Friday, April 26, 2019


Charme pour les jours.

•   We have a new entry for the Children of Zhdanov files, those depressing attempts by conservative pencil-pushers to colonize the arts by just slapping a PROPERTY OF THE RIGHT label on any book, movie, or video game that titillates them. It's at National Review, which has published many prime examples of the form -- from John J. Miller's notorious "50 greatest conservative rock songs" to Jonah Goldberg's "there’s a profound conservatism to all great fiction." Suprisingly, this new one's not from Kyle Smith, their full-timer on this beat, but from Kevin D. Williamson, who has so many other ways to annoy you'd think he'd leave this to the pros.
The great works of art that appeal to the conservative sensibility rarely if ever are constructed as self-consciously conservative stories — propagandistic literature lends itself more readily to progressive causes, in any case.
I'm torn here between "please explain" and "no, wait, please don't."
What Coriolanus tells us about populism and mass politics is not true because it is conservative but conservative because it is true.
Coriolanus thinks he's more Roman than Rome and turns traitor, which may make you think of Donald Trump until you consider that his mommy eventually makes him be loyal instead, which he does knowing his new Volscian buddies will kill him for it. The play does exhibit a lot of contempt for democracy, which may be what Williamson is getting at, or maybe it's just a brain chemistry issue.
The relationship between the beautiful and the true helps to explain how it is that so many actual Communists in Hollywood’s golden age produced works that were moving, true, often patriotic, often speaking to religious faith, and in many cases profoundly conservative. They weren’t out to make something right-wing, but something great.
Ha ha, last laugh on you Dalton Trumbo, by being good at your job you were actually conservative all along, PSYCH.
I doubt very much that either Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead...
The few punters still reading relax. Oboy fun stuff, I bet that's rightwing too! the product of an overwhelmingly conservative group of storytellers. (From what I can learn of the politics of the writers, that does not seem to be the case.) But both shows are obliged by the nature of their dramatic structures to consider the fundamental questions of politics, and both invite deeply conservative interpretations.
Deeply indeedly! Williamson tells us the zombie comic book show is explained by Murray Rothbard and "Mancur Olson’s idea of the state as a 'stationary bandit,'" and in the end democracy doesn't work. (A theme emerges!) The tits-and-lizards show, meanwhile, shows the "liberal" leader to be "incompetent" and the "power-mad megalomaniac" to be a great one, thus making "an implicit case for things like federalism and the separation of powers." Also tits, also lizards. Thus the fans are reassured: Everything they like -- tits, lizards, zombies, choc-o-muts ice c'eams -- is conservative.

•   BTW I released the bats, so to speak, on Thursday's edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, my mildly popular newsletter, so even non-subscribers can read it. I already told you this but I'm taking a cue from Ted Bates and hitting the USP (Subscribe! Cheap!™) hard and often. My fortune's assured!

•  Let's have a dash of Dreher, eh?
I know some conservatives who are closed-minded, bigoted, you name it — but I don’t know any conservatives who would refuse to be friends with someone because they are liberal. They must exist, but in general, the disposition to cast out the impure from one’s circle of friendship is something I have seen much more commonly among progressives. Let me be clear: I’m not talking about holding extreme views; that is common on both sides. I’m talking about the way one interacts with those on the other side. It has seemed to me that in general, people on the Left get a lot more wound up about politicizing social interaction, and treating people who hold opposing views as morally tainted, than people on the Right do...
This is a personal view, admittedly. It’s something I’ve noticed over the years.
Oh, I bet he has. It just might be everyone knows Dreher is a twerp, but conservatives tolerate him because he might be good for a few votes or to help usher in a theocracy, while liberals have no such motivation to put up with his nonsense.
A guess: because left-wing politics has become obsessed with questions of power and status, and that breeds a natural sense of personal insecurity. Leftists have forgotten that one can be wrong without being evil incarnate. And, when you perseverate over whether or not you feel “safe” in the presence of something or someone challenging, you cannot help but generate a neurotic politics.
It's hilarious that Dreher keeps going to that snowflakes-in-their-safespace well when his whole Benedict Option racket is that the homos and he-shes are persecuting him with their deviant sex and the godly must join him in WiFi monasteries to escape them.

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