"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, March 03, 2006

CNN.com - Oscar on their minds - Mark Steyn on Hollywood Bravery - Mar 3, 2006

CNN.com - Oscar on their minds - Mar 3, 2006

I've been waiting for a particular Mark Steyn article to be available since it's publication at National Review, the original post making reference to it is here.

CNN opens with: "One best picture nominee concerns a gay love affair between two ranch hands. Another is a tale, ripe with coincidence, about prejudice and perception."

Steyn recently wrote of Hollywoods obsession with it's bravery and used the bravest of the brave as an example: George Clooney.

So to return to CNN with Steyn in red:

"One best picture nominee concerns a gay love affair between two ranch hands." "Two gay sheep herders in, say Medina, or a gay Pushtun goatherd and a gay Uzbek warlord: The Mohammedans Go to The Mountain."

"Another is a tale, ripe with coincidence, about prejudice and perception." "Go back to USA Today’s approving list of Hollywood’s willingness to “broach tough issues”: “Brokeback and Capote for their portrayal of gay characters; Crash for its examination of racial tension…” That might have been “bold” “courageous” movie-making half-a-century ago. Ever seen the Dirk Bogarde film Victim? He plays a respectable married barrister whose latest case threatens to expose his own homosexuality. That was 1961, when homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom and Bogarde was the British movie industry’s matinee idol and every schoolgirl’s pin-up: That’s brave. Doing it at a time when your typical conservative politician gets denounced as “homophobic” because he’s only in favor of civil unions is just an exercise in moral self-congratulation."

"These five films......"Transamerica" (pre-op transsexual goes on a journey with a son)"' "These films are “transgressive” mostly in the sense that Transamerica is transsexual. I like Felicity Huffman and all, and I’m not up to speed with the latest strictures on identity-group casting but isn’t it a bit condescending to get a lifelong woman (or whatever the expression is) to play a transsexual? If Hollywood announced Al Jolson would be playing Martin Luther King, I’m sure Denzel Washington and co would have something to say about it. Were no transsexual actresses available for this role?"

CNN turns to Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly for answers. He believes, '"films simply reflect the times. The last few years have been a very politically divisive and politically vibrant time in this country, and I think the film industry this year has really started reacting to that."'

Yet Steyn points out that early Hollywood actors/actresses were "serious about their leftism," Hollywood in the seventies was "serious about their outrage at what was done to the lefties in the McCarthy era - By comparison Clooney’s is no more than a pose – he’s acting at activism, new Hollywood mimicking old Hollywood’s robust defense of even older Hollywood. He’s more taken by the idea of “speaking truth to power” than the footling question of whether the truth he’s speaking to power is actually true."

Hollywood is "dressing up daringly and flouncing around as controversy, but underneath they’re simply the conventional wisdom."

"Hollywood “controversy” seems more an evasion of controversy. If you want it in a single word, it’s the difference between the title of George Jonas’ original book – Vengeance – and the title of the film Steven Spielberg made of it – Munich. Vengeance is a point of view, Munich is a round of self-applause for the point of view that having no point of view is the most sophisticated point of view of all."

I've chopped this up quite a bit unfortunately, do not miss the article.

In closing I would like to quote one last piece in reference to George Clooney who recently was quoted saying, "'I want to be on that deck of cards. And I want to be able to say that they boycotted my films ... I want to be able to say I was on the cover of a magazine called a 'traitor,' he said. 'I'm proud of those because those were badges of honor for me because that was when you did it when it was hard to do'" Which is pretty much what Steyn is referring to.

Steyn, '"Three months after 9/11, George Clooney was asked what he wanted for Christmas. “I want,” he said, “one day when nobody is getting shot at. Call a truce for a day.” Jay Nordlinger remarked at the time that this was “a child’s response”, correctly noting “the implied moral randomness… People are just shooting at each other, you know, and shooting at each other is bad.”'


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