Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Claiming to be #TheResistance is Cultural Appropriation

And Moronic

But mostly moronic.

"Our culture has extended a monopoly of provocation for so long it barely even notices it. The Caesar production, for example, is just the usual elevator-muzak transgressiveness of the artistic left. Shakespeare in modern dress might have been "edgy" in 1957. In 2017 Shakespeare in modern dress set in the Trump Administration is just a shallow and banal reductio that any producer or director above middle school ought to be embarrassed about. It testifies to the utter exhaustion of the contemporary arts. A remarkable culture produces Shakespeare. A healthy culture produces Ben Jonson and Molière and Chekhov. A barren culture stages Shakespeare in the Trump White House or Chekhov in hip-hop as an allegory of female empowerment. It would be nice if critics rolled their eyes more often at these tedious provocations, or at least recycled my old sneer about professional provocateurs - that, if you're going to be provocative, it's safest to do it with people who can't be provoked, which is why Jesus gets to be sodomized on a Broadway stage but not Mohammed.
These lame faux-provocations reached their nadir with Kathy Griffin swinging around a severed, bloody Trump head as a style accessory. This is culture literally as pseudo-jihad. Real actual jihadists behead real actual Americans and Frenchmen and Britons, and we hold interfaith services and candlelight vigils and schedule another ritual incantation of "Imagine". Likewise ersatz jihadists like Ms Griffin assume photoshopped decapitations will provoke no more than feeble passive gestures of objection.
But what if the eternally unprovokable finally decide to get provoked? Multicultural societies almost inevitably descend into coercive and authoritarian states. In the west, one sees that in embryo on American campuses, where the proliferation of "identities" - black, gay, Muslim, transgendered, intersexual - leads to a governing regime ever more inimical to freedom of speech and freedom of association. One also sees it at a slightly more advanced level in Britain, Canada and Europe, where the state itself is increasing comfortable in policing the bounds of permitted thought. The more multicultural you get, the more the authorities quite naturally see their role as arbiters between complex and competing group identities, deciding what counts and what doesn't, no matter the contradictions: Matthew Shepard dead on a fence in Wyoming is a gay hate crime of national significance; the biggest pile of gay corpses in a nightclub in Orlando, on the other hand, is just one of those things..."--Mark Steyn

Interrupting the Democrats' Assassination Porn is hardly on the same scale as burning Berkeley while hooded mobs assault political opponents. But it would be interesting to see if the theatrical premise was still so darned interesting if someone produced the same Julius Caesar play with JFK as the Designated Stab-ee. Or MLK Jr.. Or the previous two-term "Caesar". What--you're suddenly against art?

Lileks, 2008:

"In the summer of ’78 I was back home in Fargo between college years – exiled from the civilized world, cast into barbarity. During the day I labored under the hot sun painting giant fuel tanks in the hot sun, next to an auto-body shop that exhaled poison and Eagles all day. A sensitive soul, cast into such grim circumstances. A noble soul, a poet, reduced to living on the gruel of hometown “culture,” almost unable to stir himself each day to face the hopeless allotment that stretched forth until the sun turned its face away.

Naturally, I was in the perfect mood to read the entire Gulag Archipelago. I got all three volumes from the drugstore – which should have told me something about the land in which I lived, that one could buy this work from a creaky wire rack at the drugstore – and it taught me much about the Soviet Union and the era of Stalin. After that I could never quite understand the people who viewed the US and the USSR as moral equals, or regarded our history as not only indelibly stained but uniquely so. Reading Solzhenitsyn makes it difficult to take seriously the people in this culture who insist that Dissent has been squelched. Brother, you have no idea.".......
Flight 93 resisted. You're no Todd Beamer, sonny.

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