May 24, 2009


I.O.U.S.A., a documentary movie distributed by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, does an admirable job in dissecting the key issues surrounding the United States' staggering national debt for the American public to digest.   

The Foundation's mission statement: Our mission is to increase public awareness of the nature and urgency of key economic challenges threatening America's future and accelerate action on them. To meet these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find sensible, sustainable solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results.

"You all remember the old joke about the philosophy professor asking the kids in the philosophy class which is worse, ignorance or apathy, and some sleepy kid from the back says I don't know and I don't care?" - Peter G. Peterson, Chairman, Peter G. Peterson Foundation

For the Love of God, 2007 by Damien Hirst

Do we care enough about where we are going as a society? Maybe with its newfound vogue, fiscal sanity will find its way to the contemporary art market as well. Take for instance what the influential writer and critic Robert Hughes has written about the artist Damien Hirst - "If there is anything special about this event, it lies in the extreme disproportion between Hirst's expected prices and his actual talent. Hirst is basically a pirate, and his skill is shown by the way in which he has managed to bluff so many art-related people, from museum personnel such as Tate's Nicholas Serota to billionaires in the New York real-estate trade, into giving credence to his originality and the importance of his "ideas". This skill at manipulation is his real success as an artist. He has manoeuvred himself into the sweet spot where wannabe collectors, no matter how dumb (indeed, the dumber the better), feel somehow ignorable without a Hirst or two."  

Endnote: Hirst's diamond encrusted skull For the Love of God, 2007, was purportedly sold to an investment group for 100 million dollars, the highest recorded price paid for a single work of art by a living artist. 

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