Culture | Year-in-Review

"Culture | Year-in-Review" Continued...

Issue: "Year in Review 2002," Dec. 28, 2002

O Brother, Where Art Thou? was one of the bestselling albums of the year, and the "Down from the Mountain" spinoff concert tour was one of the hottest tickets, and yet the bluegrass, traditional country, and alternative country that make up the "Americana" playlists still can seldom be found on commercial radio. But Americana has become the No. 1 format for Internet radio.

The liberals strike back, weakly

In the meantime, the cultural mavens kept trying to foist their tired solutions on a culture that has outgrown them.

In the academic world, a brave effort has been underway to dust off the old peace symbols of the Vietnam era. Old-style demonstrations against war with Iraq have been orchestrated, to substantial coverage from the media. The rhetoric against American neo-colonialism and oppression against the Third World can be heard again on college campuses.

But the reality is, 60 percent of college students support President Bush in his war against terrorism and his efforts against Iraq. That is just about the same as his level of support among the general public.

The left is trying to reconstitute itself and is congratulating itself on its purity. And yet, leftists are in the uncomfortable position of having to demonstrate in support of a culture and an ideology that enslaves women, that kills homosexuals, that rejects tolerance, that forbids freedom.

Marxists always predicted that capitalism would collapse due to its inner contradictions. This may be what is happening today to the leftists. 2002 was a year of cultural transition. But as postmodernism falls apart, it is not yet clear what will take its place. It may be that Christianity will get branded as a terrorist religion, like that of the radical Muslims, in which case things will go from bad to worse, as secularism is either intensified or is sanctified into a new Interfaith religion. Or the culture may recover at least some of its heritage. At any rate, we are approaching a cultural moment that may be ripe for Christian influence.

Gene Edward Veith
Gene Edward Veith


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