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McCain’s Not Gonna Take It, Never Did and Never Will

by on December 21, 2009

The best summary of the social disease factory called the Woodstock Festival was offered by The Who.  The unenthusiastic participants’ perfectly crude, decidedly and awesomely not safe for work reaction both during and after the squalid affair effectively summarizes the faux idyllic colossal mud bath.  Importantly, Pete Townshend articulated why anything connected to that most communal of temporary communities doesn’t deserve compulsory funding.

With that in mind, Senator John McCain should have his way with the Woodstock Film Festival, which might be the only event more pretentious than a regular film festival.  The New York State happening drains funds from the national pile, which, according to Washington Times writer Amanda Carpenter, angers a quite straight-laced elected official:

The Woodstock Film Festival wasn’t very happy that Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, used an earmark to help fund its operations as an example of government waste in a speech on the Senate floor.

After Senate Democrats broke a Republican filibuster last Saturday over an omnibus spending bill with $446.8 billion in discretionary money, Mr. McCain blasted the thousands of earmarks contained in it. One of them was the money for the Woodstock Film Festival.

“In order to really do a lot more research on that great cultural moment, we’re going to spend $30,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival youth initiative,” he said sarcastically.

The Arizonian merely opposes using federal money on a wholly superfluous program with parochial appeal.  For that, he gets grief from someone apparently terrified of self-sufficiency:

“The Woodstock Film Festival is a small, fiscally responsible non-profit organization that provides an enormous amount of economic development through tourism, the film commission and many of our other efforts,” (Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Director Laurent) Rejto said in an e-mail to The Times. “We’re saddened and demoralized by the fact that Sen. McCain did not have the wherewithal to do a little research before misleading the public about our worthy program.”

“A little research” would have let McCain know that they are getting public funding to run an entirely superfluous event.  If the movie marathon foundation is “fiscally responsible,” why do they need to beg to Washington for assistance?  They also amusingly brag on the banner that tops their site’s front page that they’re “Fiercely Independent,” which is only true if followed by the phrase, “Of paying bills.”

This state continues to suffer negative vibes inflicted by a three-day plague four decades ago.  The people involved never changed.  It’s literally true: the advisory board includes Woodstock producer and promoter Michael Lang. Those staging the event are the same tie-dye adherents who wallowed in their own filth during the most infamous of rock gatherings.  McCain couldn’t attend and act self-righteously indulgent due to a scheduling conflict.

It goes without saying that everyone respects McCain’s service, including people who didn’t vote for him last year or did because he was marginally the better default candidate.  Additionally, voters who have qualms with his positions or style can nonetheless admire him opposition to ladling bacon fat on everything that passes through Congress.  He’s further trying to stop Democraticare, so even those on the right who thought McCain’s campaign felt like a sequel to Bob Dole’s can feel grateful he’s still in the Senate.  Ultimately, he’s defending the interests of people who own at least one suit.

Stimulus junkies will whine that the movie bash only gets 30 grand, which is an easy statement to make about other people’s money.  It’s especially so since Woodstock fans are the sort who enjoy sharing everyone else’s things.

But festival enthusiasts can promote their collective values on their own dime.  As with every other motion picture event, this one doesn’t deserve 30 bucks of collective funding, much less a couple extra zeroes.  Aren’t they worried that taking money from The Man will generate unwanted karma?

Besides, if the amount is so little, the Ben & Jerry’s brigade should cover it themselves.  Most obviously, organizers can raise funds by soliciting checks from a handful of participating celebrities. Failing that, they can just run a co-op for 20 years or so.

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