The Corner

Re: Conservatives in the Closet

Michael and Tevi: No surprise that the ongoing self-selecting process in certain fields is resulting in an intellectual self-segregation of conservatives and liberals, with the lefties happily ensconced in one of the professions they feel most safe in, academe. It’s perfect for them: A non-market-driven environment that prizes stability, longevity, and conformity over innovation; tenure, once meant to ensure intellectual diversity, has resulted in the exact opposite. Think medieval guild and you won’t be far wrong. As some leftist idiot wrote in Rules for Radical Conservatives:

RULE NO. 3: THE CULTURE IS THE MESSAGE – SO SEIZE IT

This is crucial. Accept the fact that the “culture” – by which, of course, I mean “us” – is never going to reflect your version of reality until you change it from within. Our infiltration and takeover of the “narrative” has been going on since the 1960s and reversing it is no small task. If you’re looking for acceptance or, worse, love from the mainstream media, your old college professor, or Hollywood, forget about it. This is a war you’ve long ago lost – but which you can still win if you choose to fight it…

The culture is where the action is, and it’s high time you folks started battling for the high ground – you know the redoubt from which your archers can launch their arrows, the place from which your castle defenders can pour down vats of boiling oil on our heads, just as we do to you every week from the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, all three broadcast networks, Time, Newsweek and two of the three cable news channels.

And yet, as we’ve seen, it’s a battlefield you’ve almost completely abandoned, and instead left to us. Where armies of the night once clashed, today only the lonely crows flap about in search of fresh eyeballs to peck; why, there hasn’t been a good Armageddon in these precincts since, well, the last Armageddon, and that was back in the days when Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians roamed the earth. So it’s long past high time you picked up your stubby little sword, checked to see that you’re packing what every self-respecting Scotsman packs under his kilt, and got on with the party.

In the meantime, if you want to see a closet, please join us conservative screenwriters in Hollywood:

Here’s what you need to know: Hollywood runs on fear and greed and as soon as the money lies on the opposite side of the left-right equation, fear and greed will switch teams. For a long time its unassailable position as the driver of the popular culture left it immune to the vagaries of the marketplace: as long as big “tent pole” movies made money, it could afford to indulge its leftist political leanings with films designed not to succeed at the box office but to succeed at Beverly Hills dinner parties. Hence the spate of Iraq War duds like Rendition and Redaction and Return to Bethlehem (okay, I made that last one up, sort of), all made with malice aforethought and with the full knowledge that they wouldn’t recoup a penny (not that any Hollywood film ever recoups – just ask any writer with monkey points!).

But, when you stop to think about it, in the larger culture – the “real” culture, as opposed to the imaginary culture that is served up in the cinema, seen on television and delivered to your progressively autocratic breakfast table each morning by the likes of Frank Rich, Paul Krugman and Thomas “I, Me, Mine and did I Mention Myself” Friedman of the New York Times – we’ve created a Bizarro-universe in which we’ve forced you to live, through the simple expedient of your having taken yourself out of the game.

  

 

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.

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