Re: RARA-AVIS: those dirty etc.

Mark Sullivan (
Sat, 11 Jul 1998 21:37:17 -0400 (EDT) One of the mistakes often made in looking at America through its pop
culture is to assume there is but one culture, that the "melting pot"
has blurred all distinctions and therefore the most popular artists of a
time represent a uniform ideology of Americans of that time. It just
ain't so. For instance, "Ballad of the Green Beret" and "Eve of
Destruction" both topped the charts within 6 months of each other. I
tend to doubt there was a large overlap in their two audiences.

Beyond that, to say all readers agree with the ideology of an author
they read is also a huge intuitive leap. I'm sure some of Spillane's
fans share his virulent anti-Communist views, but I'm just as sure that
many, if not more, read his books as pure escapism, or for some other
reason entirely. Some, like myself, probably look at it like junk food;
I know it's not good for me, maybe even be bad for me, but sometimes you
just can't help yourself. I've read, and enjoyed, many books and movies
whose politics I've abhorred. Just because I enjoy reading about
private or police detectives who take the law into their own hands does
not mean I would endorse the same means by non-fictional law enforcement

Buying a book is not the same as casting a ballot. (For one thing, more
Americans probably do the former.)


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