Why anyone over the age of eighteen or so should care about wildly popular pop singer Billie Eilish’s recent run-ins with the social media cancel culture police, first apologizing for a slur she uttered at the ripe old age of thirteen and then being lambasted for identifying with the wrong cartoon character, may be a firm mystery to those who 1) neither follow nor care about popular music; 2) neither follow nor care about pop culture. The problem is, these things do matter as far as influencing as many people as possible in the direction of conservative ideals and policies.
As one of my generation’s founding fathers succinctly put it, every generation throws a hero up the pop charts. The late Andrew Breitbart accurately noted that politics is downstream from culture, something the Democrats have been aware of and used to full advantage since John F. Kennedy. The left now has a near monopoly on pop culture, i.e. the entertainment media, even in areas so ostensibly conservative as country music. While TikTok stars and social media influencers theoretically herald a new wave of personal brand popularity personas, the media puppet string pullers are still running things, threatening to either cut or strangle with said strings anyone who fails to dance to their chosen tune.
One of the media’s favorite methods of reminding celebrities who’s in charge is foisting the social media equalization illusion. This takes the form of running “news stories” in which any utterance by a celebrity deemed unsatisfactory to the media overlords is run alongside tweets from unknown outrageously outraged individuals, thus perpetrating the illusion said statements are on equal ground. While theologically it can be argued this is indeed the case, in terms of public impact the words and actions of a genuine celebrity far outstrip Joe or Jane Twitter and their fifteen followers.
The ability to broadcast an opinion neither elevates, nor validates, said opinion. The wise know this, presenting whatever they have to offer with the understanding that it is one person, one voice; consider it as you will. The lie that social media equalization has brought about feeds the raging ego monsters of those who have no impact in life, yet have somehow convinced themselves — or have been convinced by the media — their word carries the same significance and weight as those far higher up the totem pole. No, their word carries only that significance and weight as the media overlords allow.
This is the media‘s game. It feeds the delusion and illusion that an individual matters, when in fact it practices the exact opposite, laughing up its sleeve at those desperately clawing for their 15 minutes. The media could care less about who’s on TikTok, or who’s on the pop charts. It only cares about that which glorifies itself and feeds the lie that it not only matters, but also cares. No, no it does not. It prays for another flawed celebrity upon which to prey.
This passive/aggressive cancel culture is a pernicious perversion. It is the National Enquirer and TMZ on steroids. These at least make no pretense of their mission. They are gossip sites and nothing more. The pop culture vultures seek to actively destroy for the apparent pleasure of doing so.
So where does this leave us?
A guideline was provided long ago:
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Without discarding principles, we have the opportunity to infiltrate those who seek to steer pop culture. We are losing the culture war not only because we have abandoned the battlefield, but because we refuse to demonstrate basic human kindness and courtesy to those placed on pop culture pedestals and then attacked, as is currently the case with Billie Eilish, for being there. Let’s turn it around. We can provide genuine artistic options, and we can personally promote these alternatives by not withdrawing from the world, but rather smilingly refusing to sit down and shut up. Should we be in places where there is direct access to the genuinely influential, we can present an alternative to those who seek to leech on to their fame by caring about, and for, them as people. Never underestimate the power of simple respect.
Regardless of whether we like it or approve, the Billie Eilishs of this world have the world’s ear. They are easy to lampoon. But they are not going away. Let’s look for, and work toward, opportunities that are the exact opposite of hiding in our bunkers and railing against these people. Instead, when the media cretins pounce and demand their pound of flesh let’s support those who have the opportunity to, and will seize upon it, the ability to directly say to the attacked, “I will show you the most excellent way.”