Friday, February 05, 2010

SPOILER ALERT. Culture warriors are starting early on the Oscar-related denunciations. There's Brent Bozell, telling us that liberal elitists want The Blind Side to lose. But he is heartened by the presence of blockbusters among the Best Picture nominees. "Even if this were simply a ploy for ratings," says Bozell, "Hollywood is sending a message that it doesn't hate and dismiss its audience as the ignorant masses." Whereas the collected works of Brent Bozell (see for example "Hollywood's Four-Letter Word: God") show that Hollywood does hate and dismiss its audience as the ignorant masses. I marvel he doesn't castigate Tinseltown for its duplicity.

But who cares about him when we have Jonah Goldberg to pick on? He announces at the start, "the Oscars are one of the most overhyped events in American life," so he chooses to discourse on "what [the movies] say about American life." What they say is what Goldberg already believes. That's why they call it the Dream Factory.

Goldberg says, sensibly, that "filmmakers aren’t always aware of their inspirations and that sometimes the best way to articulate a larger message is to not try." Then, perhaps remembering who he's writing for, he tells his readers what actually inspires moviemakers is hatred of America.
Since the end of the Cold War, Hollywood has been in desperate pursuit of enemies. You’d have thought that 9/11 would have provided a great opportunity for Hollywood to find a worthy enemy. But it turned out that moviemakers were more comfortable depicting jihadi terrorists before 9/11 than after (rent The Siege and Executive Decision if you don’t believe me). They’ve tried (and retried) aliens, drug kingpins, bad weather, and the always-enjoyable zombies. But, with a few exceptions, Hollywood is still most comfortable with the idea that the enemy is really us.
It's hard to tell from the way this is written whether the zombies, eco-cataclysms, etc. are supposed to be stand-ins for America in the treasonous parables of Hollywood, or what Hollywood settles on when it is frustrated in its attempts to destroy the country. What's clear is that Hollywood is against us, which is why no one ever goes to the movies, except when they do, which only happens when these America-haters accidentally make movies that people will like for sound ideological reasons: For example,
The Kingdom, another War on Terror movie, was a hit despite the best intentions of director Peter Berg, who wanted it to be a parable about the cycle of violence. It succeeded because it was a good action movie that depicted Americans as heroes.
Considering that Hollywood has made billions on movies that were supposed to advance their anti-American agenda but failed, I wonder why conservatives are so concerned about them. Maybe the bit about Hollywood needing an enemy is just projection.

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