Wednesday, September 15, 2004

DEAF FOREVER. At National Review Online, it's John J. Miller's turn to grab the crayon and write about culture. I gave him Dude points at least for choosing Iron Maiden's Powerslave as a topic, till I came to this part:
The second song is one of Iron Maiden's most familiar: "Two Minutes to Midnight." It's an anti-nuke tune whose politics aren't exactly to my liking. Although the lyrics admit that "blood is freedom's stain," they also suggest that during the Cold War, both sides were deluded. The title is a reference to the Doomsday Clock, whose main purpose is to serve as a propaganda tool of the Left. None of this means that the boys in Iron Maiden are Commie symps -— they aren't -— but a piece of me always has wished this song had been about Dunkirk or something...
I want it understood that, when I bemoan writing about the arts by conservative factota such as Miller, it's not because I believe their conservatism makes any difference, but because they invariably believe it does. Does any normal person think, "I like Whit Stillman, but I wish he had overtly praised labor unions in The Last Days of Disco," or, "I like Evelyn Waugh, but I wish he were more sensitive in matters of race and gender in Black Mischief"?

That's like saying, "I like turkey, but I wish it were pork."

These people are always bitching about how terrible it is that there are so many lefties in the arts (please, nobody tell them that musical comedy is riddled with homosexuals!), and when you read crap like Miller's it really seems as if their answer would be to nationalize culture and institute their own values by fiat and force, so that the orgasmic climax Ravel's Bolero would be interrupted by an abstinence lecture, Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath would wonder aloud whether it weren't selfish of him to resist dynamic capitalism just so's he and his family could have something to eat, etc.

It worked with journalism, after all. Why shouldn't it work with heavy metal?

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