I’m back in Washington. Today I played tourist and went to the National Gallery of Art. They have a really great exhibition of Irving Penn’s platinum prints. I was even tempted to buy the book that goes with the exhibition, but of course it was expensive, and worse, far too heavy to lug back to Russia.

I was walking around in the museum and passed by a tour group looking at a Jackson Pollock. The tour guide was saying, “This is the point in the tour where I like to tell people that all of our acquisitions are donated. None of your tax dollars go toward the purchase of artwork.” I snorted.

And then I thought about it and got kinda mad. I’m sure that this tour guide felt she had to say this because numerous rednecks have looked at the Jackson Pollock and said “My tax dollars paid for that shit?” One of the best things about the US is the fact that the Smithsonian and the National Gallery are free to visitors. I WANT them to spend my tax dollars on art, even art that I think is crappy, rather than sending people to kill and be killed in unnecessary wars. Call me an elitist liberal if you want, but that’s how it is.

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