In response to Even So…:
Point well taken, and I know exactly what you mean. Neither of us wants to be that guy, handing out lists of politically approved or forbidden entertainments. Neither of us wants to be like the liberals who went nuts over “The Phantom Menace” because they thought Jar-Jar Binks was some sort of racist code machine.
The trick, I think, is to find the line between critique and hyper-politicization. In my case (and in this specific instance) I’m more intrigued by why conservatives do seem to like something, rather than encouraging them to seek out or avoid particular cultural artifacts. And there are plenty of decidedly Left-leaning films or works of fiction that hold up very well on their own merits, no matter what message they might send, although the best of them came from previous decades. The modern left-leaning film is too clumsy and didactic; some of them (like, to hear George Lucas talk, those Star Wars prequels) arguably make the exact opposite of the point their liberal creators think they are making. Maybe John Nolte will weigh in on that topic – he wrote an outstanding series of articles on the subject a while back.
We conservatives have a great need to engage and influence culture. The first step in that process involves some effort to analyze it… pick apart what works and reverse-engineer it, if you will. Maybe that’s the dividing line between critique and politicization: the desire to actively participate in popular culture, the desire to play the game, rather than a self-ghettoizing impulse to explain why a lot of it stinks and walk away from it. I don’t just want to appreciate “Game of Thrones.” I want to write my own.
(Incidentally, a prominent “Game of Thrones” alumnus turns up in Season 2 of Downton Abbey in a major role. Another reason to give it a try!)