Pol 166: Cultcha! Cultcha! Cultcha!

Y’all know that (in)famous phrase When I hear the word “culture”, that’s when I reach for my revolver—right?


Well, Joseph Goebbels (Reichsminister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany and confidant to Hitler; along with his wife, murdered their six children before they killed themselves) was alleged to have uttered that phrase, and as loathsome as I find Nazis in general and Goebbels in particular, that phrase has a certain undeniable catchiness.

Even the punk band Mission of Burma thought so; check out their great song “That’s when I reach for my revolver”


Where was I? Oh, yes: culture.

We’ve been discussing political culture in class, but I want to expand the conversation to include those voices who both write about culture generally and who consider the political implications of apparently non-political cultural expressions.

I can think of three writers off the bat who are worth reading:

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, at the Atlantic Monthly. He writes on gaming, music, black nationalism, the American Civil War, football, politics, and, on occasion, oatmeal.
  • Rod Dreher, at The American Conservative. He’s an Orthodox Christian (who converted from his conversion to Roman Catholicism) who’s intensely interested in cultural issues. And good food.
  • Alyssa Rosenberg, at ThinkProgress. Her bailiwick is mass entertainment, so she writes a lot about t.v. and movies and what our viewership (or not) says about us. Or not.

Can you think of others? Toss your suggestions my way and I’ll toss ’em up.


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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