Thursday, July 19, 2007

"LET'S ROLL" YOUR OWN. Jason Apuzzo is issuing one of his occasional calls for right-wingers to make their own movies. Regular readers will know that I have endorsed such an approach: I would much rather see a Unification Church production of Petreus: Man of Iron than another silly rant about how Hollywood is engaged in treason. It doesn't matter much what particular belly-fire spurs artists to action; whether they are animated by vanity or a cause, if it gets them to do something constructive, and employs talents, it can't be a total loss. Many otherwise shiftless musicians have been driven to greater productivity by fealty to indie rock or the straight-edge scene or the kids who, once united, would never be divided, or some other tommy-rot, and we got some nice records out of it.

Still, at the risk of killing their buzz, I continue to ask what this is supposed to mean:
You would think conservatives/Republicans would understand this. You would think they would’ve learned by now that what happens on the battlefield isn’t the whole story. You would think they would’ve learned a lesson from World Wars I & II (entertainment industry rallies public support for war = we win) or from Vietnam (entertainment industry undermines public support for war = we don’t win), but apparently not.
I have to side with the conservatives/Republicans on this one. No one has ever explained the mechanism of action for this formula to me. When Hollywood was allegedly losing Vietnam for us with such potent weapons as The Strawberry Statement, Nixon was twice elected President. Which is the more reliable indicator of political will? Despite what Apuzzo apparently sees as a barrage of hippie celluloid bombs, the Silent Majority stood by their man and his Vietnamization plan. And political forces, including Watergate (the actual Watergate scandal, not All The President's Men or any other movie), brought about the end of Nixon and of the war.

In the current war, George W. Bush is standing firm and the Democrats can't get anti-war traction -- so the war goes on, despite the existence of V for Vendetta and Jarhead. What happens in Iraq is determined by Washington, not Hollywood. Apuzzo says, "We need stuff like The Passion, stuff like 300, Team America, whatever. Edgy, in your face films." Well, we've had those films; which battles did they win?

Culture works in mysterious ways, yet these guys constantly mistake it for a simple tool -- something like a sledgehammer for the soul. Still, if it keeps them busy...

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