Moonwalking towards Gomorrah
An unapologetic liberal, I confess that I am occasionally drawn to the cultural critique offered by the right. I thought of both Robert Bork’s—hence the title of this post—and Allan Bloom’s invocation of Michael Jackson as representative of the decline of Western civilization. Bloom’s chapter on contemporary music in The Closing of the American Mind is a must read. Here is one memorable paragraph.
“Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs . . . And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feeling are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.”
I like Michael Jackson’s music and dancing as much as the next middle-aged white guy, but I couldn’t help but recall this passage as I watched the inexplicable outpouring of grief over Jackson’s death.