Thursday, March 31, 2005

"Elites" aren't

Hugh Hewitt has a great post on what he calls "religiousrightitis": the recent tendency rage against the religious right (whoever they are... can people please define their terms?). Along the way he comments on today's column from Tina Brown, specifically the following excerpt therein:
    The current mania for any story with a religious angle is just the latest index of the post-election angst in executive suites about the terror of being out of touch with suburban mega-churches and other manifestations of the supposed Real America. God forbid, so to speak, that anyone should stand up and suggest that Mozart might be as worthwhile as NASCAR, or that it might be as important for the soul to read Philip Roth as the hokey bromides of 'The Purpose Driven Life.'
Hugh retorts:
    Tina's suggestion that those praying people head straight from church to the NASCAR race and never have heard of Mozart tells us that she hasn't been inside a church in a long long time, and her suggestion that Philip Roth is way to earthly happiness and eternal salvation, well, that's one for the ages: "The Philip Roth-Driven Life." (Perhaps some music and worship pastors might send Ms. Brown their liturgies/orders of worship from this past weekend to educate her on how Mozart and his colleagues and Christian worship aren't exactly strangers.)

Elsewhere in the column, Brown says that "Elites are supposed to lead, but mainstream media and the conglomerates that own it are the most docile followers of all." Well put, especially the note that elites are supposed to lead. The problem is this: being described (by oneself or others) as an elite does not one make. I don't know if Ms. Brown considers or is considered an elite, but I sure wouldn't follow someone who clearly doesn't have a clue about religious culture or the culture of middle America. Like Hugh, I'm dumbfounded by her implication that religious folk don't know high culture (by the way, isn't her extolling of Mozart judgment-making, and isn't that a no-no?). She must have the worst possible caricature of religous people, and I'm afraid that there's little hope for shining a light into her tiny world anytime soon.

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