Feds Award $12.8 Million To Study Bulgarian Folk Music & Make A Video Game About Alchemy

the national endowment for the humanities wasted money on researching bulgarian music

The National Endowment for the Humanities Wastes 100 Percent of Its Funding

No government-funded enterprise wastes taxpayer dollars with as much wanton flourish—pizzazz, even—as the National Endowment for the Humanities, and its cousin, the National Endowment for the Arts.

You have them to thank for stellar productions such as Frankenfest, a $300,000 Frankenstein-themed beer garden, and Doggie Hamletwhich is exactly what you think it is.

But in the interests of exposing government largess, I suppose I must mention yet another catalog of disgraces from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

One particularly good (bad) example is how the Endowment paid $50,400 to a professor at the University of Pennsylvania to write a book on America’s poor posture.

The book, called Slouch: The Hidden History of America’s Poor Posture Epidemic (not yet finished) will cover the “rise and fall of the American poor posture epidemic in the 20th century and its impact on science, medicine, government, and industry.”

Not only does it sound dreadfully boring, it’s also entirely redundant—everything you need to know about posture can be found (for free) on the internet.  No one will ever read this book, and the findings will help no one.  There is, as far as I can tell, no reason that the government should be funding this “research” (I use the term “research” generously), much less pay for printing a book on the subject.

And of course, the recent round of grants paid out by the Endowment disclose a number of other, utterly pointless spending.  The Free Beacon reports:

The NEH awarded $12.8 million for 253 projects last month. . .projects include $42,000 to a researcher at California State University, Channel Islands who specializes in the “intersections of race, agricultural and labor histories.”

The project, “Race, Labor, and the Industrialization of California Wine,” will produce a book-length study on the “history of winemaking in California from 1769 to 1920 with emphasis on labor relations during the Spanish colonial, Mexican national, and U.S. eras.”

Another grant, “Bells in the Music and Culture of Bulgaria,” provides a $50,400 fellowship to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for an “anthropological study of bells in Bulgarian culture.” 

The Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia received $100,000 to make a “video game about…Alchemy.”

The agency is also spending $12,000 on a project about Chicago house music and $75,000 for an “augmented reality experience” of the Kent State University shootings.

The University of Maryland received $50,400 for a “book-length study of 18th-century sexuality, as it was affected by global geographic mobility and transregional colonial encounters.”

Other grants include an $11,229 panel discussion on “LGBTQ+ history” in North Carolina and another $11,963 for programs on the LGBT community in Philadelphia.

Actually, I’ve now changed my mind.

As you can see, the Endowment is clearly doing God’s work by funding all the amazing and necessary projects that evil individuals, charities, and corporations won’t.  Thank the Lord for the National Endowment for the Humanities—where would we be without them?

Although I suppose $50,400 is relatively small potatoes, considering that we’ve spent $250 million per day on pointless foreign wars since 2001, and some $135 billion on illegal aliens annually.

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About Spencer P Morrison 160 Articles
J.D. B.A. in Ancient & Medieval History. Writer and independent intellectual, with a focus on applied philosophy, empirical history, and practical economics. Author of "Bobbins, Not Gold," Editor-In-Chief of the National Economics Editorial, and contributor to American Greatness. His work has appeared in publications including the Daily Caller, the American Thinker, and the Foundation for Economic Education.