How liberalism with pleasing words wins us over, to our damnation
Just a piece of late night thinking on the latest terrorist attacks in England and Scotland, as well as Bush’s speech at the Islamic center. This post may be a bit too subjective but I hope it does illustrate a point to some. The advance of the jihadist Muslim population in the West reminds me of the experience of a number of people I know who went to see the film The Exorcist back in the 1970s. Some were religious and some had left religion behind. All went into the theater wanting to see an entertaining, traditional scary movie that would frighten them a bit, perhaps allow them to laugh at their fright when it was over, and still allow for a pleasant night of sleep. What they got was a film that exploited key symbols and tenets of both religious superstition and belief, either long forgotten or taken for granted. It was Grand Guignol [i.e., graphic, amoral horror] wed to metaphysical horror that these friends took home with them. Some for a very, very long time.
Bringing Muslims into the West looked like the normal, liberal, decent thing to do—we all wanted a little diversity, eh?
So what if they looked, dressed and acted differently, even defiantly so? And what if their religion had been at war with the West for 1,400 years? That’s all in the past, right? We are all enlightened now. To hold history against the modern Muslim would be prejudice and fear of “the Other,” In short, a form of social and cultural superstition predicated upon ignorance. And so, we bought a ticket and invited the devil-in-the-details in, so to speak, expecting not much out of the ordinary. And, why not? We have plurality of religion here and all religions are good; for the secular, we have the notions of the commonality of all men and cultures. Our beliefs would protect us.
But like the aforementioned film-goers we got way more than we ever bargained for.
These were not the immigrants of our textbooks. Whatever our touchstone of choice—democracy, universal Western values, the Nation of Immigrants, the Brotherhood of Man, et al., it is no longer able to carry the day. At least not in a fashion timely enough to save the integrity of our way of life, not to mention our respective mortal coils. So, one question persists tonight: Are we in the West too enlightened, too pluralistic to opt for an exorcism (i.e., a casting out) and, if so, will we be possessed by the demon in the end?
What David G. says about “The Exorcist” is what the post-1970 and especially the post-1990 entertainment industry does as a routine thing. It adversises a movie as a nice, entertaining movie, or maybe just somewhat risque, then you go see it and you find yourself in some sick, alienated, perverted hell, none of which was mentoned in the ads or the reviews. (See my discussion of “The History Boys,” for example.) This is quite deliberate. They are drawing us in, in order to get control over our minds, to “convert” us. This is why it is so much better today to rent movies than go to a movie theater. If you’re watching the movie on your own television, YOU are the one in charge; you can talk back to the movie, you can turn it off. You are not just a passive spectator setting in a movie theater being brainwashed.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 03, 2007 12:17 PM | Send
But what David has shown here is that what Hollywood does to us with movies and other entertainments which sound “nice” but are really demonic, the whole culture and polity are doing to us through “nice”-sounding liberal policies which are really extreme and destructive of our society. And, yes, we must either exorcise the demon or be possessed by it. There is no middle ground.
I’ve written a lot about both phenomena—movies that pretend to be decent but “catch” you, and “moderate” liberalism that turns out to be radical, but had never made the connection between the two.