Archive for ‘Hollywood’

February 23, 2009

Breitbart gets it

CPAC, culture and Hollywood:

The timing of the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference could not be better suited for evaluating the strategies of the standard bearers of free markets and limited government as free-spending and nanny statist Obamaism runs amok with nary a media check or a legislative balance.
Attendees of the wonky three-day forum should pay close attention to what their ideological counterparts had to say earlier in the week at their annual get-together in liberalism´s capital, Hollywood.
On Sunday night at the Kodak Theater, where Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama debated each other in front of the same prideful crowd a year earlier, the political left convened to celebrate its progressive political agenda. The Oscars communicate post-modern, post-American liberal values more effectively than elected Democratic officials themselves. The liberal establishment understands this and uses the glamorous Hollywood elite and its incessant stream of left-leaning product and promotional vehicles as its proxy messenger. . . .
If “the medium is the message,” as Marshall McLuhan formulated 45 years ago in “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,” then Hollywood-style liberalism is America´s current and future message. And conservatives have no one to blame but themselves for not investing their collective efforts in the pop cultural and the greater media experience.

Read the whole thing. And speaking of CPAC, please don’t forget to hit the tip jar. It’s for the children!

January 18, 2009

Losing the Spago vote

“She looks fantastic. She’s spent 13 years on a top-rated TV series making a high six figure if not seven figure annual salary. And ‘The last eight years have been such hell’? Why, lights on the set too bright? Wolfgang Puck didn’t give you the first table at Spago?”

January 6, 2009

Breitbart’s Big Hollywood debuts

The site went live this morning and there’s nothing (yet) that knocks me out, but it’s a work-in-progress. I interviewed Andrew Breitbart last month:

The content of “Big Hollywood” will be a “constant evolution,” Breitbart says. He recalls that the Huffington Post was originally conceived as a group blog for Arianna’s celebrity friends, but has since “developed organically” into a more news-oriented venture with political commentary and only occasional contributions by big names. “It really is hard to look at that site and see it as a celebrity blog,” he says.
And while he expects “Big Hollywood” to undergo a similarly slow process of development, the one aspect of HuffPo that Breitbart’s new site won’t emulate is the vitriol. “That’s not my style,” he says, declaring that the blog will strive for “a more tolerant tone.” Tolerance? In Hollywood? What a concept!

The “organic development” model is the only sensible way to do things on the Internet. You start the site with some particular vision in mind, see what works and what doesn’t, do more more of what works and drop those things that don’t. What Big Hollywood is on Jan. 6 is probably but a shadow of what it will be on July 6.

BTW, Andrew, if you want to add some kind snarking-on-paparazzi-plagued-starlets feature — or maybe occasional essays on the cultural signficance of Christina Hendricks’ cleavage — just let me know. And good luck!

December 31, 2008

Anti-suburban snobbery

Lee Siegel, pondering the theme of “Revolutionary Road,” seeks the root of the elite intellectual’s anti-suburban bias:

In the ’50s and early ’60s, the postwar exodus from the cities to the suburbs was just beginning. . . .
It’s easy to see why artists and intellectuals felt that they had to alert the general public to the emergency of these sudden new places’ peaceful, leafy streets. . . . The suburbs were the embodiment of that period’s fashionable existential fear: “inauthenticity.” . . .
Most of the people leaving the cities for the suburbs in the 1950s were tradespeople, modest businessmen, teachers and the like. They were, in other words, members of the middle-class, the impassioned rejection of which has been the chief rite de passage of the modern American artist and intellectual. With the growth of suburban towns, the liberal American intellectual now had a concrete geography to house his acute sense of outrage.

Among other things, Siegel points out that “Revolutionary Road” is basically Sam Mendes’ remake of Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty.” Mendes is a talented filmmaker devoting his craftsmanship to an obsession with a perverse theme, namely that there is something wrong with ordinary people living ordinary lives. The Evil of Banality, as it were.

As Siegel says, this theme is puerile. Children dream of distant, exciting places, adolescents rebel against their parents, Bright Young Men think they’ll invent the world anew — well, most of us grow up. We acquire the mature perspective that the ordinary sort of life (job, marriage, mortgage, kids) is actually a very good thing, well worth the having, and in fact a more difficult achievement than we’d imagined back when we were smart-aleck kids bored by our own ordinary upbringing. The elite intellectual, however, succumbs to a Peter Pan fantasy, refusing to let go of the flattering childhood conceit that he is an extraordinary and superior being.

Remember being 19 and thinking you already knew everything? The elitist becomes fixated in that stage, a narcissist trapped in admiration of his own wonderfulness, and therefore sneers at the ordinary existence and ordinary attitudes of ordinary people in ordinary places. This arrested development accounts for the urban elitist’s disdain for the suburbanite.

Siegel’s essay is very good, more than 2,000 words, and the brief excerpts I’ve quoted hardly do it justice, so read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Excellent point by commenter Ronsonic:

Interestingly, this is not so different from the attitude of career criminals, not understanding the accomplishment of the ordinary, they think it beneath them. Incapable of the persistence and occasional tedium of life they insist on attempting to bypass it somehow. Thinking themselves superior to those around them, who they see as lacking vision and enterprise they justify themselves.
So we have the strange bedfellows of the counter-culture – upper middle class intellectuals and common street thugs.

This point, I’m sure, would be endorsed by Thomas Sowell.

September 17, 2008

The $11 Million Victim

Obama goes to Hollywood, raises a record $11 million and plays the victim:

“A lot of people have gotten nervous and concerned. Why is this as close as it is? And what’s going on?” Mr. Obama said, speaking to about 300 people over dinner at the Greystone Mansion. “We always knew this was going to be hard — this is a leap for the American people.”

Oh, it’s so hard to get elected when you’re raising $66 million a month and the major media are completely in the tank for you. It’s so hard when you’re on the cover of Time magazine seven times in one year. It’s so hard when Us Weekly is doing such vicious investigative journalism about you.

It’s so hard when you get a sweetheart book deal at age 27. It’s so hard when you’re appointed to the board of a $49 million education reform project at age 34. It’s so hard when the Chicago Tribune goes to court to have your Republican opponent’s divorce records made public, so he’s forced to drop out and you get a free ride into the U.S. Senate.

Maybe those rich Hollywood friends of yours are buying into this victimhood tale, buddy, but I think the ordinary American voter is gagging from the odor of rancid self-pity.

UPDATE: And, as notorious hatemonger Michelle Malkin points out, Obama’s not only a victim, he’s a half-black victim. Why does this make Michelle a notorious hatemonger? Because only liberals like Jack Cafferty are allowed to obsess over Obama’s race:

Shorter Jack Cafferty: “We know you racist crackers won’t vote for a black man, which means it’s time to do our umpteenth special segment pointing out that Obama is, in fact, a black man.”

September 17, 2008

Beverly Hills Obama

Here’s what you get for $11 million: