Monday, July 16, 2007

Culture as a campaign issue

Power Line looks at efforts by Mitt Romney to make fighting the corruption of culture in America a political issue as embodied in a new television ad, "Ocean". But apart from decrying it, what actual steps can be taken to address the issue?

I'm sympathetic to the message of the ad, but can't help noting the complete absence of any suggestion as to what steps can realistically be taken to clean up the culture. With the Supreme Court still committed, seemingly, to the view that pornography and pole-dancing are the core activities protected by the First Amendment, and with the ability of a public high school to prevent students from unveiling a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner a 5-4 squeaker, it isn't obvious how any President can deliver much on this issue.

Nothing follows.

13 Comments:

Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I think it's extremely effective if framed properly. Al & Tipper were ineffective with PMRC. Censorship and such are losers.

But siding with ordinary people who want to say "stop!" to the flood of rather degraded culture that seems to be imposed on them by hostile elites.

Using the moral bully pulpit to ask (rather than censor) media organizations to dial down on the ocean of oppressive sexuality and degradation and anti-American sentiment would I imagine be quite popular.

Asking for voluntary restraint for example on the Viagra Ads is likely to be popular (because they are both disgusting and annoying). And it puts the candidate who embraces a call for responsibility to those elites that have evaded it on the side of the average person. Who often feels overwhelmed and powerless against the media ocean.

And yeah, a call to responsibility I think is definitely possible. Our current political leadership doesn't want to issue it, but a new generation might.

7/16/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

How do you spell pander? M-I-T R-O-M-N-E-Y. Where are the programs he implemented in MA when he was governor. Nowhere is the answer. Of all the candidate there is only one candidate with a record of combating the "Ocean". Everyone else is just talking.

7/16/2007 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger JakeGint said...

who dat?

7/16/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

There are limits to which the American public will unquestioningly defer to a secular priesthood of lawyers in robes.

See Dred Scott.

And abortion, which has fractured our politics and divided the country since SCOTUS stepped in and dictated to society..

The Amending process is now broken in Roe v Wade generated gridlock.

The last substantial Amendment not just tweaking the edges or doing "process improvement" was the 1962 Amendment abolishing the legality of the poll tax. That was 45 years ago. Since then, all changes have been of ideologically committed lawyer-kings of the Left or Right "divining" intent, many on the narrowest of votes by the priesthood - rather than put it in the Representatives of The People's hands.

Romney's ad affirming an ocean of purience and condonement of mass marketing of a degraded culture to youth will be listened to and supported by many voters. This follows very soon on the heels of mainstream blacks signalling loudly to the owners of the music industry they are absolutely sick of the glorification of gangsta culture. The overseas slam on America also involves the cultural trash we export and push for profit.

Of course the owners and their shill lawyers will come back with the sacred absolute enjoyment of the 1st Amendment argument - but the lawyer priesthood in their robes is more sensitive to public rage than many understand. No one wants to be the next Taney.

Tarnsman - if you are declaring you are the bitch of another candidate, maybe you should be a little less cryptic..As I recollect, Gore&Tipper, Newt, Thompson, Giuliani, Rev Al Sharpton, Lieberman, Huckabee, Bible thumper Brownback, even Hillary in one of her insincere smarmy moments have all slammed the Hollywood swill....

7/16/2007 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger AB said...

Mitt Romney is running as a Cultural Conservative?

Is this the same guy who presided over the first Gay Marriages in Massachusetts?

Are we living in a parallel universe?

AB

7/16/2007 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger herb said...

Somebody call the corpsman.
CF has written something I can agree with and even endorse. Look here; I have a heart condition I cant stand this sort of shock.

7/16/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

The changes in the currents of the "Ocean" are going to have to come from the ground up, not from the top down. "Think Globally, Act Locally" applies here. Individuals, either on their own or with others, deciding to boycott the offending media products can have more clout than a President banging on the podium. When their products don't sell, the media will change its tune. But right now there are too many willing buyers, and so they continue with their oppressive sexuality, degradation and anti-American sentiment.

"As I recollect, Gore&Tipper, Newt, Thompson, Giuliani, Rev Al Sharpton, Lieberman, Huckabee, Bible thumper Brownback, even Hillary in one of her insincere smarmy moments have all slammed the Hollywood swill...."

Cedarford, of those on your list only one has walked the walk and done something about it. The rest are nothing but roosters crowing in the barnyard. Just like Mr. Romney is doing now. He had five years as Governor of Massachuetts to take make a stand against the "Ocean" and did not. Sorry, I view his posturing now as nothing more than a pandering to the social conservatives he needs to win the Republican nomination.

Oh, and Libermann is not a candidate for the Presidency (as are Mr. Sharpton & Mr. Gore). Much to your relief, I'm sure, as I'm sure that back in 2000 you were beside yourself that a, gasp, Jew might be Vice President and a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

7/16/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/16/2007 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Perhaps the war against terror could serve as an example of how to fight the war against trash culture. Just as Osama bin Laden and his organization are targeted as terrorist threat #1, one could easily do the same for the degenerate trash culture kingpin and his sick organization that are polluting the culture of the United States. They could be locked up in camps and made to wear bright orange jumpsuits. And then we could all vigorously debate at what point their water treatments cross the line into torture.

Oh what a minute, Rupert Murdoch and his trash-culture terrorist organization Al-Nouz Qorp are rabid Republicans.

Nevermind.

In any case any parent dumb enough to leave it up to the government to police trash culture is as stupid as that woman who left her child unattended last week in a wave pool at the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara. Of course the poor little guy drowned and in response the mother blamed the life guards on duty since she was too busy at the time to perform her parental duties. In a similar, though less lethal vein, parents who leave their children alone to navigate the waves of garbage culture created by huge corporate entities like Fox, Viacom, and Clear Channel shouldn’t be surprised when their kids end up floating face down in the cess pool of American trash culture.

After all the only way our corrupt and incompetent political elite can stay in power is through a bread and circuses strategy of distraction with trash culture (along with sports) a huge portion of the circuses. And with the law of diminishing returns combined with the crises in Iraq, immigration, and deficit spending, our political elites will be more and more reliant on Murdoch and the other trash terrorists to distract another generation of Americans

Who knows though, perhaps Mitt Romney is the man to change all this, since the founder of the religion he follows, Joseph Smith, once claimed to be a second Mohammed, and we all know how the followers of the first Mohammed are pretty good at cleaning up (or eliminating) pop culture. But a far better strategy would be for individual parents and citizens to exercise their authority over their children and their own consciences by throwing away their TV’s, or at least only using them tethered to DVD’s and then carefully select appropriate shows to watch.

7/17/2007 01:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

"parents who leave their children alone to navigate the waves of garbage culture [...] shouldn’t be surprised when their kids end up floating face down in the cess pool of American trash culture."

I'm going to agree with that much of what Kevin said.

There's only one thing that the government could legitimately do to drain the swamp: Shut down the public school system. It creates a child-centered culture in which peer pressure replaces parents as the major influence in a child's life.

7/17/2007 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

"Race to the bottom" is a phrase often (erroneously) used to describe what happens to wages, working conditions, etc. under globalization, as every country has to become Pakistan or China to attract factories.

But I think a far more compelling "race to the bottom" effect is in culture. Each avant-gardist has to boldly and to great acclaim break through the barriers imposed by stodgy old tradition, which forces the next one to push the barriers back even further, and so on. Meanwhile, what was once avant-garde becomes mainstream as the avant-garde moves on to something else - "Deep Throat," which infautuated a certain sort of intellectual once upon a time, becomes a multibillion-dollar pornography industry for example.

There is probably nothing that can be done about it in a collective sense. Social pressure is going to be ineffective. Parents and other concerned citizens can only defend their own and search for others of like mind.

7/17/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Kevin is wrong in nearly every particular way.

Whoever gets the nomination and then the Presidency will have to do so by tapping popular discontent with the way things are going. Voter pressure certainly made Murdoch's News Corp pressure along with Establishment views on Immigration/Amnesty/Open Borders mute.

It was so overwhelmingly popular to reject the Ted Kennedy-McCain-Bush-Fox-La Raza amnesty/open borders deal that even arrogant Senators had to back down.

People don't like wading in a sea of filth. They don't like Gangsta Rap (sales are collapsing and it's being attacked with impunity). They don't like Viagra ads all over the place. They don't like hyper-sexualization of the culture, and Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and the like.

Calling out Rupert Murdoch and George Soros and other media barons is tremendously popular. About as popular as taking on the Bank of the United States was in Jackson's day.

Saying "stop" without impinging on people's fundamental choices, no codes of conduct or censorship merely specifically calling top media barons out publicly and asking for restraint is likely to be very popular.

7/17/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

While I do sincerely hope that you are right Whiskey_199 and I am proven wrong and that either politicians and/or the general public will start demonizing the leaders of the American trash culture industrial complex, I have to say I’m not holding my breath. Do you really think any major politician on either side of the aisle is going to go after Rupert Murdoch? Really? Well then what are they waiting for? I think it is very true that most Americans are disgusted by the Paris Hilton, Gangsta Rap, Jack Ass culture of stupidity, drug use, and sexual promiscuity but no one is going to go after Rupert. They just don’t have the cojones. It would take a Teddy Roosevelt-type figure with the strength, self-confidence, and moral certainty to undertake such an attack on the heart of his power base.

And besides, Rupert Murdoch is not stupid. Just like the Saudis, guilty of both attacking us on 9/11 and of continuing to produce jihadi cannon fodder through their Wahabbi madrassas, got President Bush to attack Iraq instead of going after the real Saudi perpetrators, Rupert, in a classic case of misdirection, has created a gang of right wing “culture warriors” such as Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity to attack not Rupert Murdoch of course, but......wait for it.....George Soros, the well-known owner of that famous chain of television and radio channels called.....oh wait a minute, he doesn’t own any media outlets. All the better to redirect all the growing anger about our trash culture towards him and away from the real pimps of cultural trash like Rupert.

Now I’m more than willing to split the difference, if the cost of building a bipartisan coalition to bring down the cultural pervert Rupert is a package deal together with Soros then so be it, off with Soros’ head.

Again though, we are just playing “Waiting for Godot” here if we are to passively sit back and wait for our political elite to clean up the cultural mess. People need to turn the TV’s off, to throw them away, to stop financing the trash culture that is destroying this country. And as you say to direct their anger towards the wealthy cowards who are pimping this trash culture to the American people.

7/18/2007 02:55:00 AM  

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