For all the talk about Hollywood’s liberal bias, they still produce the best artistic critique of liberal culture. This is both sad and encouraging. Sad — because conservatives devote a lot of time and energy to creating much less effective satire — but encouraging because it means humor and a profit motive still trump political ideology.
My favorite recent examples come from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and IFC’s “Portlandia” (available on Netflix and Hulu, etc.)
If you missed last week’s episode of “Parks and Rec,” it was a terrific takedown of crony capitalism. After big government advocate Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) fights to bailout a failing local video store (in order to preserve Pawnee’s entertainment culture), the video store owner (Jason Schwartzman) takes the town’s money and turns it into a porn shop. Of course, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) who opposed the bailout on philosophical grounds, finds this hilarious.
Aside from being funny, it’s a terrific illustration of why government meddling distorts the free market and brings about other unintended consequences.