Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Dynamic of Cool

 http://dianewild.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/uncool.jpg

Jihad Watch recently reported a HuffPoll which found that:

Overall, 55 percent of Americans had either a somewhat or very unfavorable view of Islam, while one in four said they were not sure how they viewed the faith. Just 7 percent said they had a very favorable view of the religion, and 14 percent said they saw it somewhat favorably.

Assuming that breakdown accurately reflects America at large, the more important concern for the Counter-Jihad is to clarify with more precision where these various groups so imprecisely described are situated. For instance, what does it mean to have a "somewhat" unfavorable view of Islam?  How was that measured?  And how many among the overall unfavorables did they represent?  And can we be sure there do not exist further gradations or granularization along a spectrum among the unfavorables?  And to begin to do that, one would likely need to re-interview / re-question the respondents with more precise questions. Those more precise questions, in turn, need to be crafted by people who themselves have a sure sense of the various ways and degrees by which people can range on a spectrum from one extreme to the other.

Perhaps more importantly in the long run for the war-of-ideas theater of the Counter-Jihad—which continues to be the most important theater if only because awakening the West from its PC MC somnambulance would most effectively begin the process of taking the wind out of the sails of the Jihad Armada swelling in its global revival—this latest HuffPoll indicates that young people in America are more warmly disposed to Islam.  One of their findings stated:

Younger Americans are the most likely to have positive views on Islam, be interested in learning about the religion and have Muslim friends.

If this accurately reflects the orientation of the younger demographic on this issue, it would indicate what I have been arguing for years: namely, that the biggest war-of-ideas problem the Counter-Jihad has is the “cool factor”—which in turn bifurcates into two closely related trends:

a) for a certain apparently significant demographic, it remains “cool” to be favorably disposed to Islam (as a non-Western, perceptually “ethnic” culture) and to Muslims (as non-Western, perceptually “ethnic” and therefore culturally “diverse” peoples)—largely out of the irrational Reverse Racism meme of PC MC

b) more subtly, it remains “cool” to be not anti-Islam—which is not necessarily directly to be pro-Islam—because, apropos of (a) above, it remains “cool” to be not bigoted, and one overwhelming meme of the dominant and mainstream PC MC continues to paint the Counter-Jihad as “bigoted”.

And, as many observers and analysts of our post-modern culture have noted (though one doesn't need to be an expert analyst with lofty degrees and think-tank metrics to see this), in many ways our society has become more youth-oriented than ever before, where people who should be leaving adolescence behind and growing up seem to be cultivating a kind of arrested development (Diana West, for example, discussed this in her book, provocatively and incisively titled, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization).  This, needless to say, would be a major factor in the West's continuing myopia to the problem of Islam, insofar, as I argue here, being anti-Islam has been decided by pop cultural fiat to have the worst possible thing:  the Cooties of Uncool.

Certainly, the cool dynamic is a flimsy phenomenon intellectually speaking; but, unfortunately, it’s enormously influential socioculturally and therefore sociopolitically, Sure, it would be nice if our societies behaved as superlatively as Plato envisioned the ideal Republic in his dialogue of the same name; but unfortunately, various degrees of mediocrity are an unavoidable—and sometimes influential—part of the life of the public.

As I pointed out in an older essay on my blog, in recent history, America (and perhaps parts of the rest of the West) went through the amazing sociocultural (and hence sociopolitical) process of smoking becoming uncool. Smoking had been cool for so long, nobody could have predicted such a major change in smoking habits in society without totalitarian measures. As George Will noted in the 90s, when signs of the remarkable change were visible enough (if not dominant by then) to be noticed, the cultural reversal was really amazing. Certainly, there are pockets in culture that continue to promote an alterative cool aspect of cigarette smoking (e.g., a few Hollywood actors and rock stars), but those are the exceptions that prove the rule.

The point is that the definitive critical mass of the sociological reversal on smoking habits didn’t seem to have happened because people became reasonably persuaded by the facts through patient arguments reiterated in various media over the decades—but mainly through the phenomenon of smoking becoming “uncool”.

Now if only Islam would lose its “cool”...

It would really help if just a few ostensibly “cool” celebrities—actors and musicians—began to break ranks and slowly, glacially got the snowball rolling.  One Bill Maher isn't enough, I'm afraid.

14 comments:

Egghead said...

Various celebrities have tried but face the death threats at al from 'modern' 'peaceful' Muslims.

Egghead said...

Angelina Jolie did the movie about Daniel Pearl and the Muslims shot up her head of security's car in CA. That's when she and Brad moved to a huge estate in France.

Egghead said...

Katy Perry was married to English comedian Russell Brand who joked in his stand up routine that you could make jokes about anyone except Myslims because Muslims would murder you.

Egghead said...

Well the iPhone does NOT like comments that mention Jews or infidels....

Egghead said...

Katy Perry did a video that angered Muslims - and infidel apologies were made - and the video was promptly edited to be acceptable to Muslims.

Egghead said...

Any misspelled words are due to iPhone 'spellcheck' feature that changes words at will....

Egghead said...

You should see the HBO documentary about Scientology. It is a 'religion' that escaped a billion dollar tax bill and an FBI investigation for violent crimes because it threatened the IRS with lawsuits....

Egghead said...

How quickly will the West fold under the threat of real Muslim violence???

Hesperado said...

Well Egghead, I found that Angeline Jolie movie subtly riddled with PC MC subtext, showing various (understood to be) Muslim Pakistani authorities oh so sincerely concerned to do the right thing, etc. -- thus of course reinforcing the TMOE meme (Tiny Minority of Extremists). I didn't know that about Katy Perry (though I doubt she is really anti-Islam).

Egghead said...

I have switched to my computer because the iPhone censors my comments by erasing them. Lots of words seem to be off limits and 'beheadings' is difficult to get through. To be clear, I am very careful to enter my comments correctly - and yet way many comments disappear - unless they are about 'acceptable' topics using 'acceptable' words. It took me four tries to get the Katy Perry comment to appear.

Egghead said...

You said: "It would really help if just a few ostensibly “cool” celebrities—actors and musicians—began to break ranks and slowly, glacially got the snowball rolling."

I replied with three examples and the results of said examples.

Actress Jolie was threatened with her life - at her home - with real bullets - with that story being impossible to find a current link on google (because I just tried).

Comedian Brand mentioned the issue of Muslim censorship in his stage show which was broadcast on television.

Musician Perry very effectively ridiculed and thus questioned the power of Islam - and Muslims saw and were able to censor that ridicule.

Egghead said...

Worth a read, here is Angelina doing her part on Feb 15, 2015:

"Angelina Jolie has urged 24 religious leaders from around the world to unite against Isis.

"Jolie met with 24 religious leaders at the Lancaster House in London with the collaboration of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-angelina-jolie-urges-religious-leaders-unite-against-islamic-state-1488010

Egghead said...

Hey, what is Russell Brand up to lately?

Oh yeah, Brand is on YouTube 1) blaming Western governments and arms dealers (and supposedly rampant 'unfair' Western racism against Muslims) for Muslim violence and 2) falsely presenting Muslim violence (measured only by murders) as being merely 2% of Christian violence - which Brand falsely conflates with capitalist violence.

And yet, Brad exposes a kernel of truth when he says that Muslims only have weapons because Westerners sell weapons to them.

Brand believes that only the West (which he interestingly does NOT define as including Western Muslims - raising the question of "Who IS the racist here?" - but I digress), so he says that only Western capitalist governments and arms dealers benefit from arms deals.

Russell evidently fails to grasp that Muslim governments and oil suppliers blackmail the West to supply arms and accept infinite Muslim immigration in order to obtain oil which runs the West.

Again, Brand raises the question of "Who IS the racist here?" when he can clearly see and say the evil of 'all powerful' Western governments whilst merrily ignoring the evil of 'helpless' Islamic governments. Brand presents Muslims in the context of the West being imperial - instead of the context of the world being a rough place.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/561825/Russell-Brand-Islamic-State-Jihadi-John-blames-British-society-young-Muslims

NOTE: The quotations attributed to Brand in this article appear to have been fabricated - unless they are from a video that I did NOT see.

Here are two of Brand's YouTube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o6phpTBaKI&list=PL5BY9veyhGt4wDkOHf2UU-xIUInj3ZPs2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO5rbPaHUFU&index=3&list=PL5BY9veyhGt4wDkOHf2UU-xIUInj3ZPs2

Egghead said...

The daughter of an evangelical Christian pastor, Katy Perry knew exactly what she was doing when she made her music video where she played the goddess ISIS who erased the Muslim wearing the name of Allah. Perry emphasized the history of Egypt before Islam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELJ3RR0QQs8

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/katy-perry-removes-islamic-symbol-from-dark-horse-clip-after-protest-20140227

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-idea-that-katy-perry-meant-to-insult-islam-in-her-new-video-dark-horse-is-ludicrous-9155466.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/katy-perry-parents_n_4097965.html