Codependency

Bill Vallicella wrote it, so I don’t have to:

Trash talkers and cultural polluters of all stripes should be opposed, defunded, and shunned.

Rational liberals agree that Imus is a non-issue:

The media as a whole (especially CNN & Fox) have no place to criticize Imus for the offensive things he said.

Even hip-hop artists are wondering what it all means:

Where did we drop the ball? How ironic that our parents missed the boat and now 20 years later they blame us for something they should’ve nipped in the bud back in the days.

Oh! The groaning and shuffling, the mumbling, the angry denunciations, the whiny defensiveness. You would think this concerned a couple of NBA players rather than a worthless talk-show flake and some earnest, sportsmanlike women who play college basketball.

Popular culture as a whole operates at an adolescent level, which is why the spectacle of muted, yet shocking expressionism and and hypocritical recrimination closely resembles a scuffle in the hallway of a suburban public school. The media outlets are integral parts of that adolescent culture, helping to echo back the shrillest parts repeatedly until only the root syllables reverberate in the air.

What was previously unselfconscious faddishness or edgy ironic cultural criticism gets dragged out for public ridicule, like a green polyester disco shirt with paisley swirls and extra-wide lapels.

Next week someone else will get their chance to have their worldview battered, to be reminded that everyone does not respect their opinions, their heritage, their appearance, their jokes, their music, their superstitions, their prejudices, or their rationalizations.

The soaring idealism of universal enlightenment through self-actualization will be further brutalized, only to rise up again with fitful defiance, staring into the eyes of its oppressor and sputtering, “I’ll make you love me!”

Update (4/17/07)

Jason Whitlock goes after Sharpton and Jackson, who some white people call “race hustlers.”

I don’t think that’s a fair characterization. They are just opportunistic idealists. Any white people who feel victimized by them need to get a grip. I mean, from the way the “victims” of “race hustling” acted, I’d say they were asking for it.

The more serious charge comes from black people who consider Sharpton and Jackson outdated and ineffective.

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4 thoughts on “Codependency

  1. “Popular culture as a whole operates at an adolescent level”

    Aha: *this* explains some of what goes on in the blogosphere!

  2. The blogosphere is nothing less than a massive virtual public high school. So, public school does prepare students for something useful.

  3. I had an interesting conversation about this with a couple of the prisoners (both Black and both of the opinion that Jackson/Sharpton are ineffective) I work with. Their view: By paying so much attention to Imus, Sharpton/Jackson gave him too much power.

    It’s a valid point but given the cacophony that is the ‘public’ (?) sphere nowadays, I am not sure ‘trash talkers’ can be opposed *without* a lot of people putting a lot of energy into it.

    So I cannot tell what to think about that. But I do think that this idea – or diagnosis – of large parts of the current culture as ‘adolescent’ explains a *whole* lot of what goes on generally. Illuminating.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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