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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On Introducing the Hollyweirdos to Reality

OK. This will be short as it's a bit out of my normal area of concern.

I just heard about Meryl Streep's silly pronouncements at the Golden Globe Awards show. I must confess that it's been years since I have watched any of those awards shows. I gave up on the Oscars maybe ten-fifteen years ago, and the Golden Globes, well, I never really watched those. I found them all deadly dull exercises in scripted rich lefties giving each other prizes and praise, and proclaiming to the skies "Aren't we clever?"

Most of the films up for consideration in recent years were not ones I bothered to watch, and many of them, even with the advent of ROKU and other on-line streaming gadgets and services I still have not seen. I, for example, have never seen a James Bond, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Jason Bourne film all the way through. I say this with sadness since as a kid I loved movies and television. I grew up in an immigrant household, and always felt a bit disconnected from my surroundings. Books, TV, and movies served as my means of connecting to America, and seeing what a "real" American household looked and sounded like. I never had any inkling of what politics Clark Gable, Jimmy Steward, Gregory Peck, etc. espoused, and don't think I really cared. The movies nominated for Oscars were all films we had seen or dearly wanted to see. The Awards ceremonies were corny and awkward and way too long, but they were about entertainment. They were part of the illusion of Hollywood glamour. The big studios, as a rule, kept their herd of actors, directors, and producers pretty well under control and away from controversy.

OK. As we all know, that is not true any more.The Hollywood types now insist on inflicting their politics on us, and on lecturing us lowly unglamorous types about our lack of virtue. They, of course, have redefined virtue into something totally unrecognizable to an audience of, say, the 1950s. We have to listen and watch them as they emote and cry about McCarthyism (of course, McCarthy had nothing to do with films, but never mind) and the evilness of big corporations and the racism and the greed and our lack of concern for the environment and children and women and working people and, so on and on and on. We must not see the contradictions between what they preach and how they live their own lives. While they proclaim their moral superiority to us all, and their undying love for children, workers, and Gaia, we must not focus on the scores of parentless children they leave around, often getting involved in drug use and other anti-social behavior. We must ignore their jetting about on private planes and limos, as they lecture us on climate change. And, OK, let me get to the real point of this rant: we must ignore how they, in fact, hate the average worker, they hate their customers. While we get lectured on social responsibility and our greed, they demand and often get huge salaries from the multinational corporations who own the studios nowadays. They scour the planet for cheap shooting locales and massive tax breaks and public subsidies for their productions and don't give a whit, for example, about the unemployed blue collar workers of the American movie industry.

Well, in the spirit of President-elect Trump and his successful cajoling of Carrier, Ford, Toyota, Fiat-Chryser, etc., into keeping jobs here, I make a modest proposal re Hollywood. I think states and cities should stop subsidizing film production with taxpayer money. Any movie production that gets tax breaks and subsidies from abroad for filming abroad, should be taxed an equivalent amount by the US government. Trump has threatened car makers with a 35% tariff, why not a similar fee on run-away movie production? Let's see how those big salaries get reduced and the benefits shared with the blue collar types who build sets, drive trucks, etc.

Bernie Sanders, are you with me?

See you at the movies!

26 comments:

  1. ... and these celebrities all told us how Trump would not only lose the primary, but lose the generals... and by a landslide.

    I just don't know why so many of my compatriots worship these people.

    - reader #1482

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  2. I think states and cities should stop subsidizing film production with taxpayer money. Any movie production that gets tax breaks and subsidies from abroad for filming abroad, should be taxed an equivalent amount by the US government.

    I have a better (i.e., more painful) suggestion: Have the IRS decree that Hollywood must conform to standard accounting practices, rather than "studio accounting."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting

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  3. Ten to fifteen years ago? What took you so long, Dip? I think the last award show I watched was the 1984 VMA's. You summed it up perfectly, this is just a leftist circle jerk in which they give each other made-up participation trophies. Why the hell should I care? Especially when we all know that these people despise me and those I call my friends. The feeling's mutual, Hollyweed. I haven't set foot in a theater in many years and with each passing day it seems less and less likely that I ever will again. Sure, I still throw the odd John Hughes film or Odd Couple disc into the Blu-Ray. And I'll always check out what TCM has showing, but I have no taste for the elites' sermon-of-the-week.

    In the wake of the Streep kerfuffle, what astounds me is the number of persons calling Streep "brave" for saying what she did. I can't think of a less brave act than standing in front of an audience of like-minded fools and affirming their prejudices. It's about as brave as an Iranian imam railing against the Great Satan during Friday prayer time.

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  4. Though not a fan of Hollywood, and an infrequent movie attender, I'll grant that Streep is one of, if not the best current actress around.
    How that should translate into political opinions I should pay attention to, however, baffles me.

    She tied into a rant about Trump, evidently a rather rude one, and then the media is all verklempt when Trump (also an entertainer) responds in kind.

    What did she and her worshippers expect, beyond more worship?

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    Replies
    1. I don't rate Streep as an actress. On the few times I've seen her, her performance has been full of "Look at me. I am acting. Am I not a fine actor?" My preference is for actors and actresses who seem just to be the part they are playing, and eschew drawing attention to their starry status.

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    2. To be fair, when she's acting, no matter how closely you look, you can't see the strings ...

      In other words, it is as wooden as a puppet.

      Phil B

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    3. Over at Antz-In-Pantz, commenter "dekare" lists Streep's films with a short resume of each one. Well worth a look!
      The only film of hers I've ever seen is "Devil Wears Prada," where Streep plays a bitchy fashion designer. (I didn't finish the film, it didn't appeal to me at all.) She played a real bitch to perfection- but I'm not at all sure it was acting. Nothing she's done appeals to me in the slightest, so I don't agree that she is "one of... the best current actresses around." Good actresses require good material.

      Link to comments on Antz: https://antzinpantz.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/a-great-example-of-hypocrisy/#comments

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  5. Just FYI if you hadn't since learned: Jimmy Stewart was a Republican, and campaigned for Nixon and Reagan.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and a lot of them supported JFK and LBJ but it was never this aggressive insulting partisanship we see now.

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  6. These celebs and in fact, Lefties in general, remind me of a poker player who continues to play a bluff hand after all cards have been exposed. There is really no point to it, but it makes them feel like there's hope. Same with all these Dems who are committed to running interference on Trump's appointments. Little point, other than to make noise. They haven't learned a damn thing from this election cycle.

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  7. As someone who grew up in LA/Hollywood,here are a few things you didn't mention:

    1. The hypocricsy over gun control. A-listers have armed personal security and A-list neighborhoods are patrolled not only by police but by armed private security services. And all in the industry are happy to make, work on or be in films extolling violence. (Personally, I don't know whether Quentin Tarentino or his audiences are more depraved.)

    2. Hyprocrisy over "corporate" greed, big gov't and unions. While all in the industry decry corporate greed and extoll big gov't and the virtue of unions, they demand multi-million dollar incomes (How about $20 for a two month film shoot and promotional tour?) and no feature films or location, non-sound stage TV shows are made in Calif. anymore. Why: high taxes, restrictive and expensive regulations and high cost and inefficiency of union crews (required to be used in Calif.).

    3. Hypocrisy re minimum wage and immigration. Household help is mostly hispanic, except perhaps "personal chefs." A maid or cook or nanny starts her day before breakfast and ends - maid or cook, when dinner or the dinner party dishes are washed, and kitchen and living room cleaned up; nanny, when kid goes to bed. That can often be an 18 hour day. (Yes, some down time may be allowed in the afternoon or while kids are at school). Many of such household help are illegals (that includes gardeners.) Many (most?) people don't bother paying social security or payroll taxes or reporting as employers to gov't. On this I don't entirely blame them. Employees don't want social security withheld and keeping track of hours and reporting and depositing payroll taxes is made by the gov't a time-consuming nightmare. On the other hand, these people do have accountants and business managers to take care of it for them. So, these people do not pay minimum wage (if you realize how many hours household help really works) or overtime. They do not abide by onerous gov't regs re taxes, and they exploit immigrants.

    An aside. The gov't has to be aware of this. I believe no crack down as most politicians and senior gov't employees avail themselves of same hispanic household help under same conditions.

    4. Public education. Needless to say most of the children of A and even B listers go to private school. I believe that includes the black A and B listers, too. (In my childhood, I went to a girl's school wih lots of movie/TV kids. At that time, there were only a handful of black celebs. I didn't encounter or know their kids.) In fairness on this, the kids are often very likeable and even normal and the parents want an environment where the kids won't stand out as objects of curiosity and can have normal relationships with classmates and teachers. HOWEVER, if you send your kid to a private school, you cannot pontificate on the evil of school vouchers or the virtue of teachers unions.

    That's just a beginning that Ms. Streep should answer to. Who knows? She may be the one paragon of virtue - no household help or nannies, no security, kids went to public schools. But I doubt it, and even if so, she was speaking to and applauded by a room full of people guilty of these hypocrisies.

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  8. That's $20 MIL. per film.

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  9. I have never understood why anyone would EVER care what an overpaid celebrity thinks about anything!

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    Replies
    1. I've always liked this quote from Alice Cooper:

      "If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

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  10. For an image about Hollyweird Hypocrisy: There's a split-image meme floating around Facebook about Meryl's rant against Trump, followed by her giving a standing ovation for child-rapist Roman Polanski.

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  11. In adddition, they give themselves awards for movies like "Nebraska", which denigrated "the deplorable" locals there.
    Guess sneering at those folks or people who like football or MMA isn't politically incorrect in the Elite Playbook.

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  12. I really liked "Nebraska".

    But I agree most Hollywooders are morons whose only skill is in make believe.

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  13. The last good awards show was 1978 when Vanessa Redgrave did an anti-Israel rant in her acceptance. Later another presenter took her to task for using the platform of the show to air her personal political opinion...to much applause from the audience.
    These days its not a show unless someone (everyone) throws their useless opinion to the wind.
    As for Hollywood...No new ideas. There now remaking movies (usually the really bad ones) while the "original" is still in the rental booth. How many times will Spider Man be remade? OK we read the comic book...Radioactive Spider, dead uncle, redhead neighbor girl. Do we need 4 movies and 2 cartoons to tell us the same story??

    The best thing about the Golden Globes? Their was a football game and an MMA fight on at the same time. Now THATS Entertainment.

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  14. Here is my suggestion for ridding Hollyweed of its pomposity and making these phony thespians earn their inflated salaries ... make every fourth bullet in their shoot-out scenes, live ammo.

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  15. Please write a post about today's news conference. If you have any insights on foreign intelligence surveillance of US citizens, that would be great.

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  16. Yes, Mr Mad, we want your views of the attempted pis-en-lit putsch.

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    1. And your assessment of the chances of Mr Trump escaping assassination.

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  17. And consider how not too long ago Meryl Streep cheered for the pedophile ROman Polanski.

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  18. Productions in California are not required to be union productions by any means. *some* of the big studios have agreements with the unions regarding the use of non-union labor on their lots, but not all (Fox comes to mind) and there are literally dozens of lots that are not the big studios.

    A lot of location stuff is still shot here. There are sites that literally list the shooting locations at any particular time. NCIS and NCIS:LA are shot here, for example, while NCIS new orleans is shot there for their production tax credit.

    The irony of actors and actresses criticizing multimillion dollar corporations is that they ARE multimillion dollar corporations. When they get that $20 milliojn in pay, they aren't paid the 20 million. They are paid a portion through SAG while the rest is paid to their corporation , to keep them from being taxed on it as income. All those staff they have? Paid by the corporation.

    A bunch of a-listers technically aren't residents of CA, either.

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  19. Oddly enough, Los Angeles drove away a lot of the action shows/movies due to regulations in the mid 90's. They severely taxed the tv/movie gun rental companies that supplied all the equipment used in shootem-up shows.

    They are so stupid that when it was pointed out that their anti-gun regs were going to adversely affect Hollywood, they doubled down and made them worse. The tax on just a magazine was well into 3 figures per year. The biggest rental sold off all their class3 stuff in '99, since Hollywood had moved most of those types of shows up to Canada, if they didn't go for some other country. They eventually closed up shop.

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