420. Influence (XI)
On Twitter, Steve Sailer poses the question as to which movies and TV series since The Lord of the Rings have been on the left; while there will be individual examples with more or less explicit left-wing beliefs woven into the plot, the answer is really: they all are. This is because entertainment is leftist in and of itself, whereas art is rightist. Everyone has an intuition as to this because you will often see rightists bristle and say they “don’t watch capeshit” or disdain the latest Netflix series; and this is because entertainment is unmanly—so to like entertainment is to be a soyboy, to be a decadent.
Entertainment is about escape from reality; it is, as with a box of chocolates and a bubble bath, something feminine; it is women and children who want relief from the world’s harshness with escapism—to get away from reality with hedonistic indulgence. Entertainment is produced by actors (narcissistically feminine), women, and homosexuals (also actors); it is not a masculine concern. Masculinity is about responsible engagement with reality, not escape into pleasant illusions. A man who indulges in too much entertainment—video games or fan-like devotion to movies—represents a decadent type; he wants to escape from reality and responsibility and act like a woman.
All men know this at a certain level. I remember my father, when I was young, would say, “That’s very entertaining,” with a slight grating disdain on “entertaining”; and that is because entertainment is not serious and men do not feel at home when they consume or are involved in entertainment. This is not to say that “real men” rigidly never, ever consume things that are entertaining; to create a rigid rule that you never escape from reality is also unreal—however, the habitual and uncritical embrace of entertainment is non-serious and unmanly.
However, there are still hierarchies in entertainment—degrees in decadence. The original Star Wars trilogy was very high entertainment because it was based on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth; the mythic structure that underlies all myths. Hence the films are genuinely religious for many people—why some identify themselves as Jedi on the census—because the films reflect a common and much retold story; essentially, we go out from our village, confront monsters, and return with a boon. What makes Star Wars only entertainment is that it is dualist: at the end Vader becomes “good” again—he is redeemed and appears as a ghost with other “good” characters. Real art is non-dualist; it reflects reality and reality is more ambiguous than “goodies” and “baddies”; entertainment, being primarily aimed at women and children, remains didactic—for different reasons, these two groups need constant instruction in normative behaviour.
Art has always been tied to religion. The Greek plays that have come down to us—Aeschylus and the like—were performed as religious ceremonies; for example, women were excluded from these performances; the theatre was sacred ground, a shamanic space where masks—the shaman’s tools—were deployed, and often literally deployed if you look at the rigid masks Greek actors wore. The goal is to mirror reality; and reality—as with love—exists beyond good and evil, beyond didacticism. An entertainment leaves people happy in a hedonistic way, or satisfied that the goodies have won; art aims to achieve purification—catharsis—through reality’s symbolic re-representation. It is about a return and a restoration to a purer state, and so is equivalent to religious rites like confession. Art has always been intimately connected to religion—mostly was for religion in medieval times—and even today, through mass entertainment, symbols are manipulated to support the state quasi-religion, progressivism.
As noted, it is unreal to rigidly refuse to consume all entertainment and only read (or pretend to read) Greek poetry, but to be a fanboy is decadence. Entertainment produces fans—shortened from “fanatics”. In other words, it produces the crazed mob and the mass, not masculine individuals who draw on harmonious intellect, intuition, and instinct to reach decisions.