The Politicization of Everyday Life

How did everything get politicized – every choice of a favorite beer, every style decision, every nook and cranny of everyday life?

Bruce Schulman blames it on Rolling Stone magazine.

As he writes, “/the magazine embraced the countercultural ideal of authenticity — living life to the fullest, right now, within a community of like-minded, liberated persons. Why bother with protest, columnist Ralph Gleason asked, when the ‘new music has established a Stranger in a Strange Land head community, vibes in concert, thoughts and ideas and concepts changing together.'”

Unlike counter-cultural leaders, Rolling Stone didn’t attack capitalism or consumerism. Instead, it attempted to infuse counter-cultural values into the marketplace: “’Change the way the moneychangers change money,’ one 1968 column declared, ‘and you change the society.'”

Its focus on music was a matter of cultural politics: “rock and roll remained its central concern” because music could change the world. “The magazine and its readers saw music as having revolutionary, transcendent possibilities. It embodied a set of principles, a critique of the dominant culture, a way of life. . . . the magazine insisted that lifestyle, especially rock music and the culture that surrounded it, offered the recipe for radical change.”

Schulman thinks that the magazine undermined its own efforts; its very success was its weakness: “Ironically, lifestyle became a marker of partisan identity, rather than an alternative to it.”

"Jesus Christ, himself, is the only valid image of God, who leads his followers to ..."

Idolatry After Idols
"It seems to me that the satisfaction one may feel in any flavor of Trinitarianism ..."

Person v. Mode of Being
"I have often said that a perfectly biblical definition of salvation is 'becoming human," the ..."

Paul’s Theology of Glory
"In general, Christians today are doing no better than Israel."

Empty Name

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment