Ed Driscoll

Hollywood Nihilism, Part Deux

I was about to add this as an update to the post below on Hollywood’s attitude towards America and war, but it’s worth branching off on its own. Allahpundit writes, “Wildfire victims getting what’s coming to them, says [George] Carlin”:

No need for grandiose outrage here. He’s been saying stuff like this for decades. In fact it’s a core part of his act, which is why he’s allowed to skate. I offer the clip not as fodder for indignation but because it’s a nice little window into Carlin’s persona: the bitter hippie, broken-hearted by the failure of the 60s, whose idealism has since decayed into a cynicism so black and weary that revanchist, schadenfreudean sentiments like this now escape his lips without the slightest stutter. And of course it’s all paired with the most touchy feely, cringemaking New Age back-to-the-land nonsense about being “in balance with nature” the way the Indians are. Thus the paradox of the malignant self-styled humanist: We need to join hands and tap into the spiritual creatures within — and if we don’t, then he hopes your house burns down.

In his look at Rupert Murdoch’s ever-growing media empire, Steve Boriss writes:

Businessman Murdoch knows that success is about keeping customers happy — an obvious idea that is thoroughly rejected by the journalism dogma that pervades his competitors. This dogma insists that audiences are not customers at all, but “citizens” who must be provided with a pure stream of objective truths that only journalists know how to create. Moreover, this truth-flow is thought to be so precious and necessary to this country’s survival that journalists must be independent of pressures from anyone or anything — no pressures allowed from government, employers, business competition, corporate takeovers, advertisers, even the demands of their own readers with their questionable judgment and taste for sensationalism.Unlike today’s journalists, Murdoch will respect his audiences’ tastes and seek to fulfill their needs. If he sees an opportunity, he will not hesitate to offer news that is sensational, titillating, or compatible with viewers’ worldviews. He will provide them with handsome men and strikingly beautiful women to look at. He will draw them in and make them feel good about being a part of a community, delivering news that makes them proud to be an American, a stockholder, or a conservative. He will not run news that is negative, cynical, and despairing, or that runs-down cherished institutions to which his audiences identify.

The attitudes displayed by “Bobos In Paradise” such as Carlin, and journalists such as Bobby Caina Calvan and Rebecca Aguilar all stem from the same mid-sixties wellspring of nihilism-cum-narcissism–which means such a worldview is now well over forty years old. In contrast, what Boriss describes as Murdoch’s attitude towards his customers, while not always clearly reflected in his product, is a surprisingly refreshing change of pace. Naturally though, it’s those who would benefit the most from adopting it who are, by their very nature, far too cynical to notice.