Unclear what exactly George Will is talking about in a truly incoherent column, but, you know, the idea that the historical guiding principle of the fine arts has been to take an adversarial nature to authority, let alone to "epater le bourgeois" [sic], which does not mean what George Will thinks it means, is pure kookery. It is true that there are many famous stories of misanthropic artists, of artistic lotharios, of art teasing the boundaries of acceptable, uh, discourse, but really. For most of recorded human history artists and performers and musicians were at best craftsmen, more often servants, and almost always worked in the service of some state or church or local nobleman. The Elgin Marbles were not created by a self-funded artistic collective to protest the, like, oppression by the priestly class, man. Nor yet was the Sistine Chapel ceiling done by Mike Angelo and his crew and a sixer of Pabst. And even as ages of discovery and enlightenment freed the individual artist to pursue his private aesthetic passions, still, "the arts" remained a state enterprise, heavily subsidized. Now this is not to say that I do not fervently hope to see a future of self-supporting artist communes making sculpture from the dried fecal matter of their own husbanded animals, but until then . . . Maybe George Will has been listening to his original cast recording of Rent a little too fervently, although I do find it a little hard to imagine him exchanging his bowtie for a stamp bag and a tranny hooker.