In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff


We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.







Try Advanced Search


  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...


CultureBlogs
Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
PhilosoBlog
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Gregdotorg
BookSlut
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Cronaca
Plep
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Seablogger
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette


Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Samizdata
Junius
Joanne Jacobs
CalPundit
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Public Interest.co.uk
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
Spleenville
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
CinderellaBloggerfella
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
InstaPundit
MindFloss
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes


Miscellaneous
Redwood Dragon
IMAO
The Invisible Hand
ScrappleFace
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz

Links


Our Last 50 Referrers







« Social History of Advertising | Main | Short stuff »

September 24, 2002

Crunchy Cons rereredux

Friedrich --

Before letting go of the subject, can I point out a few things that I value in Rod Dreher's "Crunchy Conservatives" piece?

* I celebrate it as a journalistic gesture. Dreher's a primarily political person (a PPP) daring to remind other PPPs that many if not most people aren't PPPs. Bravo to that. An unpolitical person myself, I favor (partly as a consequence of being unpolitical) smaller government, strong national defense, and freer markets, and I object to affirmative action and most social-justice meddling. These positions strike me as sensible and humane public-policy positions. But in my private life, I enjoy erotic French art novellas, edgy off-off-Broadway theater, Bertrand Blier films, well-preserved old neighborhoods and buildings, Kanda Bongo Man, Glenn Gould, Poussin, fusion cuisine, Son House, some crazy-lefty artist friends, and a few kinky web sites.

A PPP might well have a hard time with this; I don't, and I don't see why I should -- my political views and personal pleasures are all, as far as I'm concerned, about leading the good life. Thanks to Dreher's piece, maybe a few PPPs will recall that politics is best when it serves the good life, not when it dictates it.

mfried.jpgBongoman.jpg
M. Friedman, K. Bongo Man: Inconsistency? What inconsistency?

* I wonder if you and I differ on one point. Your view seems to be that lefties are always useless and wrong. I take lefty criticisms of life-under-capitalism somewhat differently; I sometimes find them useful, and often agree with them. Pop culture generally is vulgar, the opening of everything to freemarket principles often does generate a lot of ugliness and resentment, people do pursue getting-and-spending as though it were a religion, we do seem to be living in something more and more resembling "the society of the spectacle," etc. (Hey, these lefty critiques sound like the criticisms of market liberalism that traditionalist-conservatives make! But I suspect I'm not the first to notice this.)

What I find awful about leftyism isn't the perceptions and critiques, it's the remedies and solutions, as well as the dream that every problem has a solution, preferably a government one.

In my view, lefties are like children: overexcitable and full of naive fantasies, potential little tyrants who ought to grow up and sometimes need to be spoken sharply to. We need to defend ourselves against their delusions and enthusiasms. But, like children, they're also sometimes able to see things in fresh and charming new ways. And their energy can be intoxicating as well as infuriating.

So, like Dreher, I tend to react sympathetically to at least some lefty critiques. Like him, I also say, good lord, a little perspective here, please: even if some people are stuffing too much junk food into their fat faces, at least they aren't going hungry. And let's remember that on any sensible scale of evil, a dumb sitcom ranks mighty low.

All that said, I'll be damned before I develop the habit of eating that shitty food or watching those shitty TV shows.


Both Hayek and "Romance": Got a Problem With That?

* And, finally, I admire Dreher for implicitly raising the marketing/p-r problem. People driving along the California coast don't look out over the gorgeous vistas and say, Thank god for the right wing. They say, Thank god for the Sierra Club.

Wrong though they may be, many, many people don't associate the right wing with pleasure, beauty, art, or nature. Any ad or marketing person (Albert Lasker, say), looking at rightwingishness as a product that, like all products, needs selling, would look at this situation and say, "You got a terrible perception problem here."

I don't think this is a minor dilemma. Saying "fuck you" to normal people's concerns about nature and art isn't going to win the right many new fans, no matter how "right" or "correct" righties basically are. Why? Because it's saying "fuck you" to a set of very personal, almost religious feelings; people just don't take well to that. And if the right fails to associate what it's selling with any sensations or experiences of pleasure -- well, then, the right ain't gonna be moving as much product as it might.

Righties: What's the point of winning the argument if no one wants anything to do with you afterwards?

And now, back to my regularly scheduled inane art rants....

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at September 24, 2002




Comments



Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:



Remember your info?