The 2013 Oscar ceremony, says Ross Douthat, revealed “the movie business’s essential schizophrenia, which is also the schizophrenia of post-1960s cultural liberalism writ large.” On display were “the official commitment to high-minded principles of equality and human dignity,” represented by a cameo appearance by Michelle Obama, the “tsarina of contemporary liberalism,” as well as vulgar, profane, and jejune riffs exemplifying “the ‘whatever sells’ libertinism that tends to undercut those ideals at every turn.”

The extravaganza, “honest about the culture that it celebrates,” thus combined a “theoretical embrace of feminism and multiculturalism and the practical realities of pornography and sadism.” Says Douthat, “That’s our liberalism.”

Continue reading the rest of this article
by subscribing
Subscribe now to access the rest of this article