Congress should stop shooting down the arts—and aim for the critics instead

In a December New Yorker review that rocked the art world, critic Arlene Croce echoed right-wind attacks on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) support of gay, AIDS and race-related work. She labeled HIV positive dancer Bill T. Jones’ AIDS-themed performance Still/Here as “victim art” and emblematic of the wrong turns taken by the NEA.

We knew S&M meant “stand & model”; we didn’t know it referred to a witness stand

Edmonton, Alberta photographer Conrad Boland accused his former lover, model Marilyn Tan, of covertly injecting him with HIV positive blood during an S&M scenario. Unfortunately for movie-of-the-week producers, Tan was cleared of all major charges, although she must serve three months in jail for uttering a death threat against a former girlfriend of Boland’s.

He plans to release one set of frames each time he releases a new album

As part of his ongoing crusade to raise money for pediatric AIDS, musician Elton John put out a line of eyeglasses designed by Oliver Peoples. Only 5,000 numbered, red ribbon-embossed frames were made.

Marky Mark, for some reason, was not invited

Shortly before his death in March, rap star Eazy-E (Eric Wright) told the nation that he had AIDS. A major hip-hop artist who was instrumental in defining gangsta rap, Wright’s declaration marked the first of its kind in the rap world. In response to the rapper’s death, a group of major artists including R&B quartet Jodeci, Heavy D, Salt-N-Pepa and others performed at the launch of UrbanAid, LIFEbeat’s rap project.

After all, great art belongs in the Louvre

Much furor surrounded this year’s decision to memorialize tennis great Arthur Ashe by erecting a statue of him on Richmond, Virginia’s Monument Avenue—among statues of defeated Confederate heroes including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.