Culture Through Political Lenses

I enjoyed this post on Lawyers Guns and Money about how the right wing tends to view culture through a political prism- stuff that makes fun of conservatives makes them angry.  There’s certainly a group of conservative bloggers who go out of their way to get enraged about various points of pop culture.

But I also agree with commenter Chuchundra:

I agree with your general premise, but if you think that there aren’t a large contingent of liberals who filter every bit of entertainment through their politics and ideology for approval or disapproval before they allow themselves to enjoy it or not, you’re just not reading the right blogs.

This is definitely the case.  I’m not saying this to make a both-sides-do-it point.  I just think it’s funny how some people do this.  Then I start to think, do I do this?

*puckers lips, blows air out*

I’m mostly a garden variety liberal, but I don’t want to think I need some movie or TV show to validate my views.  That’s just lame.  And tedious.  I want to be entertained.

So I’m trying to think about times when I watched a movie and thought “Oh crap, this must have been written by a Republican.”  I guess it happens.  Was I able to enjoy it anyway?  Let’s discuss.

One of the great right leaning movies of the 80s was Conan the Barbarian.  This was the triumph of one man’s individual battle against a debauched collectivist society.  Red meat all the way.  I LOVE THAT MOVIE.  Up there with Pretty in Pink (also written by a Republican) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High as one of my favorite 80s movies.

Why?  Well it’s rad.  It’s campy.  It’s got naked ladies.  It’s got action.  Arnold was at his buffest best.  It’s imminently quotable-

Valor pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!

Damn I love that film.

A similar film, to me, was 300.  My liberal father likes it a lot.  I did not.  I didn’t feel that it was heavy on the propaganda, but I did think it was too over the top in its treatment of the Persians.  And this just made me snort:

rumor has it the Athenians have already turned you down, and if those philosophers and, uh, boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve, then…

I’m not trying to be pedantic, but I majored in Classical Studies and the Spartans were just as into boys as the Athenians were.

But was it the political message that turned me off?  Not really.  I just found it boring.  Too stylized.  It seemed like half the movie was in slow motion.

I never watched Passion of the Christ, that great conservative cultural event of the early 2000s.  I’m not religious and it just looked gross.

One thing I don’t like, and never have in any format, is Batman.  I don’t like it that it takes some rich asshole who thinks he’s above the law to do something about crime.  I would not like it if my city contracted out its crime fighting duties to a dude in a fucking bat costume.  The whole premise is lame, and I have to agree that’s probably because of my political leanings.


I LOVED the Iron Man movies.  Which are about a rich asshole who thinks he’s above the law fighting crime.  Not only a rich asshole, a former arms dealer.  After getting almost killed by terrorists he’s not even really reformed- he just doesn’t want to sell arms anymore.  Yeah yeah, he’s talking about sustainable energy and whatnot, but let’s not kids ourselves, Iron Man and Batman are basically the same character in different costumes.

So what’s the difference?  Well one, Robert Downey Jr.  A Republican.  Who plays Batman?  A bunch of tools.  Also- the Joker?  Lame.  I don’t care who plays him.  Mickey Rourke as a villain?  Rad.

I’ve just realized I have written a whole lot of self-serving crap about how I am so smart I can ignore these political issues in films.  That’s bullshit and you shouldn’t believe it.  I am going about this the wrong way.  I’d have to write about my reactions to liberal films where I walked out of the theater thinking “YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT.”  I saw those Michael Moore documentaries.  I am full of crap and am just as bad as anyone else.  Damn.  This was a dumb post.  But I’m hitting publish anyway, cause fuck it.


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