SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE: Does not do pantomime, as it website notes in graf one.  It recently made a splash when Republicans singled its NEA grant out as something that could be cut from the Federal budget, along with an accordion festival; the head of the NEA gallantly defended it. I couldn’t tell whether, for strategic reasons or simply lack of knowledge, either the Congressional Republicans or the head of the NEA were aware that the SFMT is, and always has been, a proudly left-wing, radical agit-prop company – not for nothing the red star in its logo.

I don’t know whether it is still the hard-left, Leninist troupe I remember from the early 1970s, or whether it has morphed into public-teat-sucking-multiculturalist-diversity-twaddle-grant-getting-purveyor of left-wing political kitsch, but it wasn’t clear that anyone at the hearing knew, either.  I do recall seeing, as a high schooler in the 1970s, a quite outstanding, really excellent, production of Brecht’s Mother Courage by the SFMT – and a rousing audience-participation rendition of the Internationale in the intermission.

In which I enthusiastically joined, being a sixteen year old leftist in those days. When I moved right, it was not because I knew, or know, very much about conservative thought (I’ve never read Russell Kirk, or many other of the classic American conservatives, for example, and I am indifferent to Ayn Rand, seeing her less as a libertarian than a Romantic). It’s because one day I woke up and asked the truly vital question of political identity … “What Would Gramsci Do?”