June is Pride Month. And in the West, whether it is actually June or not, Pride now casts a very long shadow over politics and popular culture. Twenty years ago, this was hardly the case. Back then, Pride festivals were simply a narrow cultural phenomenon of direct interest to a small share of the population. Today, it is anything but.
In a short span of time, we have developed several new and vaunted Pride Month traditions. One such is the bearing of witness to tacky and borderline parodic virtue-signaling by governmental and corporate entities. This year, the US Marine Corps posted an image riffing on the movie poster for the 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket, depicting a combat helmet decorated with rainbow-colored bullets, with the caption “born to serve” scrawled on it.
So Pride has gone from being a totem among a small sexual minority to something enthusiastically evangelized by the state itself. This co-optation opens the question of “woke imperialism”—best illustrated by the image of a rainbow flag flying from a fortified US outpost in Afghanistan.