Arts/Literature

The Qube boob tube, or remaking reality the Republican way

By Martin Bosworth

So apparently some conservatives, unsatisfied with the “well-known liberal bias” of YouTube, have created their own conservative alternative (“conservalternative”?) called QubeTV. Now, if YouTube has a bias towards anything, it’s apparently an extreme lack of quality control, but hey, let’s run with this for a second.

I’m all in favor of enterprising sorts creating products to fill niches in the marketplace that major players don’t fill…YouTube’s refusal to support clips with explicit sexual content has compelled many a low-minded autueur to start up sites devoted to such things, such as my personal favorite, YouPorn.com. (ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK, so no link! :)) The marketplace of ideas at work–genius! 🙂

But this is silly in the same way that Conservapedia is silly. Rather than actually engage their opponents in actual cultural discussion and putting their ideas in the stream of debate, these ostrich-heads are sticking their heads in the sand and creating closed social systems where they never have to face anyone who disagrees with them. To use a simpler and funnier metaphor, they’re taking their balls and going home.

It’s this kind of sheltering from reality that is endemic to so much of the modern conservative movement, particularly the evangelicals. They create their own home-schooled networks, their own shopping centers, their own cultural events–a sort of “parallel reality” that exists completely alongside ours, but is not engaged with ours in any relevant or real way. And when you never have to face or understand things that don’t conflict with your worldview, you never feel any need to question or criticize the world you live in.

When an unidentified Bush apparatchik made the famous quote about “the empire that makes its own reality”, it was rightly taken for the self-important bloviating twaddle it was. But the more you dig, the more you find that people REALLY BELIEVE THAT, and the more our world starts to look like Trent Reznor’s “Another Version Of The Truth“–two realities living side-by-side, one far darker and more dangerous lurking just under the surface.

11 replies »

  1. Right on! You are delightfully verbose in my universe. I was truly enlightened when I took a peek at QubeTV. I am whistling Twilight Zone theme song as I type. Should I be scared or angry? I guess a little of both. I count myself lucky that they will never make eye contact with me. I am disguised as a clueless old lady as long as I keep my mouth shut. I hope they never ask me a question …

  2. Of course, my favourite video on YouTube was the one in which born again Christian conservative Kirk Cameron (ex “Growing Pains”) discusses why bananas are “The Atheist’s Nightmare”. Apparently it all comes down to how well shaped the banana is for humans to eat.

    And precisely agrees with your point. Most people are going to get their drama on YouTube and anyone who doesn’t engage in the debate there isn’t going to be heard.

  3. I just went to Qube Tv and the level of their education or lack thereof, of the world around us. As I read through the group section with descriptions of what they have to offer, everyone seems to be focused on hate, anti-liberal, etc. There was no mention of social issues, world problems, not even the war.
    This group is amazingly shallow and focused on destruction.
    There is however, one lone liberal “BlueStar” who has infiltrated their site and posts anti-push, GOP support decline. I’m sure it irritates them.

  4. Bosskitty: You’re braver than I for daring to infiltrate. You must send us Internets detailing your progress. 😉

    Gavin: Exactly. If these guys were using YouTube competitors like Joost, Vimeo, etc., that’d be one thing…but they’re making their own sandbox and basically sidestepping the need to get in the arena and prove their ideas have merit. It’s pathetic.

    And I’ve seen that video–actually, the famous wives’ tale about Kirk Cameron is that he was totally normal until he fell under the influence of his “Growing Pains” co-star (now wife) Chelsea Noble, who was apparently a rabid born-again evangelical even then. You gotta wonder how he’d be having a banana problem with a wife as hot as that, but I guess that’s what evangelical Dominionism does to you…

  5. Great post, Martin – you’ve used the evidence of Qubetube (which sounds vaguely homo-erotic -no, wait, there’s my liberal bias again) to demonstrate an entire psycho-social construct (well, psycho, anyway – dang, there’s that liberal bias yet again) into which evangelicals and now perhaps the rest of conservatives have immersed themselves. I love that term “evangelical dominionism” – ( is that yours?) – it describes the “hothouse” atmosphere they seem to need to survive – as if exposure to contrary (and perhaps more reasonable – uh oh, my liberal bias again…damn) ideas would have the same effect on them that cold water might have on orchids.

    As for Kirk Cameron, maybe any kid with a first name that means “church” was doomed to end up as he has from the outset (oh, man, that liberal bias of mine is gonna…).

  6. Jim,

    I’ve heard others who follow the Dominionist agenda use the phrase, so I can’t claim credit for it, but I will happily propagate it wherever and whenever necessary. The evangelical army growing in our heartland scares the living hell out of me–worse than al-Qaeda ever did or could–so I do all I can to call them out.

    If you’re interested that (since you have an LJ), check these out:
    http://sunfell.livejournal.com
    http://community.livejournal.com/dark_christian

    Sunfell is one of my favorite bloggers, and she extensively documents and writes about the Dominionist movement. I think she’s on 5th Estate, but I don’t recall.

  7. If this is indicative of the quality of the offerings, they’re angering and alienating their own demographic.

    That sort of amateurish, sophomoric attempt is more suited to the ugly echo chamber of FreeRepublic, as evidenced by the majority of the negative comments.

  8. “We are experiencing a large volume of activity. Please bear with us as we work to increase the capacity.” Capacity of what, dare I ask. I didn’t even want to waste time going through the rest of that site.

    Trivial note: A friend of mine hung out with Kirk Cameron at a local gothic nightclub when he was in town on comedy tours. I can tell you some tales of the life he ‘left behind’ (badaboom) IRL if you’d like…..

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