The Great Pop Culture War

"Having lost so many cultural battles, the right has developed a desperate attraction to celebrity ephemera, confusing an epiphenomenon of progressivism’s cultural advantage — the fact that most famous artists and actors are left-wing — with the institutional advantage itself." NY Times

1006 reads

There are 2 Comments

Steve Newman's picture

This article really is an admission that liberals do use entertainment to try and gain their objectives.

For example: "All of this reflects a deep confusion about how liberal cultural power actually works. It’s the steady circulation of ideas and money and people through cultural institutions that really matter, not the famous faces popping off on Oscar telecasts."

And this: "But the same confusion is on display among liberal culture makers themselves, who have reacted to Trump’s defeat by leaning into their most self-defeating instincts. Cultural liberalism wins battles when its omnipresence just seems like the natural air we breathe. But direct political hectoring plays against that strength; instead of the subtle nudge of a sitcom’s implicit values it’s just a rich and famous person yelling at you, in a way designed to maximize ratings among progressives looking for catharsis."

While "entertainment" is being unmasked, the "circulation of money and people through cultural institutions" continues unabated, and that shaping of opinion through schools, media, and government is having a corrosive effect. The "subtle nudge of a sitcom" gives way to the army of social engineers in government. 

GregH's picture

Having lost so many cultural battles, the right has developed a desperate attraction to celebrity ephemera

I assume the author is referring to celebrities like Roseanne, the Duggars, the Duck Dynasty boys, Tim Tebow, and Donald Trump? Where is the problem?

Oh wait...​