The Corner

Rock ’n’ Dole is Here to Stay

Yesterday, I marked the tragic demise of the taxpayer-funded Shania Twain Centre. Phillip MacHarg tweeted back:

At least rock ‘n roll “Hall” isn’t gov subsidized. Or is it?

Not so fast. As I wrote nine years ago in the Irish Times (massive subscription required, alas):

Never mind the president’s sudden generosity toward the National Endowment for the Arts, an agency Republicans once dreamed of abolishing. Did you know that a couple of weeks ago the president signed an $820 billion appropriations bill that, among other boondoggles, puts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on the public dime? That’s right: rock ‘n’ roll — the most ruthlessly corporate industry in the world — apparently requires the tax dollars of America’s widows and spinsters. If every rock star donated just 1 percent of what he’s spent on drugs since 1966, you could have the most lavish Hall of Fame in the world. But he won’t, so you have to pay up instead….

If rock ‘n’ roll requires federal funding, we might as well give up.

Still, the big-spending GOP reaching out to subsidize all those gnarled old rockers certainly made the music industry think differently of the Republican party, right?

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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