"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

Thursday, March 09, 2006

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan - Oscars - Boy in a Bubble - George Clooney

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: "Viewership this year was down an estimated 9%. Only 39 million people watched. But that's a lot of people in the great niche nation of 300 million."

"We like to see a good movie celebrated."

"We also like to look at movie stars."

"We all like Jack Nicholson not because he's classically beautiful...he . . . gets the joke."

"But viewership of the Oscars continues to decline."

"What happened to the Oscars is what happened to the Olympics. They became common."

"In the same way, the Oscars used to be the big awards show. Then another came by, and another: Golden Globes, People's Choice, Independent Spirit, Foreign Press."

"But there's another challenge, an obvious one, and in the long term a bigger one. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that viewership of the Oscars is down because movie attendance itself is down, and that movie attendance is down because Hollywood isn't making the kind of movies that compel people to leave their homes and go to the multiplex."

"Which gets us to George Clooney, and his work. George Clooney is Hollywood now. He is charming and beautiful and cool, but he is not Orson Welles."

"Orson Welles was an artist. George Clooney is a fellow who read an article and now wants to tell us the truth, if we can handle it."

"George Clooney has a canny respect for the Hollywood establishment, for its executives and agents, and treats his audience as if it were composed of his intellectual and artistic inferiors."

"And because they are his inferiors, he must teach them. He must teach them about racial tolerance and speaking truth to power, etc. He must teach them to be brave. And so in his acceptance speech for best supporting actor the other night he instructed the audience about Hollywood's courage in making movies about AIDS, and recognizing the work of Hattie McDaniel with an Oscar."

"The Clooney generation in Hollywood is not writing and directing movies about life as if they've experienced it, with all its mysteries and complexity and variety. In an odd way they haven't experienced life; they've experienced media."

"Most Americans aren't leading media, they're leading lives."


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