Culture 11

I like it. With two caveats:

  1. WTF does the name mean? Is it some tragically hip reference I’m just not getting?
  2. As it stands, the editorial staff is like some bizarre combination of Townhall.com and The American Scene. Maybe this was intentional, but it comes off as pretty jarring. The Confabulum, for example, is populated by the likes of Conor Friedersdorf and James Poulos – both of whom are incredibly introspective and always worth reading – but then Ericka Andersen (good Scandinavian name, that!) pops in and worries out loud that an Obama Administration will be run by terrorists. Over at the PomoCon Blog, Peter Lawler says that Obama on foreign policy is a “McGovernite” (would that it were so!), and the Ladyblog almost entirely consists of fairly orthodox conservative writers.

Then again, maybe this is the genius of the venture. I’ve always thought there was a clear distinction between the two halves of the conservative-libertarian blogosphere. One the one hand, you have the mainstream outlets – your Townhalls, your Michelle Malkins, National Review – and on the other, dissidents from all over the ideological map, and never the twain shall meet. Incidentally, the brouhaha between RedState and Culture11 seemed likely to reify this divide.

But if Culture11 succeeds in bringing together dissident conservative intellectuals and their mainstream counterparts, it can only be a good thing. After all, if we’re to rebuild the conservative movement, we’ll have to convince a fair number of people who enthusiastically supported Bush (and now, McCain) to reconsider a number of intensely partisan positions (this one comes to mind). I don’t see that happening without some intense (and yes, jarring) inter-faith dialog. For what it’s worth, Culture 11 seems like a decent start.

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6 Comments

Filed under Conservatism, The Media

6 responses to “Culture 11

  1. John

    … the Ladyblog almost entirely consists of fairly orthodox conservative bloggers.

    Not really. It’s true that a lot of the ones who blog the most tend toward a certain sort of movement orthodoxy, but there are others (e.g. Helen Rittelmeyer, Cheryl Miller, Nicola Karras) who are more quirky and still more (e.g. Katherine Mangu-Ward, Eve Tushnet, Phoebe Maltz) who are WAY outside the “mainstream”.

  2. Mea culpa – my sample was probably skewed by a quick reading of the blog these past few days. But I think the larger point about a divide between mainstream and dissident conservatives within the magazine still holds.

  3. We tell people its a Spinal Tap reference (“Our culture goes to 11…) but it really stands for the 11 areas of culture that we cover: Arts, Commerce, Community, Education, Faith, Family, Ideas, Leisure, Media, Politics, and Technology.

    You are right that there is a divide between mainstream and dissident voices and that Culture11 wants to bridge the two. Whether that task is possible will determine our success as a venture.

  4. I sincerely hope you’re successful. I was originally perturbed by Culture 11’s inclusiveness, but writing this post made me reconsider the importance of dialog between the various right-of-center tribes. I’m also struck by the fact that no other media outlet has set out to accomplish this.

  5. Yeah…I did not “worry out loud that the Obama administration would be run by terrorists”, I simply questioned the alliances of Sen. Obama as reflections of his character and choices. I do not think he is a “terrorist sympathizer” or that he will employ such individuals. It’s just a part of a bigger picture of Obama. By taking my comments out of context, you destroy the conversation.

  6. My phrasing was inapt (heat of the moment and all that jazz), and for that I apologize. I still think the guilt-by-association charge is silly, but I shouldn’t have caricatured your argument. As I said above, presenting different viewpoints in the same forum is a healthy thing, and I applaud your magazine for taking the time to assemble such a diverse roster of writers.

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