Friday, July 03, 2015

On not selling out, and more


  • Is the culture war a lost cause? Mr. Brooks’ advice is deeply misguided, but attractively so by its appeal to practicality, pathos and pride. His culture-war plan is not for Christians but for those wishing to obtain the peace of the world and human respect.
  • Kathy Shaidle: Libertarians are just low-tax liberal conformists obsessed with weed and embracing the latest p.c. fads.
  • Rather than rescue traditional Christians and conservatives from the dark, feral, snarling forces of culture perfectly expressing masculine sexual potency, the Benedict Option seems more poised to launch an internecine culture war within the ranks of those traditional Christians and other conservatives themselves. Isn't that what the sin of schism is about?
  • Back in '94. The making of Dylann Roof.
  • Reasons to hate "Seinfeld." The most overrated television show in American history for two reasons. (A) It wasn’t funny. (B) Every great American sitcom, from "I Love Lucy" (golden-era America but I don't like slapstick) down to "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (yes, it was quintessentially golden-era, it had heart, it was funny, and it had Mary Tyler Moore in her sexy prime right when fashion was at its most flattering) down to "Friends" (I hate it; basically it was "Sex and the City" and "Girls" watered down for free TV in '94; damnable messages) down to quirky recent sitcoms like "Community" (yes, and it understood nerds; not condescending crap like "The Big Bang Theory": let's put on funny clothes and funny voices and rabbit on about science; that's what you people do, right?) had one thing in common. At the end of the day, their characters liked each other. Push came to shove, they had each other’s backs. (Why people love "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"; the fantasy of your work acquaintances as family. Actually, work is the Army, hierarchical and task-oriented, but anyway.) I never got that from "Seinfeld." Indeed, as I saw it, the four main characters really didn’t know each other at all and never interacted with each other in any meaningful way; they might have been four strangers mindlessly repeating their stupid, unfunny lines. As someone at Takimag wrote, that mean-spirited "show about nothing" is rocket fuel for anti-Semitism, and they're proud of that? Maybe it's "we've arrived so you can't stop us." Much like blaxploitation, which I don't get either. You accomplish so much fighting to exercise your rights, then you throw it away on negative stereotypes?! (Vs. the commonest golden-era, mid-century depiction of blacks, the Noble Negro as Derb says, basically every Sidney Poitier role; think Lt. Uhura too. Nice Cold War liberal Jack Webb pushed that on all his shows too.) By the way, it isn't always like that: another Jew, Carl Reiner, created "The Dick Van Dyke Show" based on his own life.

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