Here's some excellence from Victor Davis Hanson, writing for the National Review and commenting on the culture in Monasteries of the Mind:
The Oscar awards? It too has become cultural Newspeak, with limited themes and scripted vocabulary. Watching hours of multimillionaires gushing about their own psychodramas was always trying, but in the age of Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, and Maureen O’Hara, the stars at least showed some dignity and authentic eccentricity. Now entertainment awards ceremonies are mostly predictable rants, as if career success required speaking “truth” to power in a collective Two Minutes Hate exercise condemning the president, who serves as our new Emmanuel Goldstein. How odd that liberalism became elites’ groupthink about equality — or perhaps not so odd at all, given Orwell’s observation that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Hanson suggests a parallel with the Roman Empire. As it became increasingly globalized, frenetic and devoid of surety and meaning, people opted out; to Stoicism, for example, and later on to the monastic life. Likewise today, in the face cultural inanity people are switching off.
When everything is politicized, everything is monotonous; nothing is interesting. There are only so many ways one can express existential hatred for Trump, turn the Aztecs into the Founding Fathers, or show disrespect for the National Anthem (Kneeling? Or clenched fist held high? Or just sitting? Or turning one’s back? Or talking over the music?). So millions tune out and retreat to reading what was written before 1980, or to watching movies of a past age or seeking their own tribal ties of the mind.
Hanson concludes his quick stroll through the progressive left's garden of the inanities by describing the newly erected Aztec totem in his hometown.
I went into what once was our sleepy hometown the other day. An Aztec totem devoted to Coatlicue, the earth-mother goddess, portrayed as a paean to noble farm workers, sits in the old park. The huge monolith is sculpted quite well and by a talented former colleague at CSU Fresno. Its dedication was widely reported; no one was so rude as to mention that Coatlicue was a fierce mother goddess to whom captives were sacrificed each year. (She wore a necklace of human hearts and hands and a cloak of skin.) But identity-politics art is never free from overt propaganda: The modern epigraph atop our Coatlicue reads “Viva la Raza” (“Long live the Race”). I don’t recall anyone in the city’s supposed illiberal past ever suggesting that “Long live the race” would have been an acceptable epigraph on any city art.
Right on the money and you can read the whole thing here, but be warned. The author appears to have a fondness for the disturbing and possibly repellent Joan Baez. Coatlicue is a kind of female snake demon.