PBS is a large part of my television viewing, and I always have NPR on in my car, as well as frequently in my home. I’m a supporter of both. I will be very sad if, because of Federal budget cuts, public broadcasting declines in any way. There is a medieval poem from a 13th century Persian poet that has always stuck in my mind, especially when my budget is tight, and I think it speaks to the mistake of treating the arts and public broadcasting as “unnecessary” or “frivolous.”
“If in thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, sell one and with the dole buy hyacinths to feed the soul.”
I once wrote a paraphrase of this poem: If only the famished stomach is fed, we nourish but one part of the whole, leaving behind the hunger pangs of an empty, starving soul.