“Say goodby to Hollywood.” That’s the message that Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh has for the Democratic Party should it wish to stop losing elections. (And Lehigh’s a Dem sympathizer who liked presidential contender John F. Kerry and has qualms about the war in Iraq.) He writes:
‘The attitudes and behavior of the film-industry elite are out of sync with much of the country, and linking the party with the West Coast glitterati makes national Democrats suspect with too many voters.
“One need look no further than a recent New York Times survey to see the disconnect. Fully 70 percent of those polled said they were at least somewhat concerned that TV, movies, and popular music are lowering moral standards.”
Exhibit A, according to Lehigh: The Dems’ love affair with Michael “Farenheit 9/11” Moore, whose seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic Party convention last summer effectively conferred the party’s imprimatur on Moore’s bizarre conspiracy theories and his belittling of George Bush’s intelleigence. Lehigh further notes:
“Other stars may have helped Kerry raise money, but they also served to embarrass him, putting their unbridled contempt for Bush on proud display during a July fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall. Whoopi Goldberg indulged in a long riff that used the name Bush as a sexual pun. Chevy Chase belittled Bush’s intelligence and mocked his pronunciation of ‘terrorist’ and ‘nuclear.’ (Didn’t Jimmy Carter mispronounce the latter word too?) John Mellencamp sang a song that called Bush a ‘cheap thug who sacrifices our young.’ And so it went. Kerry then made the mistake of saying that the stars had conveyed to the audience ‘the heart and soul of our country.’ His campaign was soon on the defensive, left to assert the performers’ right to express their opinions, while stipulating they did not necessarily reflect Kerry’s views.
“Now, the celebrities’ contempt may well mirror the sentiment of confirmed Democrats. But it was hardly the way to win undecided votes. Or to offer an effective critique of a president voters are inclined to like personally, but whose policies have left us entangled in an unnecessary war and awash in red ink. In the same way, post-election polemics that denounce Bush supporters as simple-minded rubes are unlikely to persuade them to consider Democratic candidates in future elections.”
And Hollywood doesn’t show many signs of reforming. For this year’s Golden Globe awards (the Golden Globe is supposed to be the thinking man’s Oscar), a nomination for Best Picture went to Kinsey, the flick that makes a hero out of sloppy scientist and sex weirdo Alfred C. Kinsey, and for Best Actress to Nicole Kidman for her performance in Birth.
Not too many people saw “Birth,” which hastily entered and exited the theaters in October–largely because the plot revolved around Nicole playing a grown woman, Anna, who falls in love with a 10-year-old boy. Blech! The high point of the movie was a scene in which Nicole and the little lad got naked together in a bathtub and start kissing. Double blech! Even the jaded Euros at the Venice Film Festival booed the bathtub scene–and they weren’t buying its cinematic justification, which was that the boy was supposed to be a reincarnation of Nicole’s dead husband. (The New York Post dubbed the film “Mary Letourneau meets ‘Ghost’–after the schoolteacher convicted of fooling around with one of her 13-year-old students.) I didn’t see “Birth” myself–I can’t move that fast–but I did love this recapitulation on WorldNetDaily of the Post’s interview with its leading lady:
“Kidman admitted to the Post that the bathtub scene — which is shot over her bare back and shows the boy from the waist up — is unusual, ‘but the whole film is unusual.’
“‘It’s not about sex, you know, it’s certainly not about sex,’ she said, according to the Post. ‘It’s about love, it’s about being … under the spell of somebody.’
“Another scene has Anna kissing, on the lips, the boy, played by 11-year-old Canadian Cameron Bright.
“She asks, as they share ice-cream, if he has ever made love to a girl.
“Kidman said the film is meant to make people feel uncomfortable, ‘but not in a way where you’re trying to exploit a young boy.'”
No, they probably felt just plain uncomfortable. “I see this as a film about love,” Nicole told the Associated Press in another interview. Most potential viewers, of course, saw “Birth” as a film about something else, so they stayed away. And that’s what Dem politicians should do with Hollywood itself if they’d like their party to survive.