Once upon a time, the book tells Bunch, statist TV producers gave us propaganda like "Have Gun Will Travel," in which Richard Boone "sets himself up as superior to the community he is helping, imposing his own solution on it and often expressing open contempt for the people who run it." (Sounds a little like John Wayne talking about High Noon.) Now look how Lockean "Deadwood" is, how "Martin Scorsese's 'The Aviator' provides as clean a rejection of crony capitalism as exists in entertainment." Plus, did you ever hear of Edgar G. Ulmer? No? Then this book is for you!
...the author's castigation of "elites who want to keep the American people in line" and who thus "fear the explosive energy of popular culture" underscores how much has changed since Mr. Cantor first mounted his defense of pop culture in "Gilligan Unbound." We live in a world in which "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is routinely taught in colleges and critical groupthink holds that "television shows are the new novels." The elites, if they haven't quite lost, are certainly on the ropes.It's finally happened: The right's Bizarro Alinsky fetish had led it on a parallel long march through the institutions. Only instead of taking over the history and literature departments, they want to teach bored graduate students how to "read" crap sitcoms and prestige cable shows. That'll show those elites with their long, boring books!
Either that or it's just a recruitment device: Hey kids, are the usual wingnut welfare sinecures too demanding for you? Enlist in the Pop Culture Corps! Beats workin'.