Betsy Hart, one of these smug Conservatives raising her children the Right way (with a switch in one hand and the Bible in the other), pontificated in our local paper yesterday:
I admit that I am, generally speaking, a pop-culture snob. I haven't read "The Da Vinci Code" - not for religious reasons, but because I refuse on principle to read current fiction. I'm sure some of it's fine, but none of it can compare to the classics, so I just don't think it's worthy of my time. That kind of thing.
Oh all right then. No Richard Russo for Mrs. Hart. No Octavia Butler. No Rushdie. No A.S. Byatt or Kingsolver or Charles Johnson or Beth Gutcheon. All a waste of her time. Whatever.
What's she doing with her time instead, pray tell?
....this is truly family entertainment. I can watch "American Idol" with my four young kids, and not worry. There is no vulgarity. There is no sexual content or even innuendo. Outside of a few kindly traded "insults" between host Ryan Seacrest and the acerbic Cowell, there is no cynicism. (Unless you count the inevitable conspiracy theories about the voting.) There is no violence. There is no foul language. There is zero risk of any "wardrobe malfunctions." Moreover, there are no "morality plays," no pretentious lessons on the value of recycling by people who in real life drive nothing but limousines - and no political content.
This column, frankly, illustrates perfectly the problem with the Religious Right sector of the Conservative movement: (1) they are proud of their ignorance: I don't read current fiction, because it can't compare with "the classics" -- as if she reads "the classics" either. (2) They are more interested in avoiding "naughty" words or "naughty" sights than they are in paying attention to actual content. Has she noticed, even in passing, that American Idol is about nothing? No, she has only noticed that it is about nothing objectionable. And she decides this makes it wonderful family fare.
Yes, this is what you should feed your children on, woman. Pap. That will make them fine American citizens. The food of ignorance. That is what we should feed Americans on. That's what American need to eat.