26 July 2003

I just took a very, very discouraging trip around various news sources today. Why I am discouraged, I do not know; I expected this.

   Is it just my imagination, or did Monty Python's Life of Brian accurately depict the situation of the pathetic left in this country? The right (Romans) is pretty unified, and although it certainly has its internal battles, those battles tend to be pretty much of personal aggrandizement. The left, however, forgets that its common enemy is the Romans, not the Judean People's Front. Or was that People's Front of Judea? In any event, the internecine squabbels on this side of the aisle both prevent disputation of ideas, instead of organizations, and force opinions toward the center. If this also sounds a great deal like the Spanish Civil War, and the complete inability of the socialists and left to unify against the fascists, I am afraid that is all too accurate.

   The reason that windbags like, say, Rush Limbaugh can get away with the illogic and sloppy research that is their trademark is that there is nobody of comparable views attacking them; the only attacks come from this side, which in turn generates counterattacks by all of Rush's (or whoever's) fellow travellers. Sadly, much the same can be said for the arts in general; artists and distributors are so busy attacking each other that nobody attacks artistic illiteracy or cooptation by commodities on the one hand and pretentious pseudoart on the other. Robert Altman was right.