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RE: Culture: Misconceptions

For this week’s episode of my ruminations on culture, I present to you a video and a situation.
Both, I think find the same ends, though for that reason, I think that this piece won’t win me many likes.  But that’s okay with me, the site is called “Free RADICAL Network” for a reason.

Regardless, on to the video.

As I have previously noted, I’m a fan of YouTube.  In addition to acting as a library of old, non syndicated TV shows, YouTube also functions as a mostly free market for anyone (provided you aren’t making films about Islam) who decides they want to upload content.  This allows for some very creative uses of the video medium.  One of my favorite examples of that creative freedom is Collective Cadenza, a group of musicians dedicated to “making musical video experiments” like “History Of Lyrics That Aren’t Lyrics”, “History of Whistling” and “History Of Wooing Men”, the video below, which got me wondering about feminism and its effect on culture.  Check it out now, I’ll meet you on the other side of the video plug in for a bit more reaction.

Pretty good until about 1996, right?  Clearly this video exhibits a trend in song lyrics that was only allowed to manifest itself through radical feminism’s iron grip on American culture, right?
That was certainly where my brain went after I watched the video for the first time.  I mean, how else can you explain it? Anyway, as I do most times when I see something heinous on the internet, I went to Facebook, posting the video and declaring that “Our [Men everywhere] plan of using feminism to get women to degrade themselves without us having to lift a finger has been a complete success!”
With that thought in my head and confidence in my heart, I announced to my editor that “I’m going to write about that music video I posted last night for my next RE: Culture I think.”  “I haven’t written about feminism really, but I think it shows a pretty big breakdown.”

I was met with “Oh, but think of the stuff they omitted from the forties & fifties.”

I’m not a musical historian, and I doubt that lyrics were even close to as raunchy as they are now, however, that question did cause me to second guess my premise.  What else could’ve caused this awful downward spiral of popular music?  And then I made a connection: Thomas Sowell talking about the myth of income stagnation among “households”.  In short, it is a fallacy that gets thrown about whenever liberals need to “explain” to people that they have “no shot” at upward mobility.  In reality “household” wage stagnation has been caused by fluctuations in the average size of a “household”.  (If you want to get into the weeds on this, check out @SwiftEconomics‘s excellent article on the subject here!)  So, after understanding that I had confused my correlation with causation, I made the realization that in addition to the sexual revolution and bra burning and stuff, it’s also gotten REALLY freaking easy to make albums over the course of the time periods covered by CDZA’s video.  The increased access to recording technology & the internet have allowed for a much wider spectrum of people to record and distribute their music; it only makes sense that there would be more choices available for us consumers to enjoy.

That is, of course, a very good thing, even if it means there’s more crappy music as a consequence.

I had, and have it out for radical feminism because I think it’s just another (hairy) leftist armpit of propaganda and idiocy; and I think that the Pro-Death opinions of the vast majority of radical feminists bear out my distaste.  However, I don’t do myself any favors by setting up them up as straw men like I did in my initial reaction. That brings me to my second topic: Gays in the Boy Scouts.

Right now, The Boy Scouts of America are being “bullied” into allowing outed gays into their ranks.
I say “bullied” because that’s how I’ve seen it described in a lot of the conservative corners where I lurk.  However, I disagree with this characterization.

As Americans, we have the right to associate freely; that isn’t something that should be obstructed.  In addition, it means that groups have the right to refuse admission to whomever they want, including gays, women, nerds, blacks, whites, Hispanics, tortoises and anyone named Steve.  If, as a group, you make your acceptance policy available to be perused by the general public, don’t be surprised if some of the groups you choose to exclude get upset about it.  Just as guaranteed as the right to free association, is the right to free speech; meaning that people can and WILL voice their issues with organizations.  Legally.
That’s not bullying; that’s America. If it WAS bullying, then you would be bullying them by claiming they’re bullies!

The point I’m trying to get at is: just like I shouldn’t have jumped on radical feminism because I detest it, we should not, as a movement, play the victim card here because some of us don’t like the idea of gays being in the Boy Scouts.  Besides, if the Boy Scouts do allow gays, and I think they will, our ability to freely associate means that if there is indeed a market for an alternative to the Boy Scouts, one will be created.

Personally, I don’t think it’ll be needed.

Cya (or not:/)

NJl