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Welcome To The Jungle: Arts And Entertainment And Letters

16 February 2020 @ 17:02

The Left has an Appetite For Destruction…

In a very interesting essay over at City Journal, Brian Patrick Eha looks at the Ideological Cultural Scolds that rule Arts and Entertainment.  It’s fairly long, but well-worth the time.  I intend to comment on parts of it.

We find ourselves in this Age Of Ideology’s Triumph monitored by those who seek to enforce Ideological Purity Tests on what we see and read and hear.  As you read on, you will see that, though we in The Anglosphere are not Totalitarians [yet] our ‘betters’ believe in a Soviet / People’s Republic style of Censorship — the only difference being that they jailed and Murdered those whom the Censors thought expressed False Consciousness, while ours only seek [at this time] to destroy the careers and livelihoods of those who do not pass the Tests.  The latter will use The Law if they have too [another reason to oppose ‘hate laws’], but, for now at least, these Ideologues content with financial and reputation Ruinations.

From the Author:

Here we see the outlines of the new moralism that now obscures cultural creation in America…. Its twin notions — that art and entertainment, as well as those who produce it, should be subject to ideological and behavioral purity tests; and that those cultural products and creators found wanting, deemed “problematic,” should be cast aside in favor of more edifying material — are in the ascendant, if not already dominant. The new illiberal moralism holds that preference should be given on class syllabuses, in review pages, and on short lists for major prizes to artists with whose politics the cultural arbiters agree and whose identities they can safely celebrate. The highest use of the arts, in this view, is to enshrine a vision of the world not as it is but as it should be, particularly in matters of racial and gender diversity and other cherished progressive causes. Books and films by problematic artists — and to be straight, white, and male is to be problematic thrice over—are at best unhelpful, at worst corrupting….

This is what happened in The USSR.

The result, as always with any work of art, were Dull and Dismal literary products that I found Unreadable, music that was Chaotic and Incomprehensible, films that only serve to bore the Hell out of the viewer, plays that were Dreadfully Colorless, paintings and buildings that were Anti-Art — in other words: works that were stripped of all Human Passion in favor of putting across Tedious and Boring Bromides.

Mr. Eha labels this the ‘new moralism’ but their is nothing Moral about it.  It is merely Relativity in the service of the Leftist Way Of Thinking.

He cites the reaction by the Apparatchiks to the release of Quinton Tarantino’s One Upon A Time In Hollywood as a good example.

Another couple of examples:

In January 2019, debut author Amélie Wen Zhao found herself the subject of such intense criticism — largely for making slavery a feature of her fictional world—that she pulled her YA [Young Adults] fantasy novel, Blood Heir, the first volume of a planned trilogy for which she had received a high-six-figure publishing deal, before it hit the shelves. The following month, another YA author, Kosoko Jackson, likewise pulled his debut novel after a Twitter mob savaged it for featuring “privileged” protagonists and casting a Muslim character as a villain. Ironically, Jackson, who is black and gay, had worked as a “sensitivity reader” for publishing houses, screening manuscripts for just such politically incorrect content, and on Twitter, like Zhao, he had waged identitarian turf wars. “He was Robespierre,” as New York Times columnist Jennifer Senior put it, “with his own neck in the cradle of the guillotine.” The canceler had been canceled.

Where fault can’t be found in the art, it is found in the artist…..

I do admit to feeling a touch of schadenfreude entering my heart every time the Left eats it’s own, but that is just an initial reaction.  There’s a serious lesson to be learned: The Left will Viciously Attack it’s members if they Dare take one-step out of Ideological line.  Since they subscribe to a Philosophy of ‘By Any Means Necessary’, no one is safe from their Two Minute Hate.  In fact, as has been shown wherever Leftism has triumphed, they have more Hate for those who try to step one foot out of their plantation —  we on the Right aren’t even Human to them.

Mr. Eha, again:

…Writing in 1985, [novelist William H. Gass] early in the culture wars that made explicit the ideological commitments of so many artists, scholars, media commentators, and museum curators, Gass discerned the motive for doling out honors to second- and third-rate books. “It’s been clear from the first year that it has never been the judges who needed their consciousness raised, or their moral point of view improved, or their allegiance to American values strengthened, but the Many ‘out there’ who could use such elevation,” he wrote. “Hence an award-winning book did not necessarily have to represent the private tastes of the judges or the board; it represented, rather, their judgment that it would be good for those who read it.”

Thank you, Massa.

This explains the many awards given to such Dreadful and Debased writers such as Toni Morrison and Wuss Males [if they get any at all these days].

More from Mr. Eha:

This sermonizing strain runs deep in American public life, and liberals and conservatives alike have indulged in it. In Donald Trump’s America, though, it is the Left that has adopted this language as its own. Like an army that, having taken the heights, promptly turns the retreating enemy’s own guns against him, modern progressives, once proudly nonjudgmental, aspiring to European insouciance, have discovered their own innate capacities for moral outrage, censure, and prohibition. Artistic expression — with all its beauty, complexity, ambiguity, and negative capability — pays the price.


To [The Left], anything deemed ‘Beautiful’ is a representation of that Life As It Is that they Detest so much. Therefore, it is logical that the Left would seek to Disparage, Delegitimize, heap Scorn on, and Ridicule anything we hold as Beautiful. They are the charter members of the Cult Of Uglincss.

And since the Left wants to overthrow Life As It Is and replace it with a Re-Engineered Utopia of their own ‘enlightened’ design, they actively work to tear-down, figuratively and literally, everything deemed by Normal people to be Beautiful.  [Chapter 3: Leftism]

It’s interesting to note that the Rise of Trumpius Pompey Maximus Sulla has lead formerly Conventional conservatives to embrace his Insouciance and Vulgarity.  [Of course, the actions of the Establishment Never Trumpers, low-down and highly hypocritical, have made CC’s embrace much easier to accomplish…and understand.]


A considerable amount of what passes for cultural criticism today relies for its authority on an understanding, ostensibly shared between the critic and his audience, of the new moral atmosphere in which books, music, movies, and television shows are to be judged, or what the Guardian, in an article handicapping the 2019 Booker Prize nominees last fall, called “the political backdrop and its necessary impact on the judges’ decision.”…

These prizes have been so debased by The Left that most of us Ignore them — or use them as a guide in what not to read.

More from Mr. Eha:

If, like a street drug, the ideology in these critiques is not 100 percent pure but contains trace amounts of genuine aesthetic judgement, the trend is nevertheless toward the removal of such superfluous additives so as to deliver the strongest possible high. Like opioids, ideology in sufficient doses obliterates not only the desire but also the capacity for thought. Where once there was a diversity of opinion, there is now an enforced uniformity; the memo goes out, and a narrative takes shape among the opinion makers and quickly calcifies.

Dead Solid Perfect.

He continues…

…If it has occurred to the proponents and beneficiaries of this new zeitgeist the damage that might be done to the social fabric by slotting everyone, as George Packer put it in The Atlantic, into “a new moral caste system that ranks people by the oppression of their group identity,” they give no sign of showing it.

Of course not.  Accepting the Leftist Ideology means never having to say you’re Sorry — or to ever have to think again.  You will be provided with a ‘grand’ master plan that tells you how to Act and React.  Go back to your Luxuries and basket-weaving and leave the planning to The Masterminds.  Just don’t ever step out of line, True Believers, Apparatchiks, Intelligentsia, and Fellow Travellers.  You’re being watched for the slightest sign of False Consciousness.

Mr. Eha concludes:

…At times the new progressivism, for all its up-to-the-minuteness, carries a whiff of the seventeenth century,” [George Packer] writes, “with heresy hunts and denunciations of sin and displays of self-mortification. The atmosphere of mental constriction in progressive milieus, the self-censorship and fear of public shaming, the intolerance of dissent —t hese are qualities of an illiberal politics.”

How quickly a whiff becomes a stench.




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