If progressives wonder why they began to falter at the end of the 20th century, I can tell them.
The great battles for black, workers’, and female rights having been (mostly) won. So-called “liberals” started calling themselves “progressives” at the precise moment they began, perversely, living in (and off) the past.
As the stakes got smaller — a side effect of the shift in the Left’s locus from the streets and the factory to the academy — the rhetoric became more comically overblown.
So a girl demanding admittance to an all-male military school was held up as the Rosa Parks of the Citadel. (After dragging the school through an expensive lawsuit, and winning, the stupid chick dropped out her first week).
Some New York transvestites at a Mafia-run bar got maudlin drunk after Judy Garland died then attacked some cops — and “Stonewall” was held up as synonymous with “Selma.” Baby seals were just like Bangladesh babies, with snow.
And when faced with opposition, progressives bear down and chant the names of the long dead — “Kennedy” and “King” and “McCarthy” and “Murrow” — like Macbeth’s witches. They have to, because — if they’re presented to the general public without vintage accessories possessed of good provenance — the latest leftist causes are laughably trivial, less to do with group “rights” or even “needs” than petulant, idiosyncratic, individual “wants” and “demands.”
Whereas libertarians and conservatives accept the obvious — “A = A” — progressives insist that nothing is what it is. Word definitons are fluid. Everything is a conspiracy. Each new (idiotic) cause is the fun house mirror image of a noble, long ago moment of glory. If the left didn’t craft such analogies, the average person would never support them. But terrified of ending up on the wrong side of history, ordinary folks hesitate to laugh at the notion that two gay men picking on a Christian bed and breakfast owner are the moral equivalent of the Freedom (bareback?) Riders.
Give progressives credit: they DO claim to love recycling…
And recycling is what passes for the art of film making today. It’s bad enough that Hollywood seems incapable of producing movies that aren’t remakes, sequels and barely disguised rip offs. Why should documentaries be immune to taking the easy way out?
Later this year, Evocateur will debut, telling the story of the late Morton Downey Jr.
Aaron Barnhart of TV Barn and the Kansas City Star writes:
When I was in college in Chicago, I would listen to Downey on WMAQ, the AM country station that had recently flipped to talk and had hired the onetime singer-songwriter, then in his 50s, to stir things up. Downey had arrived by way of Sacramento, his latest stop in a long and bumpy broadcast career. He’d been fired from KFBK in 1983 for referring to a Sacramento city councilman as a “Chinaman.”
As I recall, he didn’t meet with much success at MAQ. But like Rush Limbaugh — who was hired as his replacement in Sacramento — the chain-smoking, sneering Downey just needed the right conditions in order to launch into the media stratosphere.
That turned out to be “The Morton Downey Jr. Show,” taped in Seacaucus, N.J., and a sensation in the late 1980s. Why then? Why him? Why the conditions just ripe for a Morton Downey to invade the media space with his yelling, his insults, his insane studio audience and over-the-top daily confrontations?
NewsReal readers can guess what’s coming next even before the trailer for Evocateur spells it out (with help from a talking head I believe to be Stanley Crouch):
Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are the new Morton Downey Jrs. A brief montage of supposed latter-day Downeys displays pictures of Rush and Beck, but not Keith Olbermann, Rosie O’Donnell or Ed Schultz — or one-time trash TV host Geraldo Rivera.