Is GOP Attempting to Ignite Hollywood's Next Big Civil War?
I love Big Hollywood. I really do. I love all the seething resentment, the writers' reactionary-for-reaction's-sake approach to film culture, and the haven it represents for the ceaselessly entertaining Victoria Jackson. Mostly, though, I just love its base appeal to fear, dread, angst and class consciousness among the most emotionally fragile sectors of our entire culture. Today, it's "non-wealthy" actors. And it's war!
BH editor John Nolte does the honors, not hesitating a bit to draw the stark contrast between the Hollywood haves and have nots. In this case he impugns actor Sam Robards -- the son of Lauren Bacall and Jason Robards, just another rat-bastard scion of Hollywood privilege who dared to publicly count his blessings for having good benefits through SAG. What a dick, right? No, not Nolte, but Robards. Right?
When you've Got Yours, there's no real reason to spend a whole lot of time thinking through something. Considering his own resume and those of his parents, like a lot of name actors, and unlike the rest of us, Sam Robards will probably never have to worry about the real-world effects of ObamaCare on his life or that of his family's. This gives him the luxury of blindly backing his team (the Left) and using the talking points about "more coverage for all Americans" to feel nice and selfless about his admittedly ignorant self.
Mm-hmmm. See what Nolte did there?
1. Call out the dumb, rich Hollywood liberal (all the better if you can do it exaggeratedly and out of context)
2. Attribute said liberal's success not to 28 years of steady employment as an actor, but to the silver spoon in his mouth
3. Conflate his earned status and level of security with an aloofness toward the "real-world effects of ObamaCare."
Which is when things get really good, because it sets up the perfect straw man for Nolte to thwack with a typically radicalized "join or die" broadside. After all, it's not every day you see a conservative knock a working guy who puts in his 40 or 50 hours a week (at least) while supporting a family of four. And it's definitely not every day you see that same conservative rally around the proletariat union rank-and-file to overthrow the bourgeois pigs from L.A to Washington. To wit, regarding a five-month-old SAG/WGA/Teamsters memo cited by Nolte:
If these massive tax increases are about to hit your health benefits as hard as SAG themselves believe they will, that leaves you non-wealthy actors out there with a pretty simple choice. You can either support conservative politicians (in secret, of course) who will do everything in their power to kill the ObamaCare Monster before it causes too much chaos, or you count on these "good" liberals to spread a little of their wealth your way to help the victims of their mindless, self-aggrandizing advocacy.
Wow. Forget about the next ugly labor skirmish between the studios and the labor unions, which already have a bit of a history of talent-on-talent violence. (I can't believe Nolte got through his whole column without calling out the sitting duck George Clooney for going to financial-core status in 2008, effectively disavowing SAG and its ostensibly "non-wealthy" leadership.) This is an incitement to full-on Hollywood class warfare -- and a fantastically condescending one at that, suggesting that whatever godless liberal heathen you were before this legislation, it's OK, because we working folk are all in this together against the "ObamaCare Monster."
And that says nothing of its ideological contradictions, which, again, conflate "wealthy actors" with "dangerous people" whether they earned their comfort or not. You would never see this claim levied against an upper-level Wall Street executive whose bonus and benefits package eclipses his or her lower-level peers' by upwards of 50 percent. But in left-leaning Hollywood (which these days is really as fiscally conservative a company town as you'll find anywhere in the world), that conflation is all too convenient at a time when the politics of division are turning into pretty much the only politics. This is the Tea Party Right pamphleteering in enemy territory with the hope of turning a community it actively hates against itself, with a goal toward its deregulation, destruction and dissolution. I'd say the most amazing thing about it might be its obviousness, were it not for the jaw-dropping nihilism of it all.
Anyway, I love these guys. The film industry wouldn't be the same cynical, disingenuous, self-loathing, paranoiac ego trap it is today without them. Keep up the good work, gang.
· ObamaCare: Non-Wealthy Actors Need to Vote Republican in 2010 [Big Hollywood]