Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Big Hollywood is turning out to be a goldmine for those who like to laugh at conservatives making fools of themselves. Their purpose is to convert Hollywood from liberal to conservative, so Hollywood makes movies that conservatives like, movies that praise Americans, American values, and American actions. Hollywood is obsessed with criticizing America, conservatives say, and they are sick of it. They want movies that show American as heroes, especially when they are killing their enemies, and American life as moral and good. They want to be praised, petted, and told they're always right. They don't want movies that seek new answers, examine motives, or question authority. They don't want to know of America's problems and America's victims. They want to feel good, and they demand that Hollywood make feel-good movies.

As always, they do not actually do anything about the situation but talk. It is rare when conservatives do anything but tell others to change to accommodate them. Creating and building their own conservative Hollywood is quite beyond them because it requires effort and money. Big Hollywood is not hitting up conservative sugar daddies like the Scaife and Olin foundations, they are demanding that liberals write, direct, act and finance conservative movies for them. This basic flaw is eternally overlooked, no doubt because the daddies in question have no desire to sink a hundred million into a vanity production for a conservative failure when he can fund a think tank for much less, and get better results. An American Carol lost 13,000,000.00 dollars, and in the real Hollywood, not the conservative one, that number is the only one that matters.

But this proof of the unpopularity of avowedly politically conservative movies doesn't stop Big Hollywood's Thomas Lifson from writing a business plan to take over Hollywood. The plan has a few problems, starting with a tendency to depend on wishful thinking. Conservatives believe strongly in faith and the efficacy of belief. It shapes their entire approach to the world, and is the source of so many of their problems. Lifson offers no proof; he wishes something to be true, and therefore it is.

Lifson's wishful thinking enables him to depend on conservative cliches to formulate his business plan, dooming it from the start. Garbage in, garbage out, and this post is buzzing with flies. Lifson's first assumption (of many) is that American culture is more conservative than Hollywood. Lifson thinks that he can make Hollywood more like him by "forcing the group culture to change." This can be done "by changing people's internal beliefs." Lifson acknowledges this will be difficult, but lists several ways conservatives can force Hollywood culture to change. Most involve conservatives trying to frighten liberals, telling them they'll lose their jobs when the next new thing comes along.

Deep down, Hollywood’s noisiest enforcers of left hegemony know they are vulnerable to the changing marketplace. And the inherent value the entertainment industry must put on trends argues that after a period of leftist dominance, the next new thing will be something different. Fashion always changes, and Hollywood leftism is nothing more than a fashion that began with the reaction to the 1950s blacklist and HUAC, and has now largely run its course. Because it is so boring by now, all it needs is a little help and knee jerk leftism becomes a laughingstock.

So since liberals in Hollywood have fashions, not principles, and people are bored by the latest (60-year) trend, conservatism is bound to swing back into favor. Lifson offers no proof beyond wishful thinking. He states liberal anti-war movies are unpopular and make little money, and therefore pro-war movies will be successful. He makes no attempt whatsoever to think about the difference between the US of 1943 and the US of 2009, after the Cold War, Nixon, Vietnam, and Bush. He doesn't think about how these events might have affected the public's attitude towards authority and their trust in the government, or the increase in level of knowledge about the world brought about by mass media. He wants the public to love war and movies glorifying war as much as he does, and assumes that if he wishes something to be true, it is true. Most of all, Lifson does not consider making good conservative movies that will make money and garner attention, praise and emulation. Instead he wants to force liberals in Hollywood to pander to people like him out of fear.

Incredibly, Lifson, an academic, advocates using gossip to spread this fear.

The hypocrisy of the Hollywood left is a rich vein to mine. In the current era, hypocrisy is the deadliest sin of all when it comes to public ridicule. Having a platform to expose the internal contradictions (use those Marxist clich├ęs, comrades!) of the lefties makes all the difference. Thanks to the vast popular appeal of gossip about Hollywood, stories which begin in Big Hollywood will travel far and wide. When substantial numbers of people are laughing at leftist hypocrisy, leftists will become more circumspect, and may even begin to notice that it pays to be more tolerant of conservatives, or even back, participate in, or appreciate the commercial potential of products with conservative values.

Lifson's plan for Big Hollywood is to spread as much nasty gossip and innuendo as he and his minions can dredge up, in the hope that the liberals in Hollywood will fear him and make conservative movies.

The fact that there are so many Hollywood conservatives who have to remain private about their beliefs creates a ripe environment for spreading tales of outrageous hypocrisy, nasty behavior, and other real events that can finally reach a public hungry enough for gossip about celebrities that they keep platoons of media professionals employed feeding them. Until now, the foibles of the left have been largely ignored in the mainstream celebrity gossip outlets. But the internet and Big Hollywood are about to change the landscape.

Actually, I'm impressed that Lifson is bravely putting all conservatives in Hollywood in such a precarious position. If conservatives state that they plan to grub through the dirt until they manage to smear and destroy every liberal in Hollywood, he'll pretty much guarantee no conservative will dare reveal his biases and no liberal will hire any conservatives. That's one heck of a plan for taking over Hollywood, there. We will have to wait and see what Lifson means by liberal hypocrisy, as conservatives tend to call anything they don't understand hypocrisy. They're going to be very, very busy, and people like alicublog and TBogg are going to have a field day laughing at them.

UPDATE: I've read most of the site now. Damn, they're dull. But Amy Alkon popped up in the comments so I still have hope.

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