The Tennessee Center for Policy Research's Pork Report is out again. I won't deny that they provide a valuable service in scrutinizing state spending at a time when we don't have much money. As I pointed out last year, they seem to have developed a bad habit of trying to whip people into a frenzy about sex in the arts. Page 9 of this year's report delivers more of the same. One heading reads "Tax Dollars for Dirty Movies."
They point out: "In 2009, the Tennessee Art Commission handed $29,040 in tax money to subsidize the Nashville Film Festival. Some of that money went to support films many taxpayers will never see and, in fact, would find highly objectionable."
Based on the testimony of guests and the comments of some members of the Shelby County Commission today, it's pretty obvious that we have a long way to go in being able to discuss issues of sexuality with great openness. Some people seem to revel in finding anything "objectionable."
We'd love to see the TCPR do a study on what science-based sex education would do for the teen pregnancy rate and sexually transmitted disease rate in Tennessee. Who knows what kind of money that might save? Thrift is a great Puritan virtue, repression a Puritan vice.