Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

It’s funny, my first thought after reading the above passage from the Times on Detroit and “Ruin Porn” was simply to juxtapose it in a blog post with a quote from historian Frederick Taylor’s 2005 book Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945 from Robert Ley, the head of the National Socialist Labor Front. When Dresden was flattened by the Americans and British in 1945, with the approval of the Russians simultaneously advancing into Germany from the east, Ley fanatically said:

“After the destruction of beautiful Dresden, we almost breathe a sigh of relief. It is over now. In focusing on our struggle and victory we are no longer distracted by concerns for the monuments of German culture. Onward!…Now we march toward the German victory without any superfluous ballast and without the heavy spiritual and material bourgeois baggage.”

Of course it’s fantasy, with the end of the Nazis clearly in sight, even to them. (And recall early in the film Downfall, Hitler utters a very similar remark to Albert Speer when staring at his enormous model of Berlin, backhandedly praising the allies for hitting the CTL-ALT-DLT keys on Berlin, which they themselves had planned to do, either before the war or if they had won.) But at least there was an assumption that these cities would be rebuilt.

Many of today’s left though simply want to leave the ruins in place. Earlier today, we linked to Robert Tracinski in Real Clear Politics, written after watching the Oscars last week revealed to him the abyss of 21st century Hollywood, and Tracinski concluded:

This is the dead end of Modernist culture, which sought to break down traditional values and rules but was unable to replace them with anything better. It left us in a cultural void where, as the New York Times piece puts it, everyone is afraid that “serious commitment to any belief will eventually be subsumed by an opposing belief, rendering the first laughable at best and contemptible at worst.” In the second half of the 20th century, this corrosive Modernist skepticism brought us the ruling concept of contemporary popular culture: the “cool.” Remember the original meaning of the term. To be “cool” is to be emotionally cool, to refuse to be caught up in enthusiasm. Early on, this could be taken to mean a kind of manly reserve, the ability to be calm, cool, and collected in the face of strife, or to refuse to be carried away by momentary or trivial emotions. This is the sense in which James Bond was “cool.” But by the end of the 20th century, the culture of cool increasingly came to mean a studied lack of response to values. It meant refusing to be carried away by enthusiasm about anything.

That sense of nihilism has implications far beyond the television and movie screen. Much of today’s left have abandoned the serious study of history, and have largely turned their backs on the future as well. All that is left for them is to play in the ruins — and to create more of them.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled from multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (55)
All Comments   (55)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Cognitive dissonence as a virtue?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe that the “loss” of the New York City before Mayor Giuliani has been mourned by the Liberal intelligentsia for similar reasons. That the 1970s Times Square with its piss, vomit, and discarded needles was more “authentic” than her “Disneyfied” version that came in after Dinkins moved out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bravo Ed!

Im reminded of the description of the dilapidated buildings in Havana, Cuba by your colleague Ron Radosh.

The term shabby sheik comes to mind.

The inability of these people to ascertain cause and effect, with regards to Leftist progressive policies and the sorry state of many of our cities which they have held dominion over for half a century, is replaced with promoting the aesthetic as laudable and admirable.

What a sad state of affairs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Additionally, Im reminded of the romanticizing of primative and third world cultures, that derives from self hatred born of guilt. These people travel to third world to experience primative cultures which they profusely laud, and then fly back to the luxuries of the evil European Christendom....only to demonize the rural "primatives" of the Western European conservatives who live in the sticks (like Sarah Palin) as uncooth ignorant barbarians....all the while waxing poetic about the wisdom of the elders of that prehistoric Amazonian tribe with bones through their noses.

What a sad state of affairs. The self loathing is now being assuaged by self flagellation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wonderful poetry EV, I am reminded of Margaret Mead frolicking in Samoa.
Shabby chic!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, Margaret Mead.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
that should be

shabby chic!

my bad

also uncouth not uncooth

rough draft
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...and self immolation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Industry consolidation did not come about because of some socialist strategy! In its infancy, consolidation came about to expand markets for goods and services and a host of other efficiencies. Having said that, consolidation quickly became a target of much easier controls for government intervention financial controls and of course labor union advancements -- of of which eventuall corrupted the private sector free enterprise system as it continues today.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not only do they wish to kill the cities - the monuments to civilization and the rise of man from his primitive beginnings - but they would, if they could, remove as much human presence from the face of the Earth as they could (excepting themselves, of course).
Because, The Imperative is to Save Gaia!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since 1973, the only good thing coming out of Detroit has been I-75 northbound, especially once you get past Flint.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed. Avoid Detroit and Flint altogether by taking US 23.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Nuclear Urban Renewal."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
look for Obama to propose a Marshall Plan for Democrat controlled states and cities that are in deep trouble and bail them out at taxpayer expense.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A few years back the History Channel ran a series titled "The World After People." The preposterous premise was what would the civilized world look like 20, 50, 100, 200 years after the extinction of mankind. The appropriate answer was "Who cares? We're all gone."

But the premise could have been tweaked just a bit and the series titled "The World After Liberalism (or Socialism)." Instead of spending a fortune on CGI, the producers could have just run footage the ruination of Kiev and Detroit. But you gotta admit, the fantasy of man's extinction is alot more realistic, right?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Always seen that series as a green attempt to convince people that exterminating mankind is a good thing, in order to "restore Nature to Her rightful dominance over the planet".
IOW typical environmentalist/leftist propaganda just as most of the rest shown on History (and its offshoots like History, TLC, CI, etc. etc.).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Think of all the money the H Channel could save with an episode of "The World After People" using only Google Maps - Street View of Detroit.

Well maybe they could CG a few people with torches, some dinosaurs and packs of rabid wolves.

Or just use convenience store flash mob attacks. Whichever.

Or how about a new series which explores the concept of "Which Is More Modern?" and puts up American cities against ancient Ephesus, Hiroshima in 1946, Timurlane's Samarkand, Granada in 1387, Stalingrad in 1943, a temporary hutment by pigmies in 1,000,000 B.C. and some straight lines on the ground.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The appropriate answer was "Who cares? We're all gone."

Another appropriate answer is "You First, Nature Boy." Let's have all these fanatical "eliminationists" gather in one spot (like the next Burning Man gathering), put on track suits and eat the bad Jell-O. Let's be rid of them and their creepy, depraved nonsense. They can have a giant funeral pyre at the base of The Burning Man himself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I grew up near Detroit some years ago and just have to laugh here. If you have followed the ongoing story of Detroit, John and Monica Conyers, Kwami and Cheeks you understand...if you haven't...well, here is a little flavor of how Detroit works...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TvgtGlcdTE



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That, in a nutshell, is called failure, and it is its own explanation. Looking at that and somehow saying it's a problem with industry or the economy is nuts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All