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:
● The clownish anti-Constitutionalists known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns (and by “illegal” they mean all guns) has blotted its copybook again with yet another revelation that some of them are criminals themselves:
James Schiliro, the one-time Mayor of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, has been a proud proponent of gun control, a member of Michael Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and one of 600 mayors to sign a letter to Congress demanding more gun control laws at the federal level. And so it was embarrassing when in January the mayor was sentenced to as much as 20 months in jail following what a news report described as “an alcohol-fueled episode … in which he had a police car bring a former neighbor—a 20-year-old to whom he said he was attracted—to his home, made him drink wine, and refused to let him leave for 3 1/2 hours.”
After the young man rejected the mayor’s sexual advances and tried to leave, the mayor threatened to shoot himself with one of three guns. He discharged one weapon into a stack of papers. The victim, though anxious to leave, still managed to talk the mayor out of killing himself by reminding him of his daughter asleep upstairs. The young man got out of the home and called police.
Schiliro was convicted of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression (i.e., abusing his mayoral powers), and furnishing liquor to a minor. On top of the jail time, Schiliro received five years of probation, 50 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay a $1,300 fine. He is reportedly eligible for work release and time off for good behavior. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 15, 2014) Marcus Hook, with fewer than 3,000 residents, was rocked by the sordid political scandal in February 2013. Before handing down the sentence, state Judge James F. Nilon said, “I don’t think you appreciate the seriousness of the nature of the behavior that you engaged in.”
More about this fine upstanding politician at this link. Enjoy! And finally…
President Obama is threatening a veto of the just-passed Enforce the Law Act, sponsored by rising troublemaker Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. Naturally, His Serene Highness Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Vacationer-in-Chief, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, is displeased. What good is it being president when you have to deal with anachronisms such as a 400-year-old constitution and Congress, some of whose members are even older? The Washington Examiner quote His Majesty’s imperial court thusly:
“[T]he power the bill purports to assign to Congress to sue the President over whether he has properly discharged his constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed exceeds constitutional limitations,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy. “Congress may not assign such power to itself, nor may it assign to the courts the task of resolving such generalized political disputes.”
In other words, it’s the White House’s stance that Congress has — in the phrase of the day — “no standing” to judge the president’s performance in office. Unfortunately for Barry, Congress does. It’s called impeachment. But do they have the guts to use it? Or is Gowdy’s bill just more sham opposition by an all-too-tame Establishment-dominated GOP? Somebody ask John Boehner.