Ken Myers Profiled by Andrew Ferguson

by Jeremy Beer on January 6, 2013 · 5 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

Andrew Ferguson has a very nice profile of Ken Myers, editor of the Mars Hill Audio Journal, in the most recent Weekly Standard. The interviews and commentary featured on Myers’s audio journal, writes Ferguson, are “unhurried, the discussions pretty easily comprehensible. Imagine NPR if NPR were as intelligent as NPR programmers think it is.”

That’s spot on. Ferguson also positions Myers as engaging culture in the sort of serious way once recommended and even sort of practiced by some leaders of the conservative intellectual movement, but now more or less swept cleanly away by the Legacy of Limbaugh:

The idea that conservatives should have a special interest in high culture​—​the best that has been thought and said, sung and played, carved and drawn​—​has been selectively applied. In speeches and in the Journal Myers has often raised the question of why political conservatives, who defended the literary canon, the Great Books, with such energy in the eighties and nineties, went limp when it came to defending other traditional forms of cultural expression.

A watershed may have been reached when Rush Limbaugh, who would replace William Buckley as conservatism’s chief publicist in the early ’90s, chose as his show’s theme music a Top 40 track by the Pretenders​—​a self-conscious contrast, Limbaugh has said, to the baroque trumpet concerto that opened Buckley’s TV show Firing Line. Buckley’s fanfare had signaled that he aspired to something lively but elevated, slightly at an angle to the surrounding popular culture. The Pretenders’ guitar riff was meant to signal that Limbaugh’s conservatism would have none of that stuffy stuff: He was fully at home with what had become of American culture and wasn’t terribly curious about what had come before.

The article is well worth your time. And (sayeth the Mars Hill board member), the journal itself is well worth the subscription price (not to mention your financial support).

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar robert m. peters January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

My closest friend, an intellectual and spiritual mentor, made me aware of the Mars Hill Audio Journal, in those days given out as cassette tapes, several years ago. Mr. Myers’ Journal, Chronicles Magazine, the Abbeville Institute and sites like The Front Porch help keep me in intellectual and spiritual equilibrium.

avatar Binx January 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hooray! As a long time subscriber of Mars Hill Audio, I am thrilled for this great exposure from Andrew Ferguson as well as Alan Jacobs and Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Ken is a real gift to the Church. Although not specifically mentioned, it was Ken’s interview of Patrick Deneen back in 2008 that brought me to FPR. Ken’s cultural sensitivities and his deep theological moorings have been a wonderful source of wisdom to me personally for living in God’s world.

avatar C. R. Wiley January 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm

When I spoke with Ken back in October he told me about this interview. The recognition is a long time in coming but it is well deserved. Mars Hill Audio is one of the best resources for conservatives out there. FYI–Ken likes Front Porch Republic.

avatar Carl Eric Scott January 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

Mars Hill is a treasure…highly recommend, particularly for those with long commutes.

avatar Dwight Lindley January 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Great piece. Thanks for the heads-up.

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