Two new films serve as a reminder that no matter how complex the issue, if there are politics involved, we can always count on Hollywood to boil it down to a bumper sticker that echoes the conventional wisdom found in Berkeley's faculty lounges and Barbra Streisand's sitting room.
First came "Syriana"...Some found the film confusing, but it's hard to see why. Anyone who went in assuming – correctly, as it turned out – that we would be told the CIA and Texas oil companies conspire to thwart democracy and keep a whole region down saw the climax coming a mile away...
Now comes "Munich,"...Especially given the track record of Tony Kushner, the film's main writer, it was all but certain that "Munich" would posit a moral equivalence between the terrorists and those who brought them to justice. That's exactly what "Munich" does.
Just like "Syriana," this is simplistic garbage. But it's all we can expect, given how Hollywood and much of the left view the world.
Reality is a lot more complicated....except to the Hollywood left. Its mind is made up: George W. Bush is an oil-industry stooge, Sharon is a mass murderer, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is a giant who deserved his Nobel Peace Prize and the problems in the Middle East are entirely America's and Israel's fault.
These high priced thrillers have barely made back their cost; yet Mel Gibson's religious biopic on the life of Jesus, opening to oodles of hateful press, made hundreds of millions in profit. Hollywood, trapped in a political straightjacket that allows no dissension, will continue to see theatre attendance fall (much like the New York Times readership!) as it churns out movies with a morality repulsive to the average American.
The vacuum will not hold; there will be more Mel Gibsons afoot, and someone will make money producing pictures reflecting the values of mainstream America. I have the feeling the nation will survive without $20 million dollar liberal stars spouting PC nonsense in front of an empty multiplex...
UPDATE: Gateway Pundit illustrates the disconnect between Hollywood's current celebrity culture and the average American by pointing out how few entertainers are going overseas to entertain the troops this Christmas. Wayne Newton's comments excerpted below:
....some stars have turned down the USO because they thought such performances would amount to endorsing the war.
"And I say it's not," Newton said. "I tell them these men and women are over there because our country sent them, and we have the absolute necessity to try to bring them as much happiness as we can." Williams said he tells stars, "Go, man. You won't forget it. You'll meet amazing people.' "
Newton said "the fear of danger, and pressure from wives and kids, more than the politics" keeps many celebrities out of today's war areas. He said one National Basketball Association star whom he would not identify asked: "How safe am I going to be?" After Newton assured the player that "you've got the entire U.S. military around you," the player agreed to visit Kuwait and Qatar, Newton said.
"They're scared," country star Morgan said after Wednesday's show. "It's understandable..."
Once upon a time celebrities did the right thing; understanding that their fame, and fortune, depended on those whom fought in the dirt to ensure that they had the freedom to possess it. Today's vain product of Hollywood uses our fighting men as simply another avenue through which they can express their disdain for America.
In the past entertainers would fly into much less secure territory in order to do what they felt was their patriotic duty in wartime; today, even with "the entire U.S. military around you", they are too scared to go. Sorry, I have never understood cowardice.
In a totalitarian sociey, freedom of expression is always the first thing to go - do any of the current crop of Hollywood zeroes realize what we are fighting for?
Well, maybe the youth of Hollywood understand a bit better than their elders...here's Jessica Simpson dropping into Iraq to bring some smiles:
A blonde in combat boots and a patroitic one-piece...gosh, I so love this country!
Link to San Diego Union-Trib via Roger Simon here: http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2005/12/no_hooray_for_h_1.php Link to Gateway Pundit here: http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2005/12/media-likens-al-franken-to-bob-hope.html