Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

The National Review's silly conservative rock list sets a new standard for feckless insouciance. The easy thing to do, which many have already beaten me to, is to excoriate John Miller either for his taste in music (apparently many of the kewl kids have it in for Rush; I have never quite understood the weird animosity they seem to generate among their detractors) or for his complete and utter cluelessness in discerning the rather obvious meanings in many of the songs he has picked. It's either sheer gall or stupidity that allows Miller to unblinkingly praise Won't Get Fooled Again, as if The Who weren't talking exactly about self-satisfied jagoffs like Miller and his cohorts.

But the most telling aspect is, of course, not the music itself nor Miller's choices in particular (though, again in reference to Rush, how the hell can you ignore the obvious libertarian themes of Tom Sawyer, Free Will, Anthem, or 2112 in favor of Red Barchetta?), but what it reveals yet again about the so-called "conservative" mindset.

(One thing we need to start doing is re-establishing terms and definitions of commonly abused words. "Liberal" is a notorious example on such word that has fallen on hard times because of consistently disingenuous misuse. "Conservative" is another that has been misused, because the scope of the American "center" has drifted so far right over the last generation. There is no "left" in America anymore; there is only the center-right and the radical right, and radicalism, by definition, is not "conservative". Hence the quotes.)

Roy Edroso takes the higher ground on the issue, even as he points out exactly what the problem is with these idiot kulturkampfers:

Most of our culture-warriors have a Joe Goebbels idea of art. Some don't even know what it is at all. And some special few of them aren't even aware that they are talking about art, because they see everything for which they have any feeling as an extension of themselves. Thus they spend pages explaining why their favorite dance tunes, or comic strips, or choc-o-mut ice creams are evidence of the superiority of their world view.

They excite our pity more than our contempt, because they have obviously missed a crucial step in their development. They are, as Harry Truman once said about Joe McCarthy, not mentally complete. Were it not for the largesse of Bill Buckley, Richard Scaife, and such like, they would probably be living in institutions.

So let's leave Miller be. alicublog is a straight-up joint; we don't beat up cripples here.

There ya go. These professional crunchy-cons, or whatever the hell they're calling themselves this week to differentiate them from the "you damned kids get the hell off my lawn" paleos, simply can't just watch a movie or hear a song and accept it or reject it on its own merits. Everything has to be screened through this stupid political filter they have invested themselves (and each other, and the rest of us) so heavily in. Everything is defined -- and, in the context of Miller's asinine list, rather creatively redefined -- by its relationship to whatever the rigors of movementarian "philosophy" require this particular week.

It's hard not to feel sorry for people like that, except, you know, they actually get paid for being so fucking obtuse.