Tag Archives: Hollywood

How I Judge

The other day, as I was about to walk the dog, I must have forgotten something, so I tied the dog up outside for a moment. A few days later, one of the typical neighborhood busybodies asked me why I was tying my dog up outside. Living in extreme-left Downtown Denver, I really do not care about their opinions – I could just as well strap the dog to the top of my car. However, it does remind me that people are judging me all the time and over anything. Perhaps Jesus’s commandment not to judge is trickier than I had thought. Anyway, here is how I judge my neighbors – maybe I should meditate on lightening up.

I judge those who give bums cash. I find it shockingly selfish to give a bum cash. The majority of them are drunks or some other sort of addict, so the money just goes straight to their habits. None of them are homeless for lack of money – they are homeless for inability to accept the immense generosity of people who would help them. Giving cash to bums only enables them to hurt themselves and my neighborhood. These softies are really giving money to their misguided sense of guilt in exchange for a quick fix of ill-deserved self-esteem.

I judge those who think it is OK to force the young to subsidize the old. Obamacare is the latest example of stealing from the young to give to the old. It is now illegal to buy health coverage based on one’s own needs and risk profile (i.e. age group). It is illegal to take care of one’s self and one’s family. It is illegal to be responsible for one’s traditional responsibilities. Those who think everyone should take care of everyone else (or face fines or prison), have a moral deficiency. When they are able, most families exist to help their young prepare and succeed. How telling that the government largely exists to steal from the young to give to the old (in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare)

I judge public sector union leaders and their minions who think they earn their ridiculously cushy lives. They are thieves who appropriate more earnings than their private sector equivalents command while working lazy hours with no fear of layoffs. They give a portion of their earnings to politicians who then grant them more earnings to then give to politicians. This is not a matter of policy; it is common graft.

I judge hypocrites who live off the work of people like Gov. Romney. To be sure, Romney had a good start in life, but he also worked tremendously hard to turn a privileged upbringing into amazing wealth for himself and thousands others. I never supported Romney, but when politicians who never created a dollar in their lives criticize him for doing what every business must – lay off workers to save companies, invest where the profit is, and make the unpopular decisions – my head spins. When politicians like Pres. Obama who got their money largely by influence peddling claim businessmen like Romney did not earn their money, I can hardly stand it. Politicians who live off the fat of the economy should thank the Romneys prostrate for enabling their soft-handed mealy-mouth lives. There is a clear moral hierarchy, and populist politicians generally fall at the bottom.

I judge educators who shove nonsense and debt onto students who really need to learn a trade, and I judge the politicians who lie to young people and say everyone should go to college. I judge the Old Media that still clings to a wisp of credibility with the people while lying to their faces. I judge Hollywood leftist phonies who nag regular people into choices they never have to make themselves. I probably judge too much, but it is worth asking how the leftists that surround me judge back – probably harshly and in ways I can not imagine.

Hollywood Is Desperate

At last night’s 2013 Emmy Awards, actor Don Cheadle offered a rambling salute to the power of TV. Starting with Walter Cronkite’s emotional reporting of Pres. Kennedy’s assassination and moving on to other touchstones of leftist history, Cheadle argued that TV is the binding force of modern society. TV tells society what to feel, how to think, and what is OK to express openly. TV is the vanguard and constitution of all that is worthwhile. Cheadle’s eyes tracked the teleprompter as if in disbelief of the propaganda he was required to spew. Far from an assertion of dominance, Cheadle’s speech was a desperate gasp of self-denial, for TV is actually dead as a social arbiter.

Cheadle’s Speech

The Emmys are an industry award show designed to promote TV viewership. For decades, this meant nighttime programming on the big-three broadcast channels. Per the Ricardian theory of competitors moving toward each other, broadcast TV offered a single view of society and its history. Cheadle’s speech celebrated this stultified past but did not acknowledge today’s free market of ideas.

For starters, the Emmys do not even represent prime-time broadcast TV as they once did. Where there were once three contenders, there are now countless cable channels with incongruous marketing strategies. Rather than fighting for the heart of the US demographic, Emmy contenders now can slice off a profitable niche. Worse, one Emmy winner was a Netflix program that may never be broadcast. House of Cards was released at once onto the internet. There was no control over when it was to be watched, and its marketing model is contrary to broadcast TV because there are no advertisements or syndications. There are no remaining gatekeepers between creators and audiences – TV’s power is a wistful memory in Cheadle’s teleprompter.

Every category of TV’s dominance is gone. Small players like Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart took down broadcast news’s power to spike stories like Pres. Clinton’s abuse of power to cover-up an affair or Acorn’s abuse of its tax-exempt status to advance a radical-left agenda. NBC will eventually learn that it can no longer deceptively edit tape to shade the truth as anyone can now listen to the original.

In entertainment, TV is also losing its war. For every program like Glee which seeks to conflate gay issues with Democrat politics, there are more like Duck Dynasty that humanize traditionalists. Tina Fey was one of last night’s winners, but her show was never a ratings success. Perhaps Ms. Fey is an example of how a self-focused program with a mean-spirited leftist agenda can kill otherwise entertaining fare – viewers no longer have to swallow her politics to get a laugh.

Most people watch the various entertainment awards programs not to root for their favorite shows, but rather to see what the stars are wearing. Titillation without substance is pornography, and that is where broadcast TV is headed. Meanwhile, the unshackled audience is free to explore without the control Mr. Cheadle pined for. His speech was really an obituary, and nobody is going to miss the control the Emmy’s once represented.

Jim Carrey Takes It Down A Notch

Hollywood liberal Jim Carrey used to be happy earning $20 million per film by focusing on fart noises. But, like every buffoon who gets lucky, Carrey now wants to be taken seriously. Fresh off a campaign to return the US to the days of polio-wards, Carrey has also decided that weapons of self-defense are evil – unless employed by his body guards. While common-sense adults know that vaccines and responsible gun ownership are vitally good things, there is no surprise when a goofy Hollywood leftist attacks them. This time, however, Carrey has peed in Hollywood’s communal well.

Carrey has come out against his own latest movie as being too violent. In addition to anally fixated doofuses, Carrey has played a number of violent characters over the years, so his newfound purity is surprising. Further, the movie is the sequel to the absolutely brilliant Kick Ass, which riffed on the hypothetical nexus between Hollywood violence and the real world. Presumably Kick Ass 2 will be more witty commentary and action. While Kick Ass was mostly popcorn merriment, it also posited that there is a difference between good and evil and that individuals have the right to fight evil when the government will not.

Maybe Carrey’s secret disdain for Kick Ass 2 is its rejection of collectivism and relativism – two of Hollywood’s favorite themes. Motives aside, Carrey has bit his master’s hand. Hollywood movies may be pointless, but they are not trivial – they require marshalling massive capital. Contrary to what they would have fans believe, stars are not paid eight figure salaries because they are talented actors. No, stars are well paid because producers believe they mitigate risk. Big stars are “bankable” because even if a movie stinks, star power will sell tickets. A big part of a star’s value is his promotional efforts (e.g. Brad Pitt’s relentless whoring for World War Z). By distancing himself from Kick Ass 2, Carrey has denied its producers much of the value of hiring him in the first place.

Of course, Carrey’s career is past its peak anyway so nobody will be able to know if his violation of trust with Kick Ass 2‘s producers will be his end. With his willingness to promote his work now in serious doubt, maybe he will only be worth his acting talent (reflecting on his role as the Riddler, that worth may be very small). Likewise, Hollywood producers might think twice before hiring another self-important leftist who thinks he is bigger than the business that employs him.

From the fan’s perspective, Carrey’s condescension is laughable. Even young children know the difference between movie violence and reality. Movie violence is fun, and further the Kick Ass series is solely intended for adults. By protesting his own movie, Carrey is implying that adults are not entitled to their own choices. From gun bans to soda bans to the perennial leftist bashing of movie violence, the message is the same: regular adults are not to be trusted with their own lives. But if Hollywood wishes to portray itself as worthy elitists who should be in charge, Carrey might be the absolutely worst spokesman. So long Mr. Carrey; don’t let the door hit your talking butt cheeks on the way out.