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January 04, 2006

Enter The Metrocon

Or "metrosexual conservative." I think this is going to be a heavily discussed piece in the next week:

As most people know, a metrosexual is a heterosexual man who has good taste in art and music, and likes to pamper himself with nice clothes and expensive grooming. There's only one drawback: I can't stand much of the so-called common-man culture celebrated by the Right.

...

[The song "Redneck Woman"] represented the one thing I truly cannot stand about modern conservatism: its defense of anything dumb, tacky, and second-rate, as long as it comes from "the people." The common man is deified by the right. NASCAR, an absolutely idiotic "sport" which consists, as the joke goes, of "a bunch of rednecks makin' left turns," is hailed as red state America's favorite pastime -- and ipso facto comparable to the Olympics of ancient Greece. Actually, scratch that: NASCAR is not treated as something grand and noble, which makes it all the worse. To populist conservatives, the simple fact that Bush country embraces the sport makes its aesthetic quality quite beside the point. ...

This attitude would be less irritating if it were an acknowledgment of reality rather than a celebration of the mediocre. When Bill O'Reilly goes into his just-an-average-Joe-from-Levittown riff, he doesn't come across as a man who aspires to lose some of the provincialism of his upbringing, much less expand into different areas of knowledge and artistic appreciation. He's proud of being a blockhead.

Well, I think he goes too far, and I sure the hell wouldn't call myself a metrocon (as I've said-- I don't even bothering washing my junk), but I guess he makes some good points. But his piece is an overreaction.

It's an overreaction to an overreaction to an overreaction. Liberal swells made common folk feel bad about watching NASCAR, as if there's something wrong with preferring one sport over another. (This writer seems to feel there's something enobling about choosing baseball over football, apparently since George Will does, and guys who wear bowties must know something.)Conservatives overreacted -- sick of liberals' endless chidings and insinuations of superiority -- first by skewering their pompousness but then by arguing the point on the merits (i.e., NASCAR is the greatest thing ever). And now this guy overreacts to that overreaction.

I don't mind NASCAR and, in fact, learned to appreciate it slightly as a sport through the fairly nice bit of introduction that was the underrated Days of Thunder. Not really my thing, but I guess I don't see why I should prefer watching college rugby over NASCAR. One's associated with the cultural elite, and one's associated with the cultural non-elite; but I'm not sure people should spend their limited pleasure-time doing things just to be associated with an elite. Do what you like with your off time.

One part of metrosexuality is the devotion to fashion, and I think this writer chooses to his past-times according to what's fashionable. Or at least fashionable to those he wishes to impress. I'm sure he does like the symphony, but his appreciation of it was surely spurred by the desire to ultimately appreciate the symphony. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but many people have better things to do than cultivate their tastes. Cultivated tastes are just wonderful and all, but there's a steep entry cost in time and money to achieving them which many just can't be bothered with.

Still, there is something of a good point here. If NASCAR shouldn't be dogmatically denigrated, neither should finer pursuits. And really, well-paid, culturally-blue-state Northeastern city dwellers shouldn't go on and on about the virtues of hick culture unless they actually do admire it and enjoy it -- which I suspect many really don't.

Hey, I'll admit it: I don't really find Larry the Cable Guy very funny at all. "Git-R-Done"? What the hell's that supposed to mean?

Related: I couldn't think of any reason to post this find of -- yes -- Allah's, until now. It's a nasty but sort of funny letter to Larry the Cable Guy, by the nasty but sort of funny comic David Cross. He's a leftist prick, yes, but the letter does pretty much sketch out the running snobs-versus-slobs battle in our Caddyshack culture wars.


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posted by Ace at 03:12 AM

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