Friday, June 06, 2008

A telling commentary

Been a while since I browsed the goodies over at Instapundit. I found this link from Ed Driscoll there. Something to keep in mind for these young people coming up. How do we teach these young bucks about how not to be poor? Piece itself is from City Journal:
Beating poverty in America nowadays is largely a matter of personal behavior. Get a high school diploma, don’t have kids until you’re married, don’t get married until you’re 21, and you probably won’t be poor. It also helps if you work hard, show up on time, act courteously, and avoid anything felonious.

But where are these kids going to learn such things? It’s the stuff you just sort of absorb in a healthy, traditional, two-parent home, and that’s exactly what they’re missing. If they learn what they’ve lived, they’re done for—the girls too likely to “come out pregnant” like their mothers, the boys to be underemployed and maybe even do time.
Ever hear about these "culture wars"? The type that threatens to remake American society into more of a secular progressive society where it is believed that anything goes. That children growing up in such a society might grow up without anything resembling core moral values. The type of values that would prevent them from doing wrong in either a criminal or a cultural sense.

This society may include the fight to either protect or expand abortions or gay marriage. To be sure some of these things are enough to make a person's head explode. So this article certainly is seeking to fight the culture wars on another front. That's as important as fighting it in the courts.

Many conservatives often seem to have given up on culture or not to care. There’s a strong strain of philistinism on the right. When we talk about “culture wars,” we usually mean preventing the courts from redefining marriage or promoting abstinence instead of birth control: culture, in other words, as the behavioral branch of politics.

Culture, in the true sense, is more than that. It’s the whole engulfing narrative of our values. It’s the stories we tell. Leftists know this. These kids get an earful from the Left every day. Their schools serve up black history in a way guaranteed to alienate them from the American enterprise. Their sanctioned reading list denies boys the natural fantasies of battling villains and protecting women from harm. Any instinct the girls might have that their bodies and their self-respect are interrelated is negated by the ubiquitous parable of celebrity lives. And I hardly need mention the movies and TV shows that endlessly undermine notions of manly self-discipline, feminine modesty, patriotism, and all the rest.

Conservatives respond to this mostly with finger-wagging. But creativity has to be answered with creativity. We need stories, histories, movies of our own. That requires a structure of support—publishing houses, movie studios, review space, awards, almost all of which we’ve ceded to the Left.

There may be more profitable businesses in the short run. The long run, as always, depends on the young. If you want to win their hearts, you have to tell them stories. I have reason to believe they’ll listen.

Go read the whole thing. It starts off with the kids finding a man in charge of a household and the idea of marriage unusual. It's almost as if it's an old idea that is either dusted off or should remain buried. Very interesting.

What can we do?

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