March 15, 2021

EVEN THOUGH THINKING DOESN’T SEEM TO BE THEIR STRONG SUIT: Salena Zito: The culture curators want to think for you.

Sandor Mecs was a child when his family lived in the town of Szentendre, Hungary. Today, it is a picturesque town 20 miles north of Budapest that is lined with winding cobblestone streets, colorful centuries-old homes, cottages, and churches and is a tourism center with its flourishing museums, charm, and proximity to the capital.

While the picturesque footprint was the same for Mecs and his family and thousands of other Hungarians 60 years ago, life in post-World War II Hungary was anything but ideal if you were a free thinker.

“At that time, we had become a Stalinized state of the Soviet Union, and Matyas Rakosi ruled the country for over seven years as a dictator who demanded no one strayed from the collective approved government thought,” he said.

If you did, you disappeared. . . .

Many intellectuals in the U.S. toss around the word “dictatorship” or “dictator” about political parties they don’t like frequently, and with such abandon, it is now deemed normal in some circles to use the terms without irony, primarily when referring to the Republican Party.

In their zeal to dismantle conservatism, they miss the true dictator in our country. They are our cultural curators. The corporations, much of the media, the entertainment industry, major league sports organizations, academia, and Silicon Valley all demand that we fall in line with how they think. They want to approve of how we speak, what books we read, what movies we watch, what words we use, who we support politically, how we educate our children, and what parts of history are acceptable to teach.

Many of these entities have gone from trying to appeal to a wide range of customers based on the products they sell or services they offer into social justice organizations, far removed from their core missions and their consumers.

When one of them deems something unacceptable in its version of the world, many others follow suit, often crumbling to their younger employees’ demands. The latter has been given enough power in this age of corporate social justice to destroy the very place they work if that corporation does not bend to their demands.

The decision no longer to publish six Dr. Seuss books was made internally. So was Disney’s decision to prevent young viewers from watching Dumbo, Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocats.

The model is more China than Hungary, but they’ll take what they can get.

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