Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, July 19, 2002

Pat Sajak (yes that Pat Sajak) gavce a speech a few months ago that was overlooked but is spectacular. The title alone makes it good. The Disconnect Between Hollywood and America

Here in this quiet, peaceful corner of Michigan, you might not have a sense of your importance in the world. I come from a community that has the opposite problem. Because it is so big and so powerful, so great and so well-known, it has an exaggerated view of its significance. That community is Hollywood.

You see, one of the dangers of my business is that it has the potential to fill you with a distorted view of life and of your importance in it. And it's understandable in a way. If you are part of a successful enterprise, people treat you very well. They send limos for you. They tiptoe around you. They pretend that the most outlandish or inane things you might say are important and quotable. Drugs? Adultery? Alcoholism? Deviant behavior? Don't worry. You go on Oprah-you cry-people call you heroic for being so open-and your career soars to new heights.

You're treated importantly, so you must be important. Suddenly your views are not just your own private opinions; they become part of the public record. They quote you on Entertainment Tonight and in People magazine. You can endorse a candidate, fight for a cause, call people names -- it's pretty heady stuff. The world waits breathlessly for your next pronouncement

This is great...

Filmmaker Rob Reiner -- a cofounder of Castle Rock Entertainment -- is reportedly upset by what he sees in many films these days, and he plans to do something about it. In fact, he's so upset about this thing, anyone who wants to depict it in a Castle Rock film must meet with Reiner first in order to justify its inclusion.

So what's got Rob so upset? Gratuitous violence? Casual sex? Disrespect toward Christianity? Bias against Big Business? Is that what he wants to cut down or eliminate? No, of course not. That would be censorship. He wants to get rid of smoking. There's too much smoking in movies.

To quote Mr. Reiner, "Movies are basically advertising cigarettes to kids." No knock on Rob. In fact, I agree with him. But why is smoking open to censorship and not these other issues? And what happened to Hollywood's argument that movies and TV shows don't cause bad behavior, they just reflect it? Or is it merely a health issue? But surely, health is involved when it comes to violence and casual sex. The answer is, there is no answer. It's just Hollywood being Hollywood. It's monumental hypocrisy. Kids can't pick up bad habits from what they watch... oh, except for smoking.

You see, if you complain about what you see as excesses on the screen, you are a book-burning prude who wants to tell everyone else how to live. You are a censor. You have no right. That is a right saved for the wise. They know better. They are important.

It's the same kind of nonsense that brings celebrities to "Save the Earth" benefits in eight-mile-per-gallon limos. Or that allows them to make a public service announcement urging recycling -- filmed at their 20,000 square foot homes. They can lecture to you and you should listen, even if they don't, because... well, because they're celebrities. They're from Hollywood, for goodness sake-and you live in Michigan!

I have to start watching Wheel of Fortune more....

And, perhaps worst of all, it's the phenomenon that allows movie studios and television networks to program with an utter disregard for your kids and your communities. It's not that they're evil people. They have kids and they care about them. But they see no connection between what they do and the results of what they do. And, besides, you're not really families and communities. You're ratings, demographics and sales.

You see, they are -- for the most part -- clueless. Clueless about this country and its people. Clueless about you. And they are afraid. They are afraid of the new technologies-afraid of the dwindling numbers of viewers or readers or listeners... afraid for their very existence. So, don't you see, they have to do what it takes to survive. They must survive. They are important. Who do you people out here -- the ones they fly over on their way to the other Coast for meetings -- who do you think you are?

< email | 7/19/2002 10:00:00 PM | link

<< Designed by Ryon

Western Civilization and Democracy Net Ring

The Western Civilization and Democracy Net Ring celebrates Western civilization and its universal values of individual freedom, political democracy and equal rights for all. All sites promoting human rights and democracy are welcome.

[Prev Site] [Stats] [Random] [Next 5 Sites] [List Sites] [Next Site]