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  • Title:

    The Tyranny of Clichés
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    27.95
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    9781595230867
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Article Highlights

  • Nostalgia plagues us all, but conservatives are particularly susceptible to it, for obvious reasons.

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  • Most people tend to think that “Golden Age” means simply “the best.”

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  • Think of it this way: Adam and Eve clearly had a good thing going before the Fall, but that didn’t mean TV was better before they bit the apple.

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Nostalgia plagues us all, but conservatives are particularly susceptible to it, for obvious reasons. When it comes to popular culture in particular, we tend to romanticize the past. The clichés spring to mind easily: The music these kids listen to today! You can’t even understand the words! Clark Gable, now there was a movie star! And then, of course, there are myriad allusions to “the golden age of television.”

This last has always struck me as something of a misnomer. Most people tend to think that “Golden Age” means simply “the best.” But, according to the Greeks, from whom we get the term, the Golden Age didn’t mean, necessarily, “the best.” It was, rather, the first age of man, a past age of innocence in which man lived in peace and prosperity. As the ages of man passed — the silver, the bronze, the heroic, and finally the decadent iron — things in general were not as good as they once were; but that doesn’t mean the poetry got worse. Think of it this way: Adam and Eve clearly had a good thing going before the Fall, but that didn’t mean TV was better before they bit the apple.

This article appears in the August 19 edition of National Review.

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About the Author

 

Jonah
Goldberg

  •  


    A bestselling author and columnist, Jonah Goldberg's nationally syndicated column appears regularly in scores of newspapers across the United States. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a member of the board of contributors to USA Today, a contributor to Fox News, a contributing editor to National Review, and the founding editor of National Review Online. He was named by the Atlantic magazine as one of the top 50 political commentators in America. In 2011 he was named the Robert J. Novak Journalist of the Year at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He has written on politics, media, and culture for a wide variety of publications and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Prior to joining National Review, he was a founding producer for Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg on PBS and wrote and produced several other PBS documentaries. He is the recipient of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Tyranny of Clichés (Sentinel HC, 2012) and Liberal Fascism (Doubleday, 2008).  At AEI, Mr. Goldberg writes about political and cultural issues for American.com and the Enterprise Blog.

    Follow Jonah Goldberg on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-7165
    Email: jonah.goldberg@aei.org

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