09 Mar 2006

Academy Awards

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Ben Stein had some comments in the American Spectator.

Basically, the sad truth is that Hollywood does not think of itself as part of America, and so, to Hollywood, the war to save freedom from Islamic terrorists is happening to someone else. It does not concern them except insofar as it offers occasion to mock or criticize George Bush. They live in dreamland and cannot be gracious enough to thank the men and women who pay with their lives for the stars’ ability to live in dreamland. This is shameful.

The idea that it is brave to stand up for gays in Hollywood, to stand up against Joe McCarthy in Hollywood (fifty years after his death), to say that rich white people are bad, that oil companies are evil — this is nonsense. All of these are mainstream ideas in Hollywood, always have been, always will be. For the people who made movies denouncing Big Oil, worshiping gays, mocking the rich to think of themselves as brave — this is pathetic, childish narcissism.

The brave guy in Hollywood will be the one who says that this is a fabulously great country where we treat gays, blacks, and everyone else as equal. The courageous writer in Hollywood will be the one who says the oil companies do their best in a very hostile world to bring us energy cheaply and efficiently and with a minimum of corruption. The producer who really has guts will be the one who says that Wall Street, despite its flaws, has done the best job of democratizing wealth ever in the history of mankind.

No doubt the men and women who came to the Oscars in gowns that cost more than an Army Sergeant makes in a year, in limousines with champagne in the back seat, think they are working class heroes to attack America — which has made it all possible for them. They are not. They would be heroes if they said that Moslem extremists are the worst threat to human decency since Hitler and Stalin. But someone might yell at them or even attack them with a knife if they said that, so they never will.

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I avoided watching the Awards show, but yesterday I read a comment by Ann Coulter noting that the award for Best Original Song went to a number titled It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp. (I won’t quote it. You can read click the link and read the lyrics if you like.)

Anybody willing to take seriously the aesthetic judgements, political opinions, and moral perspective of a community prepared to treat the expression of the point of view of a practitioner of that particular occupation as suitable entertainment fare, let alone the subject of an award for excellence, is obviously some kind of an idiot.

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