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'reconnaisance' from the culture war
March 9, 2004 3:51 PM   Subscribe

How the Left views the Right, as viewed by the Southern Baptist Press. “I don't get it,” said the movie critic, “the people aren't listening to us... don't all those unwashed cretins out there in flyover country understand that we're the ones who tell them what they can watch?”
posted by 4easypayments (60 comments total)

 
more like how the right views the left viewing the right.
posted by pejamo at 4:03 PM on March 9, 2004


"We’ve panned it viciously and used every conceivable personal slur against Mel -- 60 Minutes’ Andy Rooney even called Mel a ‘wacko’ on national television -- and yet people flocked by the hundreds of thousands to see it on opening night.”

Everyone knows Andy Rooney is a leftist ideologue!
posted by me & my monkey at 4:15 PM on March 9, 2004


Sounds like they stole the plot from a Chick comic. It's got the usual atheist straw men and the random appearance of an evangelical Christian. Or is it just the right really is one giant group mind with a single idea? :)
posted by badstone at 4:22 PM on March 9, 2004


Lots of not-so-subtle innuendo in that article.
posted by artanis at 4:23 PM on March 9, 2004


Reminds me of that one short story that keeps showing up in e-mail forwards and web sites, about the high school or college professor who was teaching his class about evolution, and the one, lone, brave Christian student in the class who raised his hand to question the teacher, and they get in an argument wherein the Christian, using the impeccable logic of creationism, shows point by point how the teacher and his science-fascism are wrong.

This is fan fiction, essentially -- existing characters put into a situation that never existed, saying things that they'd never say, so that the writer can act out a fantasy and feel validated.

Only difference is, in this, as opposed to other fan fiction, the Thundercats and the Transformers don't have sex with each other.
posted by Hildago at 4:24 PM on March 9, 2004


The only person this article names is Gibson. So movie moguls: Hollywood big shots, studio owner, producer and the studio chaplain have no names?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:26 PM on March 9, 2004


Guess I made a similar observation as Hildago.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:29 PM on March 9, 2004


I assume the big shots' names are all Jewish-sounding. I mean, that's an assumption about the author that I'm willing to make, fairly or unfairly.
posted by Hildago at 4:30 PM on March 9, 2004


In this case, Hildago, your assumption is fair.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:32 PM on March 9, 2004


more like how the right views the left viewing the right.

Yes, that's where the "as viewed by the Southern Baptist Press" part applies. I should have provided more background: The Southern Baptist Convention is a conservative Protestant denomination.
posted by 4easypayments at 4:34 PM on March 9, 2004


Also, the article contains the nonsense phrase "Here, here!"
posted by kindall at 4:35 PM on March 9, 2004


Lets let Young-Hae Chang do that article!?!
posted by Elim at 4:54 PM on March 9, 2004


science-fascism

Black shirts and spectrometers, beware!
posted by the fire you left me at 5:04 PM on March 9, 2004


Reminds me of Laura Ingraham and how she's always claiming to be the voice of "flyover" America, leading the charge for morality against the "Elites" of the country. She's constantly bemoaning the gratuatous sex and violence in film and television (she milked Janet Jackson's breast for a week ... er ... as it were).

So today she's slagging on the "Hollywood Elites" who "just don't get it", dishing catty dirt with her guest -- Vincent "They hate me because I'm not gay or Jewish" Gallo. She's in a giddy mood because she's anxious to see Gallo's insufferably self-indulgent "Brown Bunny", that was so unfairly trashed by (you guessed it) the "Hollywood Elites". And I'm chuckling to myself becuase she can't possibly know about Chloe Sevigny explicit 5-minute blowjob in that movie. I'm trying to imagine how she'll backpedal out of this gaffe, though I suppose she'll simply never mention it again.
posted by RavinDave at 5:04 PM on March 9, 2004


Fuck it Dude, Let's go bowling.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 5:07 PM on March 9, 2004


We've Digivolved to Ultimate-War-MetaFilter: Fuck it Dude, let's go bowling.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:12 PM on March 9, 2004


um, do they really think that there is actually a "studio chaplain" somewhere. Because that would just be funny.
posted by jmgorman at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2004


Fuck it Dude, Let's go bowling.

Can we take the skinheads?
posted by gwint at 5:29 PM on March 9, 2004


oh, and from the article:

“Actually, it’s not that hard to understand,” said the studio chaplain

Movie studios have chaplains? Who knew?
posted by gwint at 5:31 PM on March 9, 2004


> Can we take the skinheads?

We already took 'em in 1986. They'll get spoiled.
posted by jfuller at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2004


Plenty of hoity-toity critics panned Titanic, too. Does that make it a good movie?
posted by deanc at 5:48 PM on March 9, 2004


Well, isn't that how the left veiws the right? as either simple-minded hick cretins, foaming at the mouth religious fanatics or voracious greedhead stuffed shirts?

The right has similar delusions: that the left is nothing but crystal-fondling anal PC heads, ferocious femi-nazi lesbian abortion doctors and welfare mothers in cadillacs.

I have less than no interest in Mel Gibson's movie, but it's silly to deny that both sides of the political fence don't view eachother through an extremely distorted lens.
posted by jonmc at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2004


The right has similar delusions: that the left is nothing but crystal-fondling anal PC heads, ferocious femi-nazi lesbian abortion doctors and welfare mothers in cadillacs.

Feminazi. Without the hyphen. Thank you. Know thy enemy and spell them correctly.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:31 PM on March 9, 2004


Space Cadet, feminism is not my enemy. Stupidity is, and there's plenty of that inside of any "ism" you can name.

As the hip-hop kids say, get off my jock.
posted by jonmc at 6:34 PM on March 9, 2004


Let's keep on thread now. And my comment's nothing to do with feminism, or are you associating feminazism with feminisim? feminism is not my enemy either. Feminazism is THE enemy. Nevermind.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:41 PM on March 9, 2004


I have an acquaintance who was living out in LA on the production crew of a TV show. She said she'd regularly hear the producers say things like "Let's throw in some sex/violence/gratuitous profanity. People love that stuff, and it'd probably do those that don't a little good. " She eventually quit because this was a conflict with her beliefs.

The funny thing is, it's not that hard to see how that conversation is very similar to the alleged one in this link. The linked article *is* a caricature, and therefore something of a distortion, but like all caricatures, it's also based on features that are there.

B'sides, I wouldn't think it'd be all that hard for people to envision powerful media people as beyond wanting to pull power for their agenda. Here on the net, we routinely believe this about the MPAA, the RIAA, the White House Press Corps, Fox News, Clear Channel and others several times before breakfast. I think it's probably true, too.
posted by weston at 6:51 PM on March 9, 2004


Well, isn't that how the left veiws the right? as either simple-minded hick cretins, foaming at the mouth religious fanatics or voracious greedhead stuffed shirts?

as a lefty-lefty raised in one of the most conservative places in the country I tend to view the right as having trouble empathizing with people different from themselves. In my experience they are:

* often evangelical christian: meaning that they have been taught from birth to blithely dismiss anything that does not fall inside their personal belief system (which is usually packaged and delivered to them neatly by the usual suspects.)

* often very anti-taxation: meaning that they do not feel the need to carry the burden of a more 'socialistic' taxation schedule to pay for superior education, health/elder care and social programs, and that they often want to pay for less of all of those things, feeling that the money they have made while living in a society is entirely theirs; that they owe no debt to the collective.

* often very pro-corperation: meaning that they associate the needs of big business with their own needs as opposed to most people on the left that feel that their needs oppose big business.

* often very 'moral,' in a religious sense: meaning that they feel that evil does exist as an entity that seeks to pollute them and their children as individuals and must be worked against on a personal level. Liberals tend to think of evil as primarily a societal force (perhaps driven by individuals in powerful positions) that must be fought through education and collective action.

* often prefer the type of politician that seems to act on the notion that the people are ignorant and need to be taken care of.

* usually thinks that things used to be better. Leftys tend to think that things used to be awful (ie, slavery, repression of women and similar issues.)

* usually think that things are going to be ok by themselves. Leftys tend to be very worried about environmental disasters, diseases and the rise of repressive governments.

I think that there is a self-mindedness about the right. A 'me and mine' mentality. For instance, the usual conservative take on universal healthcare is that they are against it because it will be expensive and lower the quality of their health care. The usual Leftist reason to support the concept is that a health care system is worthless if while is saves your life it ignores the needs of many others and leaves them to die.

I think about the foundations of conservative thought all the time. I fail to understand why people identify with the right, though, so I must be doing something wrong. :)
posted by n9 at 7:15 PM on March 9, 2004


Its still a reflection of the bullshit "we're persecuted" syndrome these types suffer from. Sadly, they may never know how good they have it compared to people of other faiths and non-faith.

Lets check with our "Liberal Media (TM)" at RT. 51% with lots of positive reviews. Yeah, big conspiracy.
posted by skallas at 7:15 PM on March 9, 2004


n9, I'm not saying I neccessarily disagree, but if you look at your bullet points, you've basically just said in very sophisticated fashion that leftists do things out of noble reasons and that rightists do things of greed or hatred. Maybe I'm naive, but I kind of figure that between the extreme poles of both there are probably a lot of people who simply disagree on what will improve things but genuinely have good intentions.

For instance take the taxation issue you mentioned. Almost nobody I've ever met ever said "please,please take more of my paycheck." But there's also plenty of people I know who express the view that spending and social programs have been ineffective, or that stimulating business will improve the overall economic climate. Again I'm not saying I agree, but you see what I'm getting at.

* often very pro-corperation: meaning that they associate the needs of big business with their own needs as opposed to most people on the left that feel that their needs oppose big business.

This is another issue where things are not so cut and dried. There are many people whom you could describe as "socially conservative" (on issues like religion, gay rights, abortion, drugs, censorship, racial issues, enviornmentalism etc.) who are economically liberal out of neccessity or tradition, what you would call your "labor liberals," for lack of a better term.

Plus there's also many people who are very liberal on the issues I've mentioned, but who are very pro-corporation.

often evangelical christian: meaning that they have been taught from birth to blithely dismiss anything that does not fall inside their personal belief system (which is usually packaged and delivered to them neatly by the usual suspects.)

You could say the say the same thing about political "true believers" of any stripe tend to think this way.
posted by jonmc at 7:37 PM on March 9, 2004


I have an acquaintance who was living out in LA on the production crew of a TV show. She said she'd regularly hear the producers say things like "Let's throw in some sex/violence/gratuitous profanity. People love that stuff, and it'd probably do those that don't a little good. " She eventually quit because this was a conflict with her beliefs.
People do love that stuff, as The Passion has helped to prove. Turn the Gospel into Kill Bill and it'll gross a fortune!
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:39 PM on March 9, 2004


skallas summed it up best: there IS NO liberal bias. if anything, there's a dangerous conservative agenda that feels so needlessly threatened that it will go to almost any extreme lengths to protect it's OWN biased beliefs.

fucking illinois nazis
posted by poopy at 7:47 PM on March 9, 2004


I'm with you johnmc on most of your points. I think that the left is more noble in the sense that the idea of liberalism has a lot to do with a loose definition of the good life having something to do with everyone having a good life. I'm not sure what the Right means in terms of the good life. Perhaps the good life is a moral life, or a wealthy life or something else.

w/r/t evangelical christians. What you say about true believers is true to a point and many evangelicals follow dogma the way that I love Apple computers.... BUT there are literally millions of evangelicals that, in my opinion, go far beyond that.

Many sects of this type of faith simply ignore any notion not authored from within as the work of Satan on Earth. The opinion of the damned. Honestly. Read the NYT article from Monday about the college for evangelical homeschoolers if you don't see the differentiation I'm trying to point out.

My hometown school board was taken over by a sect that removed all sex education and evolution from the curriculum, bought textbooks that literally sought to teach women to stay at home, etc. Dealing with individuals that interpret the bible as the verbatim 'Truth' was a mind-boggling experience that is very different from arguing politics with a free-market enthusiast.
posted by n9 at 8:12 PM on March 9, 2004


Dealing with individuals that interpret the bible as the verbatim 'Truth' was a mind-boggling experience that is very different from arguing politics with a free-market enthusiast.

That's the crucial difference right there. Under G.W. Bush the takeover of the Republican party by the religious fanatic wing has been completed. I think this will ultimately be their undoing, but that's a whole other story.

I'm not sure what the Right means in terms of the good life. Perhaps the good life is a moral life, or a wealthy life or something else.

I'm not a Republican (although as I get older I find myself becoming more personally conservative), but I think to most mainstream conservatives, the definition of "the good life" is probably the same as most conservatives: peace, prosperity, equality etc. They just differ on how to achieve those goals. Again, I'm not talking about the Religious Right here.

Ultimately, I think a lot of anti-left sentiment comes from the approach of some of the mouthier leftists rather than from actual issues. People who have honest concerns about crime don't appreciate being called bigots for wanting more cops on the street , or being called war-mongers or paranoid for being concerned about terrorism post-9/11. Again, it's a small but mouthy minority that this applies to, but you can persuade more people with respect.

What you say about true believers is true to a point and many evangelicals follow dogma the way that I love Apple computers.... BUT there are literally millions of evangelicals that, in my opinion, go far beyond that.

Agreed. What I meant about true believers is that political ideologues (both left and right) can be equally blinkered about ideas from outside their particular "ism." I've learned over the years not to trust most people who start sentences with "As a Republican/Libertarian/Feminist/Socialist..." since if you question a factoid they tend to immediately write you off and can't concieve that people may have valid reasons to disagree.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2004


As Machiavelli said, "To attack from a position of moral authority the Prince must appear to be under attack himself." (props to Walter Cronkite)
posted by infowar at 8:44 PM on March 9, 2004


Good discourse Jonmc & N9.

The right wing fundamentalist christians really do make it difficult to carry on the market place of ideas don't they.
posted by filchyboy at 8:47 PM on March 9, 2004


Thanks filchyboy.

BTW, in this sentence: "I think to most mainstream conservatives, the definition of "the good life" is probably the same as most conservatives" change the second "conservatives" to "liberals."

All those damned years sitting through english class stoned having filthy dreams about the girl in the next row are coming back to haunt me.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 PM on March 9, 2004


I think to most mainstream conservatives, the definition of "the good life" is probably the same as most (liberals): peace, prosperity, equality etc.

I think that's partly true, but I think one of the defining aspects of conservatism is the belief that some people out there simply aren't ever going to (or aren't even supposed to) achieve that - there are people out there who are born "bad" who aren't worth helping if they can't do it themselves. "Bad" might mean foreign, or black,or poor, or criminal, or of a different religion...take your pick. A pretty pessimistic view. Liberals, on the other hand, are defined by trying to view all people as fundamentally good and worthy of a "good life" and should be helped along the way - a view that probably isn't totally realistic either!

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle.
posted by Jimbob at 9:54 PM on March 9, 2004


it's always amusing to see how the (extreme, I am sorry to report) right sees an incredibly reactionary, sex-obsessed, sexist, gun-worshiping, military-gear-loving, megacorporate, exceedingly lilywhite entity like Hollywood as a progressive force.
which might ironically be true, if you consider how much hate for, gays and other Satanic dupes those Southern Baptists seem to deal in -- so, even Hollywood may liberal if Southern Baptists are the standard. problem is Hollywood's cultural output is not liberal in the least -- there's a lot of Democrats making very conservative movies, and marketing "in flyover America" is key in their financial/creative choices. just ask Terry Gilliam, or Orson Welles.
Hollywood is secular, not liberal. it's all difference in the world
of course as already pointed out the fact that Hollywood's founders were mostly Jews and a lot of Jews still run Hollywood to this day must really be a big minus for those SBC guys. you know, an ugly bunch of hook-nosed, bloodthirsty Jews killed Jim Caviezel in a really bad way -- you can't trust these people.
smarter Conservatives on the other hand understand how good Hollywood hype machine is for promoting the whole American way of life thing -- it's hard to think of a more effective worldwide PR tool for the American status quo. after all what foreigner couldn't possibly fall in love with, say NYC or California or the Marine Corps from thousands of miles away just watching a Hollywood movie? also, it's always the Americans who end up saving the planet -- whether it's Bruce Willis fucking up an Asteroid or Will Smith uploading a virus in the alien's Windows 98 computer system. check out the list of Hollywood's most successful movies -- not much anti-Americanism there, I'd say, with the possible exception of a brief moment in the Seventies (before the Spielberg boys took charge of the asylum again).
but of course all this gung-ho pro-American looks unforgivable to the Christian Taliban who like to fashion themselves as (persecuted, naturally) moral majority of "fly-over America" ("the very words flyover America" always make me think of code for "very little Blacks/Jews whatever here, but it's old secular communistic Gitmo-bound me speaking)
posted by matteo at 12:27 AM on March 10, 2004


This is one of the better threads I've seen so far on MeFi on the differences between left and right, and the worrisome polarization of late.

As them funny track-suited, shell-toe wearing hip hop kids would say; Word.

This schism, this polarity that the US is soaking in is unlike anything I've seen in my life - or read about in any book - since possibly the McCarthy era, and if not that, since the Civil War.

And it will tear us apart if it keeps growing. If that can be done peacefully, so be it. I'm all for local control. But such things have never happened peacefully in the past, so I'm not holding my breath that it'll happen peacefully now.

Conversely, I feel it is a fine and good thing to seek out moderation and middle ground and mutual understanding.

We need it more than ever now. This polarization is frightening. I keep getting the feeling we're on the verge of a new civil war. Reckless.

Seek dialog, seek understanding, seek peacefulness with your ideological 'enemies'. Learn to agree to disagree and act upon it; Meaning go about your lives and live and let live.

Simplistic? Yeah. Peaceful? Hell yes. Work it.
posted by loquacious at 12:57 AM on March 10, 2004


I don't think the religious-right are the same people as the neo-cons. I think the neo-cons conned the religious into going for the right. I knew the fundamentalists in the 70's. They weren't the same.
posted by Goofyy at 2:37 AM on March 10, 2004


The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle.

That sums it all up.

We don't have to buy box set A or box set B - we can whistle songs from both collections.
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:01 AM on March 10, 2004


Great thread, but can I back us up a minute? Because I think there is one more key element involved that injects a note of irony here.

Part of why the right has been succeeding is the structure of their argument, rather than the content of the message. Let me back up all the way to the link in the FFP:

The discussion in Hollywood is very different than how either the "left" or the "right" might fan fic it. Hollywood recognizes that "The Passion" is succeeding in the marketplace because of marketing -- really, one of the most sophisticated and expensive religious marketing campaigns ever. They equate the success to the similar (but less expansive) marketing done by "Chariots of Fire" -- which also focused on bringing busloads of church goers to the theater. Neither the "left" or the "right" seem to recognize the fact that the $30M in marketing spent is what's producing the reaction, not the $30M spent on screen.

The right have become the new masters of memetic engineering in a myriad of forms, from the political to the social to the commerical.

So the "flyovers" embrace the marketing of the movie (which, obviously, is an underserved market by the entertainment industry, customers who want an alternate) and see "The Passion" as a victory over Hollywood, without realizing that the sophisticated marketing that targeted them at their churches has led them to this belief. Meet the new (entertainment) boss, same as the old one -- it's not the Chairmanship that makes entertainment move, it's the capital.

I'm not saying that adherants of the "right" are any more or less susceptible to the memetic flow, but I watch time and time again as the "left" fails to capture the minds of the majority of the public with equally valid memes. How easy would it have been for the "left" to focus on the fact that Mel Gibson was spending millions of dollars to bring marketing into the sanctuaries of middle America? Where's the Diane Sawyer piece called "Fleecing The Flock?"

Sadly, you find a similar lack of response on about any social issue of the day you care to cast about for -- the agenda of the "right" rules only because the "left" spends more time criticizing than embracing and advancing an alternate view (they way they did by balancing the intuitive correctness of "Pro-Choice" against the intuitive correctness of "Pro-Life".)

(PS: The above is from a leftist, mind you.)
posted by bclark at 3:41 AM on March 10, 2004


"I get older I find myself becoming more personally conservative"

The French has a phrase along the lines of "If you are not a socialist in your twenties you have a heart of stone, and if you're still a socialist in your thirties you have a head of stone".

Well, that's the French for you. Gross simplification I know, but it's something I've been wondering of late, why do I (and jonmc, and many others) find myself becoming more conservative (with a small c) in later life? It's not like I have accrued much more stuff. Nor have I been mugged (the old one about a conservative being a liberal who's been mugged).

That being said I'm still sticking to the left of the fence.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:34 AM on March 10, 2004


Seek dialog, seek understanding, seek peacefulness with your ideological 'enemies'. Learn to agree to disagree and act upon it; Meaning go about your lives and live and let live.

Or in the immortal words of Abbie Hoffman:

Ask somebody what they want.

If they say, "I wanna beat the shit out of kids like you," build them a boxing ring.


Works for me.

why do I (and jonmc, and many others) find myself becoming more conservative (with a small c) in later life?

Well, as far as personal behavior such as sex and drugs goes, maybe we've started to see the consequences of our earlier lifestyles or it's just started to seem sleazy and pathetic to us. As far as politics goes, we've seen that no wing of politics is immune from petty backbiting and ego trips and/or we've begun to see the whole political system as way too complex and unresponsive to be bothered with. We may be wrong, but that's how many people I know have come to see it.
posted by jonmc at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2004


matteo: The writer of this ridiculous piece hails from Jackson, Miss., which is hardly all white. It's the opposite - a majority black city, with a black mayor and mostly black officials. The pathology on display here is tied in with race somehow, I'm sure. But if you're looking to avoid black people, Mississippi is hardly the best place to be. You're also more likely to find Jewish people in Jackson in a state with a once thriving, but long-since-declined Jewish population. The city is also the home of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.
posted by raysmj at 6:30 AM on March 10, 2004


As far as politics goes, we've seen that no wing of politics is immune from petty backbiting and ego trips and/or we've begun to see the whole political system as way too complex and unresponsive to be bothered with.

That's not small c conservatism. That's alienation. Smal c and large c conservatives want to see the system taken down or at least taken down a few notches, as do many of differing political attitudes. Or people with attitudes that are a mix of right and left. And right and left are concepts borrowed from Europe that don't necessarily fit America anyhow.
posted by raysmj at 6:35 AM on March 10, 2004


What I found interesting was that the "studio chaplain" used as examples two scifi/fantasy series to exemplify good morals and decent storytelling. You see so much of the religious right decrying genre fiction as "satanic" and yet, the most upright movies they can name...
posted by Karmakaze at 6:44 AM on March 10, 2004


A little OT, but I think it's fair to say that most evangelicals think that only crackpots denounce fantasy as demonic (I've never really heard science fiction denounced that way).

Literal idolatry, "neo" paganism, and wicca, etc., are definitely 101st on a list of the top 100 things that smart evangelicals worry about, and that's even to accept the premise that there's the smallest chance that a Harry Potter or Frodo are going to be read as proslytizers for those girls with unshaven legs who like to chant weird rhymes at the State Park on Halloween. Many Evangelicals are much more alarmed by cultural product which elevates or celebrates yoga, vegeterianism, deep environmentalism, the Dalai Lama, etc. as they see these things as stalking horses for Buddhism, Hinduism, agnosticism, etc., which they see as pretty active threats to their children's faith lives.

The much smaller corps of fundamentalists, as distinct from evangelicals, do attack fantasy with abandon, but they also attack (or assiduously avoid) more or less anything in popular culture which has any subject or intent other than the explicit reinforcement of their particular interpretation of the Bible.
posted by MattD at 10:31 AM on March 10, 2004


bclark: So the "flyovers" embrace the marketing of the movie...

Is there anyone who uses "flyover" except as either irony or a straw man?

What bugged be about this piece is the whole idea that contemporary liberalism is a product of a bi-costal ellite while ignoring the huge influence of early 20th century labor activism in mining towns and industrial cities throughout the midwest. Eugene Debs came out of Terre Haute, IN (then, a major transportation center). Jane Adams a frequently-cited pioneer of the early urban reform movement worked out of Chicago.

Granted, there is a media bias favoring the coasts. Perhaps the most shocking thing about the CSI franchise is that it has nothing to do with NY or LA.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:34 AM on March 10, 2004


most evangelicals think that only crackpots denounce fantasy as demonic (I've never really heard science fiction denounced that way).

Well, there was the flap over Harry Potter. Still, if my personal experience is any indication, more tend to denounce it as "stupid" and "that could never happen." The latter being kind of funny to hear from my dad, who believes that some guy came out of a tomb three days after being buried. Yeah, aliens are less likely, I'm sure.
posted by kindall at 10:50 AM on March 10, 2004


The French has a phrase along the lines of "If you are not a socialist in your twenties you have a heart of stone, and if you're still a socialist in your thirties you have a head of stone".

i call shenanigans on (all the variations of) this quote. i see it widely used, but never attributed. does anyone have a source?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2004


The official name for Hidalgo is now "Sandbiscuit."
posted by mecran01 at 12:05 PM on March 10, 2004


Sharing a psychosis doesn't make it real. Flyover country is a great place to live in a delusional reality: fewer people and things to damage.

Amazing how many people who know how the country should be run are too busy farming and driving taxis to come here to DC and start running it.

You can believe whatever you want to believe, but you are responsible for the consequences of your beliefs. You can choose not to believe this. That's your choice.

See how that works?
posted by basilwhite at 12:58 PM on March 10, 2004


basilwhite: Sharing a psychosis doesn't make it real. Flyover country is a great place to live in a delusional reality: fewer people and things to damage.

I guess that answers my question.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:06 PM on March 10, 2004


Can we take the skinheads?

They're not skinheads, they're nihilists. They won't be much help, though -- they're cowards.

As for the article: I'll not read it, since I got the reader's digest version here. One question though: does an unbelieving atheist run from the room in shame? Those emails Hildago mentions always end up with a liberal atheist running from the room in shame.
posted by moonbiter at 2:03 PM on March 10, 2004


What bugged be about this piece is the whole idea that contemporary liberalism is a product of a bi-costal ellite while ignoring the huge influence of early 20th century labor activism in mining towns and industrial cities throughout the midwest. Eugene Debs came out of Terre Haute, IN (then, a major transportation center). Jane Adams a frequently-cited pioneer of the early urban reform movement worked out of Chicago.

Wisconsin (in the past) was one of the most progressive states.
posted by drezdn at 2:05 PM on March 10, 2004


Neither the "left" or the "right" seem to recognize the fact that the $30M in marketing spent is what's producing the reaction, not the $30M spent on screen

Hell, it's worse than that -- he probably could have gotten by with spending a tenth of this amount. The general public has completely fallen for this tidy little marketing trap that Mel has created. The way he went about promoting it was intentionally provocative: make a big show of screening it with people to make sure that it's "all right," then run with it when one or more of these screeners has a problem with it. And you know at least one of them is going to have a problem with something in it, especially when the people involved are "opinion-makers" like clergy, rabbi, or critics.

Anyone who has ever been to a party can tell you how discussions about politics and religion take on a life of their own when they are brought up (e.g. MetaFilter). Sadly, people took the bait and weighed in with their $0.02, and soon enough the whole thing has turned into this big yelling match. All he had to do was push a few buttons, and suddenly everyone is all talk and opinion and "culture war" and "blah blah blah," dancing to Mel's tune, while he pipes all the way to the bank with a 1,000%+ return on his investment. Wee!
posted by moonbiter at 2:33 PM on March 10, 2004


"i call shenanigans "

I have never in my thirty eight years on this planet heard of calling shenanigans (unless you're mean phoning up Shenanigans the fighting pub in Queens Park). What does it mean? I can't make it out from the context you use it in. Do you mean my quote isn't from the French?

Please tell me what it means.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:23 PM on March 10, 2004


"I call shenanigans", possibly US colloquial (I don't bloody know, I live in Ealing), but popularised by South Park. It's a vague way of saying that he thinks your quote is bollocks.
posted by bifter at 2:08 AM on March 11, 2004


bifter defines it correctly. It is a variation of "I call bullshit."
posted by moonbiter at 7:02 AM on March 11, 2004


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