Out of the Frame

Movie ticket receipts in North America dipped by six percent in
2005 to nine billion dollars,
comes today’s report on the status of
the film industry.

The most hyped movie of 2005 was a depressing, pokey flick about
gay sheepherders. The Oscar nominations were otherwise dominated by
one movie that flogged us all for our supposed racism in a wearisomely
familiar way, another that rehashed left-wing grievances against a
minor and ineffective demagogue who’s been dead for pushing fifty
years, and a thriller that made an Islamic suicide bomber out to be
a saint and Americans parasitic villains.

Call me crazy, but I can’t help but think there might be some tenuous
shred of a hint of a connection here…

Hollywood is still capable of producing a decent flick now and
again (I think the last really good one I saw was
Firefly). But if George Clooney was right when he said Hollywood should be
proud to be out of touch, it’s got more and more to be proud of every
year. I’m no conservative and no prude either, but I have not even
the slightest interest in a movie about two sad losers with penises
compulsively buggering while their lives and marriages fall apart
around them. Cripes — if you held a contest to come up with a
story concept that would repel the heterosexual 96% of males, and
people of both sexes who go to the movies to be entertained,
you couldn’t do better than that.

Don’t bother telling me what I’m supposed to feel about
Brokeback Mountain or what a philistine I am for dismissing
it out of hand, or why it would be good for me to see it. That’s exactly
my point; I don’t want to pay $9.00 to see a movie because somebody else
thought it would be good for me. I buy entertainment from Hollywood, not
moral prescriptions, and if Hollywood now thinks its job is to improve
my character it can just fuck off.

It happens that in America in 2006, Hollywood is trying to pound
wacky left-wing political correctness down our throats, but my
complaint would be identical if the movie industry were taken over by
Christian evangelicals and persisted in cranking out edifying tales
from the Bible. Fuck all that noise; the harder you try to
‘uplift’ me in either direction, the more I’ll gravitate to the simple
thalamic pleasures of gratuitous nudity and big explosions.

Actually, I expect Hollywood’s drift to get far worse. All
indications are that the people who greenlight films live so deep
inside the bubble world of elite bicoastal left-liberalism that
they’re barely aware anything else exists. And to the limited extent
the are aware, they feel little but contempt for people on the
outside. This kind of problem tends to be self-reinforcing.

But it’s difficult to serve customers that you feel little other
than contempt for. Sooner or later, they tend to notice the contempt.
And go elsewhere. I expect those box-office receipts to keep falling;
the interesting question, now, is when Hollywood’s narcissistic,
dysfunctional culture will break under the resulting strain.

61 thoughts on “Out of the Frame

  1. I have an idea for a movie – it’s called ‘The Man Who Hated Everything’

    Starring – Eric S. Raymond.

  2. Kaisare — Eric’s not alone. In 1949 over 78% of America went to the movies every week. In 2003 that figure was 9%. It has since dropped.

    Shift from seeing movies in theaters to at home on DVD? DVD growth has slowed dramatically, with most movies doing poorly. Because they are not as ESR points out, entertaining. They are just bad movies. And people won’t buy them if they don’t add value to their lives. It’s entirely optional.

    ESR DID like Firefly (I hated it). So he liked at least one film. I LOVED “World’s Fastest Indian” with Tony Hopkins, who in real life likes to drive around America in his muscle cars from the 60’s and enjoy life. Great movie and fantastic performances. A movie I can’t WAIT to buy on DVD and watch again and again.

    BBM was crap. Poorly directed and photographed, with a boring story that wasn’t interesting as a short story, with the usual Angst Lee dysfunctional family and despair advocating a life alone. Wow. Color me as unentertained as the Hulk Storm, or Ice Hulk. Lee like Woody Allen is a hack masquerading as an artiste. Anyone can peddle nihilistic angst where all families are all bad (see: Solondz’s Happiness or Sam Mendes American Beauty or that misanthrope that wrote and directed In the Company of Men).

    Plus neither Ledger nor Gyllenhall can act. Period.

    What the hell else was on offer on Oscar night? The walking damn minstrel show that was Hustle and Flow? Oh yeah, it’s hard out there for a pimp. Capote? How hard was it to copy THAT guy (even Letterman was laughing at Hoffman). What about Crash? It had Matt Dillon. Last seen in Herbie Fully Loaded. As the bad guy. Maybe Constant Gardener was your thing. Quite apart from the moralizing, the wife was fooling around on her husband, and his kid wasn’t his. Hard to sympathize with the characters quest for vengeance.

    Craftsmanship. It’s lacking.

    By contrast a LOT of effort and craftsmanship went into LoTR, Spider-Man, even Daredevil. Fun movies that entertained.

  3. When you compare the undeniably Leftist frame to this year’s Acadamy Awards combined with the favorable MSM hype that preceded it to the anemic box office receipts generated by these films you come to the conclusion that folks controlling the Conversation don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Somebody with access to Lexus could tell us exactly how many articles the NYT ran on BBM, but my guess is more than 20. An even more interesting metric would be column inches versus box office receipts for Acadamy nominees. I’d be willing to bet that never has so much effort be made to promote a film that nobody wanted to see.

    I draw two conclusions from this. One is that there is a huge opportunity for English speaking filmmakers without California addresses to grab a huge share of the American film industry. And the other is a confirmation of something we already know – that Americans will use the new technology to define the culture for themselves despite the best efforts of the empty suits of the MSM to define it for us.

  4. While I did not see BBM, I disagree with the notion that Heith Ledger cannot act. His performance in Lords of Dogtown was pretty convincing. Not that it was great movie, but you can’t blame that on a supporting actor.

    Here’s hoping that the British and Indian film industries start to notice this obvious gap in Hollywood’s monopoly.

  5. Kaisare —

    ESR is ‘The Man who Hated Everything?’ — What about the Hollywood industry that thinks we only want to see us denigrate and pull ourselves apart? I’m trying to think of recent movies that portray man as great, movies that inspire, or movies that celebrate this country. My list is coming up painfully short. When ESR reacts to this negativity, he isn’t being negative himself.

  6. Grumpy:

    Don’t expect the Indian film industry to come up with anything. They’re currently on a nudity high – every movie MUST include a nude scene.

    Most, Jim Rockford:

    I wasn’t pulling ESR up for his apathy towards movies alone – I was only trying to poke him in the ribs about his every screed here finding fault with some aspect of the world. If anything, I have the same affliction.

  7. What I would love to see is a documentary that cross cut between discussions of the Venona Transcripts and Good Night and Good Luck.

    Perhaps, even, a good “conspiracy tragedy”, showing Tailgunner Joe’s growing desperation and self doubt as the political tide turns against him, cut three ways – his attempts to get the evidence he needs to nail them, the attempts by the KGB to carefully isolate his next targets, and the efforts by the press to paint him as a radical nutjob.

    Capstone scene, set in Moscow, where they’re drinking a toast to his demise.

  8. >I disagree with the notion that Heith Ledger cannot act.

    So do I. He was at least competent in “The Patriot”.

    >Don’t expect the Indian film industry to come up with anything. They’re currently on a nudity high – every movie MUST include a nude scene.

    Aaaand this is a problem, how? :-)

  9. I don’t want to pay $9.00 to see a movie because somebody else thought it would be good for me.

    Its not just that, being inundated with 15 minutes of commercials before the movie starts pushed me over the threshold. I don’t want to pay to have teen trinkets and junk food blasted at me 5 times life size and in surround sound. In fact, I don’t even want to be paid to endure being slathered with such slop. I gave up on the chain theatres several years ago and hit the smaller venues where half the movies shown require subtitles.

  10. ESR:

    #Aaaand this is a problem, how? :-)

    If I want to watch porn, I’ll watch porn. The nudity in Bollywood is all too clearly a marketing gimmick.

    I like to see an excellent execution of an excellent storyline in a movie. Nudity doesn’t make a movie great if it wasn’t a) called for, and b) tastefully portrayed.

    The Bollywood scenario sucks beyond hope. There are currently only three directors, four actors and one actress worth their respective titles.

  11. Point of Order. The movie Eric thinks he liked was titled Serenity, based on the television series Firefly.

    I’ll also say that the movies I most enjoyed in the last year were animated “kids” movies: The Incredibles, Robots, Inc., Wallace and Gromit, Hoodwinked. I would have watched and enjoyed these movies even if I didn’t have a child (who also loved them.)

  12. “…if Hollywood now thinks its job is to improve my character it can just fuck off…”

    LOL….I’d pay the price of admission just to watch you say that to Clooney’s face…then I’d lamp the wanker ;-)

  13. “If I want to watch porn, I’ll watch porn. The nudity in Bollywood is all too clearly a marketing gimmick.”

    Whatever it takes to get hot naked asian chicks on the silver screen…

  14. “The Man Who Hated Everything” — I believe Scott Adams might be a better fit for that role.

    Props to ESR for his commentary about the disengenous denials of didactics in the entertainment industry. Even fluff like CSI is often very clumsy and very obvious when they preach on their social issue of the episode. It’s embarrassing to watch.

  15. Ok, let’s combine the two gripes. How about a homosexual superhero couple who save the US from Islamofascist terrorists? It’s a sure hit, or it pisses off almost everybody?

  16. ESR – how about seeing a production of “The Way of Wyrd” (Brian Bates)…perhaps that would be up your alley?

  17. >Whatever it takes to get hot naked asian chicks on the silver screen . . .

    Amen to that.

  18. >>Don’t expect the Indian film industry to come up with anything. They’re currently on a nudity high – every movie MUST include a nude scene.

    >Aaaand this is a problem, how? :-)

    I love nudity as much as the next guy, but when movies depend on it, I don’t like it. The point of a non-porn movie shouldn’t be to show boobs. Boobs can be there, they just ought not be the highlight. Kind of like explosions and computer graphics.

  19. Aaaand this is a problem, how? :-)

    It would seem that Eric does not hate everything.

    Quality and craftsmanship is in really short supply in all media. I keep going back to watch Humphrey Bogart, Lee Marvin, and John Wayne. Howard Hawks and John Ford. Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman, Maureen O’Hara, Audrey Hepburn.

  20. /* rehashed left-wing grievances against a minor and ineffective demagogue who’s been dead for pushing fifty years
    */

    Yes, I find it interesting that Hollywood works so hard to rewrite history during McCarthy’s era. Every film about the time shows how noble and brave Hollywood was in opposing McCarthy, when in reality Hollywood created the blacklist and bent to the government’s whim.

  21. >The Incredibles, Robots, Inc., Wallace and Gromit, Hoodwinked.

    I had momentarily managed to forget The Incredibles. What an amazing and wonderful piece of art that was — entertaining, intelligent, emotionally rich, morally serious without being preachy, deeply humane. I loved it. Damn few live-action movies can compete.

  22. About The Incredibles. I can only echo esr’s comments. A favorite. Along with other great animated flicks, like Shrek. Sadly, Disney has bought into the Hollywood preaching with junk like Finding Nemo. Movies like Brokeback Mountain don’t even tempt me. From everything I’ve read, it would be a barely adequate romance IF the plot involved a man and a woman. The fact that Hollywood thinks this movie worthy of Oscar nominations not only proves the contempt they hold us in, but the contempt we should have for them.

  23. >Ok, let’s combine the two gripes. How about a homosexual superhero couple who save the US from Islamofascist terrorists?

    I’ve heard Frank Miller is writing “Holy Terror, Batman”, a deliberate propaganda piece for the current war. The homosexuality of the superhero couple is left as an excercise for the reader. Be careful what you ask for …

  24. Eric Cowperthwaite:

    There’s hope for Disney yet. Many Disney animation projects that were on the table are now getting steved as part of the fallout of the Pixar acquisition. The third Toy Story, to be made by Disney’s in-house computer animation studio, was the first casualty.

    And I didn’t think that Finding Nemo was terribly bad; it was a Lasseter film after all. Brother Bear on the other hand, I never saw it but every review I saw said it was a preach-fest.

  25. Yeah, I’m not sure what your beef with Finding Nemo is. Was there a preachy part? I didn’t catch it if there was.

    Heck, even anything by Miyazaki is way better than Hollywood’s stuff, even if it is a bit preachy. The drawings and animation are gorgeous. Just don’t watch the miserable dubs. (Okay, for dubs they aren’t horrible, but they tend to change the story some and inject a ton more (useless) dialog than existed in the original.)

  26. Jeff Read wrote:
    > And I didn’t think that Finding Nemo was terribly bad; it was a Lasseter film after all. Brother Bear on the other hand, I never saw it but every review I saw said it was a preach-fest.

    Yes, Brother Bear sucked so much that I walked out of the theater determined never to trust Disney again. Take the Noble Savage myth and add mystical animations and talking animals taken straight from Disney’s warehouse of stock talking animals, and you have Brother Bear.

    silvermine wrote:
    > Heck, even anything by Miyazaki is way better than Hollywood’s stuff, even if it is a bit preachy. The drawings and animation are gorgeous. Just don’t watch the miserable dubs.

    In general, I go for the subtitled versions—but I really loved the English dub of Castle in the Sky. Cloris Leachman’s voice acting in that movie cracks me up whenever I hear it.

  27. What about Sin City? I think it was the only truly great one in the last five years.

  28. > a movie about two sad losers with penises compulsively buggering while their lives and marriages fall apart around them

    I dislike this arguing style. Such sentences can be made for any movie, good or bad. They have no place in intelligent discussion.

    > I buy entertainment from Hollywood, not moral prescriptions

    This sounds a bit simplistic to me. For millenia the consolidation or shifting of a culture’s moral code has been an integral part of storytelling. I don’t see it as inherently wrong to attempt to inform an audiences moral code. Of course it may be done poorly or well.

  29. …and how ’bout the new Bambi comin’ out!
    Soften us up for a new round of legislation…

  30. Bollywood really isn’t what very many Americans want to watch at this point.

    I remember that a year or two ago, you were excited about how good movies were getting. What happened?

  31. I liked Pride and Prejudice, though I’ve not actually gotten very far in the book. (I’m not a fan of Victorian fiction.) I also liked the Wallace and Gromit movie, Rent, and Mad Hot Ballroom.

    But, according to the reviews, there have been a lot of stinkers which are bad independent of any political or moral content. I’m not sure that Hollywood’s late decline is really political, or if it’s just a run of bad luck. If there had been more really good movies, the Academy may have decided to nominate them instead of the preachy movies it did nominate.

    Lastly, Steve Sailer had some interesting things to say in Hollywood’s Skin-Deep Leftism. If he’s correct, Hollywood will swing back to movies with more mainstream (if still “liberal”) values, because that’s where the money is. And maybe 2006’s movies will be better.

  32. #What about Sin City? I think it was the only truly great one in the last five years.

    I don’t know about the last five years, but yes, Sin City was superb.

  33. “Don’t bother telling me what I’m supposed to feel about Brokeback Mountain or what a philistine I am for dismissing it out of hand, or why it would be good for me to see it. That’s exactly my point; I don’t want to pay $9.00 to see a movie because somebody else thought it would be good for me. I buy entertainment from Hollywood, not moral prescriptions, and if Hollywood now thinks its job is to improve my character it can just fuck off.”

    That might just be the greatest quote ever!.

  34. >I remember that a year or two ago, you were excited about how good movies were getting. What happened?

    2005.

  35. I have a basic set of rules about movies.

    1. Will this movie be significantly better on a massive screen? Then I will see it at the theatre.

    2. Does this movie excite and interest me? Then I will watch it on pay per view.

    3. Am I willing to sit through this movie? Then I will watch it on premium cable.

    Video stores don’t even enter the equation. Between six premium channels and Comcast’s On Demand service, I haven’t rented a DVD in over a year. My wife and I mostly use our DVD player to watch bittorrent-streamed anime that isn’t licensed in the US, like Elfen Lied.

  36. Silvermine: “Yeah, I’m not sure what your beef with Finding Nemo is. Was there a preachy part? I didn’t catch it if there was.”

    To quote from the movie, “Fish are not food”

  37. I agree with Lemi4. How long does Hollywood have to circle the drain before the market comes up with good films that people actually go to see? Who will film those “if Hollywood were really brave” films you talked about?

    And how can that new movie industry avoid the same trappings that created Hollywood, Bollywood, and Uwe Boll?

  38. ” ESR is ‘The Man who Hated Everything?’ — What about the Hollywood industry that thinks we only want to see us denigrate and pull ourselves apart? I’m trying to think of recent movies that portray man as great, movies that inspire, or movies that celebrate this country. My list is coming up painfully short. When ESR reacts to this negativity, ”

    You see it as pulling ourselves apart. Others may see it as simply pointing out the facts. You say potato, I say… living in a bubble doesn’t mean your perception is the cosmos. I for one just simply roll my freakin eyes at the inane and repetitive self-celebrating rubbish we tend to see in a lot of movies. If you just want to be entertained, that’s fine. But some people can lose the entertainment somewhere between rolling their eyes at the show.

  39. The far leftism in hypewood is not a working business model. Hopefully.

  40. Here here on your point of order, J. Alan Brown. the herb also seconds the sentiments on the awesomeness of “Serenity.” And, “Crash” was preceded by a much smarter, better flick called “Short Cuts,” directed by Robert Altman. Currently, “Running Scared” is the best movie I’ve seen since “Monster.”

    Eric, I find myself agreeing with you again. Most of what Hollywood is selling us these days is getting worse and worse. Often I find that I have to take a few months off in order to be even slightly entertained… at the movies.

  41. Steven Segal is an underappreciated comedic genius, whose films will be considered touchstones of the necessity and art of farce and its relevance in understanding late 20th century western culture in the post Singularity future.

    After all, even hyperintelligent quantum computers need to experience interrupted defense mechanisms and absurdist responses, even when they know all the possible answers in all the entangled states.

  42. Steven Segal is an underappreciated comedic genius…

    Definetly underappreciated by me. Seeing what he did to his wife, Kelly LeBrock caused me to decide I’d contributed enough to the Segal enrichment fund.

    hanzie.

  43. Didn’t anyone else see Cinderella Man? Or am I somehow the only one that thought it was an extraordinary movie?

    I know a lot of people avoided it because they thought it was just a “boxing movie” but it was really much more than that and a hell of a story.

  44. Ooh, The Constant Gardener, or Incontinent Gardener.
    The ‘hero’ of this flick would have done the world a favor if he’d commited suicide earlier in the flick. …and this is me being ‘charitable’.

  45. The Oscars and Hollywood are about money. A quick business analysis of the nominees shows this. The details of movie finances are kept secret, but a reasonable approximation of profitability is to compare the production cost with the box office revenue. There are other costs and there are other revenues, but this profitability is a decent approximation. For each of the nominated “best movies” the percentage profit on investments were:

    Brokeback Mountain 625% on 14 million invested
    Capote 260% on 7 million invested
    Crash 850% on 7 million invested
    Munich (40%) on 75 million invested (the only money loser nominated)
    Good Night and Good Luck 340% on 7.5 million invested

    Gosh, the winner is the one that returned 850%. Similarly, the winner for best Documentary returned an whopping 1150% on 8 million invested. Wallace and Gromit, 450% on 30 million invested. Only money loser nominated (Munich) comes from a financial powerhouse and most likely reflects Spielberg’s reputation and power.

    By comparison, we have “Serenity” (40% loss on 40 million invested). You can expect Hollywood to continue to follow the money.

    My personal guess on why revenues are continuing down is the increasingly unpleasent environment of the movie theatre with the noisy talking patrons, the cell phones, the endless pre-movie advertising, etc. We now have the occasional fight with police involved between one noisy patron and another that wants quiet.

  46. Is Hollywood really a bastion of leftism? I consider myself a leftist, but most of the movies being produced by Hollywood don’t promote the kind of leftist ideas that I support. Mostly they promote the commercialization and commodification of sex and the body, self-destructive, violence-prone masculinity, unquestioning patriotism (which is the worst form of patriotism), militarism, and zenophobia. Yes, there are occasional movies about homosexual cowboys, but those aren’t the movies that most people watch. You give awards to movies that are unique and memorable in some ways–often this happens to be the rare birds like movies about homosexual cowboys, but these aren’t the majority fare that most people watch. I see few “leftist” movies out there–movies like _Dead Man Walking_–and people like Susan Sarandon had to fight tooth and nail to get together funding for them. When was the last time that you saw a movie questioning capitalism? When was the last time you saw a movie showing the US subverting a democracy in a 3rd World Country? When was the last time you saw a movie that advocates pacificism and negotiation rather than violence as a way to solve problems?

    I don’t doubt that the majority of Hollywood actors lean to the left. How many conservatives do you know that are interested in acting? And often these people struggle to create movies that are meaningful to them, but these aren’t the movies that get millions of dollars in funding and promotion.

    Many of the bad things in Hollywood that conservatives blame on leftists are really just commericalism which is very capitalistic at base. For instance, many social conservatives are angry that Hollywood promotes sex, appearance, body, and superficialism, but these aren’t leftist values either, they are commercialism. Freedom to experiment with sex and drugs are libertarian as much as they are leftist. While some leftist may promote freedom of sex and drugs, they are very much against the exploitation of those things for commercial ends. Listen to feminists and labor unionists rail against Hollywood and you will realize that Leftists hate most of what Hollywood produces just as much as social conservatives. Hollywood isn’t just an assault on conservative social values, but it is also an assault on many of my values as a leftist.

  47. > Movie ticket receipts in North America dipped by six percent in 2005 to nine billion dollars, comes today’s report on the status of the
    > film industry.

    Part of this change is a switch to other forms of entertainment. Computer games, internet, more phone usage, and Cable TV, have lowered demand for traditional movies, but I bet that total spending on entertainment is more than it used to be. People have so many other forms of entertainment that they will only go to see a movie if it is really attractive to them.

    I will pay to see Lord of the Rings, but not the average blockbuster, because the internet is so much more interestin to me.

  48. Amos:
    “How many conservatives do you know that are interested in acting?”

    Me.
    I happen to think I could actually do it. I’ve got a small amount of experience performing on network television. Actor friends of mine have told me I’ve got what it takes. I’ve even got an agent with whom I’ve discussed how I’d go about turning that into a career.

    What I don’t have is the ability, or desire, at this point in my life to give up everything and embark on the quest. I’d have to devote too much of my time to paying the dues with no guarantee of return, and I’m old enough that I can’t do that.

  49. Jay,
    I think your decision is typical of the response that many social conservatives give for not wanting to be actors. Acting is a horrible profession, if you want to get married, have kids, buy a house, and have a semi-stable life. I suspect that many social conservatives decide that marriage, kids, house, and financial and social stability are more important than acting. There are some Charleston Hestons and Mel Gibsons out there, but I don’t think that they are typical of most Hollywood actors.

    Acting means that you have the ability to step outside of yourself and take on the role of other people. It is difficult to do this if you can’t sympathize with and understand other people. Many conservatives aren’t interested in understanding the viewpoints and lifestyles of others because they are convinced that their viewpoint and lifestyle are the best. Of course this isn’t the exclusive preserve of conservatives. Most liberals are convinced that their vision is the *best* as well. But people who lean left are more likely to be interesting in alternative cultures and lifestyles and tend to be more flexible in taking on other roles in my experience.

    Anyway that is my half baked musing on the subject.

  50. Amos, you’re being unfair when you say that conservatives are not interested in understanding the viewpoints and lifestyles of others, even if you do admit that many liberals are the same way. In my experience, liberals and leftists are either uninterested or incapable of understanding views other than those outside a narrow range bracketing their own, as the constant vilification of conservatives for being greedy, corrupt, or amoral demonstrates. Liberals who actually cared what other people thought would understand the values which conservatives hold, and either try to show that conservative policies (or politicians) did not advance those values, or try to convince conservatives to change those values. But that’s not what happens in political discourse in this country.

    I think the poor pay and working conditions, the lack of stability, and the lottery-like nature of success in acting are much stronger factors in filtering out conservatives from the trade.

    On the other hand, I don’t think most Hollywood movies, at least since the Communists were purged, have had very leftist values. These days, one gets a sort of mawkish, inoffensive liberalism in most movies which have a detectable ideology – as Ross Douthat said of Crash, “like Triumph of the Will for Unitiarians”.

  51. Anthony,
    Maybe I should distinguish between different strains of conservativism. I was thinking particularly of religious conservatives who want to force everyone to adhere to their moral and social values. I think that they are fundamentally uninterested in understanding others’ viewpoints. This is not to say that they aren’t interested in other people, but they fundamentally aren’t open to trying other lifestyles or trying to live another role.

    I have a profoundly different experience when I talked to my conservative Catholic relatives about my travels through Latin America. They are interested in hearing about how people in Bolivia live, but they automatically assume that they know what is the best way to live. I have the hardest time trying to explain why South Americans might vote for leaders who thumb their nose at the US. In contrast, when I talk to my relatives who are either liberal Catholics or agnostic, they are much more open to learning about the viewpoints of Latin Americans. Now most of my relatives aren’t evangelical fundamentalists who think that they have to save me, but when I talk to those sorts of people, I find that they are even more close-minded. They are convinced that they have the only way and I should adapt to their way. Of course this is a broad generalization and doesn’t apply to everyone, but I do think there is a closed mindset to most religious conservatives.

    People who believe that the US is the best are generally conservatives and are uninterested in the viewpoints of the rest of the world. People who argue that we must impose our civilization on others are fundamentally uninterested in the viewpoint of others. They certainly don’t want to understand what people in the Islamic world think.

    Libertarian conservatives, however, generally are less interested in imposing their viewpoint on others, and I would agree that they generally are more open to understanding others (or at least tolerating them).

    As for liberals, many of them do want to transform the world in their image (I know that I do). Still, there is a critique of this tendency in most leftist circles which espouse multiculturalism and denounce ethnocentricism. Many of the things that conservatives hate about the left like post-modernism and relativism are an acceptance of difference and more willingness to learn from others. Of course conservatives argue that “political correctness” is just an attempt to impose the liberal viewpoint on them. They see Liberals as trying to force them to change their religion and trying to transform their values. Coming from the left, I don’t see it that way. I see multiculturalism as an attempt to stop any one group from imposing its viewpoint on others and an attempt to respect all viewpoints and lifestyles. I don’t demand that my conservative Catholic relatives live the way that I do, but they seem to want me to live the way that they do.

    Can a liberal sympathetically play the role of a religious fundamentalist in a play? Most liberals would admit that it would be pretty hard and most would be uninterested in trying. Can a conservative sympathetically play the role of a homosexual? I think most social conservatives would outright refuse. Neither side is very willing to see the other side. To some degree it is a matter of perspective. When social conservatives denounce gay rights, they see it as an assault on the sanctity of their marraige and a destruction of their morals. Somebody on the left sees gay rights as simply the demand that all people should have the same rights. Both sides accuse the other of being close-minded and unwilling to understand their viewpoint.

    Still I do see a difference between the two sides. I was reading the other day about a homosexual who had gotten the lead in a biblical movie which was being marketed to religious fundamentalists. When fundamentalists found out that the main actor was homosexual, many denounced the movie and are refused to go and see it. It is that intolerance that I find troubling. Many liberals were interested in seeing the Passion of Christ to see what all the furor was about, but most religious conservatives weren’t interested in seeing Brokeback Mountain. The Liberals at least made the effort to go and see the movie before critiqueing it, .

  52. “I was thinking particularly of religious conservatives who want to force everyone to adhere to their moral and social values. ”

    Doesn’t ring true from my own experience and reading. I know quite a few people that most would consider one shade or another of religious conservative and not one has ever struck me as somebody who wants to “force” adherence to their moral and social values. In the main, they’d like to be free from have others moral and social values forced upon them. In general, I don’t see hordes of them running into buildings with explosive vests on or insisting that everyone convert, or else. I’m sorry, but I keep hearing about all this forcing stuff and I just don’t see it.

    I also hear about a lot of stifling of dissent around the country, but when I go out to look for it all I hear and see is more dissent.

    I sometimes think that the Left, contemplating a fanatical and deadly strain of religion that it has no powr over and cannot control, and has shown itself to be lethal, simply displaces its fear of Islamofascism onto Fundamental Christianity. A group that it is much, much safer to piss off.

  53. I read the comments above about how the films should entertain us and aren’t; and then ran across this on another blog. If Hollywood is truly outsourcing its’ audience, making films that play overseas, but not in the US, then our opinions of the films, and our dollars in the theaters become irrelevant.


    I’ve heard conservatives tell me for years that ‘market forces’ will eventually force Hollywood to change, become more mainstream. The argument goes something like this: Hollywood’s product will eventually become so toxic, so nakedly political, that there will eventually be a backlash’ from the public – at which point things in Tinseltown will magically change for the better.

    Guess what? It ain’t happening. Hollywood simply doesn’t need the Red States any more. Hollywood’s more interested in how a film plays in Mexico or France these days than in Kansas. After all, Charles Krauthammer may hate “Syriana” – but the Germans and the Brits love it! So do the Spanish and the Italians. That’s the global economy for you – Hollywood’s now out-sourcing its audience.

    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/JasonApuzzo/2006/03/14/189683.html

  54. “I don’t want to pay $9.00 to see a movie because somebody else thought it would be good for me.”
    I don’t think there is anyone forcing you to see any particular movie. Tastes are different so are choices.
    Take it easy!

    Best

  55. I do not like hollywood movies. That stuff can`t entertain me. And Adriano… Steven Segal realy sucks. It realy surprise me that adult people can enjoy that kind of movies.

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