OPINION

Pop Culture Warriors with Lisa De Pasquale


This week’s guest: Thaddeus McCotter 

The late Andrew Breitbart described Thaddeus McCotter as “blunt, sarcastic, pop-culture-savvy.” The ultimate compliment from the Godfather of modern pop culture warriors himself. In addition to writing several books and columns, McCotter plays several guitars, including Fender telecasters and a stratocaster; a Rickerbacker 620 and 320; and an acoustic guitar. 

Actor, director and singer Robert Davi, who first introduced me to McCotter in the late aughts, told me, “Thaddeus is so funny and intelligent. He should really be the star of his own reality show. He would be able to reach and affect a heck of a lot more people. I’d like to see what he does up against Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, but then Michigan, and the nation for that matter, would lose one of its best Representatives. But since they all just kick the can up and down the hill anyway maybe affecting culture is the way to go.”

Now the former Congressman has no excuse! 

Pop Culture Warriors with Lisa De Pasquale is an interview column dedicated to the significant work of freedom lovers who chose the path of more resistance. Not only are these pop culture warriors fighting the predominant groupthink in entertainment, but also the predominant groupthink on the right side of politics that entertainment doesn’t matter or that the pop culture war is lost. The purpose of this column is to highlight their projects and contributions to expand freedom in new, exciting, and counterculture ways. 

What do you think Andrew Breitbart meant by “politics is downstream from culture”? 

Andrew was explaining how culture shaped politics. Think of it in terms of a computer.  If the information inputted is accurate, the computer will produce an accurate result. If the information inputted is corrupted, it’s a case of “garbage in, garbage out.” If a citizenry possessed of a corrupted culture is informing – and running – the government, nothing good can come of it.  

What was your childhood pop culture obsession?

Detroit is a huge sports and music town, so my interests were typical: Detroit teams – Tigers, Lions, Pistons, and Red Wings; and then Rock-n-Roll – Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Flying Squirrels. I will never forget how, when I was 10 years-old (and even then liked the late hours’ stillness), the local TV station ran a double feature of Help! and A Hard Day’s Night.  (The station eschewed chronological order and showed the color film first, saving the black and white film for we hardcore insomniacs.) When it ended, I knew I had to get a guitar. I did; and thus commenced a misspent youth yet to end.

What was your first concert and how did you get there?

Technically, my first concert was when our high school band performed the Rolling Stones’ “Respectable” and “Sympathy for the Devil” at one our Catholic Central High School assemblies. (In the Basilian Fathers’ reviews the words “ratty” and “expulsion” predominated.) Officially, my first concert was a triple bill of KrokusPat Travers, and Rainbow with Ritchie Blackmore at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Rock City. I think I was 16 years-old at the time (though the party store clerk thought I was 21). 

Tell us about the last movie, TV show, book you consumed for entertainment.

The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert in IMAX. (See above. Old obsessions are hard to break.) My wife spotted it was being screened and bought the tickets, for which I am eternally grateful (and tackling the Honey-do list with renewed vigor).  It was a bittersweet experience: you could see their joy jamming together live in front of a crowd, yet you knew it was the last time they’d ever do it.

Also, while by no means a film buff, I’ve also been binge reading about Hollywood, especially what was entailed in the making of some of its iconic films – ChinatownMidnight CowboyValley of the Dolls. Among those I blame for this are Robert DaviRichard GabaiNick Searcy, and Emina Melonic.  

And, most of all, I blame you, Lisa De Pasquale.      

What would you say to readers who say they’ve opted out of the pop culture war?

Don’t.

For those seeking a long-winded explanation, see here.

What can readers do to support you and your projects?

I currently contribute articles to American Greatness and Human Events. These are great sites that I highly recommend, despite the fact I post there. I still play guitar; paint; refinish furniture; and continue to be a recovering politician.  

And to bring this interrogation full circle: I am collaborating with the aforementioned director, Richard Gabai, on a film about free speech and censorship – one in the private detective noir genre. As Andrew and I often discussed, since politics is downstream from culture, we need every oar in the water to right the ship and get where America needs to go. This film, then, is one such oar; and if anyone of our talented friends wants to lend a hand to help row, let me know.  If not, it’s cool, but remember: when the Left sends America up shit creek without a paddle, there won’t be any life preservers.