Watching the Oscars Sunday night -- an indignity I endure solely for the opportunity to engage in conversation with a few friends concerning our nation's "culture" -- only reaffirmed that Hollywood remains primarily engaged in selling a bill of goods that America is a dark and dreary place, worthy mostly of derision and disdain; even if not everyone is buying it.
Despite the film industry's lavishing its highest honors on films they consider "art," none of vehicles of the winners of the best-acting awards or even the best picture, finished any higher than 40th where it counts, at the box office. Worse for the glitter-crowd is the report that this year's telecast was also a ratings flop. That's the good news.
As the tedious four-hour celebration of all that the left loves dragged on, one gentleman, who literally plays Devil's Advocate at our weekly gatherings, reproached me for criticizing the Oscar lineup without having seen any of the movies nominated for critical acclaim by the Academy. I tried to explain that I refuse to support an industry whose priorities and politics repulse me and whose product consists mostly of violent, badly-written and uninspiring tripe.
Not surprisingly, one of the many misguided attempts at what passes for humor in Hollywood launched by uber-liberal Jon Stewart, turned out to be the highlight of the show. A video clip of old movie scenes -- including the sublime Rear Window --called "Oscar's salute to binoculars and telescopes" was supposed to be a poke at the writers strike, but only served to point out the wide gap between movie-making then and now.
As the old images, mostly scenes of World War II naval battles through periscopes, flickered past, they recalled the clear way in which Hollywood once presented wartime movies. Were they a little gung-ho and over-endowed with a flag-waving, "yes we can" spirit? Surely; but wasn't the country invested with those same sentiments after Pearl Harbor?
One has only to look back to the months immediately following 9/11 to recapture the feeling that Hollywood helped sustain in order to see the nation through the dark days of World War II. Studio executives merely did what they clearly saw as "their part" for the good of the country.
BUT OF COURSE, their modern counterparts' reaction was just the opposite; after the attack, the brave liberals in Hollywood made no movies about the War on Terror for fear of alienating our enemies, while ensuing years saw the release of films concerning our efforts in Iraq, which were stamped with their formulaic views of war, gleaned through their Vietnam binoculars. Happily though, thanks to the remaining vestiges of patriotism and devotion to our troops in the field, the American people saw to it that these movies bombed.
In today's Hollywood, as in liberal minds everywhere, our enemies' causes -- even as insanely twisted and barbaric as those of the Islamofascists -- must be given equal, if not more consideration than America's. Indeed, the leftists who seek to drive popular opinion in our country may soon manage to convince our young citizens that even World War II was unjust, and that Hollywood's output of movies during that conflict was, of course, nothing more than "propaganda."
As if making movies supporting American war efforts is wrong while making movies degrading America and the American soldier is in someway an artistic "truth." After all, in today's world, except for the GOP and its allies in corporate America, there are no aggressors, only victims. But you needn't visit your nearest movie theater to discover this, just open your local paper or turn on the TV.
During Sunday's broadcast, another fellow in our group who just retired from the military after a distinguished 40-year career summed it up best; saying that Hollywood is in the business of trying to turn Americans against America. And although the Academy has tried to ratchet down the left-wing political speeches of years past in order to boost ticket sales, they just can't hide their agenda. Mere minutes after an embarrassing bit in which some of our deployed troops presented an award, we were treated to this from the maker of a winning documentary on U.S. military torture:
And, truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I'd make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible...Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.
The real truth is, that our Tinsel Town socialists never see the liberation of over 50 million people through the fog of war they help to perpetuate, or the fact that there have been no attacks on our shores since President Bush made the painful decision to take military action against those who seek to do us harm. Nor can these people muster a word of cinematic thanks for our troops who defend them against those who would gladly demonstrate what real torture is all about, should we ever lack the brave men to prevent it.
If, in the days following Pearl Harbor, or especially 9/11, you could bring yourself to imagine that the lion's share of cinematic acclaim and the focus of untold pages of newsprint and miles of videotape would be the alleged mistreatment of our enemies at the hands of the U.S. military, and not on their intrepid efforts at winning the war, you might have thought that you were in some kind of fantasy land: hooray for Hollywood.