7 thoughts on “It’s gotta be something in the soil…”

  1. Val – Good call. Lemmesee now – Hollywood Star goes to Venezuela to look at film studio set up by Venezuelan Government to make movies to displace Hollywood Movies due to cultural “imperialism.” And the Star sucks up to the local Caudillo. Makes Boxes of Rocks look smarter. -S-

  2. Actors are good (convincing) at speaking the words of the writers, and many of them don’t seem too picky about who the writers are, hence this latest disappointment.

    I’ve just about given up going to movies, not so much because of the price, but I find it increasingly difficult to ignore the actors’ politics.

  3. There are multiple reasons involved, as George notes, but the main culprit is the public’s willingness to make demigods out of these people, or treat them as if they were. It’s completely beyond me how anybody takes these celebrities seriously on ANYTHING beyond their immediate area of competence (assuming there is one). The media folks, of course, totally play along, because they’re simply after the public’s money.

    If these celebs knew that nobody gave a damn about their politics and wanted nothing from them except their talent (if present), they’d be far more likely to mind their own business, which is entertainment.

  4. From the 1940s to the 1950s there was a great fear in the United States about Communist influence on American institutions, U.S. government employees, academia, union activists and the entertainment industry. What has changed?

    Now, there is no fear.

  5. Another one whose movies I won’t be seeing anymore. Wait a minute, I don’t go to see him anyway. My list is growing… Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Babs…

  6. Actoids (actors) in the West tend to be into what I call “anti-ness”. They define themselves far less by what they are for than what they are against. In the case of folks like Spacey, they are FOR anyone or anything that is AGAINST America and/or God.

    I think this has its roots in two things:

    1) The nature of art which places an emphasis on emotional expression and fantasy rather than cold rational or practical thought. This by itself alienates the artistic community from the rest of the world as they tend to think that the success they enjoy for having cathartic experiences expressing themselves should somehow translate readily to all other lines of work or aspects of life. You can write a book or film or play or paint a picture or write a song or whatever — and everyone in your story is obliged to say and do what you want them to, and the outcome of the story also has to be whatever you want it to be.

    Having thus played God for so long in this way, actoids don’t get that a field of wheat or corn that needs harvesting isn’t moved at all by your emotions or what the outcome of the harvest was in your story. Either you haul it into the barn or silo before it rots or you don’t eat that winter. But they are insulated from such consequences by people who actually do go out into the field and bring it in.

    2) The itinerant nature of the work, especially in the days before film and TV. Much as musicians still do, they would travel from town to town, never able to put down roots and thus were always outsiders. This creates a bit of an us-and-them atmosphere to begin with. Also, knowing that you will be on your way to the next town the next day provides a strong temptation to engage in post-show activities with swooning locals that you wouldn’t if you knew you had to face people who knew you from childhood the next day. But the guilt and shame are still there on the inside, and so entire philosophies have to be invented to replace traditional moral codes to rationalize the behavior and deflect whatever guilt and shame is left onto someone else — those backward hicks. Thus any belief system that comes over the transom and goes against tradition is welcomed.

    This combined with art’s emphasis on expression/imagination/fantasy makes fertile soil for very impractical philosophies and ideologies that are never challenged in an environment where everyone is just like you, or to the extent such challenges come, they can be easily dismissed as rantings of unsophisticated locals who have never “seen the world”.

    So when faced with personal or ideological failure in some practical area of life, their emotions tell them to blame it on some form of oppression or conspiracy, and they’re not exactly conditioned to say no to their emotions. The fact that you feel strong emotions about something is considered stronger evidence of the truth than actual facts, which are seen as just proof that your opponents cooked the books to conceal the “real” facts.

    Thus the “anti-ness”. My opponent makes me feel bad so anyone who is against my opponent must be good. The fact that they are far more oppressive in areas of life (women’s rights, jackboot-thugging opponents, squelching of freedom of speech, press, etc.) that I regularly rip my opponents for is irrelevant because they are not here doing it to me, and we don’t have video of them doing it way over there on the other side of the world anyway, so my emotions are untouched. So these elements of oppression become just charming quirks of a helpless people who are only manipulated into being that way by America to begin with.

    War and violence and genocide are acts that I redefine to such a degree that it’s impossible for anyone who is against my opponent to have committed them, and then further redefined as anything my opponent does at all. This I am not really “for” anything specific other than being for anything that is against my opponent.

    This is how I rewrite the harvest into coming out the way I want it to. But sooner or later you have to actually eat, and you can’t rewrite the contents of the cupboard. Especially if they’re radioactive.

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