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Cultural capital.

August 1, 2009, 2:50 pm

After reading this, Yglesias’s reviewlet of Funny People, as well as David Denby’s* recent rave, I wish that I could go see the film. Alas, I don’t go to the movies; I have kids. Anyway, it’s this line of Yglesias’s that caught my attention:

It also follows Knocked Up by offering a bracingly conservative vision of family life and obligation. It’s not a point of view I agree with, but it’s well articulated and done so in a way that’s divorced from the hypocrisy and petty moralizing of mainstream social conservatism.

What interests me here, beyond my own pathetic circumstances, is the question of how much more cultural traction conservatism would have if there were more legitimately talented conservative artists. I’m not saying there are none, mind you, but there really seem to be very few that can compete in an unfettered market of ideas, images, and songs with progressives/liberals/weirdos-like-Bjork.

But if there were, what would happen? Would the culture shift noticeably? I’m guessing it would. The easy test, perhaps, is to consider other nations where there are gifted conservative musicians, filmmakers, and authors, whose work captures the public’s fancy. Do such places exist?** And if so, what’s it like there?

* Who I still do not like. And whose opinions I still do not trust. And yet…

** Remember, I’m an Americanist. Which is to say, provincial. And poorly dressed.

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