A couple weeks ago, while reading the paperback version of Warren Ellis's novel Crooked Little Vein, I had a little thought that I penciled into the nearest notebook:
"The culture wars are over. Money won."
By which I mean, stuff that was once part of the self-defined "counterculture," be it comics, "green" living, or (as in the novel) eclectic sexual practices entered the mainstream once somebody had the thought, "Hey, I can make money by appealing to the people who like this." And eventually, *all* of it entered the mainstream once big corporate America had the thought, "Hey, we can make a shitload of money by appealing to all the people who like all of this." And thus was born Hot Topic, Out Magazine, and all those "adult novelty" catalogs my dad used to get in the mail, among other things. Everything's mainstream now (again, as Ellis goes to great lengths to point out). And if everything's mainstream, nothing's really all that special.
The upshot being, the notion of there being some moral component to the culture wars is long obsolete. Although try telling that to anyone living in Alphabet City. (Or Sugar Land, Texas, if you want to go the other direction.)