A Hollywood Manifesto for the Culture Wars
America is tearing itself to pieces. So how do its leading manufacturers of “culture” survive?
So happy birthday America, and if you haven't noticed — we've got trouble, right here in River City.
America is not in a good mood and it's more than the regular cyclical crankiness. If you put to a vote in either half of the nation the chance to get a divorce from the other half — if you could do it nicely, cleanly, no contest, split the community property and no armies arrayed on the battlefield — I imagine the votes on either side would be somewhere in the upper 90s.
It's hard to think of a statement you could make these days that could get two-thirds of the public behind it. Forget about hot-button political issues, or even the Bill of Rights. If you put “nice day, isn't it?” up for discussion you'd have tens of millions down your throat before you could hit send.
Which creates a tough spot for the industry created to provide mass culture for everyone — culture on an industrial scale like the world had never before seen; built on the assumption that there's some things that unite us all, across the nation and across the globe. (Which wasn't a controversial assumption until maybe 30 seconds ago.)