Posted by Curt on 14 November, 2017 at 9:41 am. 4 comments already!



Since the Trojan War, generations have always trashed their own age in comparison to ages past. The idea of fated decadence and decline was a specialty of 19th-century German philosophy.

So we have to be careful in calibrating generations, especially when our own has reached a level of technology and science never before dreamed of (and it is not a given that material or ethical progress is always linear).

Nonetheless, the so-called Baby Boomers have a lot to account for — given the sorry state of entertainment, sports, the media, and universities.

The Harvey Weinstein episode revealed two generational truths about Hollywood culture.

One, the generation that gave us the free-love and the anything-goes morals of Woodstock discovered that hook-up sex was “contrary to nature.” Sexual congress anywhere, any time, anyhow, with anyone — near strangers included — is not really liberating and can often be deeply imbedded within harassment and ultimately the male degradation of women.

Somehow a demented Harvey Weinstein got into his head that the fantasy women in his movies who were customarily portrayed as edgy temptresses and promiscuous sirens were reflections of the way women really were in Los Angeles and New York — or the way that he thought they should be. It was almost as if Weinstein sought to become as physically repulsive and uncouth as possible — all the better to humiliate (through beauty-and-the-beast asymmetry) the vulnerable and attractive women he coerced.

Two, Weinstein reminded us, especially in his eleventh-hour medieval appeals for clemency by way of PC attacks on the NRA and Donald Trump, that mixing politics with art was, as our betters warned, always a self-destructive idea.

Hollywood ran out of original thought about three decades ago, and the people noticed and so keep avoiding the theaters. How many times can a good-looking, young, green progressive crusader expose a corporate pollution plot, or battle a deranged band of southern-twangy Neanderthals, South African racists, or Russian tattooed thugs, or a deep-state CIA cabal in sunglasses and shiny suits? How many times can the nth remake of a comic-book hero be justified by updating him into a caped social-justice warrior from L.A.? Ars gratia politicorum is suicide.

The ruling generation in Hollywood is out of creative ideas mostly because it invested in political melodrama rather than human tragedy. It cannot make a Western, not just because Santa Monica’s young men long ago lost the ability to sound or act like Texans in 1880, but because its politics have no patience with the real world of noble people who are often doomed, or flawed individuals who are nevertheless defined by their best rather than worst traits, or well-meaning souls who can cause havoc, or courageous men who fight for bad causes.

Political correctness has become Maoist: All art must serve progressive struggle, defined in Hollywood as good race and gender warriors pitted against bad racists and sexists. The result is monotony and boredom. All the cleavage, flexed biceps, cheap obscenity, rap-music scores, and car crashes cannot hide that lack of an idea.

This generation’s NFL apparat, the ESPN commentariat, and the higher-education administrative cadre also reveal generational symptoms of exhaustion. They all have forgotten their original mission: respectively, athleticism; sports commentary; and inductive thinking, civic education, and disinterested inquiry. Instead, given their money and adulation, sports and colleges puffed themselves up as Olympians who from high could sermonize and implicitly insult their own patrons (fans, viewers, students, and alumni).

Being ideologically correct was felt to bring more career dividends than being ethical, autonomous, or knowledgeable. It is hard to imagine that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell brings either wisdom or even common sense to his job. Thousands of everyday Americans could have just as easily destroyed the NFL for far less than Goodell’s tens of millions in compensation over the years.

The NFL always had to be careful to square its self-created circle of enticing viewers to watch brutal gladiatorial games in an age when few have ever turned a live chicken into an evening meal. In a society where racial quotas and proportional representation are institutionalized as “diversity” and “inclusion,” the NFL was an odd exempt meritocracy of nearly 80 percent African-American players (or, in PC lingo, an exclusionary league that did not “look like” America).

In age when nearly everyone does his own Internet, video game, and minor sport thing, the NFL still assumed that millions would celebrate a national collective event on perpetual communal Sundays. Instead of being aware of its own inconsistencies and fragilities, the NFL bureaucracy rammed its extraneous agendas down the throat of America, as if twentysomething, half-educated multimillionaires were the moral superiors to those who paid their salaries. Politics are destroying the NFL.

Ditto ESPN — the now-ossified sports-commentary network. Viewers do not demand graduate-school analyses from their sports commentators. They wanted some bruised ex-gladiators who knew the blood and smell of the arena to give them some firsthand insight into sports heroics. Instead, our generation of ESPN executives gave the worst of both worlds: nerds and failed pundits masquerading as Socratic sportscasters expounding cosmic theories about social justice, side by side with ex-jocks poorly mimicking them. No one should have to pay to watch that. Entertainment can be many things — if it is not grating.

The problem with a dying media is not just new social media, the Internet, or 24-hour cable news. Those are just accelerants. The culprit is mostly politically driven ignorance. Today’s journalists graduate with majors that confer thinly disguised degrees in different sorts of activism.

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