When I hear certain leftists deny that they dislike America, I often wonder what they like about it. Not our Constitution, the handiwork of greedy, racist patriarchs. Not our history, one long, continuous exercise in oppression. Not our people, a huge percentage of whom are “deplorable.”
All I can come up with is the natural beauty of some of the land, some of our music, and certain trendy television shows.
I hear that we are in the third Golden Age of Television. The first wasn’t all that golden (silver, maybe) and I was not aware of a second.
As for the third, I watched “Mad Men” and parts of “The Sopranos.” The rest, I’ve missed out on, and probably will continue to.
Why? One reason is that I suspect it represents an attempt by leftists who aren’t half as smart as they think they are to preach about race, gender, transgender, class, and the evil and/or emptiness of American life.
Am I paranoid? Probably. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.
Last week, my suspicions were confirmed when I watched Charlie Rose interview David Simon. Simon was the creator, executive producer, and head writer of “The Wire,” said to be former president Obama’s favorite show (he liked its “edginess”). Simon has a new show called “The Deuce” about the rise of the pornography industry in New York in the 1970s. (“The Deuce,” I take it, refers to 42nd Street, the center of it all.)
Simon instructed us on the deep meaning of “The Wire” and “The Sopranos.” “The Wire” is really about two Americas existing side by side but never connecting. John Edwards, call your office.
“The Sopranos,” deep down, is really about the emptiness at the core of America’s “who can die with the most toys” ethic. That’s heavy. But isn’t existential angst inherent in the human condition? Would we really experience less of it under any modern alternative to American-style capitalism?
What is the deep meaning of “The Deuce”? Rose had several guests in addition to Simon. They offered a hodgepodge of leftist themes.
In part, “The Deuce” is about the exploitation of labor. Naturally.
It’s also a demonstration of what can happen in the absence of market regulation — a partial refutation of the virtue of free market capitalism. But it was the left, not the right, that opposed government attempts to regulate and restrict pornography.
Finally, “The Deuce” is about misogyny. Simon said the project took on particular urgency in light of the 2016 election what with, you know, the horrible treatment of Hillary Clinton and, ultimately, the election of a “pussy grabber.”
It strikes me that Simon is at least 20 years late to the party. America twice elected as its president a sexual predator. And by any fair reckoning, that sexual predator treated Hillary Clinton worse than Donald Trump did.
Simon took pains to say that “The Deuce” is not about sex, at least not in any “gratuitous” way. He used that word repeatedly, and his co-guests also employed it. “Not gratuitous” was the evening’s mantra.
This is not a case of protesting too much. I’m confident that Simon would not use sex, or anything else, if it did not serve his mission of driving home leftist themes and trying to make America look as bad as possible.
In Simon’s America-bashing hands, the gratuitous showing of sex would be vastly preferable to a non-gratuitous display.
I’m not saying Simon dislikes America, though. He probably likes jazz and the Grand Canyon.