Monday, July 16, 2007

Selling Out

Daniel Brook's new book The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America looks like a real hoot. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit excerpts this section
After graduating Yale in 2003 with a double major in film studies and gender studies, Tara moved to San Francisco to pursue queer documentary filmmaking. She settled in the Castro district, the historic epicenter of American gay culture, and quickly discovered plenty of enticing projects. "There were lots of opportunities to do film and to help people with their films, but no one had any money to pay me so I did a lot of volunteering and part-time work," she told me in a Castro coffee shop.
Is that perfect or what?

I'm from an Ivy League school and I'll tell you what films are supposed to be made, dammit.

Reynolds notes that the comments at Amazon are entertaining in themselves, and oh, they are. I was only a Junior Associate member of the Ivies - my highschool friends went to Wellesley, Harvard, and Williams, but I went to Ivy-wannabee William & Mary. Still, I believe I understand the attitude pretty well, as the Theatre (yes, we spelled it that way) and English majors sounded a lot like this in my day as well.

I am going to file this with my Arts & Humanities Tribe posts. It is an exceptionally good illustration of the real reason for A&H support for redistributive economic policies. It has nothing to do with concern for the downtrodden and everything to do with resentment that market societies reward (eww!) lesser people than their exalted selves. It would be an unfair insult to progressives to even suggest this, did they not provide so many examples of this pathology.

It provides a good lead-in to the Bill McKibben post I have finally slapped into coherent shape (McKibben was Journalism - Harvard, BTW. Same tribe), and will post before going on vacation Wednesday. Environmentalist activists are not so concerned with pollution and the physical environment as they are with deterioration of the cultural environment they want to be ascendant. They want the sort of person who doesn't have (time for) children, who has time for causes, and has disdain for most other Americans, to be the dominant class. They are trying to increase the status of their group by reducing the status of the other American tribes - Business, Science & Technology, God & Country.

Once you know how pervasive the tribal-victory motive is in this group, it starts to jump out at you from book titles. Deer Hunting With Jesus and What's Wrong With Kansas aren't about understanding these groups but in undermining them. The environmentalist diatribes against corporate America aren't about the destruction of the world, but of their world. Thus also the fear books about Big Pharma, Big Oil, and multinational corporations. Not that these are above criticism or don't deserve to be roundly kicked from time-to-time, same as all of us, but the actual motive for the criticsm leaks out over every page once you've become attuned to it.

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