Sunday, March 04, 2018

Zero cultural power

Appendix N author Jeffro Johnson takes David Brooks to task for a shockingly ignorant statement about the cultural power of conservatives:
Writing in the pages of The New York Times, conservative commentator David Brooks closes out a column with this striking kicker:

Conservatives have zero cultural power, but they have immense political power. Even today, voters trust Republicans on the gun issue more than Democrats. If you exile 40 percent of the country from respectable society they will mount a political backlash that will make Donald Trump look like Adlai Stevenson.

It’s audacious, really. I mean sure, non-leftists have been steadily filtered out of education, academia, journalism, publishing, Hollywood, and the arts for so long that most people can’t even imagine it being any different. But zero? Really?

It takes a special sort of ignorance to embrace such a position. Even the residual power of Tarzan, Cthulhu, Middle Earth, and Conan remains a potent force, even in a marketplace flooded with both bastardized derivatives and hostile critiques. Smarmy elites dismissed the staunchly Catholic Tolkien in his lifetime and declared heroic fantasy bad for us from every platform they could manage to subdue. And yet he outlasted all of his detractors to become Author of the Century. And right at this very moment, Jordan Peterson’s number one international bestselling book is a sensation precisely because it is making the timeless wisdom that infuses the Bible accessible to a generation that is starving for answers and common sense.
The reason the ideological Right has limited cultural power these days is because the Left, with (((David Brooks))) and his nation in the vanguard, have worked very hard for at least four generations at attempting to eradicate everything from the culture that betrays any sign of Christian influence or Western tradition.

And the reason that they are failing despite their near-complete control of the cultural high ground is because they have literally nothing to offer in its place. All they ever had to offer was reaction, negation, ugliness, filth, and snark. Sure, you can adulterate Christmas, and you can substitute Silver Bells, shopping, Santa, and Seasons Greetings for Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Scrooge, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, but at the end of the day, either you come up with a substitute or your efforts will eventually prove futile.

What did they come up with in over a century of frantic effort? Festivus, the Hannukah Aardvark, and horrible movies that are bad even by Seth Rogen's standards. Hardly an attractive exchange for even the most godless pagan.

We not only can win this cultural war, we cannot lose it so long as we continue to create things that are good, beautiful, and true, and continue to refuse entrance to the infiltrating wormtongues who are always there with their helpful blandishments and seductive offers to sell your creative soul to Mammon.

So let them turn Elsa of the Crowleyesque anthem into a lesbian. Let them transform Superman into an SJW superhero fighting for global migration, one-world government, and AIPAC. Let them continue to preen and posture and sneer and snark in futility. It will avail them nothing. Like their Father the Devil, they cannot create, they can only corrupt. And that is why the greatness of Tolkien, of Howard, of Lovecraft, and of Wright will continue to be recognized over time despite the Left's best efforts to denigrate and diminish it.

Here are three more shots in the cultural war for the West. Another will be fired tomorrow.

UPDATE: Jeffro responds to a defeatist gamma who took exception to his post, then showed up here to lie about him.

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Blogger McChuck March 04, 2018 8:17 AM  

The Left even fails at what it attempts. Elsa crows about abandoning her duties and responsibilities. And then the world ends because she did. Civilization is only saved when she picks her responsibilities back up and rejoins civilized society. That's a powerful, if possibly unintended, message.

And why would any "conservative" read the NYT, much less work for them? Wormtongue, indeed.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 04, 2018 8:20 AM  

IMO the Left is a brittle entity, I played conservative for decades, read the essays, listened to the radio, watched the TV as long as I could stand, but in the end I had to go out and see for myself this great monster the Left, and the Left is a joke.

A few questions to any Leftist and they meltdown, no there, there, and it is quite fun.

Blogger Lovekraft March 04, 2018 8:23 AM  

A few days at work a young mother tells me her infant daughter's sick. I tell her she should send the daughter out to the woods for a few days and subsist on bugs and bark.

Exaggerating. Sort of. Modern parents need reminding that the world is a rough and apathetic place and we all need to learn this at a rough age, to build up a hard shell so we don't fall for yet another satanic lie.

The IDEA is one such immunization and those who decide to be the end-all decider of which idea survives brings up an instinctive reaction to question their authority in people like me. Always has, always will.

Sort of like the expression 'question my integrity, I'll question your authority.'

Blogger Lovekraft March 04, 2018 8:26 AM  

Mentioning Lovecraft above, I have to post again Moore's 'warning' from his "Providence" series (SPOILER alert):

that some ideas can take real form in our mind. That some dark forces have been working tirelessly to do this. And that weapons of truth and beauty must be prepared to fight them despite the cost those wielding them. Basically, the protagonist, an amoral gay Jew (the Herald) decides to 'discover himself' only to fall trap to a wider conspiracy of him awakening the Messanger (Lovecraft).

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 9:03 AM  

I don't think Brooks is talking about the cultural power of the right's ideas. He is talking about the power the left currently holds in our culture due to their control of societies' institutions. The power to get you fired and/or socially ostracized if you express opinions outside of what they consider acceptable. The power to set the terms of the debate. A power they have no qualms about using and are, in fact, eager to use. An example is that woman who made a joke on twitter about not getting aids in Africa because she was white right before she got on an airplane to fly to Africa and who disembarked to be met by a gaggle of reporters because she had became internationally infamous. Or that scientist guy who wore the wrong shirt when being interviewed after helping to land a space craft on a comet, or the other scientist guy .... It just goes on and on and on.

Blogger VD March 04, 2018 9:07 AM  

I don't think Brooks is talking about the cultural power of the right's ideas.

Yes, we know.

Blogger jmg March 04, 2018 9:17 AM  

in the list of heros, would c.s. lewis be there

Blogger tz March 04, 2018 9:25 AM  

The thing about Guns is that it is part of the culture, and as Breitbart said, culture is upstream from politics.

Bilbo got Sting and passed it to Frodo. Everyone in LoTR is armed.

It is a different mindset that says I will defend myself, and can take responsibility for using a gun v.s. the sheep who pretend they are safe from wolves.

The left has merely created a blue bubble echo chamber - Brooks can only see the ugly, evil lies being echoed and amplified in his own little hell. It only looks big and sounds loud because of the echoes and mirrors. But he can see and hear nothing outside, so says there is nothing outside.

He is probably one of the few that goes to those SJW movies that lose big - and at no time does anyone recognize just how terrible these are, no more than CNN can recognize its now considered Fake News by anyone outside of the Hellary Gallery.

Lewis in the Great Divorce describes it as such. It starts in Hell where it seems as large as our galaxy, but in the Valley of the shadow of life, Hell is a tiny, invisible crack in the earth.

Blogger Robert March 04, 2018 9:29 AM  

If Christianity and other sane ideas have zero power, why is the Satanist Left (but I repeat myself) so unearthly frightened of them?

I'm just pretending not to know.

If leftist ideas have zero or insufficient political power, despite being culturally dominant, who cares?

Blogger McChuck March 04, 2018 9:37 AM  

@9 - If Atheists simply don't believe in God (or any deity), they wouldn't fight so hard against Christians. (And only Christians, you'll notice.)

Blogger mgh March 04, 2018 9:39 AM  

"(((David Brooks))) and his nation in the vanguard, have worked very hard for at least four generations at attempting to eradicate everything from the culture that betrays any sign of Christian influence".

Somehow this bit of common sense needs to be widely spread without sounding like a "da joos" lunatic. When they dominate Hollywood and the news, how could they not gradually change the culture? When (((management))) is presented with two options, the Christian one always loses.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 9:51 AM  

Yes, we know.

I'm no fan of Brooks, but Jethro's critique of his statement is over the top. The fact that Appendix N had to be written is a testament to the power that the left exercises over our culture. A massive amount of what should have been canon was memory holed or denigrated to keep people from reading it so as not to be exposed to ideas the left finds inconvenient. And now we have people attending college whose primary goal is to remain ignorant and imbibe insane fantasies. The NLRB has just issued a ruling holding that stating that men and women are different in their interests and talents is sexual harassment and you can be fired for it. The rights' cultural influence comes from the fact that it has the correct ideas, ideas that conform with reality. But if they can't be aired then so what? I think Glen Reynolds is correct when he states that right-wing billionaires should stop funding think tanks and start buying women's magazines. There was a time when news stands put Playboys behind the counter and covered them up. Now magazines aimed as young girls have articles on how to have anal sex. That's a lot of power.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 9:57 AM  

I do very much agree with this though.

Unfortunately for him and people like him, that position is set to get increasingly untenable as changes in technology cause the old mass media status quo to evaporate.

I shudder to think where we would be right now without the 2nd amendment and the destruction of the monopoly on mass communications. Probably interment camps and reeducation centers, at best.

Anonymous Anonymous March 04, 2018 10:01 AM  

in the list of heros, would c.s. lewis be there

In my list of heroes, C.S. Lewis is number one or two --- certainly in the top ten. But there are so many other solid right-wing men who have impacted me.

I would toss Vox Day near the top of that list of heroes even though he makes fun of us ancaps once in a while. :-)

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 10:14 AM  

in the list of heros, would c.s. lewis be there

Yes, and CK Chesterton.

Anonymous Anonymous March 04, 2018 10:32 AM  

"Yes, and CK Chesterton."

One of my favorites:

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” ~~ CK Chesterton

Blogger pyrrhus March 04, 2018 10:42 AM  

It's become clear that the Oxford based Inklings, whose leading members were Tolkien, C.S.Lewis and Owen Barfield, was the most important group of counter-revolutionaries in recent Western History...

Blogger pyrrhus March 04, 2018 10:50 AM  

The earlier group of influential conservative writers in Britain, Chesterton, Kipling, Saki, and Waugh, lost influence IMO because of their loyal support of WW1, which was catastrophic for Britain...

Blogger Felix Bellator March 04, 2018 10:53 AM  

@12 Ron Winkleheimer

NLRB, their struggle against reality....

Judith: Why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
Stan: I want to have babies.
Reg: You want to have babies?!?!?!
Stan: It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
Reg: But you can't have babies.
Stan: Don't you oppress me.
Reg: I'm not oppressing you, Stan -- you haven't got a womb. Where's the
fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?
(Stan starts crying.)
Judith: Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually
have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the
Romans', but that he can have the *right* to have babies.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to
have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
Reg: (pissed) What's the *point*?
Francis: What?
Reg: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he
can't have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.

Blogger James Dixon March 04, 2018 11:29 AM  

> Conservatives have zero cultural power,

What Brooks actually means is "Conservatives have as little cultural power as we can possible manage, and we fervently hope they think that's zero."

> I'm no fan of Brooks, but Jethro's critique of his statement is over the top.

No, it isn't. Brooks is a bought and paid for shill for the left. Any negative comment you can safely make about him is deserved tenfold.

> The fact that Appendix N had to be written is a testament to the power that the left exercises over our culture

And? Limited power does not equal zero. Check out the profit margin for "The Passion of the Christ". We know the left controls the MSM. That doesn't make them masters of all they survey.

Blogger Akulkis March 04, 2018 12:59 PM  

WW1 was catastrophic for everyone involved except for the U.S. and Japan, who emerged as major powers.

Blogger Skyler the Weird March 04, 2018 1:30 PM  

WWI was the first phase of the 75 Years War (1914-1989). Only the American Empire was left standing at the end. Unlike the Pax Romana, the Pax Americana lasted less than 40 years.

Anonymous Anonymous March 04, 2018 1:38 PM  

I don't see how any serious observer of the American scene can find Brooks' observation incorrect. He is clearly correct.

Let's look at the mainstays of culture:

-- Literature: totally and completely converged

-- Art: same

-- Motion Pictures: same

-- Television: same

-- Education, Primary and Secondary: same

-- Education, Tertiary: same

Unless one wants to play some sperg game and find one artist or one professor and say SEE IT'S NOT 100% MORONS YOU'RE WRONG, which is to miss the forest for the trees, Brooks' statement is correct.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 1:55 PM  

And? Limited power does not equal zero. Check out the profit margin for "The Passion of the Christ". We know the left controls the MSM. That doesn't make them masters of all they survey.

And that woman from "Touched by an Angel" makes Christian TV shows and movies. For that matter Christian movies and music do pretty good in the marketplace. But who was ran out of Hollywood? Who gets blacklisted and who doesn't? The people with the power make anti-Christian movies, even though they lose money. Because of ART!

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 1:58 PM  

By the way, from an artistic point of view, most Christian movies are awful. There is a huge market for good Christian movies that is just waiting for a few talented film makers to fill and, thanks to the Internet and advancing technology, will probably be filled in the next few years.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer March 04, 2018 3:15 PM  

There is a huge market for good Christian movies that is just waiting for a few talented film makers to fill and, thanks to the Internet and advancing technology, will probably be filled in the next few years.

I forgot to mention, when this happens the current Christian film makers will denounce the movies as Satanic or something.

Blogger VD March 04, 2018 3:39 PM  

You're banned for lying, Groffin. I read Jeffro's post. He most certainly did not "throw a shit-fit" or anything of the kind.

Don't come back and don't attempt to comment here again or you'll be spammed.

Blogger Groffin March 04, 2018 4:18 PM  

That’s right Vox, erase my comments, accuse me of lying without evidence, and cover up for your buddy’s nakedly apparent defensiveness and lack of evidence when his narrative is questioned.
You’re so much different from the “Globo-homo shills at Google and Twitter,” you hate, you brave, brave ideological fencer you.

Blogger Dirtnapninja March 04, 2018 4:50 PM  

The left can't meme, because the left can't create, and the left can no longer truly transgress.

If the alt right had access to 1/100th of the cash and money hollywood had, we would be turning smash hits. An alt righter would have made awesome new star wars movies. Why? Because we respect the roots of series. Because we are brimming with the masculine energies that embody creation. Because we CAN create, not merely parasitize and smash.

Does the right possess cultural power? the mainstream right possesses nothing. They are a carcass. But the dissident right? We may not have the institutions, but when kids go online they go into a space dominated by us. That domination is not direct, but its like the way a singularity warps space and time. Everything online now is affected by our sheer gravity, and the powers that be know it. That is why they are waging war against us with doxxing and

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 04, 2018 5:04 PM  

Damn, straight to gamma....

Blogger Anne March 04, 2018 5:40 PM  

She's a bad example. She's a churchian.

Blogger dienw March 04, 2018 5:47 PM  

Jeffro responded to the idiot.

Blogger Forge the Sky March 04, 2018 6:18 PM  

Video games are becoming an important market for narrative in our culture, especially among the young.

I don’t play many, but the inimitable orator Razorfist made a review about the recent Czech game ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’ that caused me to buy it immediately.

It attempts to be an historically accurate depiction of the Holy Roman Empire under Wenceslas IV. The mainstream media has it that it’s racist because there are no black people in it. In 1408 Bohemia. Also, it portrays Christianity and the patriarchal family systems of the era in a nuanced rather than negative light. Many reeees have been had.

I don’t care if a game takes me place in a more diverse time and place - or hell, 1200’s Nigeria. Just....stop with the damn agenda.

Blogger Looking Glass March 04, 2018 6:28 PM  

22. Jourdan

"Conservatives have zero cultural power, but they have immense political power." Brooks is making an explicit statement, that even if hyperbolic, is clearly incorrect. Further, your list of products are all ones people are fleeing from en mass.

The only product you mentioned that isn't in steep decline and new alternatives aren't being developed at a massive rate is TV. But that's because Streaming has replaced it. The Cultural Left was never ascendant in the way the propaganda narratives push. What they did was infiltrate the high optics/low cost target, then run generations of propaganda campaigns.

Blogger Forge the Sky March 04, 2018 6:33 PM  

Link; about 12 minutes, lots of fun, language warning.

Blogger Looking Glass March 04, 2018 6:36 PM  

@24 Ron Winkleheimer

I've thought about this one a good bit, and much of the issue is that films & art shouldn't be "Christian", in the way we tag them. The categorization is intended to put them into a ghetto.

We need art made by Christians, of high quality and reflecting Christian themes & perspectives. CS Lewis & JRR Tolkien both showed exactly how its done in a modern context. It is art of extreme quality, utterly infused with Truth & Beauty. (Obviously, most can't achieve that skill level, but you should be trying if you're in the space.)

Art isn't Evangelism, and attempting to make it so defeats the objective of the art itself. But the Christian should always act as witness, which should come to the forefront of their art. Beauty & Truth are of God, thus the Christian should always seek to bring that out in their art.

Blogger SmockMan March 04, 2018 7:28 PM  

That guy needs a positive male role model intervention or an injection of T straight to the neck.

Blogger James Dixon March 04, 2018 7:30 PM  

> -- Literature: totally and completely converged

Define literature. It's a very broad category and only portions of it are converged.

Yes, the rest are converged. Which is why they're steadily dying.

> But who was ran out of Hollywood? Who gets blacklisted and who doesn't?

And? Our support makes a movie a blockbuster hit. Our lack of support makes it a best an also ran. That is not "zero cultural power".

> By the way, from an artistic point of view, most Christian movies are awful.

True, unfortunately.

Blogger RobertDWood March 04, 2018 7:58 PM  

The train is fine

Blogger Scott March 05, 2018 9:11 AM  

I bet he's overweight.

Blogger DonReynolds March 05, 2018 1:34 PM  

No one ever accused David Brooks of being a conservative....or Bill Kristol, or Jeb Bush, or John Kasick, or Miss Lindsey Graham, or John McCain, or any of those advocating Amnesty for illegal aliens.

They are not conservatives and they never will be, no matter what they call themselves.

Blogger Unknown March 05, 2018 9:40 PM  

There's always one of these guys spouts by negativity in order to "bring you back down to Earth," which is really just an excuse for demoralizing no one's compatriots.
Do they do this because they are leftist concern trolls? Or do they truly identify with us yet believe we're not being realistic? In any case, they do no one any favors.

Blogger SciVo March 07, 2018 2:43 AM  

@41: If they want you to do things their way, without doing it themselves first...

Worse, if they can't even explain the mechanism by which it might theoretically give better results, except in vague platitudes...

And worst of all, if they just argue that your way is bad and you should stop, without even offering an alternative...

Then I think that they are an enemy out of uniform and should be treated as such.

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