Date Received: Mon., Apr. 9, 12:33PM
IF STATE REPS CAN STEAL, WHY CAN'T THE REST OF US?
As an artist, musician, and writer, I was horrified by state Rep. Borris Miles’ action in stealing artwork from an anti-death-penalty exhibition at the Capitol and the legal and public apathy in its wake [“State Representative: Let’s Hang the Artist,” News, March 30]. I brightened, however, when it hit me that, if all I have to do is adopt a stance of righteous indignation, change some language, and abuse my position as an elected official (two out of three ain’t bad), then I, too, can not only publicly confess to stealing but get away with it with nary a raised eyebrow! Thanks to Mr. Miles and the trend he has set, I can now realize my lifelong dream of marching into the nearest Hallmark store and confiscating every glittery, heavy-lidded, huge-craniumed Precious Moments figurine on the shelves, stating that they offend my sensibility as an artist on one hand and as a human with a brain and a modicum of good taste on the other. I shall stash them in my studio and, when confronted, stand tall and proud, declaring that because I have decided for the rest of you that they are tacky and inappropriate, I stripped them from public view on my own initiative. Many of my friends who regularly compliment the emperor’s new clothes would agree with me. Once I start to feel the heat, I’ll simply say I gave the Precious Moments figurines back to a Hallmark employee, who will deny having them, and no one will “seem to know where [they] have gone” at press time.
The sad truth is that there never would have been an issue if Mr. Miles had taken five minutes to go to the information desk and inquire about the nature of the exhibition.
And I’d be arrested and jailed if I took Precious Moments figurines, because people care about Precious Moments and collect them, whereas what Mr. Miles took was just a couple of anti-death-penalty paintings that don’t matter, made by some chick from Portland, Ore., and some black guy on death row. Right, Mr. Miles?
Yours in fear for what’s left of our First Amendment rights,
Jennie Kay Snyder