Yes, the Culture Really Does Matter

It looks like I won’t be getting the radio coverage I’d hoped for, to launch The Glass Bridge. They’ve got all this current events stuff to cover instead. Deflated footballs, for instance. The reason I get, boiled down, is, “It’s only a novel and we don’t cover novels, it’s not important enough.”

Okay–one novel, so what? Whose worldview is going to be changed by one novel? (In fact, that happened to me when I read Windswept House by Malachi Martin: changed me from somewhat pro-abortion to 100% pro-life.) My book is Young Adults fiction, which makes it even less important. Who cares what the kids are reading? And on top of that, it’s fantasy, which makes it less important still. That’s about as unimportant as it gets.

I wonder if any of our conservative, pro-family media commentators have any idea of just how much YA fantasy is out there. Boxcar-loads of it! Thousands and thousands of titles. Tons and tons of it.

And it’s only part of a larger pop culture entertainment matrix, along with movies, TV, video games, etc.

This is–and I do not exaggerate–a culture that embraces and promotes paganism, disbelief in God and His word, sexual randomness, and fosters rigid conformity (they call it “diversity”) while at the same time seducing the audience with visions of impossible personal autonomy. That’s why so many of those novels feature 11-year-old kids acquiring super powers or secret martial arts so they can beat up able-bodied adult men. That’s why The Invincible Female Warrior has become a fixture in this genre.

This is a popular culture that is shaping our world. This is the worldview being pumped into the brains of the next generation.

I don’t believe it’s possible for a child to consume thousands of hours of this stuff and still grow up to be sensible, responsible, thoughtful, and Christian.

One novel, one movie, so what–how much harm can it do?

But hundreds, or thousands, of novels, music videos, movies, TV shows, and video games–go ahead, tell me that has no effect in shaping the consumer’s mind.

I do what I can to push against the tide. What can I do? Not much. But, as Puddleglum said, that doesn’t let us off following Aslan’s signs.

The way the world is, is not decided by the stuff that’s in the headlines. It’s decided by what’s in the people’s hearts and heads.

But if you’re convinced it’s only fantasy, and really doesn’t matter… Well, please think it over. Because I’m pretty sure it does.

3 comments on “Yes, the Culture Really Does Matter

  1. John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness but his day did come! Moses fled in defeat to the wilderness but 40 years late his day did come. As we fight the good fight of faith, our Father watches over us and orders our steps and destiny.

  2. One onerous phenomenon of our times is that decent entertainment has been marginalized. It is hard to find and it is hard to sell. I’m an old-school Jazz guitarist and there’s virtually no audience for my music these days. The younger generation wouldn’t know an old Standard if it bit them. Even people of my age group were raised mostly on low-content music, such as some of the more vacuous Pop/Rock of the ’60s and ’70s and many of these people are not even aware that there can be more than whatever Top 40 drivel was being pushed at them in their youth.

    The problem is, very few people can even appreciate something of depth, such as a novel where the character of the person in the story matters more than their physical prowess. It very much becomes a matter of finding an audience capable of appreciating something which requires thought and insight on the part of the reader.

    But success is not only a matter of numbers. If a book changes someone’s life for the better, it’s a success, even if it doesn’t sell like hotcakes. In the long run, good will win out.

Leave a Reply