Popular media are characterised by standardisation and sentimentality. They are basically formulaic and similar. Incidental differences make them seem distinctive, but they’re not.
Wal-Mart projects an ideology of family, faith, and small-town sentimentality that attempts to coexist with a world of transnational commerce, stagnant living standards and a stressful work life.
Sentimentality about death has become a new ideology to justify social inequality and exploitation.
When it comes to beasts the bourgeoisie have the tenderness of angels. They feel themselves to be closer relatives of beasts than of workers.
In England, that official country of hypocrisy, everywhere there are societies for the protection of dogs, cats, sparrows, etc.
Their guild is giving money to the poor. The worthy poor. The very very worthy and beautiful poor. Perhaps just not too swarthy? Perhaps just not too dirty, nor too dim, nor passionate.
In truth, what they could wish is something less than derelict or dull. Not staunch enough to stab, though, gaze for gaze! God shield them sharply from the beggar-bold!
The noxious needy ones whose battle’s bald. Nonetheless for being voiceless, hits one down. But it’s all so bad! and entirely too much for them. – Gwendolyn Brooks
Sentimentality Used as a Political & Social Tool
A commentary on the dishonest practice of sentimentality in western culture.
He grinds his axe at our sentimental-centric culture where feelings have become the yardstick of everything we do: safe driving, education, taking of responsibility (none), sentimentality (everywhere).
In this forensic polemic of maudlin popular culture from Pop Idol to Jersey Shore, he wields his scalpel at all our modern sacred cows.
Lenin said: I know nothing that is greater than [Beethoven’s] Appassionata. I’d like to listen to it every day. It is marvelous superhuman music. I always think with pride – perhaps it is naïve of me – what marvelous things human beings can do!
Then screwing up his eyes and smiling, he added: But I can’t listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid nice things and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.
And now you mustn’t stroke anyone’s head. You might get your hand bitten off. You have to hit them on the head, without mercy, although our ideal is not to use force against anyone. Our duty is infernally hard.
The most self-involved, self-important, preening, vain, obnoxious, demanding, needy personalities imaginable, Hollywood celebrities, are the most liberal.
Do they care? Like crazy! They never challenge capitalism or bourgeois democracy.
They can’t. They are part of the programme. Its essence is sentimentality. It’s alright to care so long as you don’t disturb. It’s cloying, mushy self-righteousness.