The Corner

Can a Conservative Listen to Pink Floyd?

At the end of my column today, I have an item on our friend John Virtes, NR’s longtime research director, who is retiring shortly. I mention that he is encyclopedic about music, especially rock, and that, at his farewell party last night, he quoted a Pink Floyd lyric. Anyway, this item triggered a letter from a liberal reader, and, after I share it with you, I’ll have a lil’ comment:

Mr. Nordlinger,

What in the world is going on with conservatives and music? There’s something a little scary in the thought that a conservative like your friend JV might be an expert on rock. [“Might be”?] What kind of conservative would know a Pink Floyd lyric anyway? Surely not any conservative who has read Richard Weaver. From time to time I’ve also picked up from your pieces that you know and actually like some 20th-century concert music. Again, I’m puzzled. . . . As a liberal, I’m pleased to see conservative apostasy on such cultural matters, but that doesn’t abate the mystery of why the error occurred in the first place.

I think I know what WFB would say — something I heard him say when confronted with liberal astonishment of this type: Really, the fellow ought to get out more. Maybe we could introduce him around?

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