John Boot and Christian Toto note that the new movie version of The Blind Side, the enjoyable recent football book by Michael Lewis of Liar’s Poker fame, contains a classic Hollywood sucker punch. As Christian writes:
Here’s the scene: Bullock’s character is waiting in line to speak to someone about her new son Michael’s legal status.
Fed up, she cuts to the front of the line to ask a question:
“We have been sitting around here for over an hour and when I look around all I see are people shooting the bull and drinking coffee … who’s in charge here?”
The bemused woman behind the desk points to the wall, where a picture of Bush is hanging.
We’ve all been in long lines before, be it at the DMV or other governmental offices. And it doesn’t matter which party – or person – is occupying the White House at the moment.
So the joke makes no sense. All it does is deflate a feel-good movie for no good reason. Maybe the filmmakers realized with Bush out of office time is running out to throw spitballs at Hollywood’s favorite target.
Hollywood is high school and if you want to sit at the cool kids’ table (i.e. work) you better fit in, and if you’ve been involved in the writing, directing or producing of a film sympathetic towards the most hated demographic (yes, even more hated than terrorists — again, watch the product) in the 9-0 zip code, you had better inoculate yourself.
And that’s what the gratuitous, unnecessary, jarring, take-you-out-of-the-movie shot at Bush is: an inoculation. The filmmakers want to work again; they want to be invited to all the right parties. But if you’re remembered as the perso involved in bringing to life a movie only Glenn Beck could love, no matter how big of a hit, that’s not a good thing on the ole’ resume’.
There are notable exceptions, but working in Hollywood — an industry built on social interaction — means getting along with Leftists, and Leftists are religious, regional and ideological bigots of the worst order. The smart people involved in the making of “The Blind Side” knew the Bush shot was bad storytelling — was what what John Boot described as ”a non-sequitur nonpareil” — they just felt, for whatever reason (their own bigotry or career survival), that it was worth it.
Hollywood is not money or profit-driven. This is an industry engaged in an ideological war with traditional conservative America that doesn’t mind making a profit, but never will at the expense of the cause. Everyone involved in the making of “Blind Side” knew an unnecessary partisan shot at Bush would turn people off. They all knew they were insulting the very audience the film was marketed at for no reason other than to insult them. But there was absolutely no way in hell this thing was going to see the light of day without something for the Hollywood bigots to snicker over.
As John writes, “This is their sandbox, and there’s a ring to kiss if you want to play.”