Posted by Peter Lawler
We conservative pop culture critics are rigidly orthodox herders who make our slavish sheep carry the rhetorical water. Plus we say dumb, ideological things about good movies.
Peter, could you fix the link. It goes to the Weekly Standard piece on Huckabee.
They place an extraordinary amount of value on authority for its own sake, change doesn't just make them a little nervous it scares them.
All we write about here on NLT is the need for change. It is as if we look around at the ideological/cultural landscape of America and say "Get me out of here!" or "Someone really ought to clean this mess up." feeling inadequate to do so ourselves, needing a Hercules for the Augean mess. Our complaints about the field of presidential candidates express worries that there is not one available with the strength of character to tackle the mess and effect real change. How little liberals know us!
I forwarded the article and blog to my son who loves conservatively inclined movie and literary critics. He sends me links to their reviews of movies that I might want to see (if I had time, which I do not) all the time. Though I cannot remember him ever sending me Hanson or Kudlow or even Lawler (a more likely choice, to my thinking) as artistic arbiters. Right now I am upset with myself for never keeping the links. If he sends me anything useful ought I pass that on?
The latest were a couple of reviews of Becoming Jane, which my daughter, an Austen fan, is longing to see. I am dreading it because it sounds more like Abusing Jane as in a sense, so did the last version of Pride and Prejudice, which was a lovely movie in everything but plot sense and characterization. Therein they abused Austen and that offended my sensibilities. The reviews, even regular old liberal ones, of Becoming Jane leave me fairly certain that I will grumble through that movie, too.
Consider that blog's referenced article's admission that the conservative really has to hunt hard to find anything to relate to, politically speaking, in modern artistic expression. The point being obscured here is that politics, being part of the humanness of the artist, becomes part of his artistic expression. Those politics express a view of the world.
Normal people look at a piece of art and ponder how it changes their view of the world, or how it deepens their appreciation for life.
Isn't that just my problem with pop culture? I can find so little art that does either of those things in a satisfactory way. I find relatively little that I can even comfortably stomach. Yet I must be normal, because those things are what I am looking for in a work of art.
A propo to the dumb things some groups say to good books or movies...there are still christian groups out there who are unhappy with Potter. I Can't figure out why...he is the new pop-culture Aslan. There are also some christian groups that are mad at the irreverence of the Simpsons. So if those groups count as conservative pop culture critics then I agree that they are rigid orthodox herders.
The merits of Harry Potter and the Simpsons are beyond criticism. In any case I agree with Kate's son conservatively inclined literary critics are usually best.
On the other hand I don't care much for Focus on the Familly and James Dobson's publications that inform conservative mothers about the number of profanities in various new movies. I guess I harbor this prejudice because throughout high school I had a zelous mother who tried to control my exposure to dangerous ideas/and mostly garbage stuff as well(to her credit).
But perhaps I wouldn't be the contrarian I am today if at a young age I hadn't had to marshall so many arguments in order to be allowed to watch a simple movie.
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