Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yglesias, Art, and Red Baiting

It is well-known among many progressive bloggers that Matthew Yglesias has horrible taste in art. Movies, music, sport, books--just about everything. He's a great policy writer, but man, that's some bad taste.

He's crossed the line now. He hates Pete Seeger because he was sent to some summer camp where they had to sing some lame folk songs. And I wouldn't like that either. I'm also not the biggest Pete Seeger fan in the world. His music is fine but dated.

However, Yglesias decides to red bait Seeger, linking to an old article claiming Seeger was a hard-line Stalinist. Whether or not this is true is somewhat beside the point (and in fact the journalist involved heavily overplays his hand on the matter). What matters is that Yglesias has chosen to red bait someone simply because he does not like him. It is sort of the anti-Stalinist Aesthetic. Instead of hating someone's art strictly because of their politics, Yglesias creates bad politics for someone because he hates their art. Neither forms of criticism are acceptable.