Conformist Rebellion and Other Cultural Contradictions

 And now comes my semi-regular plug for Jim Geraghty's "Morning Jolt" e-mail. Sign up! As a culture/politics junky, it's easily the daily read I most anticipate. As I've said before, come for the politics, stay for the cultural commentary.

Earlier this week, Mr. Geraghty triggered an interesting online conversation when he highlighted recent culturally conservative comments from high-profile celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Bono. Kutcher now-famously exhorted teenagers to embrace hard work and to essentially redefine "sexy" as something more approaching "virtuous." Bono made the entirely accurate and (one would wish) common sense observation that foreign aid and welfare are a "band-aid" for poverty, but "free enterprise is the cure." In the great desert of pop culture, these comments represented a tiny oasis, a place for some replenishment and hope before venturing back out into the pitiless wastes.

In the battle for culture (in which I'm an enthusiastic but talentless participant; I can't sing, dance, make movies, play an instrument, write a book anyone will read, or model athletic wear, but I did try out for Survivor once!), we've got to overcome four key lies the secular Left has sold successive generations since the Baby Boom. These lies are particularly difficult to defeat because they pull off the perfect con - convincing young people they can feel virtuous without being virtuous. They can feel good while being bad.