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January 6, 2008

From Jim Watts: Personal connection to arts is missing

John Stoehr

Greetings from a fellow NAJP fellow. Enjoyed Joe Nickell's post on the Nutcracker and sports. I did something similar last year, with a story called "the Guys' Guide to the Nutcracker," that played up the athleticism of ballet (and the prospect of seeing fetching foreign young ladies in revealing clothes).

But the link between sports and arts goes deeper, I think. It something I might address somewhere, assuming the paper gives me the room (the once-arts friendly tulsa world is getting subsumed by readers' poll troll, it seems). People have a connection to certain things because they can imagine themselves performing these feats. Most kids dream of being rock stars, and even the tone-deaf can "air-guitar" with the best of them. Even those whose idea of exercise in yawning can imagine they can execute a football play, hit the ball perfectly between fielders, sink the shot from the top of the key -- or at least coach those who can do these things to do them properly (see: all the portly pontificators at any gathering, pointing out all the faults that cost some team a victory). But the fine arts -- classical music, opera, ballet, sculpture, etc. -- are activities most people cannot envision themselves doing. And therefore they have no personal connection -- or interest or curiosity -- about them.

Or maybe I just haven't had enough coffee this morning.....

all the best,
jim watts

Posted by John Stoehr at January 6, 2008 8:39 AM