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Blog // Thoughts
April 17, 2005

Culture Wars Are So Lame

I became a fan of David Brooks’ writing a few years back with Bobos in Paradise and his most recent book, On Paradise Drive did not fail to dissapoint. Well in his Op-Ed piece today for the New York Times, Public Hedonism and Private Restraint, he has nailed a fantastic image for stale ideological debates […]

I became a fan of David Brooks’ writing a few years back with Bobos in Paradise and his most recent book, On Paradise Drive did not fail to dissapoint. Well in his Op-Ed piece today for the New York Times, Public Hedonism and Private Restraint, he has nailed a fantastic image for stale ideological debates and emerging attitudes towards them.

“…it’s becoming clear that we are seeing the denouement of one of the longest and increasingly boring plays on Broadway, the culture war.

Since the 1830’s, we’ve witnessed the same struggle. One camp poses as the party of responsibility, lamenting the decadence of culture and the loss of traditional morality. The other side poses as the army of liberation, lamenting Puritanism, repression and the menace of the religious right.

No doubt some people will continue these stale kabuki battles on into their graves: the 50’s against the 60’s, the same trumped-up outrage, the same self-congratulatory righteousness, the same fund-raising-friendly arguments again and again.

But today’s young people appear not to have taken a side in this war; they’ve just left it behind.”

I’m not in a position to debate the sociological claims that make up the rest of Brooks’ piece. But my goodness, have I been privy to lots of “stale kabuki battles” and “fund-rasing-friendly arguments.” Moreover, whilst not being part of the demographic that Brooks is addressing in this piece, I feel the same urgency to leave behind the whole ideological construct of the culture wars.

As soon as you enagage that ‘war’ you end up immediately bent and distorted out of your natural shape, because the terrain is so deeply rigged with conceptual traps and mines. It is not for me. To steal a line from my favourite political movie, Primary Colours, ‘I’m not debating the players, I just don’t like the game.”

[tags] David Brookes, Culture War [/tags]

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Responses
John Forth 18 years ago

Perhaps the only REAL solution to the “culture” wars is a present time Divine Revelation which clarifies ALL the usual “truth” claims, especially from the likes of David Brooks who like all so called “conservatives” is essentially an apologist for the Pentagon death machine–aka Eisenhower’s military- industrial complex which is THE dominant institution in the USA. The “culture” of death literally rules!

Grace shines

John Forth

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