Archive for category Elitism and Fads
Bookworm at Right Wing News has this excellent article on the decline of social norms and values, and how popular culture trivializes virtues such as honesty and self-sacrifice and encourages self-centeredness, irresponsibility, and victimhood.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and we get a remarkably different pop culture vision for children’s moral and social development. Whether one thinks of books or television shows or movies, the message is always the same: being disrespectful to your peers and to adults is attractive; adults are buffoons; men are useless; clever manipulation often trumps honesty; and, at the end of the day, what really counts is your feelings. If any given episode of Miley Cyrus or I Carly or Suite Life of Zack and Cody actually carries a so-called moral, that moral isn’t that a specific behavior is wrong, but that the bad behavior might hurt someone else’s feelings. In other words, in the world our media hands to our children, all ethical questions are resolved by a quick glance at ones own navel. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Applebaum at American Thinker takes on the myth that Democrats are pushing that Americans are better off in the hands of “experts,” whom we should allow to run the country, as they can do it better than us. While we are told that we just don’t know what’s best for us, and that these experts do, and therefore should be put in the position of telling us what to do, Applebaum finds evidence that many of them aren’t as smart as they pretend to be: Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama, still in campaign mode after all this time in office, recently appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, apparently desperate to share in some of Stewart’s popularity with the Left.
On Comedy Central, the joke was on President Obama Wednesday night.
The president had come, on the eve of what will almost certainly be the loss of his governing majority, to plead his case before Jon Stewart, gatekeeper of the disillusioned left. But instead of displaying the sizzle that won him an army of youthful supporters two years ago, Obama had a Brownie moment.
The Daily Show host was giving Obama a tough time about hiring the conventional and Clintonian Larry Summers as his top economic advisor.
“In fairness,” the president replied defensively, “Larry Summers did a heckuva job.”
“You don’t want to use that phrase, dude,” Stewart recommended with a laugh.
Dude. The indignity of a comedy show host calling the commander in chief “dude” pretty well captured the moment for Obama. He was making this first-ever appearance by a president on the Daily Show as part of a long-shot effort to rekindle the spirit of ’08. In the Daily Show, Obama had a friendly host and an even friendlier crowd.
But, as in his MTV appearance a couple of weeks ago, Obama didn’t try to connect with his youthful audience. He was serious and defensive, pointing a finger at his host several times as he quarreled with the premise of a question.
“You wouldn’t say you’d run this time as a pragmatist? It wouldn’t be, ‘Yes we can, given certain conditions?’”
“I think what I would say is yes we can, but — “
Stewart, and the audience, laughed at the “but.”
Obama didn’t laugh. “But it’s not going to happen overnight,” he finished.
Try shouting that slogan at a campaign rally, dude.
Stewart is the kind of pretentious, left-wing elitist that Obama’s base is made of. And that base is laughing at him. Things don’t look too promising for 2012, do they, Barry?
Of course, the fact that Obama felt the need to do obeisance before Stewart says something else about the nature of the Left, as George Neumayr at American Spectator points out:
While Stewart engages in a lot of cutesy mugging and seemingly self-deprecating humor about such accolades, he takes himself very seriously indeed. His own liberal assumptions are exempt from mocking, and he claims to be deeply pained by “phoniness” at the highest levels of society. Yet somehow this concern about phoniness doesn’t extend to something as basic as his own name, which is not Jon Stewart but Jon Leibowitz, or his own role in high society. The self-proclaimed puncturer of all things phony has a phony name, and the jester has no intention of dropping his mask or reforming his juvenile ways.
The most respected liberal in America, according to one recent poll, throws his spit balls, then makes sure to hide in the bushes. On Crossfire several years back, he made it clear that he thinks others — but not he — are “hurting” society.
A cocky celebrity wanting it both ways is hardly news, but it is notable that the Democratic Party is now led in large part by comics. Stephen Colbert testified before Pelosi’s Congress as an honored guest; SNL alumnus Al Franken sits in the Senate; comedienne Joy Behar vets presidential candidates on The View; and Bill Maher is treated like Mark Twain.
These are the heavyweights of the leftist elite. No, they’re not the intellectuals that the Left-wing ostensibly worships, but they are certainly influential to an unwarranted degree. When faced with hard policy questions, they resort to crude humor and innuendo, and dodge solid positions and issues with childish antics and name-calling.
And I’m not even sure if any of them are even funny anymore. Unless, apparently, you’re a hypocritical Leftist that enjoys childish put-downs of conservatives.
Liberalism, perhaps under the influence of its foul-mouthed jesters, has suspended some of its old sensitivities, as its practitioners call Meg Whitman a “whore” (an honorable if insufficiently regulated line of work from liberalism’s point of view), Angle a “bitch,” and everyone from Juan Williams to Christine O’Donnell “crazy.” Is that any way for liberals to talk about the mentally ill? And who knew that New Age NPR executives used “feelings” and “psychiatrist” so easily in punchlines?
And this is one thing that I have noticed among the Left: the bile, crudity, and hypocrisy of their humor. I’ve heard leftist friends of mine make racist and sexist jokes that would get a Republican burned at the stake, and not see anything wrong with it. Because those rules of civility don’t count for them, because they’re special.
Obama believes that the state is the originator of all “rights.” He believes that it’s perfectly valid for him to get together with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and declare that free health care is a “right.” But rights don’t work that way. The danger of this statist view is that, what the state giveth, it can taketh away. A state that can create “rights” out of thin air can erase them just as easily. Think you have a right to self defense? Not if Obama and the gun haters get their way. Think you have a right to your property? Not when the redistributionists decide that it’s unfair for you to have more while others have less. This is why Obama refuses to acknowledge the origins of our rights, and why his deliberate ignorance is so dangerous. Read the rest of this entry »
Timothy Sandefur at the Volokh Conspiracy raises a point that should be obvious — especially to Leftists who decry “white privilege” — that regulations on business place a greater burden upon minority and poor business owners that do not have the influential political ties and greater wealth that allow large companies to navigate these obstacles.
Intrusive business regulations have a disproportionately negative impact on the poor and members of minority groups, who lack the political influence that whereby wealthy corporations and politically well-connected people are able to obtain special government favors. Nobody has done better scholarship on this point than Volokh Conspiracy blogger David Bernstein. The historical examples of the abuse of licensing laws and other regulations to oppress racial minorities are legion, and depressing. But they aren’t surprising. The lesson of public choice theory is that when government can redistribute wealth or opportunities, that power will fall into the hands of politically well-connected groups, who use it to their own advantage at the expense of less favored groups.
Sandefur provides some historical and legal examples of how these policies hamper minorities, often intentionally.
Democrats have been up in arms over Christine O’Donnell’s statement that as a teen, she dabbled in witchcraft. Apparently, such an admission makes her some kind of whackjob, and obviously unfit to run for a political office. This condemnation, of course, belies the claim that Democrats are tolerant of divergent religious views, similar to how their sexist criticism of strong conservative women belies their claim to feminism. Oddly enough, the generally left-leaning Wiccan crowd is angry at O’Donnell for her admission as well, apparently because admitting that you watched the Craft and hung out with Goth kids in high school to impress a boy you liked is somehow an affront to Wicca. Read the rest of this entry »
Kerrie at the Liberal Heretic (no relation) has an observation about the obesity epidemic:
In an honest post on Facebook, my partner Sharon pointed out that the generation of I’m Special, has caused a severe epidemic here in America.
We’re fat, ladies.
Not just a little bit. We aren’t thick, big and beautiful, or “curvy”. We’re huge.
What most amazes me, perhaps because of my age, is how people who’re morbidly obese still manage to have an incredibly high self esteem. The reason I say this, is because when I was a child, being fat wasn’t an acceptable state in which to be. It was seen as a lack of self control, or laziness.
Now I’m not saying people aren’t genetically predisposed to obesity, and there are certainly medical conditions that exacerbate the problem. But most of us are fat because we’re more sedentary, we eat crappy food, and we have this new PC form of acceptance for obesity. Such as the titles above. Read the rest of this entry »
Jonolan at Reflection from a Murky Pond presents an interesting question regarding the trend of leftist totalitarianism. Is our future one imagined by Orwell’s 1984, in which a brutal, repressive government relied upon fear and force to control its population? Or are we headed down the road of Huxley’s Brave New World, toward a future where social engineer has produced a population so narcissistic and dependent upon the government for its pleasures that it eagerly submits?
Orwell depicted a future society where books were banned and where the State would deprive us of information. Huxley posited a future society where would be no reason to ban a book, because there would be no one who would want to read one, but where so much data would be provided that we would be sunk into egoistic pacifism. Read the rest of this entry »
Brendan Goldman at American Thinker describes the inclusion of blatant anti-Semitism at a conference held by Columbia University, apparently defended as a legitimate academic perspective:
The population of Jews in the US is three percent … but [their 'genius'] leads to their controlling so much power that even presidents are scared [of them]. Whether [President Barack] Obama will be able to escape the notion that three percent of the country is so powerful that the top gentile in the land cannot criticize Israel is not clear.
The above statement was made not by a Hamas or KKK leader, but by Ali al-Amin Mazrui, director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at SUNY Binghamton. He was addressing the Ifriqiyya Colloquium Conference, held on the top floor of Columbia University’s International Affairs Building, on Thursday, May 6. Mazrui is a darling of the far left, appearing prominently in venues such as Democracy Now, as well as at Islamist forums like the Muslim Public Affairs Council.Columbia Professor Mahmood Mamdani and Barnard College Professor Nadia Abu El-Haj also sat on the panel, the former serving as moderator. Mamdani introduced the speaker, telling the audience that the Ifriqiyya Colloquium was about “gain[ing] some depth to the study of Africa.” It may require a Ph.D. to appreciate how Mazrui’s anti-Semitic diatribe relates to that mission statement.
Kurt Schlichter at NewsBusters has an interesting illustration at a prominent moral double standard held by the left. Many among the left are (rightly) outraged by the child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, especially since in many of the cases the abuse was covered up and offending priests moved to other areas. But some of those same people don’t seem to mind too much if the sex offender is respected artist and left-wing icon. Read the rest of this entry »