If you read alicublog regularly, you know that Mr. Edroso really, really likes to cover the “What are wingnuts saying about popular culture these days?” beat. Hell, that’s one of the reasons I love the blog; his kinda window into the wingnut mind fascinates me.
Well, anyway, if you’ve been following this soap opera, I suggest you develop of a case of explosive amnesia after each episode, because if you don’t you will absolutely get a mean case of whiplash. That’s because half the time they’re complaining that most entertainment has a liberal bent and the other half of the time they’re smugly ruminating on how show “X” is secretly conservative.
This got me thinking: Why are liberals able to enjoy so many shows without first filtering them through a political lens? Is it because we suspect that most of the folks in the writers’ room are liberal? (I do, by the way.) Is it because most entertainment is created with liberals in mind? Is it because liberals are not psychotic? Ya know, I really don’t know. I think it may be a little from Column A and a little from Column C.
Here is one thing I noticed when I started running through some of the shows I’ve enjoyed through the aughts and beyond: So many indulge in near-constant swipes at anyone sitting under the umbrella of liberalism (to include feminists and the LBGT community.) I’ll never forget the episode of “Will and Grace” where Will supported the gay candidate for city council just because the candidate was gay. Meanwhile Grace supported the Jewish woman just because the candidate was, well, Jewish and a woman. In the end we find out the gay candidate is a conservative douchebag and the woman candidate is racist. Then everybody races out to vote for “the black guy.” Now, obviously these writers are having fun with liberal folks who vet candidates through a lens of knee-jerk tribalism. And you know what? It was funny. Now, I don’t think that most liberals are this silly and shallow, but still…funny.
“Futurama” is, at times, a near-constant parade of hippy-punching. The show creates a bunch of staw-hippies, straw-liberals, straw-feminists, then knocks the stuffing out them. And when they’re not making gender-essentialist jokes, it’s freakin’ hilarious.
I confess to even loving the dour, hypersensitive, humorless feminist book store owners on “Portlandia.” Now, I don’t know if I’m able to enjoy them because I think the writers are purposely strawmanning feminists or because I highly doubt Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are frothing-at-the-mouth the conservatives. What I do know is the show is sketch after sketch of jabs at hipster-liberalism or liberal hipsterism…whatever. I mean, seriously, that’s all it is. And it is often hilarious.
“30 Rock” is, of course, one joke after another about how smooth and together (and ultimately sympathetic conservative Jack is) and how Liz is a goofy loser who is often jerky and hypocritical even while she’s busy spouting liberal/feminist platitudes. But during its first two seasons, it was so goddamn funny and brilliant it just about knocked the wind out of me.
I could go on and on and on. And on. If you pay attention–at all–to what popular culture is offering, you’ll see that it’s often liberals who are taking a beating, not conservatives. Why doesn’t this bother me?