Right-Wingtips

By Mark Gauvreau Judge
Published 1/4/2006 12:06:14 AM

I am a conservative metrosexual.

As most people know, a metrosexual is a heterosexual man who has good taste in art and music, and likes to pamper himself with nice clothes and expensive grooming. There’s only one drawback: I can’t stand much of the so-called common-man culture celebrated by the Right.

I fully realized I’m a conservative metrosexual — let’s call me a metrocon for short — a few weeks ago. The Gretchen Wilson song “Redneck Woman” came on the radio. This tune, a hard-charging boogie-woogie number, is a celebration of crude behavior, a kind of red-state aria of defiance against the staid, snobby, and civilized. The woman in the song boasts about shopping at Wal-Mart, keeping the Christmas lights on the house all night long, and standing in the front yard barefoot “with a baby on my hip.”

I had an immediate, visceral hatred of the song. It represented the one thing I truly cannot stand about modern conservatism: its defense of anything dumb, tacky, and second-rate, as long as it comes from “the people.” The common man is deified by the right. NASCAR, an absolutely idiotic “sport” which consists, as the joke goes, of “a bunch of rednecks makin’ left turns,” is hailed as red state America’s favorite pastime — and ipso facto comparable to the Olympics of ancient Greece. Actually, scratch that: NASCAR is not treated as something grand and noble, which makes it all the worse. To populist conservatives, the simple fact that Bush country embraces the sport makes its aesthetic quality quite beside the point. This is the sport of people, we are told ad nauseam by folks like Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity, who “work hard, go to church, and play by the rules.” They are the ones who watch the WWF — a “sport” even apes laugh at — and who read the Left Behind series of books, which should probably be called Theology for Dummies.

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Comments

  1. Jim Holman says:

    I found this article rather confusing. I have always heard liberals being denounced for being out of touch with the common man. The phrase “liberal elite,” with all that implies about lifestyle and taste, is one of the stock phrases of conservatives. “Liberal elite bad, common man good,” is the constant message.

    But comes now Mark Judge denouncing the lack of eliteness among conservatives. The very lifestyle distinctives that would earn a liberal the condemnation of “common man” conservatives, are now recommend by a conservative for conservatives.

    Of course today’s conservatives are incapable of writing more than a few paragraphs without denouncing liberals, and we do not wait long for the denunciation:

    “Yet — of course — the liberals are worse. Baby boomers still dress in jeans and T-shirts (like their NASCAR counterparts), listen to music that’s 40 years old (the Stones anyone?), and try to sound like teenagers to impress their kids.”

    So on the one hand liberals we hear that liberals are bad because because of their disgusting latte-swilling and volvo-owning eliteness. But on the other hand Mark Judge says they are bad because they dress like the common man and listen to the Rolling Stones (the group about to be featured at the common man’s Super Bowl if memory serves). And — gasp! — liberals try to impress kids! I mean, like whatever, dude.

    All of this points out the fact that conservatives have no more or less in common with the common man than liberals. The “liberal elite” is just another meaningless phrase invented by the political right. And as the president shows, you can come from a wealthly family, do Andover, Yale, Harvard, have family and friends bail you out of all business failures, get rich through a taxpayer-financed baseball statium, and still be portrayed as a “common man.” All you have to do is to cut brush in front of the cameras a few times and talk about Jesus. It’s a good trick, if you can pull it off.

  2. It’s more than just a left-right issue. It’s about the common being touted as the best example of culture.

    If you place his argument within the context of a liturgical debate it would be like arguing that a Evangelical worship service — that sings songs that repeat the words glory, halleluia, amen etc. as the subject matter — as being comparable to the Divine Liturgy.

    His point is it’s not the same. Just because it’s popular with “common people” doesn’t necessarily make it the high point of artistic quality. He’s critical of conservatives of buying into this postmodern relativism concerning art. In an interview I heard the author clarified that this argument can be made the other way with liberals buying into Rap and hip-hop dress as being relative to Beethoven’s ninth.

    One point of the article that struck me was the summary of von Hildebrand about the two aspects of growth — being physical and a growth toward God. This second aspect being the appreciation of aesthetic beauty and art.

    I humbly submit that this type of growth is manifested within Christianity in the appreciation of liturgy.

    Those who are stuck in a “praise band” mentality for worship are stuck in an immature faith and never fully grasp beauty and art within worship. Appreciation of the Divine Liturgy is a manifestation of a maturation of faith.

  3. De gustibus non disputandum est.

  4. Augie, Greek yes, Latin no. What’s it mean?

  5. There is no disputing about taste.

    (Well, actually there’s quite a lot of it, but perhaps it doesn’t do much good. 8>)

  6. I love these discussions about objective beauty in art. A little tidbit about the human form (which can be considered created “art”) that I found interesting:

    “Ideal facial proportions are universal regardless of race, sex and age, and are based on divine proportions,” he adds. [The 1.618:1 ratio]:

    He defines the formula and says, if the width of the face from cheek to cheek is 10 inches (25 centimetres), then the length of the face from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin should be 16.18 inches to be in ideal proportion. If you’re keen to see how you measure up, keep in mind that the ratio of phi also applies to:
    + The width of the mouth to the width of the cheek.

    + The width of the nose to the width of the cheek.

    + The width of the nose to the width of the mouth.

    Dr Stephen Marquardt has gone one step further to prove the correlation between the divine proportion and facial beauty by developing a phi mask that acts as an archetype of the ideal human face. (ANI)