Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The New Stepinfetchits



                Is You Is, Or Is You Ain't My Baby, with a Modern Twist, Courtesy

                    of Current Manufactured Flavour of the Month Lena Dunham

It may seem an odd comparison to put the now painfully racist image of actor Lincoln Perry - better known as the self-described "Laziest Man in the World" Stepin Fetchit - next to the currently uber-hip actress Lena Dunham, writer and star from the uber-hyped HBO show "Girls.  But a recent column by writer and classics professor Victor Davis Hanson more or less does just that.

Perry made an enormous amount of money 80 years ago - allegedly becoming the first black entertainer to make a million dollars - playing to white stereotypes.  He got rich at, arguably, the expense of other black people of whom ugly stereotypes were re-enforced on the screen.

Well, Dunham and other hipsters have similarly traded on their fame to push forward the meme that the modern, re-distributionist Democratic party is the party of the young, when in fact, the policies advocated by President Obama, Senator Harry Ried, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi - the latter two decidedly not young or particularly 'hip' - are retrograde to the real interests of young people.

It's true that the Republican Party - called "the Stupid Party" by Gov Bobby Jindal (R-LA), and not without accuracy - take social stands that have frankly been rejected by the young.  On virtually all social issues:  same-sex marriage, gun control, drug decriminalisation, the environment, the Republicans are at odds with young voters.

But Hanson rightly points out that, while these issues are not - and should not - be seen as trivial or unimportant, it's reasonable to ask just how centrally they ought to be placed by young people who are simultaneously being asked to accept a large and growing burden of debt caused largely by IOUs paid to wealthier, older voters and poorer job prospects largely caused by and increasingly difficult regulatory climate and immigration policies that promote the ludicrous idea that what our post-industrial, 21st century, knowledge-based economy needs to be competitive is a continuous flow of poor, uneducated high school dropouts.
(T)he new liberalism in all its economic manifestations is reactionary and anti-youth to the core. The administration seems aware of the potential paradoxes in this reverse “What’s the matter with Kansas?” syndrome of young people voting against their economic interests. Thus follows the constant courting of the hip and cool Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lena Dunham, Occupy Wall Streeters, and others who blend pop culture, sex, youth, energy, and fad — almost anything to avoid the truth that today’s teenagers are starting out each owing a lifetime share of the national debt amounting to more than three-quarters of a million dollars. Those who ran up the debt enjoyed the borrowing, but won’t be around to pay back their proverbial fair share.
Dunham et al, from their comfortable sinecures are lending their cache to politicians who are essentially mortgaging the future of the very people they portray on stage and screen, for amounts of money that would make the collective heads of "the 99 per cent" explode.

My question is, at some point, these self-deluded consumers of political bunkum will wake up and smell the over-priced latte.  Won't they?

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