Step three: Beauty saves the world!
I find this perennial article frustrating because it accurately identifies a problem but it’s written as if it’s also identified a solution. It’s super easy to say, “Turn from culture-war to culture-creation!” and stop there. So let’s take this article as the opening move, and go on to make three further points.
1. One reason some of the examples in the article don’t seem to point to any practical action is that there are major barriers to culture-creation on the scale this guy is talking about. “We should have faithful, orthodox Catholic characters on TV who get the depth of the gay characters on Modern Family,” is not a useful thing to say to the readers of First Things. I mean what am I to do with that? I think there are places we can start, see point #3, but your readers can’t change the culture when they’re not the gatekeepers in the area you’re talking about. The solution is not to just accept the status quo but to look for different pathways and talk about those instead.
2. The author lists very few examples of people doing what he wants. The fourth commenter (Miguel) makes a much stronger effort. I would read a whole article that was just an expanded version of that list!
Tell us about artists and writers we may have overlooked. Here, have some praise for Kathy Shaidle, Tim Powers, and various musicians. Tell us about Kickstarter projects we could help. I was a Riot Grrrl and I totally believe that if you don’t like the news you should make your own, but… at least give us “This is a chord/This is another chord/Now start a band”! (Or do this!)
These are just a few thoughts, a few places to begin. Now it’s your turn to add more!
[this post was lightly edited so I whined less!]