From Shakespeare-For-Dogs To Digital-Puppets, Senator Details 100 Examples Of Government Waste In 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Nov 28, 2017

Late November is a great time of year for a variety of reasons…there is the crisp fall air, the gatherings with your extended family for Thanksgiving that begin innocently and end with restraining orders and death threats and, of course, Senator James Lankford’s annual report on government waste. And, just like last year, the 2017 report on “Federal Fumbles” is filled with truly infuriating examples of government waste that are sure to get your blood boiling…here are a couple of examples:

First up is a $30,000 grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts for a play, dubbed “Doggie Hamlet” by Lankford, that entailed a group of “artists” running around a field in New Hampshire apparently taunting a group of presumably very confused sheep.

As evidenced in previous editions of Federal Fumbles, the American public’s love for William Shakespeare has sometimes translated into unusual and unnecessary federal expenditures. For instance, tens of thousands were spent to support a production of Silent Shakespeare in 2015. However, the strangeness of those fumbles pales in comparison to a $30,000 NEA grant to support a production of Doggie Hamlet.

Doggie Hamlet actually includes humans yelling or running toward very confused sheep and dogs. The production, which does not include any actual lines from Hamlet, is conducted outdoors in a 30-by-50-foot field in New Hampshire. The play is described as “a beautiful and dreamlike spectacle weaving instinct, mystery, and movement into an unusual performance event.”

And then there is a $75,000 grant provided to a university to allow for the creation of “digital puppets.”

Generations of young people grew up watching The Muppets and Sesame Street with famous puppets like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the indomitable Cookie Monster. These shows and puppets have shaped millions of lives throughout several generations. But does that influence translate into a federal obligation to spend taxpayer dollars to create 3-D, electronic versions of puppets so more people can play with them?

Earlier this year, the NEH provided $74,851 for a university to utilize 3-D technology to create electronic versions of puppets so viewers can “manipulate and ‘play,’ through game-like technology, with a puppet or other performative object held in a digital archive.” The funding will be used to scan up to 15 puppets into a system that will enable viewers to control puppet functions and facial expressions either on a desktop computer or virtual reality device.

The Rest…HERE

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