Saturday, February 18, 2006

Artists, actors.. too stoopid for politics??

Think again.

I'm so long overdue for a rant. This is going to be great fun!

I think this is one of the most ignorant, annoying things that I hear regularly. Well, believe me.. just ONE of...

To say that is to completely dismiss what it means to be an artist, actor.I know, I know.. not ALL actors, not ALL artists, but usually the ones that take an interest. It just makes sense one you undertand the job description.

Follow me now. For the troglodyte who hasn't a clue (oh, but hell yes, I feel pissy tonight!), from
1. One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts. (emphasis added)

2. A person whose work shows exceptional creative ability or skills.

3. One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performing arts.

Hang in there... Now that we know what one is, consider...

Bloom's Taxonomy of Thinking Skills establishes that the simplest form of thinking is "concrete" thinking. One can measure and point and label, but one cannot relate, apply, comprehend or manipulate. You need a real brain for that.

I'm fond of saying, "you cannot make art with a calculator". Except when weaving-- it does come in pretty handy. So do algebra and science in other artistsic endeavors, but then they are only tools for manipulating, not the relationships or products themselves.

The two highest levels of cognitive thought, according to Bloom, are synthesis and evaluation. In "synthesis," the individual is able to put ideas together, propose plans, form solutions, and create new information. In the "evaluation" stage, the thinker is able to make choices, select, evaluate and make judgments about information and situations.

My art appreciation students are constantly amazed to discover that a)this is their most difficult class and b) often their favorite class! I think it is because so many of them discover that they are bright and talented-- when they think for themselves! It is a joy and an honor to be a part of that, btw...

Now lest you think I digress....

Who would you rather have running the country? A chimp who made "C"s naming things or an "actor" (insert ironic derision here) or artist who can actually work intellectual alchemy when approaching a solution? Want an example? How about MENSA member, Geena Davis. BTW, she also has a degree in Fine Arts from Boston University and donates money to the Democrats.

That's just one example, but follow the education of the likes of much maligned liberal actors like Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Woody Harrelson and Sean Penn and you will find a pattern.

Also interesting.. When I checked out, a decidedly conservative site dedicated to ranking the liberalism of "Hollywood's outspoken elite", I noticed another trend... Many of the conservative actors "highest level of education is unknown" and while most of the liberal actors are educated and that makes them "qualifed" to make "such and such" statements... To be fair, I should say that I checked the education listings for conservatives Jeff Foxworthy, Clint Eastwood, Jim Belushi, Kathi Lee Gifford, Charlton Heston, Vince Vaughn, Heather Locklear, and Sylveter Stallone. Two of the eight hadn't degrees at all. Often, with a tiny bit more research you'll find that the education of these "liberals" is under-reported and the conservatives have very few, if any, political quotes attributed to them at all.

It's not scientific, but it is telling.


PS-just for fun and fairness, I should add that the 4rth definition of artist reads "One who is adept at an activity, especially one involving trickery or deceit: a con artist."

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