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Actors of the World, Unite!

Socialized medicine for Hollywood. Also: hot private properties. Political Hucksters. Romney and Ron. Junk medicine. Plus much more.

1.20.08

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SOCIALIST REALISM
Re: Judah Friedman's Socialized Acting:

Hear, hear Judah Friedman. I know the article was written with satirical sarcasm, but I think we should start talking this idea up.
-- Steve Sterenchock
New Castle, Delaware

Brilliant article. While we are at it, let's extend this to professional athletes and chairman of banks and large brokerages that lost billions of dollars in the subprime mess.
-- Mark L. Saleman
Flushing, New York

The problem with Socialized Acting, like the problem with Socialized Medicine, is that once government imposes itself in the process, it can mandate all sorts of requirements. For example, a government that can order recipients of mandatory health care to report for physical check-ups can also order viewers to sit through the products of a nationalized entertainment industry which it regulates and, inevitably subsidizes. It's bad enough that John Edwards wants to order everyone to undergo a colonoscopy, but forcing us to sit through Redacted is just a bit too intrusive.

In addition, just as federal funding for the arts has turned civil servants into art critics, Socialized Acting would require a new federal infrastructure to decide exactly what it is that constitutes an actor. The cabinet-level Department of Thespian Arts (DOTA) would have to define standards of performance across the industry. There would be a Bureau of Method Acting, possibly with a subsection relating to Stanislavsky technique, and an enforcement arm to monitor scenery chewing excesses, the High-Art Management, or HAM Team, which could impose criminal sanctions on over-actors (Johnny Depp will have to be very careful if we wants to make Pirates of the Caribbean IV, and William Shatner would have to leave the country entirely).

Finally, as with all federal agencies, DOTA would gradually expand its scope to encompass acting throughout our culture, metastasizing from professional theater to amateur productions, eventually involving itself in interpersonal relations and political discourse. Politicians who feign sincerity would be subject to regulation, as would wives or girlfriends...(the Clinton bedroom would have its own branch office).

Subjecting actors to socialization may sound like a good idea, but the rest of us will suffer for it.
-- Mike Harris
MAJ, USA

"Socialized Acting" by Judah Friedman was very funny and brilliant! I really like the idea of socializing Hollywood workers!
-- J. Daggett
Tacoma, Washington

HUCKABEE FINI
Re: John Tabin's Us vs. Them:

There is nothing worse than a Southern politician patronizing his Southern audience.

"Shoot yeah, Mr. Huckabee, we don't know what them thar big words mean either. You shur are jest like us. Only a teeny tiny bit more smarter. We all loves rasslin' and motion pitcher stars who kick the crap out of them bad fellers, too. Son, I am votin' fer you!"

Sheeeeesh. Next Huckleberry will be promising indoor plumbing and a possum in every pot.
-- Susie Q
Graceland East

OK. So this really has nothing to do with Mr. Tabin's article. I just watched the Nevada caucus and South Carolina (where I will be for the next six months attending Nuclear Power School) primary, and had five scotches to -- in some sort of semblance -- calm myself down.

Here's my own version of campaign crawlers. Hillary Clinton will probably be the Democratic nominee (I'm a minority voice who thought this the likely outcome even in the immediate aftermath of Iowa, hurray for not overreacting to the archaic process of a bunch of farmers). So that leaves us with five possible presidents in '08 (disregarding Bloomberg).

1) John McCain.
Though I'm a moderate Republican, like many conservatives I would vote against McCain in a general election (easy for me, I'm from Oregon and my ballot is mailed to me. Tired of the parenthetical commentary?). I go to the Naval Academy from which he graduated, and I take many of his deviations as a too literal and exaggerated view of the leadership courses here. More precisely, he seems of the mind that if something is unpopular, it must be right. That view is a gross and inaccurate simplification of the true lesson, right is independent of popularity. McCain has systematically undermined both the constitution and the Republican Party for no good reason, other than a Bill O'Reilly-esque visceral need to have an appearance of partiality. It's disgusting.

2) Mike Huckabee.
I refer to him as Edwards-lite. He's not as disingenuous as McCain, but equally scary. Other than being anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion, he does not belong in the Republican Party. Coincidentally, those are two views I'm moderate about. I was rooting for him in SC to put a dent in McCain, since Edwards-lite has no real shot of going much further, but I guess tonight wasn't my night.

3) Mitt Romney.
Tied with Hillary Clinton for second in my presidential preferences. I give him some leeway on his record since he's from Massachusetts, and he's said a lot in the past few weeks I agree with, but then he pulls a stunt like promising Michigan 20 billion in federal aid. He is a panderer of the worst kind.

4) Hillary Clinton.
A Democrat AND tied for second in my presidential preferences. Are snowballs melting in hell, too?

5) Rudy Giuliani.
My favorite, saved for last. Has run a dumb campaign, not for waiting until Florida, but for using his small amount of time with the nationally televised debates to be generic instead of focusing on policy issues, which is his second-biggest strength. If Huckabee had beaten McCain in SC, then perhaps some McCain supports would flow to Rudy. Now I just gotta hope Floridians don't give a hoot about SC, and perhaps that early voting has already given Rudy the edge. Giuliani's biggest weakness, other than becoming seemingly irrelevant for his lack of early state showing, is his social issues. It's not that's he's pro-choice or pro-gay marriage, but he's not anti-choice or anti-gay marriage. In a head-to-head primary against any other Republican candidate I think he's a lock, but unfortunately McCain seems stronger in defense, so he loses voters there, Romney seems stronger in economy, so he loses voters there, and for social... well, we already discussed this.
-- Tristen Hannah
Aloha, Oregon
Going to school at United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

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