February 15, 2015

Weakened by diversity, succumbing to the gay marriage epidemic: A contrast between Alabama and Ohio

A federal judge in Alabama has struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, and by now a majority of the state's counties are complying.

I definitely would not have predicted Alabama to be the first domino to fall in the Deep South, given that Atlanta is one of the gayest cities on Earth. The waves of laissez-faire transplants flooding Atlanta also make it more deviance-friendly.

First I figured the federal judge must be some blue-state transplant to a college town, appointed by Clinton or Obama. But nope: she's Southern born and raised, went to college in the South, holds court in Mobile (a Gulf Coast redneck town), and appointed by Bush Jr. Her grandfather, Richard Rives, was a native Alabamian lawyer who furthered the Civil Rights movement during his tenure as a federal appellate judge.

You'd think if she were a lone voice, there would be greater resistance. But the counties caved in pretty quickly. Especially since the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court said that the go-ahead for gay marriage was unconstitutional, and told his state's judges not to comply. That would have been a halfway decent source of plausible deniability -- just following orders from the state Chief Justice. Most local judges must not have felt strong opposition to gay marriage to begin with. "Finally, the chance to over-ride those braindead voters!"

I looked over the timing of when each county began to comply, and it looked like the area around Montgomery in the south caved quicker, and that there was somewhat of a cluster of hold-outs in the northeastern part of the state, although it wasn't a very strong pattern. The northeast part of the state is the most heavily Appalachian and the whitest, while the southern and western parts are more Deep South / Plantation, with a more balanced mix of blacks and whites, or majority black.

Perhaps we're seeing the trouble with otherwise conservative folks defending their values if they don't make up such a solid majority of the regional population. Most folks who've never visited the Deep South think it's just full of white rednecks who outnumber a tiny handful of blacks. (This false impression comes from viewing the entire South as a never-ending lynch mob.) But the Plantation region in the southeastern U.S. has been substantially or majority black for centuries, and whites have only ever been a dominant force in the hilly and mountainous parts at the southern end of Appalachia, like Birmingham and Atlanta.

Putnam's research on the sowing of distrust within ethnically diverse cities suggests that a similar pattern would work at the level of states and regions. The Plantation South is too deeply divided racially to withstand attempts to screw over the ordinary whites for the benefit of some other group -- blacks, queers, whoever.

Too-high levels of diversity make it hard for whites to stick up for themselves at a higher level than the personal. An individual white man in Alabama can stare down or hurl curse words at blacks. But if many whites try to organize to protect their own interests -- "Wow, seriously? Are we, like, back in the KKK era again?"

It doesn't matter which piece of their culture they're trying to protect -- prayer in school, statue of the Ten Commandments in the state Supreme Court building, ban on gay marriage, whatever. Those things are all highly distinctive of white culture, therefore an attempt to protect one is secretly an attempt to promote their ethnic group over the other one. They can't win.

Farther north in West Virginia, those same cultural elements would still be found among whites, but since there are no blacks around, they are not seen as distinctly white. So, protecting them up there is not seen as an attempt to promote one's own ethnic group against The Other.

I don't think federal pressure plays much of a role. White Alabamians don't give a damn what the federal gubmint thinks of them, nor do they care about the opinions of the Puritanical Yankees, corn farmers, or surfer fags. It must be a more regional concern, like a civil war could erupt within Alabama or the Deep South itself, largely on racial lines as it did during the Civil Rights era.

West Virginians don't have to worry about an ethnic civil war, since up there it's a matter of whether you're Scotch-Irish, Welsh, Border English, or German. Even "big" cities nearby like Wheeling or Pittsburgh would expose you to a more exotic mix of Hunkies, Polacks, Dagoes, and Wops, but that's about it. The city of 300,000 is 65% non-Hispanic white, and just 25% black.

Now, this is not to say that The Other side in Alabama is a big fan of gay marriage. Obviously the blacks are against it too. You'd think both races could come together and stand firm against the homo agenda.

But that ignores the climate of distrust, both within groups and between groups, that stems from a highly diverse population. This vacuum of willpower, organization, and evangelism will be filled by elite, organized outsiders (and some elite natives) pushing their own special interests.

Black and white working-class men couldn't unite for labor rights, so that collective bargaining has been abysmal, thwarted by Big Business interests. Blacks and whites worry about who would benefit more from a decent provision of government services, so that basic welfare, infrastructure, and education have taken a back seat to elite groups, who are only too happy to pocket that tax money for themselves and their cronies rather than spread the wealth around. And now we see blacks and whites failing to unite against gay marriage, so that a federal judge expressing a minority opinion can single-handedly expose the whole state to the epidemic.

More and more I'm coming to believe Appalachia and its neighbors to be the only hope for a cohesive white culture that is even halfway conservative. Recall from this earlier post that the only federal judge to give the thumbs up to state bans on gay marriage came from Cincinnati, benefiting the citizens of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

New England and the Upper Midwest is still highly white, which allows them to achieve their goals easily, but those happen to be liberal SWPL goals. No one will cry racism if some high school in Vermont wants to fund a ski team ("blacks don't ski! that's only for white folks!"). And the northern parts of the Mountain states are still pretty white, but they have more of a laissez-faire morality stemming from their anything-goes Frontier roots.

That leaves the region that cuts across many state borders, but stretches mostly from a northern pole around Pittsburgh through a southern pole around Atlanta or Birmingham (no coincidence that it's nicknamed "the Pittsburgh of the South"). The jury's still out on whether Atlanta will be saved on Judgment Day, since it's plunged headlong into the "do whatever" morality in order to grow as big as possible, as fast as possible.

In these most interesting times to follow, we ought to keep in mind how individual desires may not percolate up to a collective action, if the region is too ethnically diverse. Remember Putnam's most troubling discovery -- on top of a diverse area making people distrust those from outside ethnic groups, it also makes them distrust members of their own group. Without that basic level of trust, don't expect their shared individual desires to take collective form.

30 comments:

  1. "
    Farther north in West Virginia, those same cultural elements would still be found among whites, but since there are no blacks around, they are not seen as distinctly white. So, protecting them up there is not seen as an attempt to promote one's own ethnic group against The Other."

    This must be one reason why West Virginia identifies more with upstate Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, more than identifying with other areas in the South.

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  2. It seems like the solution to "Wow, seriously? Are we, like, back in the KKK era again?" is to stop caring about accusations of racism.

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  3. "It seems like the solution to "Wow, seriously? Are we, like, back in the KKK era again?" is to stop caring about accusations of racism."

    I used to have some optimism about the future, but the West has gone so full retard in terms of PC that I'm finding myself getting burned out by one idiocy after another.

    The cultural Marxist/Libertarian materialist campaign to change America has been such a success that I don't see America ever really regaining it's essential character. Other Western countries have a fighting chance since the depth and breadth of demographic changes aren't as stunning as America's. Only England has gone as far off the deep end, possibly more than America. These places are headed for some kind of break up likely along ethnic lines.

    Most depressing of all, the generation that could've helped correct these problems (white Gen X'ers) was cut off at the knees by several things beyond their control:

    - Small numbers (careerist Me Gen whites stopped having kids while blacks and browns were paid by Uncle Sam to breed).

    -Late Silents/Boomers not giving a damn about (or not even realizing) demo. changes and the long term effect of those changes.

    - Said Silents/Boomers retaining great power long after they've proven that they've steered the West off a cliff, yet being unrepentant in their ways (some briefly took accountability in the 80's and began promoting better values, but after the lovably crass Clinton took office they fell off the wagon). Folks, the Reagan admin. oversaw a grim report on porn.

    -Highly diverse Milennials (the white ones being avowedly PC to boot) beginning to exert influence on the culture which will overshadow Gen X-ers due to X-ers being a small group and also because Millennials are bigger attention whores.

    - The post 1991 Malaise rendering many X-ers fatalistic and alienated.

    Boomers are too stubbornly sanguine to be affected by anything while Milennials just go along with the garbage of this era. Most of the click bait BS of the Milennial era is created by either preening Boomers (who might be in on the joke but what does it matter if it's good for me?), fag or non white X-ers, or useful idiot Millennials who are either deluded or pulling a stunt.

    These camps relentlessly harass anyone who calls BS on the reign of our elites and the corrosive ideas pushed by them and the fools and miscreants who envy their power.

    This isn't a time for the modest, the serious, and the unpretentious.

    It's going to be very hard for a small group to overcome the combined weight of the Me Gen aristocracy and Millennial narcissism and nihilism. And also the inertia of the toxic "progress" that's ramped up since the 60's.

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  4. Something about the NFL fan map that I don't get is Packer fans in Alaska. Come to think of it, I read something about how Sarah Palin's accent is very Minnesotan though she never lived there.

    Was there some mass influx of upper Midwesterners into Alaska during the Packer glory days which made the identity stick? It must've been before the late 60's since the Vikings were good in the late 60's and 70's.

    Kinda weird too, the wild mixture of fan bases in Eastern Nebraska. I guess Nebraska is more volatile than I thought. The other patchwork states are Montana and Florida to a lesser extent. Never really thought that these three states would have anything in common.

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  5. Hard to say why, if its just because they identify culturally with Wisconsin(both areas are cold..?), or because its trendy. "Face to Face" claims that status-strivers tended to settle in Alaska, so maybe they all picked the Packers to seem cool.

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  6. actually, the map shows Alaska as being solidly Seahawks fans, which makes sense, because it is closest to the Pacific Northwest, and the temperate regions of Alaska are geographically similar to the Northwest. economically, there may be a lot of trade and transit between Alaska and the Northwest coast. (to be fair, an article I just found says that there are a lot of Packers fans in Alaska)

    likewise, Hawaii is placed as being 49ers fans. San Fransisco is probably the region that Hawaii has the most traffic with.

    http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/FB_NFL_Fandom.jpg

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  7. one thing I've been wondering is to what extent new, autonomous regions will develop around major cities, as cities tend to economically dominate surrounding regions, no doubt impacting the culture of the area. sort of like ancient city-states - Athens wasn't just the city itself, but also the area of Attica around it.

    according to the NFL map, Alabama and Mississippi are Saints fans. we think of the Deep South as being rural and insulated, but if New Orleans economically and culturally dominates the area, and the people are Saints fans, we can see that the Mississippi and Alabama are basically cosmopolitan, mercantile, and diverse. they are the outliers of New Orleans

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  8. This map http://www.businessinsider.com/nfl-fandom-map-regionalism-2013-1
    shows that only the far southern parts of Alaska are Sea Hawk Fans(blue) . The rest is mostly Packer fans (green).

    The Vikings were actually a better team than the Packers in the very late 60's and definitely the better team in the 70's. Granted, the Vikings never won titles and never had the media exposure of either the Packers, the Steelers (who do show up in Alaska also) or the Cowboys. These 3 teams tend to have the most non regional fans (everybody loves a winner, the Cowboys have struggled since the mid 90's so they've fallen behind the Steelers and Packers).

    The Packers are the most popular Midwest team and I can only assume that at some point a lot of Packer fans (likely from the Midwest and West) moved to Alaska during the 60's/70's when the Packers won titles. Being trendy, they may have adopted the Vikings if the Vikings had won titles.

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  9. In terms of Alabama and Mississipi being Saints fans, that's not a surprise given that Gulf Coast culture is distinct from either Appalachia or Atlantic coast culture. And Texas is Texas.

    Being from the upper midwest, you would never know these things from the way that we lump everyone from Texas to North Carolina together. I think that there's actually a lot more cultural diversity in the south (the aforementioned white/black ratios being inconsistent helps) than the the northeastern half of the country. Basically, you've got farms, urban sprawl, and a smattering of hillbilly territory in OH/IN/Penn./WV. There are few black dominated areas aside from some awful rustbelt ghettos.

    A sameness of character in the land and the people probably helped make the North a lot stronger than the South.

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  10. For the record, there may be phenotypical and verbal cues that similar people settled the upper Midwest and Alaska, but behavior wise the two groups of settlers are divergent.

    Some survey about personality showed that people from the non rustbelt Midwest tended to be far more agreeable than Alaskans (or many other American's for that matter). The open spaces and sunshine (and not having to be subjected to derelict factories, decaying houses, and sprawling ghettos) is heartening. Alaska is basically the last outpost of America; it's forbidding in it's distance from America, it's extreme latitude (more harsh than the temperatures).

    Alaskan's basically want to get the hell away from everyone. So do most in the inland desert/mountain areas of America with the plains states being a bit more mild before all hell breaks loose further West.

    Minnesota is frigid, but it's further south than Alaska (longer winter days, yay) and isn't terribly snowy or rainy. And there is little urban decay but still a decent amount of civilization (but not too much of that). MN isn't that bad of a place to live, the Mississipi running through the state and the great lakes meant that the state was well involved in commerce/trade. The state has a fairly well established arts/civic/scholastic culture and people are fairly well rooted though the states coastal but not rust belt character has led to it attracting ambitious/talented people from other parts of the Midwest. I realized this when looking at state test scores on Sailer's blog.

    Coastal states tend to emphasize education and attract literate people since they are the focal points of trade/commerce.

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  11. You're doing the Lord's work, Agnostic.
    This is very important analyses you're doing.

    The new look into east versus west lately has been really eye opening and now taking Putnam's work and applying it here... seems it has more than a decent chance of being right.

    Are you back, or moving back, east? You sure sound like you've been missing home for awhile now.

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  12. To see where the residents of a state were born, from 1900 to present, check here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/08/13/upshot/where-people-in-each-state-were-born.html

    Make sure you click on the toggle button above the first chart on the right. The charts should now say "born in" rather than "moved to".

    Most of the initial migration to the Mountain states and Pacific NW was from the Midwest. That's left a residue of Packers fandom.

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  13. I hope to be back in Ohio sometime later this year, maybe summer or fall.

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  14. That football map and the migration charts reveal that Ohio is not a Midwestern state but an Appalachian state, something most outsiders or even residents would not suspect.

    Most residents in Ohio were born there, about 75% across the past century. Few transplants come from the entire Midwest (few from the West or East Coast either). More of them come from West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania (hilly, not Philly). More come from the South than the Midwest, although that could be mainly blacks.

    The NFL graph shows that if Ohio didn't have two local teams of its own, it would be entirely Stillers country. Not just the Appalachian ridge along the southeastern third of the state, but also the center where Columbus is, and even Toledo off in the NW.

    There are two long-established Midwestern teams in adjacent states, Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, but they don't even make a dent into Ohio. Pulled in three directions, the whole states sides with Pittsburgh. It joins West Virginia in that way. If they're both equally loyal to the same capital of Appalachia, they must highly resemble each other in deeper ways.

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  15. Diversity in the South shows up in the NFL map after the playoffs (you have to clik on the link to the original Facebook post), where the Atlanta Falcons are only popular in Georgia and Alabama.

    Even worse, most of the South is rooting for New England! There's a smattering of Midwestern fans, but still. With all that talk about the South shall rise again, you think they'd stand behind Atlanta over New England of all possible outsider teams.

    I understand (from 5 seconds of superficial googling) that there are rivalries between the Falcons and the Saints and the Panthers, but still. After your Southern team gets defeated by another Southern team, shouldn't you be standing with your fellow Southerners? It just seems like utter treason for most of the Deep South to be cheering on the Patriots.

    I wonder if the South has always been that internally divided, giving the Yankees an easier job of putting them down. Civil War, Reconstruction, Civil Rights era, gay marriage.

    Despite the high levels of fundamentalism there, I wouldn't call them the Arabs of America. I think it's more the distrust that stems from their high levels of racial diversity. Something that the Yankees have never been weakened by, in contrast. For better or worse.

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  16. I just had one of those young fogey moments, trying to recall all the team names from the map that only lists the location. Shows how long I've tuned out -- I swore it was the Houston Oilers.

    The new team there is called the Texans -- as if, more like the Houston Mexicans.

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  17. I just want to chime in on the South.

    We don't care about NFL as much as other regions. We watch college football, and that's it. That's our primary sport. So don't be surprised by the lack of popularity. You've covered this before, Agnostic, and UGA, Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Auburn provide the tribal colors in those states.

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  18. I understand college football being bigger than the NFL. What I mean is, when Southerners only have one Southern NFL team left to root for, they throw them under the bus and root for outsiders instead. And it's not just any old outsider team, but the symbol of Puritanical Yankeedom, the New England Patriots.

    I thought they would've sided with Atlanta, or chosen a team from Texas or Denver to go along with the rebel culture, or maybe just flipped a coin if it's not that important to them. Seems like even if they didn't care about the NFL, it would still be taboo for a Southerner to cheer for New England.

    It would be interesting to study this behavior in a real-life setting, rather than "likes" on Facebook. Do the patrons of a sports bar in Charleston or Jackson actually clap and smile when the Patriots score, or is their support for New England not to be spoken of in public?

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  19. In that case, it's all about the black factor. Does it have a visible black star that black Southerners can relate to? Over a decade ago, it was Vick and Atlanta. Same with the Rams and Faulk and Holt. If the quarterback isn't black, then you need other black pieces. The Colts were popular and what happened? Marvin Harrison retired. Black people can't relate to Manning. Luck is in the same mold. The reverse applies, too. People root based on people they can relate to, and for white people, it's the white players even if they are from other regional teams. Tom Brady isn't exactly less white than Manning, but he acts like a wigger on the field to suck up to his black teammates. Aside from that, I guess it's just the general swagger displayed by the team. Compare Seattle and Green Bay. Ask people from outside of Washington and Wisconsin which team they like and consider their races. Seattle (black) and Green Bay (white) are like that test where you have to choose between rap and country as the only genre you could listen to for the rest of your life. Of course you'll have overlaps (liberal whites and Seattle and blacks who just like a dominant team in Green Bay, for example). But I did notice that having black players on the team has a reverberating effect on the fan base even after their retirement. Duke, for example, hasn't overcome its white image despite having black players because those black players come from middle class families and in the ghetto, that's a no-no. On the other hand, I'm sure there are black fans of the Yankees and the Mets because they picked it up from rap music or they grew up being Mets fans because their dads grew up with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden even though both teams are arguably less black now than in the past; there were more prominent black players like Reggie Jackson and Bernie Williams. Now Hispanics are more prominent on average in baseball, but I digress. Dante Culpepper had a good season with Minnesota. I'm sure black people loved him when he did. Now? Bridgewater isn't a household name enough yet to have that pull again in what is quite a white team for NFL. I'm not sure what's going on with Peterson. But again, it's a black-white ratio. It needs a certain racial threshold. Remember the Eagles with McNabb and T.O.? That was black enough for black people. Regardless, people want a face they can relate to if it's outside of their geographical interest. The Cowboys and the 49ers of the 90s satisfied both white and black requirements (Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin; Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice). The rest is just how dominant the team is because you'll always have Yankees fans everywhere.

    So it comes down to how much the fan can relate racially, how dominant is the team in recent history (bandwagoning; or it could be for fashionable reasons influenced by rappers), and the lesser of the two evil option (if you're white, then whichever one is less black, and if you're black, whichever one is less white).

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  20. The Vermifuge2/18/15, 8:49 AM

    "This isn't a time for the modest, the serious, and the unpretentious."

    This is an important point. The culture has been corrupted into a histrionic pinwheel that spins and spins, trying to upset the steadiest hands, abandoning measured accounts, and ignoring the past, (as if the present is always more enlightened), while worshiping and dancing around pillars built by the loudest self-promoters, the shrillest “art,” and the destructive. The gay lifestyle—which is a perfect example of this cultural rot—is purely one of decadence: disease, drugs, and self-deliverance. To romanticize it is akin to allowing children to make decisions on their diets.

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  21. I still think major sports teams are a good way to gauge regional identity. If a city has enough money and power to have its own team, that means that it has enough clout to politically and culturally dominate its own region. Its not going to be pushed around by other cities, and has enough pride to push for a team.

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  22. I am an immigrant (transplan) who has lived in the South my entire life. I don't know any Falcons fans. There was a black guy I know who tried out for the team.

    They're interested in college football. The typical football fan I meet is a Georgia Bulldogs fan.

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  23. "The cultural Marxist/Libertarian materialist campaign to change America has been such a success that I don't see America ever really regaining it's essential character."

    Not sure what the point of this post is (football allegiance? Conservative culture? What?) But the quote gets it right.

    I don't think you (and alot of people) realize that America is gone, and in fact has been gone for a long time. Moreso, it is gone for a very specific reason: because the media is culture, and what the media says goes. There is no 'conservative' culture' to restore: people get their cultural clues (and thus their essential morality) from tv. TV sitcoms do more to shape peoples' values than family, church, schools, regional affiliation, or anything else. The folks in Appalacia that you hope are going to save conservative white culture are all watching mtv and espn. MTV and espn aren't conservative, so they aren't either.

    This is especially apparent with regards to gay marriage. Gay marriage didn't exist as a concept (outside of a few activists internal dialogues) 20 years ago. If you are more than 40 years old, you and your cohort were adults and didn't believe in, or even consider the concept of, gay marriage.

    But today, gay marriage is effectively the law of the land, and, more importantly, it is supported by basically the majority. Remember those 40 year old colleagues of yours, that didn't even imagine the possibility of gay marriage when they were in college? Alot of them believe in it as fervently as they believe in any other value in their lives. There isn't a subterranean conservative culture being suppressed by the judges or politicians: that conservative culture has simply been erased: people changed their minds. They changed their minds because the tv that they watched for the last twenty years told them to, and they complied.

    The future of this country is whatever 2 and 1/2 men, CNN, and 60 minutes tells us it is. Give it up.

    anonymousse

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  24. You're using "culture" to only mean mass media culture, as though I were working or hoping to restore a conservative set of sit-coms, a conservative TV news system, etc.

    I'm using culture in the broad sense -- ways of life, outlook, orientations, beliefs, practices, and the like. American culture was conservative within living memory, although it was fairly libertarian and hedonistic during the Gilded Age and early 20th C. We got ourselves out of it before, we'll do it again.

    Also TV culture is a lagging indicator. TV "content creators" are the most servile kind of pandering butt-lickers, and jump on the bandwagon for whatever is already gaining popularity among their target audience.

    Consider gay marriage, using data from the General Social Survey. In 1988, only 12% of whites agreed that gays should be able to get married. They didn't ask the question again until 2004, but already it had jumped to 32% in favor, and by now is a bit over 50%.

    What propaganda campaign was there during '90s Must See TV that convinced an extra 20% of the white population that gay marriage was OK? In fact, Seinfeld was still able to joke about queers -- "not that there's anything wrong with that".

    I don't know of examples off-hand since I don't watch TV anymore, but if there are episodes about gay marriage in a popular show, I'll bet they don't go back more than 5-10 years (more like the past several, I'll bet).

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  25. I'm from Toledo, and there has definitely been a steady increase in Steelers fandom here. As a kid I remember Steelers, Browns, and Lions all being about equally popular among the kids who cared about NFL football. Especially since Ben Roethlisberger (originally from NW Ohio) started playing for Pittsburgh, Steelers fans are everywhere.

    Also, as a kid, I remember there being about as many Michigan fans as OSU fans in the Ohio/Michigan rivalry. These days there must be 25 OSU fans for each U of M fan. Toledo and Northwest Ohio generally used to be more culturally connected to Detroit/Michigan because of employment and ethnic pattern, but as Detroit has declined, Toledo has moved more into the Columbus sphere of influence, becoming more Appalachian and less Midwestern.

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  26. "You're using "culture" to only mean mass media culture, as though I were working or hoping to restore a conservative set of sit-coms, a conservative TV news system, etc.

    I'm using culture in the broad sense -- ways of life, outlook, orientations, beliefs, practices, and the like. "

    Not quite. I'm using 'culture' in the same way you are: but I believe that 'ways of life, outlook, orientations, beliefs, practices, and the like..." are essentially defined by tv.

    Where do you think the cultural influences you list are coming from? Who defines a 'way of life' for a teenager in West Virginia? Church, parents, and conservative football coaches? (where do you think the pastors, parents, and football coaches get THEIR cultural clues?).

    Its the same for that teenager in West Virginia as it is for a teenager in Los Angeles. TV. This is what i mean: there aren't a bunch of secret conservatives, teaching their kids and either ignoring (or watching but consciously rejecting) the media. (of course there are a few; home schoolers, basically). But country-wide, people (kids, preachers, parents, teachers, judges, cops, etc etc) learn by watching television.

    I don't want conservative tv and media personalities. I want a conservative populace. But the way to get a conservative populace is to have a conservative media. I don't believe that will happen.

    anonymousse

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  27. You gave a single example of a political / cultural change -- support for gay marriage -- and I proved that the change in mass media portrayal lagged far behind the change in people's beliefs. I.e, that the mass media are crass and pandering.

    You have cause and effect mixed up.

    In West Virginia, or the Ohio Valley in general, the conservative way of life gave way to drop-out, drug use, cigarette smoking, drinking, scratching lottery tickets, and the like. That's been going on for 15 to 25 years now.

    What propaganda campaign beamed that into their homes during the '80s and '90s? Dukes of Hazzard? Family Ties? Frasier? Try again. The "gritty flyover country" TV shows are only about 10 years old. Breaking Bad is not even that old. Justified is even younger, just 5 years old.

    Mass media follows the grassroots -- they can't sell what customers don't resonate with.

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  28. "Consider gay marriage, using data from the General Social Survey. In 1988, only 12% of whites agreed that gays should be able to get married. They didn't ask the question again until 2004, but already it had jumped to 32% in favor, and by now is a bit over 50%."

    Will and Grace premiered in 1998. It was a hit. You haven't proven anything.
    The thing about tv is that you don't need a popular cause in order to have a hit show, and thus to change the culture. 300 million Americans, and (at least today) 10 million of them have to watch a tv show to make it a hit (Empire is huge, and has 11 million viewers).

    So arguing that Will and Grace (or Empire, or any other show) 'followed' culture is getting it backwards. 3% of the population may watch a program, which is enough to allow it to remain on television. And is enough to normalize that type of show, so that others will follow. There is no reason to believe homosexual acceptance was required by the culture at large before homosexuals appeared on tv given these numbers.

    "In West Virginia, or the Ohio Valley in general, the conservative way of life gave way to drop-out, drug use, cigarette smoking, drinking, scratching lottery tickets, and the like. That's been going on for 15 to 25 years now." This is correct, for rural America in general.

    So since you disagree with me about the source of that culture: where do you think it is coming from? Do you think teachers, preachers, and parents are creating the 'lottery ticket and meth' culture? (and if so, where did they get it)?

    anon

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  29. Will and Grace weren't gay-married you moron, not even a same-sex pair.

    You talked about gay marriage, then watered it down to vague tolerance of gays, because you know that mass media didn't normalize gay marriage before folks at the grassroots had changed their minds.

    Even for tolerance of gay deviance, GSS shows eroding belief in homo sex being "wrong" since 1993 -- GSS is surveyed in the summer, hence before gay watershed movie Philadelphia came out in Dec '93. Another example of grassroots beliefs changing before the mass media portrayals.

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  30. You're banned from commenting anymore in this thread until you list the TV shows or movies that promoted gay marriage to an audience larger and more representative than a Lifetime Channel Movie about my dead gay son.

    This is for your own good, so that you'll discover for yourself that mass media follows rather than leads grassroots behavior and beliefs.

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