Has it ever occurred to anyone that the things we most often argue about or, in the very least, become most annoyed by are issues we’re able to vote on?
There are many examples of media types across the spectrum who talk about a culture war. It’s a “mostly true” statement that these pundits tend to reside on the political right. Most offer opinions on the way forward without providing any substance on the matter. The culture war has spun itself into the realm of pop culture by the same people who claim to address it by click baiting the general public without first separating fact from fiction.
The glaring example is the seemingly intentional effort of ignoring the fact that popular culture isn’t culture.
We have blurred the lines between diversions with that of tradition by no fault (generationally speaking) of our own. How then, do you purport to dissect an issue without first identifying the subject on the table?
The simple answer is we (and they) don’t.
Pundits couldn’t care less about feeding into a frenzy, that is, if they themselves are aware of what they are doing. To be fair, most probably aren’t.
Here I will offer some observations on this conflation of daily comforts with that of American culture. The first is:
Baseball has long been considered America’s favorite pastime. That axiom in itself is so ingrained in the everyday lexicon that it’s difficult to say who actually coined the term. When a divisive issue like changing the name of a team because a number of people believe it to be offensive, the reaction is often equal and opposite. This is where it begins.
Some pundits will pound the desk and demand people wake up to push back on the grounds that what was presented is a legitimate affront to their freedom of expression. In actuality this is a straw man that, whether toppled or not, speaks nothing to actual culture (or the culture war, for that matter). One can argue the truth all day in defense of the topic that the term “Indian” isn’t offensive but the groups who proposed this in the first place aren’t concerned with truth. To them, the narrative has been set, the bar moved, and another battle in the culture war is lost on these grounds.
The issue of Native American team names or mascots is a strictly pop culture issue. If the public could focus, with the help of pundit guides, on actual culture maybe some real tangible changes could occur.
If some leftist group wants to shame the term or take the name or change the mascot, let it be. They cannot take the culture, in that; they cannot stamp out individuals at the local park or school diamond playing stick ball. That is the part that is culture.
The example of threats to Thanksgiving come to mind as well when writing about Native American terms and names in sports. The pundits will often claim a culture under attack when people say the holiday should disappear because of any number of atrocities when, in fact, they can never take away the tradition of families getting together once a year in celebration for all they’ve been blessed with. It stands that whether that day is in November or not, recognized nationally or not, it makes zero difference. The culture is in the act itself and not the cursory noise.
This also brings to mind the Christmas holiday. Suppose that over the centuries Christians focused on Fir trees, solstice, songs and the like; there’d simply be no Christmas to celebrate. The survival of the holiday still exists because Christians did not rely solely on gifts or any other pop culture issue but instead remained focused on the birth of Jesus Christ.
Next up is Superman. I bring this up because the character is one of the biggest pop culture icons in American history. Liberal writers have been firmly in control of the character from the start and have framed storylines that delved further and further into a sort of self hatred of the character in concert with the move from left of center to totally off a cliff.
Forget the division by design paradigm that they suggest by stating the character needs to represent this or that marginalized group. Just let it go. The real culture is in the idea that all Americans, regardless of orientation, were already represented in the motto of: Truth, Justice, and the American Way.
It’s a classically liberal idea.
So, in closing, our American culture and our identity shouldn’t be relegated to clownish representations given to us by outlets such as trade paperbacks, television, movies, sports conglomerates, or anything else. It’s represented by individuals through the family dynamic and lasted by tradition.
Stop playing into the hands of divisive issues with no win solutions and instead make a choice. Recognize that there is a real problem in our culture but know that it’s a losing battle when you buy into a false narrative designed to label you a bigot or racist or whatever.
The way forward as I see it is to remain firm and courageous in your beliefs and always think twice about anything you are told, especially when you get the feeling that something isn’t right but you can’t always articulate what it is that is wrong.