You Might Dislike Modern Culture, But It Would Be Foolish to Ignore It
From yesterday’s Morning Jolt (subscription required):
The big guns of modern satire today are Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and the Onion, and we can argue whether they’ve pulled their punches on Obama or whether they’ve grown constrained by political correctness. I’d defy any fair-minded student of modern comedy to dispute that a lazy, predictable, knee-jerk inclination to ridiculing anyone on the Right has permeated most of what Hollywood deems funny. I recall seeing some joke about Callista Gingrich’s haircut on one of the NBC sitcoms from this fall, and thinking… really? Really? That’s the freshest, best joke the writers can come up with at that moment? Newt Gingrich had been out of the race for six months, and I wonder how many viewers even remembered what Callista Gingrich’s hair looked like. And putting aside whatever you think of Newt, what did Callista Gingrich ever do to warrant making her a target of mockery? Really, the hair? That’s it?
Anyway, with offerings like this, it’s not surprising conservatives feel alienated from most pop culture. And some folks think that’s holding us back. Kurt Schlicter recently asked us to do something very difficult and painful: watch HBO’s series, Girls.
There’s plenty about Girls to annoy conservatives, yet this often creepy, usually skeevy, critically-acclaimed HBO series is also a test for conservatives.
Will we finally heed Andrew Breitbart’s warnings about the importance of taking pop culture seriously or just keep fiddling as the culture burns?
If conservatives are going to be in the popular culture – and act to change it – they can’t simply ignore shows like Girls that capture the zeitgeist, even if the zeitgeist makes their skin crawl. Season two is well under way, and conservatives need to participate in the discussion…
You can watch nothing but ABC Family (assuming that’s still a thing – is it still a thing?) and you may never again see anything that will offend or annoy or bother you. But by not participating, you miss the larger discussions that pop cultural events outside your safety sphere spawn. You cede the culture to the liberals, and we’ve seen how that’s played out.
You can’t talk about Girls at the water cooler with the rest of the office if you haven’t watched it, and if you aren’t part of the discussion you aren’t injecting and modeling the conservative ideas and values that we need to advance.
And yes, I deserve to be a target of that criticism as well. To be sure, I don’t have time to consume all that much pop culture and I can’t stand most of it. But if you don’t consume it, you can’t talk about it when the subject comes up. And that will leave you out of a lot of conversations when the subject matter turns to something other than pop culture.