Welcome to the Culture Wars

It amuses me to see the praise heaped on Lady Gaga for being non-political in her Super Bowl show. That performance was as political as anything I’ve ever seen. She started with a song written by a Jewish immigrant, continued with “This Land is Your Land,” as radical a vision of America as has ever been written, and moved into her own “I Was Born This Way,” an anthem of the LGBT movement. It was a patriotic performance, to be sure, but the America being celebrated was a far cry from Donald Trump’s America.

Do you think I’m overthinking this? Listen to me as an emissary from the land of the geeky creatives, the tribe that I share with Lady Gaga. Overthinking is what we do. And we particularly overthink when it comes to creating our art. I assure you Lady Gaga knew what she was doing when she put together that performance – knowing what she’s saying is one of the hallmarks of a great artist.

And I assure you that whoever made all those commercials was aware of what they were doing. Maybe all the weasel-wording coming out of Lumber 84’s corporate office is true and the company didn’t mean to support illegal immigration. But the smart geeky creatives at the ad agency were aware. Knowing what we say is what we geeky creatives do, and don’t think that we don’t know what we’re creating better than the audience knows.

So get ready, red-state America. Because the battle has been joined, and it’s going to play out in your entertainments for the next four years. You aren’t going to be able to listen to a song or go to a play or watch a TV show without hearing our message. You won’t even be able to turn on a football game without seeing us coming at you from the halftime shows and commercials.

Heck, even on the field you will see our side taking a knee, or keeping the games out of states oozing with bigotry. And don’t look to the stores to make you feel better: 60% of America’s economy voted for Hillary Clinton, and corporate America pays attention.

Welcome to the culture wars, America. And don’t forget that the big guns are all on one side.

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