Moral Unseriousness

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In Las Vegas Weekly, Greg Beato details the journey from the post-9/11 End of Irony to Snakes On a Plane, and has a word for all those Jeremiahs who mourn the loss of America's moral clarity:

Ultimately, however, those who predicted a monolithic shift to the age of seriousness and those who lament that shift's failure to achieve permanence ignore an obvious but critical fact about America's pop culture. It's massively parallel. It contains multitudes. If you think we're burying our heads in the trivial sands of reality TV, video games and Gawker.com, have you somehow overlooked that comedy channel that broadcasts a full hour of political commentary four nights a week? Did you fail to note that our desire to understand 9/11 was so great that in 2004, it turned Michael Moore into a matinee idol capable of outgrossing Leonardo DiCaprio? America's pop culture has gotten more serious since 9/11—so serious that thousands of attorneys, college professors and even U.S. military personnel now spend their workdays parsing The New York Times for partisan bias instead of surfing for Japanese foot-porn.

Featuring an excellent conclusion defending the American culture the moral clarifiers simultaneously applaud themselves for defending and loath as a decadent cesspool.

Jacob Sullum blew some fog into the moral clarity argument way back when.

NEXT: Operator, Dammit. I Said Operator!

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  1. those who predicted a monolithic shift to the age of seriousness…need to get laid.

    In the words of the great philosopher George Clinton: Everything that is good is nasty. Ain’t nothin’ good unless you play with it.

  2. MK concedes that Bush’s more complex multifaceted approach is more sound, which must then mean that “evil” is not “absolute”, and therefore terrorism cannot honestly be claimed to be “evil”. Michael le K, of course, isn’t attempting to make the case that “terrorism isn’t evil” (that much is supposed to be understood as base a priori knowledge by the sophisticated reader), he is trying to make the case that either Bush’s “moral unseriousness” (a belief in absolute evil) is “dangerously simplistic” [which already has been discredited by the admittedly multifaceted, and MK-preferred, approach], or that Bush himself is “misleading the citizenry” when he asserts that evil exists. And this, my friends, is exactly the case the column is attempting to make: the implications of Bush’s “morally unserious” belief in Evil.

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