Monday, April 23, 2007

This Subject Line Is Not Big Enough To Contain All the Cursewords I Need To Describe Newt Gingrich

He sure is the poster-boy for the ass backwards reasoning that passes for cultural criticism on the hard right, isn't he? This game is getting so silly it's a wonder even he wants to play it anymore. Yes, I too would prefer we return to a time when rap was about parties and dancing and video games were so primitive that most of the thematic content had to be gleaned from the instruction manuals. It'd sure as hell make my life easier. But I can't blame any liberal academic elite for that, because I am not a disgraced politico with a lot of self-righteous anger and no principles.

See, there's this thing called "The Market", something Newt is very fond of. The way "The Market" works is that some people try to sell products that "the masses" will buy. This is because when "the masses" buy the products, the people trying to sell them make lots of money. When it comes to things like entertainment, the people doing the selling pretty much have to figure out exactly what "the masses" want and give it to them. If there were a market for games that simulated sitting at home, reading the bible, and fulminating against imaginary people, trust me, it'd already be out there. We have the technology. What we don't have is anyone willing to pay money for it.

I'm sure Newt's aware of this, but he always pretends it has nothing to do with the content of our culture when in fact - especially since Newt and his followers went out of their way to gut funding for public broadcasting and the NEA - the entertainment market is, in large part, what determines the content of our culture. Newt, I'm sure, knows this but it's the one thing he can't admit, at least in public. If he even allowed any discussion of how market forces influence our culture, and whether or not this is a good thing, he wouldn't be able to invoke The Protocols Of The Elders Of Boston every time he was asked his opinion on something. This would not get him invited on TV nor would it help him revive his political career.

If Gingrich had any conviction at all, he'd demonstrate some good ol' Fashion American Go Gettin', find someone with seed money and start a company making video games that simulated sitting at home, reading the bible and fulminating against imaginary people. The thing might sell a million copies and marketing departments throughout the video game industry might end up being proved wrong (another development I'd welcome). And Newt could say he finally did something useful.

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