Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrity Apartheid Week: The Blaming

Criticism of Hollywood's gratuitous depictions of violence, sex and various other taboo-like content was once a conservative proprietary.

Never, however, under-estimate the left's ability to censor and flagellate itself:

Hollywood’s critics are in high dudgeon. The motion-picture industry has sunk into a moral morass, they say, one that threatens our national self-understanding and traduces simple decency. Only this time, those critics are not religious conservatives bemoaning the cinema’s handling of sex and violence. Rather, movie studios and the creative class find themselves under assault from their left flank for producing art deemed to be unacceptable for mass consumption and rife with politically offensive messages. The hackles of these new moralists have been raised by three successful and popular films of 2012, all of which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. ...

The film’s [Argo] virtues as a piece of popular art and its nominal liberalism are of little concern to the new moralists. Writing in Slate, Kevin B. Lee argued the film is “not merely overrated, but reprehensible.” Lee allows that he would have enjoyed Argo more if it better hewed to his worldview—“my disgust wouldn’t be as intense if it weren’t for the potentially great film suggested by Argo’s opening sequence … [which] gives a compelling (if sensationalized) account of how the CIA’s meddling with Iran’s government over three decades led to a corrupt and oppressive regime”—before blasting the picture for its “retrograde ‘white Americans in peril’ storyline” that depicts “oppressed Iranians as a raging, zombie-like horde.”

Argo’s crime, therefore, is showing the barbarousness of some Iranian people—and the sacking of an embassy is nothing if not barbaric—as well as the all-too-real hatred for the West that pervaded Iran at the time. It is also morally wanting because, in the words of Slant’s Andrew Schenker, it is “an increasingly blinkered tale of the heroic CIA versus the Muslim menace.” The fact that the film does not depict the Central Intelligence Agency as an evildoer, as most Hollywood fare does, marks it as immoral. ...

The critics of these films want popular art to reflect a society of their choosing—one in which the Iranian people weren’t chanting “Death to America!” as our embassy burned and our nationals were forced to play Russian roulette; one in which the efforts of white males to end slavery were slight; and one in which harsh interrogation techniques played no role in the capture of Osama bin Laden. ...

The ascent of this new breed of popular-culture finger-waggers does not necessarily portend the death of criticism on the left. But the closing of the left-wing mind must not be discounted as an aberration and should be fiercely countered, if for no other reason than that assenting to it ensures the annihilation of what little ideological diversity there is to be found in the arts.

The left can never be happy. If reality cannot reflect the left's vision, it will turn to cinema. If that doesn't do the trick, then what? Should Argo have never been made? Should it have been re-written to reflect a more evil America? Had it been so, what level of self-denunciation would have taken place then? One- at least with an iota of scruples- cannot go so far as to paint the left's vision without some degree of guilt and farce. Somewhere in the back of the producer's mind he knows that what he has created just isn't so. He may run with it because pride dictates he do so but the knowledge that he has sold a lie will not be his forever.

And the rest:

-the Democrats can see the train wreck that is Ashley Judd and they fear it. (Merci)

-Steven Spielberg pulls out of the Moses project.

-Christian Bale could play Moses (weeeee!)

No comments: