Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Popular Culture

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 →

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 →

The Islamist Pull

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

Although information is still too sketchy to draw any comprehensive conclusions (other than that the Boston killings are not, as recently suggested, fall out from sequestration, the NRA, lack of gun control, climate change, right-wing tea-party zealots, etc.), there emerges a familiar profile to the suspects that we have seen before.  Read more →

Five Days of Hope and Despair

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Here is a brief travel log of five days amid 21st-century California. Read more →

Journalists as Ring Wraiths

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Today’s Washington journalists are like J. R. R. Tolkien’s ring wraiths, petty lords who wanted a few shiny golden Obama rings — only to end up as shrunken slaves to the One. Read more →

The Demons of the Modern Rampage Killer

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

As of now we know little about what conditions drove, or proved useful to, the Aurora suspect to murder and maim [1]. But given the worldwide incidences of so-called “rampage killings,” the culprit was not the particular gun laws of Colorado. Read more →

The American Way of War

by Victor Davis Hanson

Defining Ideas

William Shawcross, the British journalist, historian, and human rights advocate — once a fierce critic of the Nixon-Kissinger years, now a defender of the West’s struggle against radical Islam — has written the best book yet on the dilemmas Western governments face in dealing with Islamic terrorists.1 Read more →

What America Does Best

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

We are in a fresh round of declinism — understandably, after borrowing nearly $5 trillion in less than three years and having very little to show for it. Read more →

Young Westerners–Deprives or Decadent?

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

A once civil and orderly England was recently torn apart by rioting and looting — at first by mostly minority youth, but eventually also by young Brits in general. Read more →

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