Musical Tastes and the CIA

Chris Doss itschris13 at
Tue Sep 21 16:52:04 MDT 1999

Why on Earth was the CIA interested in supporting Jackson Pollock?

>From: "M A Jones" <mark at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: <marxism at>
>Subject: Re: Musical Tastes and the CIA
>Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 22:12:15 +0100
>Schnittke was financed by the CIA? Well, well. That's an absolute
>revelation, Paul. Absolute revelation.
>Mark Jones
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Paul Flewers <paul.flewers at>
>To: <marxism at>
>Cc: <tcrawford at>
>Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 5:03 AM
>Subject: Re: Musical Tastes and the CIA
> > Louis Proyect cited Mark Jones < I'm lucky to live in London. In the
> > past six months... I've been watching Schnittke, Berg... > Having over
> > the years by chance listened on the wireless to various things by these
> > guys, all I can say is that they were some of the most excruciating
> > aural experiences I've ever had. Each to his (or her) own, I suppose.
> >
> > Apropos modern orchestral music, I've just read Frances Stonor-Saunders'
> > Who Paid the Piper?, a lengthy book on the CIA's cultural activities in
> > the Cold War. The CIA indirectly financed quite a few events promoting
> > modern orchestral music in the 1940s and 1950s. The Ivy League types who
> > headed the CIA at that time actually liked this stuff. However, I could
> > just picture the typical CIA operative, whose idea of culture probably
> > didn't go beyond a burlesque show or a boxing match, listening in pained
> > bewilderment at the array of scrapes, squeaks and snorks emanating from
> > the stage.
> >
> > The book also shows how the CIA also sponsored modern artists, including
> > Jackson Pollock. I'm afraid I'm often with Nikita Khrushchev on this one
> > -- at an exhibition of modern art, he cried out: 'What did you paint
> > that with, a donkey's tail?'
> >
> > Paul F
> >

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