Conservatives, pop culture, and the language of the right
So an old post at my now-basically-defunct solo politics blog about conservatives and pop culture has accidentally sparked off a pretty interesting symposium at Acculturated – a conservative blog about pop culture and society. There’s a lot of interesting entries from people like James Poulos, Lee Siegel, and Ed Driscoll (to name a few) under the stewardship of blog editor Emily Esfahani Smith (who I am much obliged to for finding my little blog post in the first place.)
If conservatives insist on the same litmus test for pop culture as they apply to members of the conservative movement, the politicization of art is all but certain. No art can survive this sort of thematic inquisition.
It’s not that conservatives can’t do pop culture, it’s that they’re trying much too hard to enforce the same rules about art as they do about politics. The left has this problem from time to time, but they’ve managed to learn from past mistakes, infusing their pop culture with a broadly left-leaning cultural narrative. Indeed, these days liberals are often better at artfully inserting conservative messages into pop culture than conservatives themselves. In films like Juno, the prolife argument is given as sympathetic a treatment as you’re likely to see, but the film’s writer, Diablo Cody, is hardly known for her conservatism.
If you have any thoughts on the issue I’d love to hear them.