Big Lesson: It’s About Culture

It seems to be something of a retrospective, arms-akimbo, looking backwards in satisfaction sort of mood up at the front page. I was the first sub-blogger invited to particiapte in the community here like this, and the experiment has always felt like a rousing success from the very beginning. I came for the politics and I’ve stayed for the politics, but along the way, Stan Marsh-like, I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

I should have understood this earlier in life, from many other experiences, but which never quite sunk in. Politics is a function of culture. Culture is what it’s all about. Culture is about more than politics, winners and losers and red or blue flags planted in various institutions. It is about people; how we relate to one another, how we organize and govern ourselves, how we form families and friendships. The stories we tell one another, the movies we watch, the pastimes into which we indulge, and the foods we eat. The language we speak and how it changes, semiotically altering our very thought. All of these things affect how life is lived, they conspire to create happiness (or its absence), and what life in the future shall be.

Does that self-importantly justify raving about a bottle of wine or an amusing movie when there are amendments to the Constitution being discussed and Presidents being selected? Yes, and no — because it is to see the movie review as just another facet of the political debate. It’s about our culture, our sharing of life together as a community.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

One Comment

  1. This, this, a thousand times this.

    We wanted this as the first subblog, rather than simply inviting you as another front pager precisely because of your non-political, more cultural stuff. It’s worlds easier to be charitable to someone in a political argument if that someone is also a person with whom you like to talk about the simple joys and tribulations that make up 99% of life. Politics may well affect most people’s lives, but for very few people is it a significant part of life, even amongst those who care a lot about it.

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