Monday, August 13, 2007

KONSERVETKULT UPDATE. The Friday after Brad Reed's and my American Prospect article appeared, I could find no film reviews at National Review Online. Shaming works! I thought; advantage: blogosneer!

Hubris, my friends, that's what that was. Conservatives still see culture war in some unlikely places.

The encouraging thing about this Weekly Standard article is it focuses on conservative artists who are actually trying to do work. You may think actor Steve Shub silly to say "I don't want to know what [movie actors'] agenda is in life because the whole idea is that you're supposed to seduce people into suspending their disbelief, just see the character," when of course he's in the article because he has consented to lay out his own agenda ("radical Objectivist") to the reporter -- but at least he's working a venerable show-biz PR hustle (like the actresses of olden times who annnounced they would only do nude scenes if they had artistic merit, whether or not anybody was observably asking them), and I can respect that. If artists can con moneyed wingers into giving them financing -- "the Human Rights Foundation will sponsor Schub's 'Afro-Celtic Yiddish ska' band, the Fenwicks, on a mini-tour this fall" -- I say swindle, comrades, and God go with you.

The reporter, alas, opens the show with a smoke-and-flashpots vision of Hollywood evil: Larry David.
...the very attractive female lead in the musical invites Larry into her dressing room for a quick fling. The liberal New Yorker is game, making out with the starlet until he notices something not quite right: a picture of George W. Bush beside her vanity mirror. Disgusted, he turns away, deciding he'd rather let his gift expire than have sex with a Republican.

To many conservatives, this vignette neatly sums up Hollywood's ideological monomania: Left-wing politics trumps even a good old fashioned roll in the hay.
I'm surprised his editor didn't query this: a TV star turning down sex? Maybe it's part of this "comedy" thing we've been hearing about.

At Red State we are encouraged to consider "Is Fight Club a 'Morally Serious' Movie?" Not necessarily a ridiculous topic, but get a load of author Leon H. Wolf's terms:
The moral objection to the first half of the movie typically goes that the movie is violent, and that violence on the screen is objectionable. This is an idea in which I find little merit, from a Judeo-Christian perspective. Recall that in the Old Testament, stonings (a particularly violent form of execution) were to be performed in front of the entire community, so as to encourage the rest of the community would learn to have the proper fear...
Why all those people in the multiplexes are cheering the Dolby explosions when they should be running in terror to their pastors is beyond me.

Later the author admits that "the movie pays homage to objectionable Rousseauian ideas concerning the primitive state of nature." C.S. Lewis is quoted -- the bit about men without chests. You can smell the rat there. Not all his observations are crazy, but his idea of the "morally serious" comes out of the same stew-pot as a thousand conservative essays on the Dark Age of feminazism and self-esteem. It gives the whole thing an air of peg-cramming to make an obstreperous film fit into depressingly standardized value hole.

And guess who Dr. Helen doesn't like anymore? Drew Carey. He made jokes about Bush, and speciously interpretted data on feminism ("The questions may be phrased in a way that does not allow one to know why the pollee answered the way he or she did"), which is of course vitally important in a freaking TV game show, from which these offenses are culled. Carey "was much more politically incorrect" a few years ago, sighs Dr. Helen; "I wonder what happened to him?" Some commenters suggest his Big Media masters jerked his chain. (Does that explain Leno's Bush jokes?) Another suggests his taste for "pron" is "starting to have a negative impact." Finally someone says "TV is a waste." In the kingdom of the blind, etc.

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