There was an initial assumption in the West that the end of the cold war in 1991 brought universal jubilation. But time has proved and the show suggests otherwise. Free-market capitalism brought its suppressions and exclusions, as artists discovered. Among other things, some felt, it undermined the purpose and value of art.In other words, forget the Gulag and the Berlin wall: communism was creative; it allowed operating at a loss. So it may not have been a coincidence that the Times reported that same day:
Under Communism artists had limited professional opportunities. Those whose work didn’t adhere to state guidelines found no market. They had to support themselves with day jobs, doing whatever they could. If their art touched on hot-button political issues, it was censored, slapped down.
For some artists repression had a psychological upside. It gave their work a clear-cut sense of importance. It established art’s primary value as moral, not monetary; instrumental, not formal. If what you were doing was censorable, you could trust you were doing something right; heroic, even. And this attitude fostered solidarity and the growth of a counterculture in which experimentation, individuality and iconoclasm were protected and nurtured.
The [Times] said it had a net loss of $119.7 million in the second quarter, in part because of a noncash write-down of $161.3 million to reflect the declining value of its regional newspapers. . .Conclusion: The best business strategy for the Times might be to change its name to Pravda.
But the second quarter also showed how challenged the print advertising market remained. Revenue declined 2.2 percent, to $576.7 million from $589.6 million, in large part because of a 4 percent decrease in advertising. . .
Excluding one-time items like the write-down and severance costs, the company’s operating profit in the quarter was $82.9 million, compared with $92.6 million in the period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the net loss translated into 81 cents, in contrast to a profit of 21 cents a share, or $32 million, in the period a year earlier.
(via News Busters)