Every time I write about something in pop culture – movies, TV shows, some awards show, music, or what some celebrity has done, the “what” doesn’t matter – I inevitably get emails, tweets or comments from conservatives who proudly boast how they don’t participate in pop culture and, therefore, don’t care. “I haven’t had a TV in the house for 20 years” or “I haven’t gone to the movies since Jaws” are close approximations of what I hear. And good for you, don’t do or participate in anything you don’t want to be a part of. But no matter how much you insulate yourself from it yourself, it matters. If you aren’t at least aware of what is happening in the popular culture you will lose politically, period. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and forever.
I’m putting this out there because it matters. All I can do is offer food for thought, I can’t make anyone eat. But the culture influences politics in ways big and small. Hell, we just had a President known for being a reality TV star, so no one can seriously stay pop culture doesn’t matter.
The arguments over gender in schools sprang from movies no one saw but were showered with awards because they were deemed “important.” They didn’t have to make millions to make an impact, they just had to be seen by people in positions to make the message matter, and they were.
On a recent trip to our local library I came face to face with another example of how the culture matters, whether you like or not and whether you’re aware of it or not.
My wife was looking to get some books for the kids and I was making sure the kids didn’t destroy the library. It’s very small, so it wasn’t that difficult of a task. Then I came across a wall highlighting certain books under the banner, “YA Graphics for 2022.”
The “YA” part stands for young adults and the “graphics” part is about graphic novels, basically meaning books with a lot of drawings in them like a comic book. Every single one of them was some kind of left-wing message book.
We live in a rural-ish area that votes conservative, and even here the local library is overflowing with left-wing propaganda targeting kids. If you ever wondered why a book like “Gender Queer” got published when there are maybe a couple of hundred leftists in the country who would buy that garbage for their kids, it’s because the publishers know they can sell thousands of copies to libraries, both school and public, across the country. Whether or not an area is conservative, it’s highly likely the librarian isn’t, or at least the person in charge of buying books for a county or whatever isn’t. And the people with the purse will push whatever they want while most people never notice.
Had I not been there that day I wouldn’t have known a book like “The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School” existed. If the blurbs on the back of the book are to be believed, it’s about exactly what you’d expect a book with that title to be about. According to its Amazon page, which describes it as “A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self,” it was a “National Book Award Finalist,” likely exclusively because of the subject.
Then there was “A Little Bit Country,” a book its Amazon page describes as a “heartfelt and funny contemporary romance inspired by Dollywood, about two boys who fall in love against the backdrop of a country music-themed amusement park.” Maybe it is heartfelt, I don’t care. I don’t care that any of these books exist or that they’re in my local library. I care that there are no books without these left-wing messages highlighted by the library. I actually couldn’t find any on the shelves either.
Left-wing message books get published easily because they’ll sell, to libraries anyway. To the extent they sell to the public it’s because left-wing parents notice the book was brought home from the library at the request or insistence of their kid’s teacher. The left takes care of their own, even inadvertently. Anyone not on the left gets left out in the cold.
You don’t have to like or participate in pop culture if you don’t want to, but know it is not dependent upon your participation for the left to win. These types of books have dominated school and public libraries for a long time, people only recently noticed. If you want to know where they idea that being gay or trans is cool, look no further than the library. And if you want to know how the libraries became what they are, look no further than pop culture.
You don’t have to participate in pop culture, but don’t be surprised if we continue to lose at the ballot box because of it because you aren’t at least aware of it. Maybe not this year (hopefully not), but no election victory is permanent.