What are you lookin' at?

What are you lookin’ at?

So I’m on the other side of the pond for a while, and figured St. Patrick’s Day would be a fine time to start this little subdivision of Unexamined Premises. A look at our beloved country from a different perspective; quick hits, brief observations, drive-by opinionating. In so doing, I’m aiming to start an ongoing dialogue with our PJ readers, which means I’ll be reading and responding to many of your comments, as if we were having a conversation, perhaps right here in my local haunt in Ireland. Let’s get the party started:

● Conservatives, especially social conservatives, never embarrass themselves more than when they write about Hollywood without apparently having worked a day in the Industry. Two recent pieces illustrate my point: Christian Toto’s ridiculous notion that renegade filmmaker John Milius’s career effectively ended, for political reasons, after he made the 1984 version of Red Dawn; and Ben Shapiro’s ludicrous (and much-derided) claim that “Hollywood” killed Philip Seymour Hoffman. A brief flavor of both — first, Toto:

Milius was as hot as the proverbial pistol in the industry in the late 1970s and early ’80s, and even a commercial misstep like Big Wednesday couldn’t cool his pen or power. Then he directed a tale of middle American teens who battle against Soviet forces, and Hollywood suddenly mistrusted his talents.

Red Dawn‘s unabashed patriotism and appetite for violence cast him out of polite Hollywood circles. His career never truly recovered, an issue explored in the documentary.

Dawn made a bundle, but that didn’t matter since its values clashed with the minds who mattered–film critics and fellow Hollywood players alike.

Yeah, right, that must be it — what other explanation can there be? Let’s let the Telegraph make a small point:

In recent years Milius has suffered two serious setbacks. A close friend who was his accountant made off with large quantities of his savings and, even worse, a couple of years ago he suffered a serious stroke. He is now, however, well on his way to recovery and is, allegedly, in the first stages of bringing a long-cherished script for a biopic of Ghengis Khan to the screen in collaboration with RZA of hip hop maestros the Wu Tang Clan.

And now to Shapiro’s Unified Field Theory regarding the irredeemable wickedness of Tinseltown:

But his self-inflicted death is yet another hallmark of the broken leftist culture that dominates Hollywood, enabling rather than preventing the loss of some of its greatest talents. Libertarianism becomes libertinism without a cultural force pushing back against the penchant for sin; Hollywood has no such cultural force. In fact, the Hollywood demand is for more self-abasement, less spirituality, less principle, less standards.

Be sure to read the comments, in which NRO’s readers send young Ben off to stand in the corner until he masters English grammar, learns geography, understands libertarianism, and shows a little respect for the dearly departed. Ignorant resentment of Hollywood is the hallmark of outsiders who don’t understand it, envy it, and will absolutely never be a part of it, except as audience members. Meanwhile: