Bob Belvedere points out a strength–or is it a weakness?–of the Left’s mindset.
For the Left every aspect of life is, indeed, political — it has to be for any Ideologue. This is because an Ideologue sees everything as needing to conform to the system of ideas they have accepted as being necessary for Life to be good and worthy.
The Ideologue designs a blueprint for how Life must proceed and every material to be used in it is governed by the design. Any deviation and the structure risks becoming unstable. Like a building plan, an Ideology must be followed to the letter and, therefore, it has to dictate the specifications for everything needed to make a building efficient [electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.]. Thus, an Ideology must encompass every facet of Life. It must pervade every nook and cranny.
Read the whole thing. It’s strong work.
Just to build on Bob’s idea, think about progressives and how they relate to their cultural signifiers.
For many people on the Left, Jon Stewart is a comedic genius. He’s also the scourge of evil Rethuglicans. He’s also the voice of a generation. He’s also a total dreamboat.
It’s just too bad he and his buddy Stephen Colbert don’t get the same ratings as “Swamp People”–even when you add the viewers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report together.
But because Jon Stewart is a vociferous liberal who routinely buttresses leftist assumptions, he is covered in accolades far beyond his actual influence or ability.
The mental and emotional gymnastics needed to be a liberal must be exhausting. You have to support undertalented overrated court jesters. You have to laugh at their tired clap-humor. You have to recite their dopey bits at parties as if they were the second coming of Richard Pryor.
And that just covers the television socialists that have to be fawned over. There are many musicians who put their liberal politics well ahead of their songs. From Bon Jovi to Bruce Springsteen, the pop world if chock full of lippy leftists who haven’t made relevant music for decades because they’re too busy to sniffing the Democrat Party’s jock. Those luminaries of the left must be coddled and worshiped as well.
The best recent example of Karl Marx getting a permanent invite to a recording studio is Green Day, seen here acting ‘zany, yet disaffected’.
If you recall, Green Day was a post-grunge snot punk band who had pretty much worn out their welcome with music fans right around the point when “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” became the feel-meh overplayed hit of 1997. After that triumph of tedium the group released a folkie rock album that went directly into the bargain bins. A pair of greatest hits/b-sides compilations killed some time as the new millennium rolled along. For a while, it seemed like Green Day might do the honorable thing and break up due to lack of interest.
By 2004, most of the American public graduated from middle school and moved on from Green Day. The dream of one day living in a world untainted by Bill Joe Armstrong’s pathetic fake-British accent was almost a glorious reality, but the band still had one more trick to play: Knee-Jerk George Bush Bashing. Even though the group had largely eschewed political statements throughout their career, American Idiot was rock opera based around the astoundingly novel concept that America is awful, traditional values are a cancer and neoconservatives are ghouls.
Naturally, American Idiot was a huge hit that revitalized the band’s career, mostly because it courageously told Hollywood and the New York Times exactly what they already believed. Green Day became the go-to band for college freshmen looking for My First Agitprop while providing pop-culture cover for the arm-patch jacket hipster brigades. With “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” grinding away on the ipod, one could finally read Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Dissent” without immediately falling asleep.
The problem is that as a piece of art American Idiot is jaw-droppingly weak. Besides the title track’s frenetic energy, the songs just aren’t there. The album is too polished for punk, too emo for metal and too pop-oriented for either.
As muddled as that sounds, the real sonic failing is the pair of overambitious 9 minute long song/suites. Making a rock opera is difficult when the writers have talent. It’s even harder when lead guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong has only a tenuous grasp of his instrument. “Jesus of Suburbia” in particular is a cobbled-together dog’s lunch of decent to mediocre guitar riffs interspersed with Billy Joe’s faux-literate complaints about small town America. The lyrics are tedious, but the song itself suffers from the lazy transitions and ramshackle construction of the tune’s not-so-great components.
If American Idiot was not a pointed blast of hate directed at George Bush and red state America, there is no way the media and the progressive movement (alas, I have repeated myself) would’ve lauded Green Day to the degree they did. If American Idiot’s lyrical content had been apolitical, it would’ve been perceived as just another craptastic Green Day disc. No loving reviews, no Grammy awards, no high-toned Broadway adaptation–none of that would’ve occurred based strictly on the artistic merits of American Idiot.
In other words, liberals had to talk up a ham-fisted piece of creative shit just because it aligned with their socialist tastes.
This is no way to live. It’s emotionally barren and neutered. We on the Right should avoid this trap with all our strength.
I keep making this observation, but I think it’s worth making several dozen more times: Although conservatives pride themselves on “Not worshipping the government” and “having interests and lives outside of politics” — as contrasted with liberals — in fact, if you consume conservative media, you will find our media completely rubbishes that claim, because the expressly conservative media is almost entirely about government and politics.
Even when the conservative media notes the occasional fiction book, the review is often largely about what the book says about politics or morality. That is, even in a review of fiction we seem over-concerned with the politically didactic usefulness of art.
No insult to Matthew Condinetti, and I should note it’s not exclusively about those things — I cite this just as a for-instance. I see this a lot. K-Lo will put in a positive review for an Adam Sandler-produced movie like Deuce Bigelow (yeah, I think I remembered she liked it), but will spend the bulk of her praise talking about how the movie illustrates Deuce’s central decency and how that is a Good Message and… yawn.
Is it a funny movie? Does it achieve its goals? Does it entertain? Does it provoke? Those are the proper grounds for review of a film or book. Sure, given a conservative audience, you’d also want to note the objectionable material or positive messages in a sentence or two, to alert conservative-minded people about them. But such things are not properly the main grounds for appreciation of a fiction.
Rest the rest of Ace’s piece. It’s very good.
Here’s something that may sound a little too simple, but it’s still true–Conservatives should critique art. Conservatives should confront the culture head on. More importantly, conservatives should get a glove and get in the game of creating art. What conservatives should not do is automatically get behind a movie or book just because it’s sympathetic to the Right.
Let the Left have a monopoly on being knee-jerk applause clowns. By all means progressives, keep barking like trained seals for corrupt propaganda pieces. Liberals have already more than filled America’s quota for sycophantic entertainment knob-polishers.