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Klavan On The Culture

Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Entertainment Paradigm Begins to Shift

April 30th, 2013 - 3:29 pm

So, okay, in some ways, this is just one small step for a pal o’ mine, but in other ways, it is a giant leap for pal-kind. Via Nikki Finke’s Deadline: Hollywood, comes news that my buddy Neal Edelstein is starting a new, innovative media company:


Producer Neal Edelstein (Mulholland Dr.The RingThe Invisible) and his Hooked Digital Media partners have their sights on the future of content consumption. They’re banking on it moving to the micro-screen. Their new digital production shingle will focus solely on making original filmed content designed to be viewed on tablet and mobile devices. The first app, the ghost story Haunting Melissa, launches this spring.

In the past, to those who have despaired of the culture, lamenting the fact that a small, one-sided, single-minded, closed-minded cadre of people have taken over the arts, frequently silencing and blacklisting those who see the world from other perspectives, I have repeatedly pointed out that the old order is changing and the time is right for revolution. Not just one kind of revolution — any and all kinds. As studios lose their control over movie-making and, more importantly, distribution — as publishers lose their control over book-making and p.r. — as corporate media loses its control over review outlets — the culture will start to come up for grabs. A time is coming – is already here – when any artist with the talent and vision to be worth hearing will have a chance to be heard, and in a big way too.

So welcome Hooked Digital.  As I keep saying:  quit complaining, quit trying to censor those you disagree with, and just start making — and celebrating — good stuff.

Me at Faulkner University

April 28th, 2013 - 6:54 pm

Here’s my hour-long interview with Professor Robert Woods of Great Books Honors College of Faulkner University. We discuss my novels, especially Identity Man (for adults), and the young adult entries If We Survive and Crazy Dangerous.  I especially liked the question, “What is a Christian Libertarian?” (a way I described myself once). I’ll try and write some more about that later:

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Breitbart Laughs

April 26th, 2013 - 11:43 am

This made my heart hurt and sing at the same time. In a front page story, the New York Times has finally confirmed what Andrew Breitbart was saying years ago. Barack Obama and his administration facilitated a multi-billion dollar fraud to funnel taxpayer money to any African-American willing to rip off the public till. The complex scandal known as Pigford began with a reasonable claim by a few black farmers that they’d been treated wrongly by a racist government — but exploded, with Obama’s help, into a shameless dole out to any minority huckster who happened along. It took them a while to get there, but kudos to the Times for doing the job.

The reason the Pigford scandal touched Andrew so deeply was that he believed it was behind the Shirley Sherrod firing — for which he was wrongly blamed. After Breitbart released a video of Sherrod meant to demonstrate racism at the NAACP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the White House urging them on, demanded and received Sherrod’s resignation. When it became clear the administration had acted precipitately, Sherrod was rehired, and Breitbart was vilified as a racist and a liar who had deceptively edited the vid. This was false, false to the core. And because many conservatives piled on, the charges hurt Andrew. He uncovered the Pigford scandal in trying to clear his name.

Andrew showed that a company formed by Sherrod and her husband received a huge Pigford pay-off of some $13-million. He believed that that’s why she was fired so fast — and why he was vilified so cruelly: to keep journalists from asking too many questions and uncovering the Pigford scandal, the iceberg beneath the Sherrod tip.

I wrote a blog post about this in 2011, which can still be read though the links are out of date. Andrew’ Big Sites are running a lot of good material and have some of the old attacks on Andrew, now clearly revealed to be dishonest, biased and low in too many other ways to enumerate.

Bretbart’s in heaven laughing. And all you people who slandered him: Quo vadis, knuckleheads? Which being in English: whither goest thou? You don’t have to answer. We already know.

The New York Times Versus David Mamet

April 24th, 2013 - 7:21 am


I have a piece up over at FrontPage Mag charting the way the New York Times turned its critical guns on playwright David Mamet after he came out as a conservative. Here’s the opening:

The New York Times is very good at what it does — which nowadays involves a lot of lying in service to a leftist agenda.  There are the outright lies (such as the paper’s recent distortion of a police bias trial to make the NYPD appear racist), the lies of omission (such as its lack of full reporting on the Obama administration’s fatal acts of malfeasance and dishonesty in, say, the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals), and the atmospheric lies (such as its rose-colored reporting on the disastrous economy in bluer-than-blue California).  Altogether, these lies combine to make the paper something like the Matrix: a plausible imitation of reality intended to deceive people so that their substance may be milked to feed an overweening state.

As in the 1999 sci-fi film that begat that metaphor, rebellion against the illusion results in swift retribution.  And nowhere does the Times rush to punish resistance so quickly as in the arts.  Times reviewers consistently give sympathetic treatment to leftist cultural works while attacking those of a conservative bent, often regardless of quality.

Which brings me to David Mamet

The rest is here.

Who Do the News Media Think You Are?

April 22nd, 2013 - 5:00 am

Who did they think they were fooling? I wondered… a little drunkenly now, I must confess. These high-born Lords of the News, spoon-feeding us their carefully selected diet of euphemisms. Rebels, militia, Palestinians, insurgents, French youths. Did they think we were sitting here, thinking, Hm, I guess those dark-skinned, angry-looking killers named Muhammed all over the world aren’t radical Muslims after all. Now I will not be prejudiced against their religion. Didn’t they understand that we were bouncing on the sofa, screaming all the louder for our frustration, Hey, News-clowns! Tell the truth for once in your useless lives! Say the word! Say some word. Islamo-fascists! Jihadis! Something. Ya dumb f***s. Ya dumb, useless, lying, elitist f***s.

– From my novel Empire of LiesIf you haven’t read it, click the link.

When I was at university, I took a course in journalism for which I was required to write a term paper. My paper — which, as I recall, was cleverly titled “Who is You?” — was on the use of the word “you” in local newscasts. I watched several newscasts for a week, then tried to determine what assumptions lay behind the anchors’ use of the word in sentences such as, “You won’t have to start for work quite so early anymore…” or “You could find some good news in your mailbox this month.”

I thought of this term paper last week as I watched some of the occasionally insane coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt for two radical Islamic brothers. After nearly tying themselves in knots to avoid mentioning the terror suspects’ religion, one reporter on CNN actually said — I quote from memory but the sentiment is exact– “The suspects are being described as Muslim. That’s just a detail that’s being supplied, it has no more meaning than that.” According to Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters, NBC simply didn’t mention Islam at all on its April 19th Nightly News or Today programs. And the Boston Globe actually ran a headline that read, “Islam might have had secondary role in Boston attacks.” 

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Lead, Damn You!

April 18th, 2013 - 2:26 pm
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The difference between womanly and womanish — like the difference between manly and macho — is instructive. It reminds us that even the traits we admire most have, like all things human, their dark side. Gentleness may become weakness; strength may become belligerence — and so on.

Witness President Barack Obama’s performance after his attempt to violate the Second Amendment met the fate it deserved. He could have responded to the setback in a womanly manner: with warmth, understanding and compassion. Maybe wear something nice to make himself appealing. Sympathize with our concerns. Represent the moral attitude he wishes we’d aspire to.

Instead, he was petulant, scolding, hectoring — refused to take any responsibility for his actions. Womanish. See the distinction?

All right, I’m clowning around. But really, I’m not one of those wingers who hates the president. I don’t think he’s evil, not even a little. But can anyone — on either side — remember a moment when this man inspired us? I mean, all of us, together? Can anyone think of a day on which he lifted our hearts or moved us toward unity or did not seize on a crisis to demonize the opposition and so divide us?

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Girl Gone Wrong

April 18th, 2013 - 11:53 am

This is exactly the sort of thing that must be stopped if abortion rights are to continue unfettered!  (h/t The Anchoress.)

Tragic Evil and Stupid Journalism

April 17th, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Despite various excuses and rationalizations, it seems pretty clear that the mainstream media failed in their obvious responsibility to cover the evil-drenched story of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell because they feared it would reflect badly on the practice of abortion. Having shamelessly used the horrific Newtown massacre to push useless and unconstitutional infringements on our right to bear arms, the lefty press naturally assumed that those they despise would use the same sort of tactics here, shamelessly using baby murders to push legislation against…  well, baby murders.

Likewise, their coverage of the recent Boston massacre has been fraught with the same sort of anxiety. As I write, a suspect has been reported to be arrested — God send it’s the right one — but as we waited for law enforcement to do its work, speculation as to the possible motives of the bomber was powered by the question: Who will get to use this murder to make his case? Would those who see Islam as wicked get to point their fingers at the brain-dead multi-culturalist establishment? Would the media be forced to play down the murderers’ connections to Occupy Wall Street or the Democratic party? Would Chris Matthews get to draw false comparisons between white supremacy groups and the Tea Party? A particularly worthless look-at-me post at Salon was headlined “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.” Oh yes, let’s! It’s all just so suspenseful, isn’t it? Whose evil is it and who will get to turn it into political hay?

That all this eagerness to claim bragging rights over the dead is low and degraded and shameful goes without saying. But it’s stupid too. Whether we close our eyes to the Gosnell case or not, the nature of abortion will remain exactly what it is. Whether the Boston killer is a Muslim or not, a cancer of violence continues to eat into that religion, raising questions for its millions of innocent practitioners. White Supremacy is an ugly and despicable philosophy whether supremacists are the killers this time or not — and conflating the Tea Party with such bigotry will still be slander either way. And socialism is still stealing by force of government, whether or not the bombing is another in the long list of rotten acts by Occupiers.

And finally it’s our mainstream media’s commitment to tell only one side, to protect only one party, to make only one case, to decide for us what should be deduced from the details they provide and what should be hidden with those details they try to ignore — that’s what  makes them traitors to the basic principles of their profession, and they’ll be traitors to those principles whether their prejudices are borne out this particular time or not.

The truth stays true, eyes open or eyes shut.

“You May Already Have Lost!”

April 11th, 2013 - 3:39 pm

A funny — and also not-so-funny — video from the Free Enterprise Alliance and halttheassault.com, produced by my chums at Madison McQueen:

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Crazy Dangerous Interview

April 9th, 2013 - 4:44 pm

Here’s an interview I did with 99.1 Family Radio in Ottawa about my young adult thriller Crazy Dangerous — click on the picture to listen — click on the title to buy the book.