts can play into economic development, yet he doesn’t want the arts to be developing the economics in “rural” areas (and I use that term loosely). Isn’t this the land of opportunity, Mr. Optimist? Does this opportunity not apply to those who reside in “rural” areas?

And speaking of Garth Brooks, what great school developed his musical abilities? His family.

That seems to be an important piece that Rocco is missing from this entire equation. Although passing artistic appreciation from generation to generation doesn’t require federal funding, only the best education in Rocco’s mind can come from music conservatories, colleges, and “good teachers” whom, according to Rocco, appear to reside in massive population centers. Or, perhaps Rocco thinks they should only reside in massive population centers.

Throughout the interview, Landesman talks about providing subsidies for housing for artists to encourage them to move to downtown areas. Why not provide incentives to keep them in their suburban or rural areas to enrich the “artistic merit” of their community? What I find particularly interesting about this is that his precious country music singers that he mentions so fondly come from rural areas. Just think how many more of your favorite artists could rise up from a little bit of “economic stimulation” from the NEA.

Let’s look at his quote about Oklahoma in a little more detail. Even though this isn’t surprising behavior from Rocco, I really feel the need to address the artistic merit of the state of Oklahoma.

Now, if anyone from Oklahoma is reading this, you will find that Rocco has 1 ½ good points. The first one is the water. If you have ever drank water from OKC and then drank the water in say…Norman… you would be asking yourself the same question that Rocco did.

The next point that he makes is that he didn’t find anything from his drive from Will Rogers to Eric, Oklahoma. To be quite honest, he didn’t pass through the major metropolis areas (though, having been through the Brooklyn area, I’m not sure how much of Brooklyn has “artistic merit”). He was driving to a place that has a population of 1,076 people and maybe has 3 stoplights. But, what he did pass by was USAO. Rocco, if you would have looked to your right, you would have seen the University of Science and ARTS of Oklahoma!

Do we have an extension of Julliard in Oklahoma? No.

Really, we only have precious few teachers like Valery Kuleshov, the most respected pianist in the Russian Federation, Dr. Edward Gates, whose performances have been reviewed multiple times by the NYT, Dr. Jonathan Shames, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope (who sells over 200,000 copies of his compositions a year around the world), and Dr. Randy Von Ellefson, but no other teachers to their caliber.

No, we don’t have any colleges that produce people to the level of Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly O’Hara, or Leona Mitchell.

Our schools don’t place in 3 of the top 5 spots (including first) at the Bands of America Super Regional marching band competition as well as winning national marching championships.

We don’t have some of the top jazz education in the country in our high schools or in our colleges.

We don’t have choirs made up of laymen that are invited to sing in the Sydney Opera House. In fact, we don’t even have camps for students that bring in artists from all over the world to educate our children from elementary through high school. I mean really, it’s not like we’ve produced a vast quantity of talented Miss America’s.

Actually, we have all of those things and I would personally like to invite you to come to Oklahoma and listen to one of our "laymen" choirs. We also have the Oklahoma Arts Council, which is locally funded and receives few federal dollars. The only federal dollars that I found that the OAC received was from the stimulus. Do you know what this means, Rocco?

We don’t need you.

But it appears that Rocco has figured this out. “There are certainly no music conservatories…music teachers…colleges…arts centers…nothing. Just an inexplicable concentration of genius.”

If that's the case, Rocco, why do you need a job?

YOU LIE: How the Mainstream Media Covered Up the Exoneration of Rush and the Hypocrisy of the Left

The below column is one I wish I had written. In all truthfulness, I was actually doing research over this very subject when I came across this column. I decided to scrap all my ideas because the author said everything better than I could have hoped to. Congratulations readers, you've earned a post that doesn't include me writing...well, too much.

Before you start, how about a little background info?

Stage Right is a veteran of the Broadway theatre industry. With a career dating back to the mid-80's, he was involved in management on Broadway as well as a major US city. He also worked for a very prominent non-profit theatre company in New York, has sat on non-profit theatre boards, as well as theatrical union boards. He has been involved with Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring productions.

Stage Right posts at
Big Hollywood and Big Government in anonymity not for professional reasons, but out of deference to his spouse who still maintains deep friendships with many members of the theatrical industry.

He also has a radio show on blogtalkradio.com. The next show will be Monday night, 11pm CST.

If you have any comments I would prefer that you post them on facebook. I am actually a friend of Stage Right, so if you want the author to see your comments himself, I would post them there. I'm not saying he's going to read your comments, but you have a better chance on facebook than you do here. If you don't have a facebook, feel free to post any comments here.


NFL Owners Who Use the N-Word and Wet Their Pants On Stage

And now a word from an NFL owner:

“And the game done chose me to bring pain to niggas and pussy holes, they one in the same.” - I’m Real, co-written by Jennifer Lopez, minority owner of the Miami Dolphins.

Amidst the uproar over Rush Limbaugh having to step aside from his participation in the bid to purchase the NFL’s St. Louis Rams over racially insensitive statements he never actually made, is the fact that current ACTUAL owners of an NFL team have said much worse than the false and the left says nothing.

Fergie: NFL Owner

Jennifer Lopez, whose Sondheim-like lyric genius is on display at the top of this post, holds the same status with the Miami Dolphins as Limbaugh would have with the Rams. And, not only does she have co-writer credit on this offensive drivel, she also recorded and performed it live. She continues to earn money in royalties for her genius use of the “N-Word.” My guess is that those who took issue with Limbaugh’s imaginary racial slur are OK with J-Lo’s actual racial slur because she looks a lot better in tight pants.

Meanwhile, another minority owner of the Dolphins has some controversial issues with public statements as well. Recently, Dolphins minority owner Serena Williams broke quite a few FCC laws by letting loose an “F-word” filled tirade on live television during the US Open. Then she menacingly threatened a side judge and was subsequently disqualified. This kind of behavior and speech seems to be right in line with the NFL’s standards since I missed the press conference from Commissioner Roger Goodell condemning it.

Finally, we get to Fergie, some-time member of the Black Eyed Peas and some-time solo artist. You betcha, she has also been approved as a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins. Fergie is a huge Obama supporter, so I guess the NFL thought it was pretty cool that she just performed her song “Glamorous” at the White House Easter egg hunt… an event for children. Here’s how the DC Examiner reported the event:

Lines like “wear them gold and diamond rings” and “I’m not clean, I’m not pristine” may not be the dream lyrics for their daughters to emulate, but the song’s repetition of the line “If you ain’t got no money take your broke a** home” made a few parents cringe. She did of course edit the curse word from the song Monday — but some of crowd members helpfully filled it in for her.

It gets better. Earlier this week, Goodell said of Limbaugh’s potential ownership, “Divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about.” Is he splitting hairs between “comments” and “lyrics?” Because these lyrics from a 2003 Black Eyed Peas song sounds pretty divisive to me:

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin’
In the USA, the big CIA …

A war is goin’ on but the reason’s undercover
The truth is kept secret, it’s swept under the rug

Nothing like accusing the CIA of terrorism and our government of lying to bring people together. Goodell also said, “We’re all held to a high standard here.”

Really? Does this meet his high standard?

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk
All that junk inside your trunk
I’ma get get get get you drunk
Get you love drunk off my hump
My hump my hump my hump my hump my hump
My hump my hump my hump my lovely little lumps

How about drinking so much that you wet your pants, mid-song, on stage, in front of a live audience?

This week the NFL did more to silence conservative political perspectives on the radio then liberals and their “Fairness Doctrine” could ever dream of doing. By bowing to shrill political pressure they forced a group of potential buyers of the St. Louis Rams, headed by Dave Checkett, to drop Rush Limbaugh from the ownership team. Forget for a moment that the heinous statements attributed to Limbaugh were never sourced or substantiated and completely false. Also forget that Limbaugh, as a minority owner, would have no actual control or real influence over personnel or management decisions with the team. None of that matters.

The left hates Limbaugh. He had to be stopped.

But Rush will be just fine. They can’t shut him up; he’s too big. And even if they do pass the “Fairness Doctrine,” he will move to satellite radio and finally give Mel Karmazin a healthy balance sheet.

No, the real danger in all of this is the chilling effect it has on the rest of the conservative world. Those of us articulating our points of view and trying to persuade others. Just like Rush has done for over two decades. And now, the seed has been planted. Someday, we might want to own a football team. Hell, we’re capitalists! Will something we say or write now be twisted around or even made up to smear us and keep us from fulfilling our dream?

Yes, the seed has been planted. They’ve done what the intended to do. It wasn’t about stopping Rush… it was done to stop all of us. And they will lie if they have to, to get what they want.

Change? Yes. Hope? Not so much.*

*I inserted that link, not the author.

What They Didn't Put in the Spider-Man Movies

They just don't write those screen plays like they used to. At one point, it was okay to stay close to the story line, have an unashamedly "American" theme, and have heroes that were just that. Heroes. No crazy deep-seeded psychological issues questioning their own manhood. They were just guys who did the right thing just because it was the right thing.

I read the below quote under a friend's facebook profile "favorite quotes" section. It was attributed to "unknown". After reading it, I determined that this quote was worthy of attribution and immediately began my bing.com search. I expected to find that some great American historical figure said this while under tremendous pressure from a wave of dark and evil forces. See what you think:

"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.

When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth and tell the whole world--

--No you move."

The great hero who said this: Captain America

I believe the author of the attached site said it best,

"I guess I'm getting old and sentimental, but I swear sitting there reading a Spider-Man comic book of all things, I felt like I could almost shed a tear.

This is what heroes are all about whether real or imagined, the ability to inspire."

They just don't write 'em like they used to.

Why I Am A Republican

I’ve noticed that today, with the uprising in new additions to politics (welcome), that there is quite a stigma associated with being considered “partisan.” Anyone who is considered a hard-line “republican” or “democrat” is immediately considered some brain-dead kool-aid drinker, especially when you agree with others in your chosen political party.


Part of this phenomenon has been generated by Glenn Beck. He constantly attacks being part of the political “system”. His argument has its merits.

Many people associate the Christian social movement to the Republican Party. If you look at the history of the Republican Party, it is the other way around. In the 80s, the Republican Party bought into the conservative Christian social movement. Christians have been here holding these views all along.

So, why am I a Republican? Why do I associate myself with a party and not just say, “Well, I vote on the Bible”? Below is my explanation.

God gave us this freedom and this government, and it is our stewardship to Him to keep it. It is our stewardship to Christ to be actively involved in our governmental process and our governmental process involves political activities including, but not limited to, passing out fliers, standing on a street corner holding a sign in support of a candidate, making phone calls and other small and - from an outsider looking in -meaningless political endeavors. I’m all about voting convictions over any type of party line; I just don’t think there is one political policy that the Democrat Party has that matches my convictions on a theological level. And if they do have it, then they share it with the Republican Party. That’s why I am unabashedly and unashamedly a member of the Republican Party. Do they get things wrong? Heck yeah! Do they have corruption? You bet! But they are more in line with my views based on my scriptural convictions than any other political affiliation and I won’t ignore that fact just because it makes me “partisan”. I applaud my friends who are “man” enough to say “yeah, I hold to the principals and convictions laid out in the Democrat Party platform.” Good for you. I applaud their intellectual honesty and treasure their views and opinions.

I’m not saying everyone can fit in one of two parties, I’m just saying that I can. It has been a calculated and researched decision and I will not apologize for identifying myself with a group that generally shares my political views.

Don’t fear being placed in a stereotype, people.

Treat that fear like any other irrational fear.

Challenge it.

Thanks Liberals

So I’m just laying here enjoying h1n1, watching t.v., and catching up on news. I find myself almost feeling sorry for liberals...almost.

They get this joker elected, the star of their A-Team. He was going to make the world instantly love us.

He was going to care for all the down-trodden and needy without raising taxes on the middle class.

He was the new messiah...

…And he's only been moving from one failure to the next, starting with his appointments and ending with his current flame out at the Olympics decision.

"Never before in modern history had a U.S. President needlessly put so much prestige on the line in front of the world community and been so roundly rejected."

Thanks liberals. He's the greatest gift you could have ever given to the Republican party, and the greatest curse you could have given to the American people.