We've been following the controversy surrounding the removal of the late artist/activist David Wojnarowicz' film "A Fire In The Belly" from a show in Washington, DC's National Portrait Gallery. I'm frankly astonished that it took THIS LONG after the Republican victories in the November election to resume the culture wars, but I'm completely unsurprised at the wrong-headedness of the attacks. The main complaint that taxpayer money was used to fund the hate-speech of the video is insanely off-base, as the exhibition itself was funded by a record number of individual donors, as well as foundations that support gay & lesbian issues.
Since Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), the presumptive incoming House speaker, has made his opinions known on the subject we can expect this to be but the first salvo in this decade's own culture war. We're delighted to see that artists and arts organizations around the country are stepping up to meet the threat, and that the film is more widely available than ever (and ironically, thanks to the controversy, more likely to be seen by people who wouldn't otherwise have bothered). Meanwhile, the complete "A Fire In The Belly" has been put on line for those who wish to view it, and we're proud to embed it here.