Ed Driscoll

America and its Discontents

Everybody hurts:

“The Frankfurt School of philosophers emigrated from Nazi Germany and became dyspeptic critics of American culture. Several landed in Southern California where they were disturbed by the consumer culture and the gospel of relentless cheeriness. Depressive by nature, they focused on the disappointments and venality that surrounded them and how unnecessary it all was. It could be paradise, Theodor Adorno complained, but it was only California.”

– Adam Cohen in The New York Times in February of 2010, a newspaper that drunk deep from the Frankfurt School’s Jurassic-era political correctness.


Flash-forward nearly three-quarters of a century and the punitive worldview of “progressivism” stands still:

For almost 20 years I’ve lived in Iowa, where as a professor at the University of Iowa I’ve taught thousands of university students. I’ve written a couple of books on rural Iowa, traveling to all 99 counties, and have spent much of my time when not teaching, visiting with and interviewing Iowans from across the state. I haven’t taken up hunting or fishing, the main hobbies of rural Iowans, but I’m a fan of University of Iowa Hawkeye football, so I’m a good third of the way to becoming an adopted Iowan. I even have a dog, born and bred in Iowa (more on that later).

— “Observations From 20 Years of Iowa Life” in the Atlantic this month by Stephen G. Bloom, whom the magazine describes as “Professor and Bessie Dutton Murray Professional Scholar at the University of Iowa. This year, he is the Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Michigan.”

James Lileks proffers a handy annotated version of Bloom’s Frankfurt School-style cri de coeur from the heartland — best read over the veal scaloppine marsala in the Olive Garden.

Related: While Bloom is sending out an S.O.S. from Iowa to his fellow “liberal” elites in the Northeast Corridor, the Washington Post is busy having similar palpitations over another Midwestern state with locals far more conservative than their “progressive” betters can stand. After all, their self-professed diversity and tolerance for a multicultural society have their limits, you know. “WaPo’s Gowen Hits Hard at Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s First Year in Charge,” Tom Blumer writes at Newsbusters.


Still though, look at the flip-side:  linking to the same hyperventiling Post article, Jim Geraghty paraphrases, “The Tea Party Is Now ‘Completely in Charge’ of Kansas!” Running a whole state? not bad for less than three years work. Take that, OWS!

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