Monday, July 23, 2007

Pleasure Centers


Thers reports that the war-drums are beating in Outer Wingnuttia over news that 24 will become carbon-neutral. As Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters says:

Now one of my favorite shows has become part of Al Gore's scam.
Things are even worse than Sheppard realizes, as demonstrated by the DoD's strategy to "increase the use of clean, renewable energy to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and to optimize environmental benefits and sustainability."

We'll be sending a truck 'round to collect your balls, Mr. Sheppard. You won't be needing 'em in the effete new world of Ecotopia.

Roy Edroso says that people like Sheppard can't enjoy ideologically nonconforming entertainment because "they recreate little Inquisitions in their minds, and the pleasure centers that should be receptive to such treats as "24" become subject to their review."

I'd argue that ideology is often what gives them permission to consume pop culture, kinda like those critical theorists who loll around watching reruns of Dawson's Creek in order to keep tabs on the Administered Society.

Beyond that, I suspect that for a lot of these folks, resenting Al Gore is far more thrilling than watching even the most torture-laden episode of 24. Yoke the two pastimes together, and you get the sort of ideological Fluffer Nutter that lures creatures like Sheppard the way picnic baskets lure Yogi Bear. To paraphrase Thomas Traherne, you never enjoy the world aright, 'til Al Gore has ruined it for you.

The MO here is somewhat analogous to that of the dieter who "forgets" to tell the waiter not to bring dessert, and when it comes, gets the triple pleasure of yelling at him, grudgingly agreeing to eat it anyway, and enjoying precisely the treat he wanted all along.

Anger and disgust are just as essential to these people's enjoyment of television as the elephant-house stench of sweaty flab on overheated naugahyde. I suspect they can't even enjoy something as ideologically correct as Veggie Tales without imagining liberals mocking its God-fearing wholesomeness while en route to one of those clubs where they turn people into human toilets.

Which, needless to say, is the icing on their cake. They're not cheating themselves of enjoyment, they're heightening it. It's the ideological equivalent of autoerotic asphyxiation.

UPDATE: Noel Sheppard notes that Thers (aka "Wingnuttery") uses vulgar language. This inspires one of Noel's commenters to put the matter in its proper historical context:
Just before the hippie movement, Lady Chattersly's Lover was released. D. H. Lawrence's purpose in writing the book was to put s*** and f*** back into common usage. I think he succeeded.
Which just goes to show that "anything can be said in this place and it will be true and will have to be believed."

1 comment:

dan mcenroe said...

In case you missed it at the Crack Den:

Avatar carbon footprints.