In “5 Rules for California Roll Conservatives,” the beginning of this series, I explained how the world of sushi and conservative philosophy could align. Now let’s take a look at anime.
I recently watched Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
It is the tale of Chihiro Ogino, a girl whose parents are aloof and narcissistic. The family is moving, and Chihiro is unhappy about it. During the drive to their new home she spends most of the time complaining.
But then they take a wrong turn. They find a path that leads to an empty carnival and it is one filled with delicious, steaming foods. After assuming no one is around, her parents begin eating—but in gluttonous fashion. They soon morph into large pigs.
This is because Chihiro and her parents, without realizing it, have been whisked into a colorful and spiritual world.
It is in this world she learns the meaning of place and home, of friends and family. She overcomes her cowardice in order to become virtuous. And then, finally, she is able to return home.
Miyazaki is a great filmmaker. His work dazzles and provokes. As such, I think Spirited Away has much to offer us beyond what you might read on Rotten Tomatoes.
It is another lesson in California Roll Conservatism.
Its principles: a prejudice toward the local, a respect for tradition, a recognition that man must be ordered toward God, the desire to pursue the permanent things, and the enjoyment of high culture.
So let’s get started.
For this installment, I’d like to introduce Roger Scruton, whom I believe is the ultimate California Roll Conservative.