My readers ask the tough questions:
I think you might need to shore up the case for why one takes the battle over the independent judgment of literary and artistic merit to a place like Gawker. Does the existence of gossip rags somehow preclude the existence of any other form of criticism? Is gossip where ideology critique went to die (as you hint)? Is this what happens when you separate bad Marxist and sociological and gender lit theory from practice? That seems like the strong intellectual line to take, and addressing this is necessary for all the people like me who would keep urging you to let it go.
Uh, that’s right. The real toxicity of a lot of this stuff is precisely in its use of the language of progressivism—its claims to being anti-elitist, or feminist, or pro-gay. It is periodically those things, in individual posts. Overall of course it is the opposite of all those things. And really we should blame the universities, right? Because aren’t these political theories of culture separated from practice there, at the very start? And in that sense we’re reaping what we sowed, insofar as we supported that.
And yet isn’t it a more promising base from which to start than with those who would deny the connection of any politics to culture? It’s been deformed but couldn’t it be straightened? Am I speaking in riddles? As another reader once put it: “They got the same bad education as we got.” And now we’re stuck with one another.