EDITORíS DESK: Art and politics

       Therese pointed out something I had not noticed in putting the news together for this issue, and that was the contrast of politics and art. The elections are coming up Nov. 7, and the annual Artists' Studio Tour will be Nov. 11-12. Her thinking was that reading about artists was a nice break from the politics. And, now that I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised if other readers have a similar reaction. All of which brings up a question that tends to jog around the back of my mind every election year, and that is why do these things have to be so inartistically painful? Not that I don't take pride in performing my civic duty, but (and I wonder how many of you feel the same way) it's not too often that I feel truly wowed by an issue or a candidate. I mean, think about the modern job skills that seem to be necessary to run for office. Ideally, one might wish an elected official who speaks for the Westside at the Statehouse to be intimately familiar with its ways and its history and sensitive to the maverick pulse of the area and its constituents - someone who might base decisions on creatively considered thought instead of party or personal agenda. But from what I can see, a candidate's real-world job requirements seem to be a thick skin (to deal with often-ludicrous attack ads, boundless energy (so as to look like a person of action for the TV cameras), magical fund-raising talents (because of the ever-more-massive cost of getting elected), and boundless ambition (else why put up with all that abuse?)
       Many publications like to make endorsements, but I'm shying away from that here. Regarding the Westside, I think we'll get decent representation no matter who gets elected. I'd let you know if I thought there was a potential train wreck. Like last week, when I soapboxed against issues 200 and 201. I'd also let you know if I thought some artist-politician had suddenly appeared in our midst. That would be news. But I fear that it's more likely fantasy.

- K.J.