Our Opinion: Save cowboy poetry; support funding for arts

On March 8, Sen. Harry Reid took to the Senate floor to defend the National Endowment for the Humanities using the argument that it supports the National Cowboy Festival in Elko. The program was actually started with feed money from the National Endowment for the Arts, but cowboy poetry has been near and dear to our hearts recently. The Genoa Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival received its seed money from Douglas County, and receives no federal funding.

Sen. Harry Reid lept to the defense of cowboy poetry last month, though he missed a few particulars

But that didn't stop him from taking the Senate floor and seizing the vernacular.

We understand that public money's tight and that the arts are first to go.

Especially when it comes to Nevada, the Eastern Press isn't afeared of sayin' so.

They puff up and beller with their noses stuck up where it's sunny.

They say that cowboy poetry ain't worth the money.

While they're laughin' and drooling on their biled shirts

Here's a point our Westerners know hurts.

We wager a month's salary that folks on cowboy poetry would spend their dime.

Than to see all the avant garde on display in the Guggenheim.

So our definition of art may stray from theirs'.

Leastwise we don't go around putting on airs.

Cowboy poetry's considered art in these parts we know.

But far as we're concerned the feds can keep their dough.


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