North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

Antidisestablishmentarianism

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Dean’s in a ranting mood (if you don’t like cursing, pass on the link):

Am I a conservative, a “right winger?” Sure, I guess so, if you count someone who’s pro-choice on abortion, is flabbergasted at the selfishness and mean-spiritedness of anyone who would put someone in jail for smoking pot, favors gay marriage, supports human rights organizations, and would love to see a world united in democratic governments a “conservative right-winger.”

I think what bemused me most when reading your missive, Mr. Barlow, was your description of the young man who was probably popular and on the football team and supported Bush, while you the nerdy outsider supported Kerry, and you saw the whole thing through some sort of 50s-vs.-60s lens. Nothing could show me just how insular so many on the left have become than that. Few of the war supporters I know fit such stereotypes at all. “Think for yourself, question authority” is something a lot of us sucked in with our mothers’ milk–and by the way, you know we kids who were born in the 1960s are now in our 30s and 40s and parents ourselves, right? A lot of us grew up being told to question authority, and a lot of that authority we now question is the left-wing orthodoxy of your generation, an orthodoxy many of us bought into as it was taught to us in school, in the books we read, and especially in the universities, not to mention in a lot of what we see out of Hollywood today.

We came to reject a lot of that orthodoxy as we got older and learned to think better for ourselves–not because we “embraced the establishment,” but because we were questioning the establishment. You may laugh, but a whole lot of what’s “questioning the establishment” to you seems like the establishment itself to a hell of a lot of people like me. Culturally, at least.

There’s so much going on here.

I’m looking at the culture through the same chronological lens as Dean, but from where I sit, Dean isn’t questioning the establishment very hard.

Think for yourself, question authority is something a lot of us sucked in with our mothers’ milk” does mean something very different to people my age (mid 30’s) than it does to the Boomer generation. The Boomers can’t seem to see how that bit of wisdom could ever be turned on them, kind of like MacBeth never saw regicide undermining his kingship. It is frightening and sad to behold. They are so closed minded they have lost the support of people like Dean, and they can’t see to understand why. Here’s a clue for the really slow: intolerance of outside opinion. New ideas and critical realism are being locked out.

On the other hand, Dean’s whole pro choice and gay marriage thing means that establishment sexuality hasn’t been questioned at all. To me, that is establishment sexuality. I questioned it and I reject it. And now I’m in the same position Dean is, wondering how on earth he can get people to look with fresh eyes at it’s underlying assumptions.

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Written by Curt

November 11, 2004 at 11:28 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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