Friday, June 01, 2012

NEW DISPATCH FROM THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE. Here to explain the latest innovations in conservative culture war strategy, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds:
Well, the notion that right-leaning pop culture is driven by politics but left-leaning pop culture is not is transparent twaddle. Leftist political messages have simply become so established in pop culture that people treat them as part of the wallpaper–which is, of course, the Gramscian strategy.
This is an obvious winner. Reynolds should engage flying squads to barge into theaters where people are laughing and enjoying themselves, and cry, "You are the victims of a Gramscian hoax!"

But culture warriors cannot always be on defense -- they must provide something the proles can enjoy. What have you got for us, Perfesser?
One place where conservatives–and particularly libertarians–do pop culture well is in the science fiction field.
Sure, why not. But it's got to be the right kind of SciFi, not the negative stuff  -- say no to SFINO!
Of course, academic-writing-seminar types have been proliferating in the science fiction world (often creeping in via fantasy) and some worry that they’ll ruin the field. But I don’t think so. There’s too much of a fan base for more traditional science fiction. In fact, with the new “Human Wave” movement of prohuman, protechnology science fiction, there’s big pushback against dreary literary antiheroes and dystopian futures.
Hear that, troops? Keep your tits 'n' lizards sagas upbeat and protech, and there'll be some robowhores in it for you comes Der Tag.

The punchline is, the Perfesser's offering is just part of a whole "symposium" on the theme, "Are Conservatives Bad at Pop Culture?" The Big Brain in Charge claims that "Here at Acculturated, we are less interested in politics than we are in how the virtues — like creativity, beauty heroism, responsibility, joy, and generosity, to name a few — play themselves out in the popular culture." But it begins with Ann Coulter longing for more black and Hispanic skels on Law & Order, and the rest of the entries are mostly boo-hoos over how unfair it is that liberals get to wear berets and live La Vie Boheme while the poor conservatives are ignored and have to write cult-crit that nobody reads.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: For these people, culture war is war on culture.

UPDATE. Kudos to commenters, even those who just want to talk about science fiction like a bunch of nerds.

Also, some of you pointed out that Lee Siegel's essay introduced a bit of sanity to the sympfest. Another Luke describes it as "essentially a turd in the punch bowl, from the opening sentence, which labels the entire subject of the symposium 'just another way for conservatives to indulge their strange masochistic fantasy of being inferior to liberals,' to the bit where he calls conservatives' belief in a left wing agenda driving pop culture 'a delusion bordering on a hallucination.'"

kth explains how deep the liberal-artistic conspiracy goes:
That clumsy invocation of Gramsci would imply, not just that most big Hollywood types are left-leaning, but that they got into showbiz specifically to bring about the revolution. No doubt that's why George Clooney joined the cast of The Facts of Life thirty-odd years ago: no doubt it was a humbling task for the aspiring insurgent, but you have to look at the bigger picture. They also serve who only stand and wait.

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