March 12, 2003

The Culture of Imbecility The

The Culture of Imbecility

The "moronic inferno," to borrow a Martin Amis phrase, is in increasingly full bloom. De Tocqueville predicted many years ago that cultural production in an advanced liberal democracy would inexorably decline. With the decline of patronage the "artist" would have to go hustle and peddle his or her wares to the great public to survive economically. Of course, this necessary appeal to a wider audience would often cause the quality of the cultural production to detiorate dramatically. Here are a few prime examples of such trends.

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, rooting for the defeat of U.S. troops by a genocidal thug.

"Between songs, the pugnacious Hynde, in a classic black T-shirt and jeans, bantered and battled with the crowd. She dedicated "You Know Who Your Friends Are" to "all you junkies and f--," gave a shout-out to the late Joe Strummer, opined that she hopes the United States loses if it goes to war with Iraq ("Bring it on! Give us what we deserve!"), and introduced the song "Fools Must Die" with the self-deprecating quip, "I'll show you how it's done."

Great, cheer on the junkies while rooting, in essence, for your countries troops to die. Morally repulsive by any measure, but, of course, drearily predictable. I'm sure the crowd roared its approval.

Novelist (we use these terms quite loosely these days, save for prize hungry quarters of old London) Tom Robbins:

"Quite probably the worst thing about the inevitable and totally unjustifiable war with Iraq is that thereÕs no chance the U.S. might lose it. America is a young country, and intellectually, emotionally, and physically, it has been exhibiting all the characteristics of an adolescent bully, a pubescent punk whoÕs too big for his britches and too strong for his age. Someday, perhaps, we may grow out of our mindless, pimple-faced arrogance, but in the meantime, it might do us a ton of good to have our butts kicked. Unfortunately, like most of the targets we pick on, Iraq is much too weak to give us the thrashing our continuously overbearing behavior deserves, while Saddam is even less deserving of victory than Bush."

And the Beastie Boys have a new song out "A World Gone Mad":

Sample lyrics:

First the ÔWar On TerrorÕ now war on Iraq
WeÕre reaching a point where we canÕt turn back
LetÕs lose the guns and letÕs lose the bombs
And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon
Well IÕll be sleeping on your speeches Ôtil I start to snore
ÔCause I wonÕt carry guns for an oil war
As-Salamu alaikum, wa alaikum assalam
Peace to the Middle East peace to Islam
Now donÕt get us wrong Ôcause we love America
But thatÕs no reason to get hysterica
TheyÕre layinÕ on the syrup thick
We ainÕt waffles we ainÕt havinÕ it

Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so whatÕs the deal?

What a luxury it must be to not have to grapple with the great perils of the 21st Century presented by the intersection of easy proliferation of WMD, rogue regimes and transnational terror groups. How easy to recline in cool, ironic pose and suggest that your country be beaten in war without ever really having to worry about the consequences as such a scenario is so extremely remote. These low-grade entertainers, deep down, know this well. They therefore realizetheiressential life-styles are not at risk by any battlefield debacle. But while aware (saddened?) that the U.S. won't lose the actual conflict with Iraq, they are at the same time abjectly unaware about the real dangers facing the U.S. in terms of an attack that would dwarf 9/11.

But hey, "that's no reason to get hysterica."

Posted by Gregory at March 12, 2003 12:40 AM
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