Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism...The US government...faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy's hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in...The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time...
Zero Dark Thirty is Harry Potter is Twilight is Dark Knight Rises is Hunger Game Of Thrones. Corporate art, like corporate news and foreign relations, has a distinct agenda and distinct sources. Regnery ghostwrites and publishes Sean Hannity books, then purchases them in huge quantities on Amazon.com, creating artificial sales numbers that put the books, briefly, on the bestseller lists, and stick them in libraries and bookstores across the country.
And Then Came The Next One, Part 1; Part 2.
What makes the success of these soulless pieces so horrible is not specifically that they are bad, or even that they are deliberately used to socially engineer people. They are but another set of the grand narratives of the age--nations and consumers competing for scarce resources; Big Bangs; random, pointless, mortal lives. No, what makes their success so horrible is that, even bolstered by billions of dollars, forceful bandwagons, and the most powerful propaganda machines on the planet, so very, very many of the end-users actually believe that (1) it was their own choice to like the product, and (2) the product has intrinsic value.
This is where even the NFL, and all the bowl games, are ahead of major artistic expression. Pop-books, movies, and art sell themselves as having risen to the top by virtue of their superior quality. They couldn't survive without the major institutional backing and cultural engineering that goes into their success, but neither could the NFL, so put that aside for the moment. What makes the NFL different than our books and movies is that, even swarmed by tobacco, beer, military, and truck ads, the NFL still has players who are very good athletes. Fifty Shades of George R.R. Martin's Embarrassingly Virginal Man-Scenes, though, possesses the comparative equivalency depth of toddler football, but without the promise of ever growing up.