Jewish World Review March 26, 1999 /9 Nissan 5759
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They are all overlong, tendentious, boring, puerile and mawkish. In fact, I haven’t been to a movie theater since the 80s, catching up with today’s Hollywood culture instead on prime-time television, with L.A.’s operative F-word deleted.
But before I go on about why I hate Hollywood, a few thoughts on Elia Kazan, the world’s greatest director ever. His lifetime achievement award should have come 30 years earlier. Be that as it may, it was a disgrace that non-talented lefty brown-nosers had the gall to protest. I met Kazan once, at Norman Mailer’s house over in Brooklyn. I was a bit down, about to be divorced and all that, until my fellow Greek put his hands on my shoulders and said: "All you have to do is be nice, and she’ll come around. And stop bragging about other women."
Old Elia sure knows human nature, especially Greek male human nature. He of course turned out to be right.
The irony of the Hollywood blacklist was that the Communists who were themselves eventually blacklisted had done the same to others who opposed Communism when the Reds wielded power in Hollywood. The Big Lie is that Joe McCarthy and his goons invaded Hollywood in 1947 and persecuted the 10 most important figures in the industry. McCarthy’s maiden speech on Communism was not until 1950, three years after the House Committee’s first hearings on Hollywood. It is difficult to exaggerate the intensity of the hatred film people—along with most Americans—felt for the Commies in 1947. For years, the Reds, through the unions, had been manipulating the system ensuring only their fellow pinkos got work. It was not just great actors and great Americans like John Wayne, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper, Ronald Reagan and Ginger Rogers who welcomed the HUAC hearings. They remembered that from 1939 to 1941, during the Nazi-Soviet alliance, the Hollywood Reds agitated against aid to embattled Britain, then finally facing the Nazis alone, except for tiny Greece.
Details of how between 85 million and 100 million people came to die in the hands of Communist regimes have now been confirmed. Back in 1947 the other blacklist, one drawn up by Commies in Hollywood, on Broadway, in book publishing and in journalism, made patriotic Americans like Kazan take notice. The best thing that ever happened to Hollywood—forgetting the pseudo-memoirs and revisionist tricks by professional liars like Lillian Hellman—was when the Red Shmucks who supported the most vicious regime in history were exposed. Bravo Elia!
But back to why I loathe Hollywood; modern Hollywood, that is. Those old monsters Adolph Zukor, Harry Cohn, Jack Warner, Sam Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer and Darryl F. Zanuck who once ran the place kept everyone in line.
Their films reflected what was best about America; they gave the Commies the boot, and to actors who were lousy role models to the young they gave a pink slip. A moron like Alec Baldwin who incites people to lynch Henry Hyde and his family would have been back waiting on tables in no time. That Charlie Sheen chappie, who while high on crack cocaine beat up a girl, ditto. Not to mention Robert Downey Jr.
Listing my grievances against Hollywood would require a War and Peace-like opus. Lack of space obliges me to narrow them down to one, which in itself is extremely hard. Just think of it. It’s a bit like trying to list what’s wrong with the Clintons. What I hate most about Hollywood is the way it fell into line with the kind of anti-Americanism practiced by the media during the 60s—a line that the studios continue to toe well into the end of the century, while remaining oblivious to mainstream American thinking.
With the exception of a few recent war pictures—and lousy pictures at that, and yes, I do mean Private Ryan—when was the last time you saw a film that did not portray American fighting men as bloodthirsty killers, priests as charlatans and sexual perverts, small-town dwellers as rednecked bigots and businessmen as total crooks? The same line that, on the other hand, portrays most Latino illegals, black drug dealers and Oriental gangsters as sensitive souls who have gone wrong because of a non-caring society.
Mind you, the Sammy Glicks who make today’s movies are no fools. Profits are the end-all and be-all of their existence. The military, the priesthood, small-town dwellers do not sue, nor do they picket outside the cinemas. Gays, ethnic groups, feminists and others do sue and picket.
Ergo, why I hate Hollywood: It is the most cowardly place in the
world, and that includes the Oval
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