Saturday, May 15, 2010

Standards and Practices

Andrew Klavan (who, as it turns out, wrote the screenplay to one of my favorite movies that no one has heard about: A Shock to the System), posted an editorial over at the City Journal, in which he talks about the Left's particular genius in demonizing its opposition. The way he lays it out is quite pithy in a way that will make leftists fume and squirm, and conservatives shrug and say "yeah? And?"
Leftists will blacklist you—and then if you complain, they’ll attack you for whining. They will call you a racist and compare your leaders to Hitler—and then if you return the insult, they’ll scream about the decline of civility. They will do everything in their power to cut you off from media and artistic outlets—and then when you create outlets of your own, they will savage them for their bias. Like the mobster in a Raymond Chandler novel, they will beat your teeth out, then kick you in the stomach for mumbling.
The sheer slipperiness of the Left's confiscation of the public discourse would be admirable in its Machiavellian efficiency...if the health of the Republic were not so badly endangered by it. Still, you kind of have to give it to the gifted con man who is able to frame the situation in such a way that no responses outside that frame appear as reasonable or even possible. That is, till you realize that you have just signed away your life's savings.

Nowhere is the dominance of the Left's meme tampering more evident than in the entertainment business, where Conservatives like Jon Voight, Adam Baldwin, Dennis Hopper (!), Janine Turner (!!), Kelsey Grammer, and a smattering of others perform a careful dance, like operatives behind enemy lines, operating by multiple reports athwart plausibly-deniable blacklists (Klavan claims to have the goods on those, but won't spill, because it would violate trusts and pretty much annihilate his ability to make a living. Take his statements accordingly...but do take note of the status of the above-mentioned careers...). At the viewer level, the product is a ceaseless slurry of Liberal blue food, as ideologically diverse as a Womyn's Studies course at Bryn Mawr:
More than a dozen movies attacking the war on terror without shading or nuance, but not one film that said simply “We’re heroically right and they are villainously wrong.” Not one film exposing the lies and excesses of environmentalism. Not one in which, say, a brave radio talker battles the mainstream media on behalf of white boys wrongly accused of raping a black girl. There are some narratives—evil corporations, American military abuse, desperate housewives, victimized minorities—that are acceptable and others—the glories of capitalism, America’s defense of liberty, fulfilled homemakers, race-baiting con men—that are not, despite their truth and the fact that the majority of the audience approves them.
 Klavan's prescription is a wise one: Don't wait around for Liberal Hollywood and the Left-leaning MSM to catch an attack of fairness. To quote Malcolm Reynolds, that's a long wait for a train that never comes. Rather, let the Right and Center-Right...hell let the actual center place a much greater emphasis on the pursuit of a presence in the cultural landscape for their own ideas. Let films and books and TV shows get produced and discussed which reflect something other than the "America's bad, m'kay?" attitude which so pervades the pap leaking from the Hollywood Hills. Don't ape the tactics of the Left by huffing and puffing about their product, but strive to compete in an open marketplace (gods know, the movies could scarcely do more poorly at the box office than pretty much all of the the GWOT-bashing flicks coming out of Hollyweird in the last few years!). Use the free market to promote the free market, in other words!

But, as Klavan entreats, "it would be nice, for purposes of discussion, if we could all begin by acknowledging the obvious."

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