In Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, Otho Fenlock, the New York interior decorator, is caught acting badly and stripped of his hip clothes and arrogant ways and zapped into a leisure suit by Beetlejuice himself. Horror of horrors: the hipster becomes the hayseed. Thanks to Roseanne on ABC, the American left has been zapped by another trickster as funny as Beetlejuice; their screams and gnashing of teeth taking us back to the night of Trump’s victory. The American left has been caught in the middle of main street USA, trying to hide with skinny arms, not their nakedness, but their plaid leisure suit.

Whether it’s a zinger from Roseanne or a sublime factoid of historical reality from Victor Davis Hanson, the elites have been driven from the Garden of Hipness, even though they still control the educational system, Hollywood, and the media. The left is no longer hip.

The origins of the word hip, “to make aware,” likely came from black jazz musicians in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Hip was the necessary attitude for musical improvisation and literally staying alive. The great presence of mind required in jazz improvisation–musically swimming in the moment, aware of rhythm, melody, and the nuance of each player–demands awareness, not fantasy. Later, on the street, a black musician couldn’t wish away the forces of crime and racism or his own temptations.

The boomer generation came along and dressed themselves in jazz cool, hipness of attitude, denying nature and reality, becoming the foot soldiers who would march through the institutions worshipping the cultural heroes of the sixties, especially in the arts, the pinnacle of cool. However, for American leftists, famous or obscure, their fantasies were rudely interrupted with Trump’s election and vengeance became their new master.

Thanks to a century of progressivism, the American left believes that whatever their minds can conjure in the faculty lounge or TV boardroom—universal healthcare, free college, whiteness studies– can become reality by policy-making and shoving the Roseannes of the world toward “paradise.” In Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge, the former Obama White House administrator explains to the unsophisticated that they’ll be nudged (read manipulated) into happiness, a milder version of “break a few eggs to make an omelet,” a phrase utilized by progressives since the French Revolution.

The Roseanne crowd are the ones who either ignore or never heard of whiteness studies, and don’t believe that their “privileged lives” are in need of radical transformation. Instead, they go about their day making progress as a family, making mistakes, believing movies and TV shows are still for entertainment. They love their kids but see a son or daughter’s immaturity first hand, like when Roseanne tells her lying, stealing granddaughter that she’s a “pretty smart kid but a stupid person,” and soon after shoves the girl’s head under the faucet and sprays her with water. A terrible mouth requires a terrible response.

Roseanne reminds us that without strong discipline, a kid remains amoral. She says to her daughter that simply telling a kid to go and think about what they’ve done wrong only makes the kid despise you.

Roseanne is hip, not because it’s a big hit and making a lot of money, but because its main character Roseanne sees the world as it really is.


See the previous posts in this ongoing discussion about the reboot of Roseanne:

“Roseanne: The Ultimate Reality Show” by David Churchill Barrow

“Roseanne Barr Vs. the World of Leftist Slights” by David Walls-Kaufman

Roseanne’s Big League Co-Star Brings Ratings Bonanza” by Mark Ellis


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