Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

28 April 2005

Something I wanted to share / Politics

First off, this article from All Things Considered. Nina Totenberg, my favorite reporter--because she reports on my favorite topic--gives a quick play-by-play of the Supreme Court's hearing of the Arthur Andersen case. Such good times.

Also, I was reading an article in The Gay and Lesbian Review the other day and something caught my eye. It was a review of a book called What's the Matter with Kansas?. The book was penned by a man named Thomas Frank and the review by Don Gorton. The title of the book is great, obviously, and I was drawn to the review. It doesn't seem like it's something I eventually want to read, really, but I found this fascinating paragraph, to wit:
Frank sees the culture wars as a diversionary exercise in political theatre, highly charged but largely unsuited to political resolution. Right-wingers are left to shake their firsts impotently at the increasing visibility of gays and lesbians, the prevalence of sex and violence in the media, teaching of evolution in schools, and liberal abortion rights. A force more powerful than the grassroots conservative movement is the corporate interest in maximizing profits, which puts sex and violence on TV because that's what sells. Working-class right-wingers expend their energies on symbolic cultural causes while corporate interests rule national economic life largely unfettered.

Gorton disagrees with Frank's assessment of the culture wars as--shall we say--inconsequential. He, like most left-minded thinkers, believes that a woman's right to choose is constantly in jeopardy and that gays and lesbians will be trampled upon with impunity by the religious right. And yes, the conservatives have been loud and obnoxious lately--actually, they were always obnoxious, they just seem to be screaming louder. But, honestly, I think that Frank is not really interested in arguing about the culture wars at all. Frank offers that the culture wars are not the point. American economics (and therefore American politics) are run by corporate profit margins and not by the grassroots religious-conservative movement(s), as loud and obnoxious as they are.