Jewish World Review March 17, 1999 /29 Adar 5759
Hollywood's party line in 1999
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
THE HOLLYWOOD LEFT (that is to say, Hollywood) is bent out of shape over
legendary director Elia Kazan receiving a special Oscar at the Academy
Awards ceremony Sunday evening.
Kazan, you see, "named names" before the House Un-American Activities
Committee in 1952. He named the names of those who were communists during an
era when the party supported purge trials, the Hitler-Stalin pact and the
subjugation of Eastern Europe. Had he exposed members of the German-American
Bund, Kazan would be hailed as a hero.
The party exercised only a modest influence on the movies of the '30s and
'40s. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood 10, explained that
the reds were more successful in blocking anti-communist films than in
making movies with their own message.
Communism's impact on movies half a century ago is insignificant compared
to the hegemony of Hollywood's current political commissars.
The party line of producers, directors and screenwriters is an outgrowth of
the '60s. It is anti-American, anti-business, feminist, hostile to organized
religion, down on the military, censorious of conservatives and addicted to
liberal cliches. Here is Hollywood's party line, circa 1999.
1) Business is bad, bad, bad. Corporations ruthlessly
downsize, cheat customers, poison the environment ("A Civil Action") and
corrupt the political process.
The romantic comedy "You've Got Mail" has a bookstore chain putting a
charming, customer-friendly little book shop out of business. But isn't that
just what corporate capitalism does, Hollywood rhetorically asks. Whenever a
Bill Gates-type appears on screen, it's a cue for audiences to start hissing
2) They're after you. There are so many security
agencies running around the country bumping people off to cover up their
sinister plots that it must be hard for hit men to get a clear shot. Last
year's "Enemy of the State" followed the paranoid tradition of "Conspiracy
Theory," "JFK" and "The Pelican Brief" in a chain stretching back to "Three
Days of the Condor."
3) Religion is the whatever of the masses. Faith
doesn't have a prayer when filtered through Hollywood's skeptical lens.
Western religion is depicted as anachronistic, inane and repressive -- the
province of the weak-minded, the fanatical and the hypocritical.
Last year, as a break from its relentless anti-Catholicism ("John
Carpenter's Vampires," "The Saint"), Hollywood took a dull blade to Hasidic
Jews in "A Price Above Rubies."
4) The American military is a conscienceless killing machine.
In "The Siege," Bruce Willis plays a general who responds to
domestic terrorism by imposing brutal martial law on New York City. Willis'
character would cause Saddam Hussein to sleep with a night light .
Even the kids' movie "Small Soldiers" was a nasty swipe at GIs and a
perpetuation of the Vietnam myth (Americans went to Southeast Asia to
slaughter a gentle Third World people).
5) Conservatives are evil -- ignorant, bigoted and greedy.
Liberalism saves. It's SOP that any movie with a political theme
will have a conservative villain (the White House chief of staff in "Dave,"
the antagonist in "The American President).
Like the latter, 1998's "Bulworth" was an extended liberal homily. In the
title role, Warren Beatty exalts "the only 'ism' that's worth a thing, and
that's socialism." Beatty must believe Cuba and North Korea are economic
6) Gay is good. Homosexual characters are invariably
sympathetic, from the teacher Jennifer Anniston falls for in "The Object of
My Affection" to the artist-neighbor in 1997's "As Good As It Gets." They
are charming, witty (if a bit acerbic), wise and kind. In fact, what priests
were to '40s films, gays are in movies today.
7) A woman without a laptop and a cell phone isn't a real woman.
Anything he can do she can do better.
Hollywood goes to absurd lengths to atone for June Allyson and June
Cleaver, locating feminist role models (strong, self-reliant, sexually
adventurous) in 16th century France ("Ever After"), Renaissance Italy
("Dangerous Beauty") and the Old West ("Bad Girls"), not to mention turning
Demi Moore into Jackie Chan on steroids ("G.I. Jane").
8) Sex is swell. What religion was for Medieval man
and science was for 19th century intellectuals, sex is for Hollywood in the
'90s. Everything short of rape is heartily endorsed, including adultery
("Pleasantville," "Shakespeare in Love"), prostitution ("Dangerous Beauty")
and incest ("Lolita," "The House of Yes"). Hollywood makes Planned
Parenthood look like the Southern Baptist Convention.
Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand aren't party members -- even communists
have standards. But what comes out of Hollywood today is as rigidly
doctrinaire as the Stalinist agitprop in "Mission to Moscow." Popular
culture has been infiltrated and subverted not by a foreign ideology, but by
a home-grown dogma masquerading as
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1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
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12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
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11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
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11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
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10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
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9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
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9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
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8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
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8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
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7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
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5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
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5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
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4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
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12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy
©1999, Creators Syndicate