Category Archives: Popular Culture

The Eternal Darkness of the Progressive Mind

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

The attacks on Lone Survivor, the movie about 4 Navy Seals caught in an operation gone lethally wrong in Afghanistan, illustrate once again the fossilized orthodoxy of the left. The L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson called the movie a “jingoistic snuff film” that “bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue” and assumes “brown people bad, American people good.” Read more →

Pajama Boy Nation

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Will Kane of High Noon Pajama Boy wasn’t. Somehow we as a nation went from the Photo Credit: Itisdacurlz vis WikiCommonsiconic Marlboro Man to Pajama Boy — from the noble individual with a bad habit to the ignoble without a good habit — without a blink in between.

There are lots of revolting things in the Pajama Boy ad. After all, how can you top all at once a nerdy-looking child-man dressed in infantile pajamas while cradling a cup of hot chocolate with the smug assurance that he is running your life more than you his?

The Liberal Body-Snatchers

Still, there are one or two even scarier thoughts.

One, did the Obama appendage, Organizing for Action, really believe that such a sad-sack image might galvanize anyone about anything?  And two, did they really think that Pajama Read more →

Good Ol’ Boy, Inc.

Reality shows about gold miners, ax men, and ice-road truckers are a far cry from the Kardashians.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

The hysteria over Duck Dynasty reminds us that cable TV is currently inundated with working-class, white-guy reality shows. Top-drawing, relatively low-cost realities Photo Credit: Jesse 1974 via Flickrshowcase gold miners, oil drillers, hunters, locomotive drivers, off-the-grid backwoods eccentrics, fishermen, crabmen, truck drivers, ax men, moonshiners, or the new generation of Beverly Hillbillies. The list of the particular subspecies of the muscular classes is endless.

These shows share a few common themes. They do not take place in an office, where most Americans work. They are not Kardashian psychodramas about plastic surgery gone bad, or a Gucci purse that underwhelmed the latte bunch in Brentwood. The men appear a bit beefier, perhaps stronger, but not necessarily more fit Read more →

America’s Coastal Royalty

The real national divide isn’t between red and blue states.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

The densely populated coastal corridors from Boston to Washington and from San Diego to Berkeley are where most of America’s big decisions are made.

They remind us of two quite different Americas: one country along these coasts and everything else in between. Those in Boston, New York, and Washington determine how our government works; what sort of news, books, art, and fashion we should consume; and whether our money and investments are worth anything. Read more →

A Culture in Ruins

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

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Disney | ABC Television Group

Lady Gaga reportedly spent $25 million on pop art to jazz up her new and apparently underwhelming album. In contrast, Miley Cyrus’ sexual twerking at the MTV Music Video Awards earned her more millions by exposing her rather unimpressive anatomy. Both make the once vulgar Madonna seem like June Cleaver, but at least raise an existential question: how much lower can we go?

Meanwhile, hip-hop artist Kanye West is promoting his own new music video. He seems to be having sex with his girlfriend Kim Kardashian while riding a motorcycle. If you did not know that Kanye West was the singer of the background music, by the quality of the lyrics and beat, you might think that a fourth grader was spewing rhymed obscenities, in the fashion that Gaga and Cyrus make up with obscenity, both spoken and visual, what they lack in musical, dance, and artistic talent.

In the two-second attention spans of our app culture, a bare nipple, a potty-mouth obscenity, or a multimillionaire’s flippant reference to a “ho” earns followers and thus big money in a way that even once cutting-edge Elvis Presley’s melodies or an against-the-grain Van Gogh impressionistic painting or a T.S. Eliot poem could never quite seem so shockingly profitable. Read more →

Miley Cyrus and Ugly Sex

Was the MTV performance meant to be repellent rather than enticing?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

An older generation used to call the boredom of bad habits “reaching rock bottom”; the present variant perhaps is “jumping the shark” — that moment when the tiresome gimmicks no longer work, and the show is over. Read more →

An American Satyricon

Our elites would be right at home in Petronius’s world of debauchery and bored melodrama.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Sometime in the mid-first century a.d., an otherwise little known consular official, Gaius Petronius, wrote a brilliant satirical novel about the gross and pretentious new Roman-imperial elite. The Satyricon is an often-cruel parody about how the Roman agrarian republic of old had degenerated into a wealth-obsessed, empty society of wannabe new elites, flush with money, and both obsessed with and bored with sex. Most of the Satyricon is lost. But in its longest surviving chapter — “Dinner with Trimalchio” — Petronius might as well have been describing our own 21st-century nomenklatura.

For the buffoonish libertine guests of the host Trimalchio, food and sex are in such surfeit that they have to be repackaged in bizarre and Read more →

America the Trivial

The Kardashians and Anthony Weiner are deemed more worthy of attention than what affects the security and prosperity of our nation.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

Two quite different 21st-century Americas are emerging. The nation is not so much divided by “wars” between the rich and poor, men and women, or white and non-white. Instead, there is the world of reality versus that of triviality. Read more →

How Hollywood Has Ruined Sex

by Bruce S. Thornton // Acculturated.com

 

In the early 80s my mom and her sister dropped by our condo while my wife and I were watching Payday on HBO. (If you’re unfamiliar with this movie and Rip Torn’s brilliant performance, just think Crazy Heart for Hollywood_Signgrown-ups.) They happened to come in during a scene in which Rip Torn’s girlfriend is sitting up in bed bare-breasted. The ladies, Italians raised Catholic in rural California during the 30s, looked at the screen, looked at each other, and simultaneously said in a shocked voice, “Whaaa?” Read more →

Flying as Torture

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

As the Fourth of July nears, be careful of flying. Read more →