The Hollywood Left
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I happen to reside in that geographic section of North Carolina sometimes known as "Hollywood East." Several movies and TV series are being shot all around me currently. A number of movies were shot, in part, just blocks from my office.
Many years ago, it was exciting to see actors "live" and out of character. But that didn't last very long. It soon became apparent they were just people -- warts, wild hairs, and all. Some, it turns out, were real pains in the derriere!
Many years ago, during my misspent youth, I had the opportunity to MC a live country music road show headlined by many of the then famous Grand Ole Opry stars. I must have passed muster for I was asked back a second year to MC that year's performance, as well.
I met a number of real country music stars and I was, and still am to this day, struck by their connectedness to reality.
I had numerous conversations with both male and female stars, just conversations, not interviews, just the two of us sharing a smoke, a drink, just a few minutes relaxing and talking to each other. (A couple of them later became Hollywood stars.)
But here is what I came away with after informal meetings with those highly talented people: They ALL seemed to understand just how lucky they were. Their talent and hard work, LOTS of hard work, had finally paid off and they were at, or near, the top of their profession at that time.
I had/have no clue what their political inclinations were. I didn't ask and they didn't volunteer that information. I didn't care then and I don't care today. It was enough that they were accomplished entertainers who strove to give their fans their money's worth every time they took the stage.
Now, here's they thing: Not once did any of them punctuate their performances with political diatribes. It simply wasn't done. It would have been considered an affront to their fans -- and one can be reasonably sure a good portion of the audience would have left the auditorium.
Today, some fifty years later, we are constantly made aware of some performers' political inclinations and, quite often, in profane terms.
Leftist Hollywood actors are, without doubt, the absolute worst at portraying themselves as "learned" political activists. Political activists -- yes. Learned -- NO.
Let me be clear: Give them a script and they can, and will, make you believe they are geniuses at politics. Without a script they come across as mental lightweights -- ESPECIALLY concerning politics. Often, they don't know enough to be embarrassed by the fact that they DON'T know enough to speak meaningfully, let alone authoritatively, on the politics of the day. As it happens, some seem to have no clue how America, as a constitutional representative republic, works.
So much of what comes out of Hollywood today is driven by leftist politics. The same is true of TV productions. At least two shows currently running on TV reek of leftist/progressive propaganda. There are more, but those two shows are right up front about it. It is as though they are thumbing their noses at the American public. And, honestly -- I think they are.
Someone once said: "A wise man speaks because he has something to say. A fool speaks because he has to say something." I think of that often today as I try to watch a show on TV, or I read in the newspapers, or on the Net, how some famous actor felt the need to spout-off about his/her hatred for a particular politician, left or right.
You would think they'd be more judicious, wouldn't you. I mean, it is ONLY their fans they are insulting -- you know, the people who pay good money to purchase tickets to watch them play-act the part of some hero or heroine.
Maybe it's just me, but once I have heard one of those intellectual lightweights spout their hate of conservatives I don't forget it. It is never out of my mind when viewing, or listening, to them practice their art. An actor who spews hatred for conservatives, for instance, and then asks me to accept him as the character he/she is currently portraying on the big screen, or the TV screen, is asking me to do the impossible. I simply cannot do it.
I am convinced that one of the reasons the Liberal left is so prominent in Hollywood is the tendency of liberals to base their politics on feelings, on emotions, not fact and reality.
Actors, make a living emoting, using THEIR emotions and playing upon the emotions or "feelings" of the public. It is the most natural thing in the world for "emoting" actors to side with the political party of emotions. One could hardly be surprised at that.
Now, please don't remind me that all Americans have freedom of speech. As a commentator, I know that, already! They have the freedom to speak anything they want. But… I have the freedom not to listen, and, in the case of the actors, not to buy a ticket to one of their movies. And I don't.
Some of us "old timers" still remember the days of the great Hollywood studios. Actors were under contract to the studios. There were all sorts of clauses in those contracts to protect the studios. Actors who made their politics known, let alone publicly supported one political party or the other, would quickly find himself/herself without a contract and out on the street. Why? It hurt the studio's business -- that's why. Plain, simple, and straightforward.
The truth is -- it STILL hurts their business. The difference, I think, contributes to the trash the film makers turn out today. Compared to the epic movie's of yesteryear, the movie fare offered the public today is little more than the scribbling of a hormone driven teenage male scratched on the stall wall of a men's restroom somewhere. Much of the language in those films is fit for the same venue, as well.
Honestly, I believe the public would have more respect for actors if they replied to questions concerning their political inclination with a simple: "That's none of your business."
Alas, I live in the real world and in the 21st century it is but a pipe dream to think that today's practitioners of the performing arts, namely actors, would refrain from making unseemly fools of themselves by bloviating on political subjects they know little, or nothing, about.
On the other hand, their vacuous prattle ofttimes lends assistance and reassurance to those of us on the right side of the political spectrum. For that -- we are truly thankful.
J. D. Longstreet