Printer friendly version

January 16, 2005

What's Troubling You Is the Nature of My Game

In Lane Core's latest edition of Blogworthies, I came across this excellent explanation from Rightwingsparkle:

So this is what I have to say to my Southpark Republican friends. Let me give you a little perspective if faith is not a part of your life. Imagine that someone you love more than anything in this world, your child, is constantly being depicted in a gross or perverted manner in print, TV, and movies. Imagine a show that depicts your child, calling him by the name you have given him, being sexually raped or molested with no hint that there is anything wrong with that. I would think you would be enraged. You would scream from the roof top. ... That is the way religious conservatives feel about this culture. ...

So maybe you Southpark Republicans can be a little more understanding of those of us who rant against the sexualization of our kids, the crudeness of our public airwaves, and the anger and sadness we feel fighting the Golaith of our society who seems to only care about what adults want and not what kid's need.

Posted by Justin Katz at January 16, 2005 12:29 AM
Libertarians vs. Social Conservatives
Comments

Thanks for trackbacking this! I would never have seen The Blog From The Core otherwise. I am honored to be in such company!!
And for you to say "excellent," well, my week has been made. THANKS!

Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at January 16, 2005 12:57 PM

Thanks to you both very much.

Posted by: ELC at January 16, 2005 9:51 PM

To rightwingsparkle:

I don't exactly follow your metaphor. Are you saying that this culture is the child of religious conservatives, and no one else? And that the rest of us have no right to any opinion about it?

I agree that TV culture is mostly disgusting, but for entirely different reasons than you (worship of consumerism, greed, and American arrogance). For that reason, I haven't owned a TV for more than 15 years. You're not required by law to own one (yet). Try getting rid of yours. Read books, read newspapers instead. Have conversations. It may seem unimaginable to most Americans, but TV is a drug - chances are you'll be much happier if you kick it.

I also agree with you that a lot of pop culture is absolute garbage - but I also think its a natural result of the Republican worship of the market and the almighty dollar. People produce filth because it makes them rich. Look at internet porn. (not in THAT sense; I mean to consider it. People peddle it because it gets them more dollars.) When the only value is the dollar, and that IS the only value of the market you seem to worship, the result is "the sexualization of our kids, the crudeness of our public airwaves" that you lament.

Posted by: reality based at January 21, 2005 12:36 AM

"reality based" — you are so off base in your snap assessment that I can only opine that you're working from a spectacularly inapplicable old template of clichés about conservatives.

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 21, 2005 12:41 AM

Well, my first sentence did state that I don't exactly follow the metaphor - an indirect way of asking for clarification. The template of cliches that I assume you're referring to is "the Republican worship of the market and the almighty dollar".

An example of this would be the Fox network, which promotes conservative ideology, include "Christian" morals, yet also carries shows about wife-swapping, etc. (If I had a TV, I could give more examples.)

And I think most conservatives would describe themselves as "pro-business", and describe liberals as "anti-business"; business, as in big business, (media) corporations, are solely concerned with the bottom line, not promoting any morality other than what will make the most money for shareholders.

The "market" is entirely about maximizing profit, which is why I think it is not the best entity to make decisions about things like health care, retirement funds, and public information (media).

Posted by: reality based at January 21, 2005 3:33 AM
The "market" is entirely about maximizing profit, which is why I think it is not the best entity to make decisions about things like health care, retirement funds, and public information (media).

I'm not going to get into the reason you believe the government is a better entity to make such decisions (as I presume you do, although I'm happy to be corrected). But the problem with your comments more specifically about the topic at hand (media) is that you tar one side of the intraconservative argument (Christian social conservatives) with the market-worship of the other (libertarians).

I guess if you don't have a television, though, you might have missed the implication of the "South Park Republicans" reference.

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 21, 2005 9:38 AM

"the problem with your comments more specifically about the topic at hand (media) is that you tar one side of the intraconservative argument (Christian social conservatives) with the market-worship of the other (libertarians)."

Good point. Just as I don't believe a one-word label (liberal) adequately explains my beliefs and positions, I can understand that the one-word label of "conservative" is inadequate to entirely explain the beliefs and positions of all who fit under that label.

"I'm not going to get into the reason you believe the government is a better entity to make such decisions (as I presume you do, although I'm happy to be corrected)"

A fair presumption, and basically correct. The reason that I believe the government is a better entity to make such decisions is because I believe in democracy - in government of the people, by the people and for the people. In other words, I believe that we the people should make decisions about such things ( and yes, the media is the topic at hand here, but I am personally more concerned about the other issues I mentioned) - and I believe that in a democracy, the government is the means through which the people decide such things.

We the people, speaking and acting through our elected representitives, can consider more factors when making such decisions than does "the market". The only factor in the impersonal decisions of the market is money.

Clearly, the United States government does not always fully uphold the values of democracy, freedom, and justice. I think most conservatives and liberals would agree with that. I also think that most c's and l's would also agree that, despite our many failures, those are the goals that we (as a nation) share, even though we may greatly disagree about how to attain them.

Back to my original question, in regard to rightwingsparkle's post:

"...Imagine that someone you love more than anything in this world, your child, is constantly being depicted in a gross or perverted manner in print...That is the way religious conservatives feel about this culture..."

Are you saying that this culture is the child of religious conservatives, and no one else?


"...the anger and sadness we feel fighting the Golaith of our society who seems to only care about what adults want and not what kid's need."

I feel that anger and sadness as well - but I am not nearly as angry and sad about the possibility of children hearing a "dirty" word or seeing an exposed breast. I am angry and sad about the millions of children growing up in poverty, even though they live in the richest country in the world. I am angry and sad about the children who can't afford to see a doctor or a dentist or even to have enough food to eat. I am angry and sad that a great "Christian" president would call ketchup a vegetable in order to spend less money on school lunches for children who don't have access to adequate nutrition. I am angry and sad that we always seem to find the money to build more prisons, yet we are so miserly with the money that we spend on schools.

I am angry and sad that conservatives' compassion for children (other than their own) seems to end once the umbilical cord is cut; and I am angry and sad that liberals' compassion for children doesn't begin until that cut is made.

Access to food and medical care are life and death issues, access to quality education is a life determining issue; I just don't see that swear words or exposed breasts are anywhere close on that scale of importance.

And again: if you are so offended by such things (as I am by other aspects of popular media) I challenge you to kick the habit, kill your television. There are far better forms of entertainment, and far more accurate sources of information available. If that is an unthinkable thought for you, ask yourself why. Is there the slightest chance that you are addicted to TV? Are you like one of those smokers who "could quit anytime you want to?" Prove it to yourself; unplug it for a week and see what happens.

Posted by: reality based at January 21, 2005 5:22 PM

Norm,

Perhaps I thought the excerpt would be clearer out of context than it actually is. The "child" in the analogy is Christ, being assaulted by the culture.

Regarding the rest of your comments, I've responded here.

Posted by: Justin Katz at January 21, 2005 8:18 PM

Wow! Why didn't I think of that a couple of dozen years ago when I just started my family. Get rid of the TV... so I'd have to explain to the kids why all their friends have one but we don't... so I'd get to blame the other kids parents for letting mine watch TV when they were over there... so I'd get to ground my kids for watching TV when they weren't suppose to... so my kids would have a burning desire to spend all of there time over at somebody else's place where the air time was unrestricted. Yep, sounds so practical I'm astounded. (oops... forgot the sarcasm tags)

Posted by: smmtheory at January 22, 2005 1:10 AM