Archive for the ‘YOU LIBERALS…!’ Category
Bruce Carroll has a piece up today at Big Hollywood that’s a nice twofer of hilarious right-blog fake-controversy tactics. First, he get all red-in-the-face over how YOU LIBERALS! might overreact given certain circumstances that don’t actually exist. Maybe one day right-bloggers will stop arguing with the LIBERALS in their heads, and start talking to actual liberals, and we can begin to move forward as a political culture, but, hey, in the meantime at least I have this bitchy blog. In the second part of Carroll’s outrage-over-meaningless-shit doubleheader, he sees an affront to his values in something completely innocuous. You may wonder how, rhetorically, it’s possible for Carroll to take LIBERALS to task for being easily offended and himself become offended over something minor in the same piece, but oh, he manages it. Part one:
This article is nearly three months in the making. For the second year in a row, my partner John and I attended the Country Music Association (CMA) Music Fest in Nashville, TN in early June. As a side note, if you ever get the opportunity – GO! It is a weeklong celebration of great country music and the great American city of Nashville.
But this isn’t a tourist agency pimping of Music City. Nope, it is a damning indictment of Hollywood’s natural, auto-immune liberal bias. Let me explain.
I wish Carroll would actually explain that metaphor, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what “auto-immune” means. I’m unsure as to how an ideological bias could be “auto-immune” or “natural,” but I’m pretty sure by “auto-immune” he means “defensive” and by “natural” he means something like “inherent” or “ingrained.” If it were “auto-immune” (ie, attacking its own host), you would think Carroll would like that. Similarly, if it were “natural,” I’m not sure what Carroll would have to complain about. Would he prefer an unnatural conservative bias? Oh, whatever, I’ll just move on.
Carroll spends some time lovingly describing CMA Fest for uninitiated, and randomly complaining about Twitter, before finally getting to outrage number 1:
When viewers saw Tim McGraw sing “Southern Voice” last night on ABC, there was an important moment that the network cleverly edited out and actively hid from America. Why? Because it was inflammatory and would have exposed McGraw, a passionate Democrat activist, to extreme ridicule today.
In what looked like a throwback to the Black Power days of the 1960s, but in reverse, McGraw raised his fist during the chorus of “Southern Voice.” The first time he did it, I was surprised. The second time I was prepared.
[Youtube video uploaded by Carroll, titled “White Power fist – Tim McGraw]
Not that I would make a big deal out of it, but imagine, if you will, if this was a known conservative singer who had raised his or her fist in the air while singing a song called “Southern Voice.” But where’s the outrage? Nowhere. McGraw actively campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 (which makes the “white power” fist action even more surreal). In fact, McGraw lent his vocal talents in January 2010 to a soundtrack compilation, ‘By the People: For the People,’ inspired by the film, ‘By the People: The Election of Barack Obama.’ McGraw joined other notable left-wing artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, the Dixie Chicks and Sheryl Crow on the album paying homage to President Obama.
I’d like to ask the ABC producers of the CMA broadcast last night why they chose to do a tight shot of McGraw during the white power fist move. And if he thought it was an okay move to make, why they felt they had to shelter him with their clever close-up and editing job.
I actually have two responses to this argument, which is two more than something this patently absurd deserves. First of all, if, say, Toby Keith raised his fist in the air during a CMA performance, I promise you that no one would be outraged. Not a single person. No one would care. No one. Seriously, no one. There’s nothing remotely racially charged about the move McGraw pulls in the video Carroll posts, except in the fevered mind of someone who sees Black Panthers everywhere. I’ve seen probably a dozen or more musicians do the exact same thing on stage. It’s a very, very common rockstar pose. And Carroll’s argument is weirdly circular. Is he angry at McGraw because he’s a liberal who did something Carroll believes is racist? Or is he just angry because he thinks a conservative couldn’t get away with the same thing? If he thinks it’s racially-charged, why would he want a conservative to be able to get away with the same thing? Zah?
But that’s the common sense response, and since common sense is unlikely to appeal to Carroll, I’ll meet him on his level: Here is the official video for “Southern Voice.” In it, at the same point in the song, McGraw does the “white power fist,” and the video moves in to the same close-up that ABC’s editors chose. McGraw likely raises his fist in the air every single time he performs this song, and ABC’s editors were likely just mimicking the style of his own music video.
But on to part two. I’ve already quoted Carroll’s piece extensively, so I’ll just recap his second argument; feel free to read his piece in full if you feel I might be mischaracterizing it. Carroll is upset that ABC chose to air two Carrie Underwood performances (“Cowboy Casanova” and “Undo It”) and not a third (a medley of “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “How Great Thou Art”) and cites this decision as evidence of an ABC agenda that “actively and aggressively demotes the importance of Christianity – and God – in American society and pop culture.”
It’s a weird accusation to level at ABC, the major network most dedicated to traditional family programming, and even aggressively Christian programming (The 700 Club runs in syndication on ABC Family). Setting aside Carroll’s fantastic claim of systemic anti-Christian program editing, tt’s far, far more likely that ABC chose to air “Undo It” and “Cowboy Casanova” because they are Underwood’s most recent #1 hits (reaching #1 on the country charts August 7th, 2010, and November 21st, 2009, respectively; “Jesus, Take the Wheel” was last at #1 in 2005). Furthermore, ABC did air Underwood’s performance of “Jesus, Take the Wheel” during its 2006 CMA Fest special. I guess the idea is that if they don’t air it every year, it’s an affront to Christians? Maybe Carroll’s beef is really with Underwood herself; lady needs to write some new Jesus-ey songs.
And of course, how else would a Big Hollywood piece close, but with a random dig at Obama:
Not incidentally there was a third performance missing from the ABC broadcast. And it was missing from the entire week at CMA Music Fest in June. And it was not seen in Nashville at all since that city was devastated by a thousand-year flood this past May.
What would that be, you naturally ask? The fact is that President Obama has never visited Middle Tennessee and never properly acknowledged the devastation faced by its residents.
Obama did declare a disaster in Tennessee. Here’s TN Governor Phil Bredesen on the White House response to the disaster:
I have to say that FEMA and the White House have been absolutely supportive. Very quickly FEMA was on the ground here before the raindrops started falling. … The President was on the phone to me before the sun came up practically on Monday morning. Slightly after it came up, other people from the White House had called and checked in with us and helped. … I’ve never seen this kind of a response to things that have happened. We’ve had our share of tornadoes and those kinds of things. … I’m very, very pleased with the response we’ve gotten from the administration.
Carroll has me a little exhausted, so I’ll just leave him with one final link that may help him with future pieces: http://www.google.com
August must be a slow month even for those brimming with manufactured outrage, because over at Big Hollywood today, the best James Hudnall can come up with is a dashed-off piece about how Jimmy Carter sucks and Sylvester Stallone rules. No, seriously.
After the moribund Carter years, the age of Reagan issued in a new era of American confidence. And with that confidence came a wave of films full of male bravado after a decade of paranoid, navel gazing films with negative endings.
I’m not going to quote the piece more extensively than that, since that’s basically his whole argument right there. The “New Hollywood” films of the 1970s were the perfect pseudo-intellectual, hollow, self-obsessed type of the Carter Administration, just as the hyper-masculine action hero pictures of the 1980s were perfect type of the Reagan-era’s Nietzschean vitality. While it’s worth nothing that Hudnall is not so enamored of Schwarzeneggerian masculinity as to hit the free weights and slug the whey protein himself, the idea of art-as-a-mirror is certainly a familiar and tempting one.
The problem, though is that he’s comparing the arthouse picture of one era with the summer blockbuster fare of the next. After all, the first Superman movie, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and two Bond movies all grossed in the top 10 in the 1970s, and Platoon, The Killing Fields, and Ordinary People all won Oscars in the 1980s. And of “Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Gibson, Norris, Van Damme, Seagal,” only Stallone had a movie in the 1980s that out-grossed Platoon.
I’m not trying to make the point that the 70s were better than the 80s for film, or vice versa. We’re talking about fucking ten-year periods here; they both had a lot of movies, and when you try to generalize this broadly, you only open yourself up to death by a thousand counterexamples. For every Taxi Driver there’s also a Do the Right Thing, and for every Lethal Weapon 2 there’s a Smokey and the Bandit. But if this is the way Hudnall wants to kill some time in late August, I don’t really hold it against him; I just worry about the type of person who curses Jimmy Carter under his breath while watching The Graduate and gets a hard-on for the Great Communicator mid-way through Bloodsport.
Yep, that’s Big Hollywood‘s Steven Crowder throwin’ up the air quotes for
If you believe in the modern concept of “peace,” you might be an idiot.
Definitely one of the more lazy and ridiculous examples of BH’s reliance on putting scare quotes around benign words and phrases to make them sound bad (though not as awesome as the time Crowder put scare quotes around the Virginia Tech shooter’s name).
When you strip away the crazy (and there’s a lot of it this time), the main thrust of Crowder’s argument–that war is sometimes necessary–is one that few people, even on the far left, would disagree with. I’m so old, in fact, I can remember when Republicans were largely isolationists. Liberals have spent years advocating for military intervention in a host of troubled regions: Sudan, Liberia, Rwanda, the Balkans, Somalia, etc. Not that I personally agree that military intervention would be/would have been/was the right call in all those situations, I’m just sayin’.
But it’s possible, I suppose, that Crowder’s not making his customary strawmanish “YOU LIBERALS…” argument, and that he’s narrowly criticizing the hardcore peace movement that opposes any military action.
If that’s what he wants to do, he goes about it in a bizarre way. First he does a couple so-bad-they-go-past-good-and-back-to-bad bits lampooning John Lennon (ooooo, burn, guy-who’s-been-dead-for-29-years) and reeling off some quick ad hominem attacks relating to Lennon’s personal life. That’s weird enough, but then he goes into the tired old John Birch Society conspiracy theory about the origins of the peace symbol. Next he’ll be freaking out about the pyramid on the $1 bill. National Treasure 3: Rise of the Lispy Canadian.
Now, if you want to criticize the peace movement, calling them crypto-anti-Christians is a pretty weird tactic, given the modern peace movement’s Christian roots. Apparently some people take that “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” thing literally.
Billy’s Hallowell’s latest piece on Big Hollywood is notable for 1) the sheer level of outrage he’s able to reach over freakin’ Gossip Girl and 2) word-choice so bizarre I can only assume that what ended up on BH’s website is Hallowell’s original post run through MS Word’s thesaurus.
Threesomes are Hollywood’s latest obsession. Within weeks of the release of Britney Spears’ asinine “Ballad” about engaging in a menagerie, CW leaked details about a threesome they were planning on the hit show Gossip Girl. In what could easily be confused as part of a massive Hollywood-led campaign in support of teen pregnancy and a wide array of sexually transmitted diseases, CW decided that exploiting filth for a heavy cash flow was more important that exercising common sense and decency. Surprise!
Ah, the menagerie. That place in TVland where the most elusive of creatures is kept: the teenage Hollywood starlet lipstick lesbian. In Gossip Girl’s menagerie, she frolics alongside a poor starving Brooklyn playwright who lives with his post-grunge one-hit-wonder father, and an industrialist heir who tried to rape a 14 year-old in the pilot, but is sensitive now.
Oh, wait, I don’t think that’s what he meant by “menagerie.”
I’m pretty sure that if you “easily confuse” three separate, on-screen kisses (which is what was shown on Gossip Girl) for “a massive Hollywood-led campaign in support of teen pregnancy and a wide array of sexually transmitted diseases,” you are probably too easily confused to turn on your television anyhow. Also, the previous episode featured a plotline where paparazzi published a picture of Duff’s character (a Hollywood starlet) taking free condoms from the student health center. I know Hallowell probably believes that condoms are murder, but still.
The only thing more grotesque than CW’s exploitation of a threesome for ratings is the media’s coverage of the menage a trois. In a recent article, Michael Ausiello (Entertainment Weekly) was ecstatic over the impending sex scene – so excited that he taunted readers with his foreknowledgetelling them, “Though my Gossip mole has asked that I not ID the threesome (on the grounds that it would ruin a major upcoming storyline, or some such nonsense), I can confirm that the kinky tryst will involve one of the following combos…” Ausiello then proceeds to list possible character combos.
Then – no joke – readers (many of whom were not at all phased by the show’s indecency) began commenting about who they thought would be involved! Insanity.
Insanity! Get this you guys: fans of a television show actually speculated on an upcoming major plotline. On the internet! I’m pretty sure that was one of the Seven Seals.
What does Hallowell expect that comment thread to look like? Resounding condemnation of the CW or the show? Er… actually that comment thread does contain a lot of that.
Gossip Girl is so lame and desperate for ratings.(**rollseyes**)
There’s six replies to this post agreeing with it, and more similar posts downthread. But mostly I bring it up because a random Entertainment Weekly website commentator who uses expressions like “(**rollseyes**) had a much more sane, measured response than Hallowell.
Are these really the values our society has adopted as “the norm”? In 2006, alone, teen pregnancy increased significantly in 26 states. Liberals would blame this on “abstinence-only education,” while I’d blame a sizable portion of it on a society that continues to exploit sex for financial gain. Can we really expect people, young and old alike, to respect or even understand sex when threesomes and other unrealistic sexual messaging invade our lives at every corner? Let’s get real.
Dude, it’s not like this was pterodactyl porn or something. I’ve no doubt that drunken, ill-advised threesomes are a more common occurence than many things depicted on television. For instance, here’s a plot description from an episode of Big Hollywood‘s beloved NCIS:
NCIS is targeted to investigate a series of murders by a serial killer who posts videos of the crimes on the internet. The first two victims have scrolls with links to websites of videos of their murders along with cryptic pictures spliced in. After a third video is posted, a live stream from inside NCIS, a suspect is brought in but dies in Interrogation. Video of the death ends up on the web linking the crimes to a female singer. NCIS storms a garage but Gibbs realizes that it was a setup for them to kill the singer and a man who she appears to have captive at gunpoint is the real killer. Gibbs is given a Civil Service Award but is a no-show and Tony stands in to accept the award on his behalf.
Also, the (3%) rise in teen pregnancy is mainly due to increased fertility and (oh noes I’m a LIBERAL) abstinence only education. I mean, it should be pretty obvious that whether someone has access to a condom and knows how to use it or not will have a greater effect on whether or not she gets pregnant than if she saw three people kiss instead of two on TV.
The entire premise of using a threesome to drive ratings came full circle when E! Online reported CW’s reward for exploiting sexual incongruence for the sake of the almighty dollar.
The first time I read this, I nearly did a spit take at “sexual incongruence.” Is that, like, when you’re trying to do it standing up and your genitals don’t match up right? Or would Gossip Girl have been in the clear if D and V and a certain Hollywood starlet had added a fourth?
And what a disappointment Hilary Duff is. Joining the cast of one of television’s most trash-ridden shows appears to be a half-witted attempt to shed the “good girl” image she’s yielded over the years.
Aw shit, Hilary Duff. Billy Hallowell’s not mad, he just disappointed in you. I hope you’re duly chastened. He liked you fine when you were a precocious preteen sensation, but now you’re 22 and you kissed another girl on-screen. You just gave a couple hundred pregnant 12 year-olds the clap, Hilary Duff. I hope you’re proud of yourself.
John Nolte is upset about an upcoming film portraying a veteran with PTSD.
Leftist Hollywood loathes everything the American Military stands for: Honor, patriotism, selflessness and masculinity. Openly trashing the troops backfired decades ago, so the tactics had to change. Today, “support” for the troops is reflected in film after film after film stereotyping America’s best and brightest as victims, dupes, head cases and monsters.
Since 2003, more members of the armed services have been diagnosed (by the military itself) with PTSD than have been killed or wounded. So, you know, a movie that shows a veteran with PTSD shows something more likely to happen than a movie that shows a member of the armed services being killed in combat.
But wait! Nolte has anticipated this criticism!
Sure, each individual film might be defensible in some way as “factual” or “realistic,” but you have to look at the cumulative effect of the same “factual” and “realistic” focus pumped into theatres again and again and again…
Now, I’m known for giving Big Hollywood writers shit about their near-constant use of scare-quotes, but this might be the most hilarious instance yet.
You liberals, with your “reality” and your “facts”! What kind of pinko propaganda uses “facts” to portray “reality”????
If Stephen Colbert read the above quote on his show you’d accuse him of being over-the-top.
Since screwing his fellow conservatives over by wresting Roger L. Simon’s money from them (I know that’s two in a row, but I never get sick of linking to that one!), Alfonso Rachel has actually been very judicious with his use of air-scare-quotes, though you can tell in this clip that he’s just dying to use them during his TOTALLY FAIR paraphrasing of an abortion-rights advocate.
I must say though, Rachel gets points for honesty, with his admission that the only actual basis for his opposition to abortion rights is religious in nature. His argument for outlawing abortion rests on his claim that America has been, since its founding, a religious nation (Rachel alternates between describing it as “Judeo-Christian” and just straight-up “Christian”). So yay theocracy! I guess?
Since I am too tired to re-hash the history of the establishment clause and early establishment clause jurisprudence (I mean, it’s 2009. The least you can do is read the Wikipedia article about something before you start running your mouth, dude), I’ll take a different angle.
I’d be interested to hear Rachel’s thoughts on the broader implications of this argument. We’re a Christian nation! The founders were Christian! Should divorce be illegal? What should the prison sentence be for adultery? How often should people like Rachel be forced to re-read the various bits in Matthew condemning the hypocrisy of the Pharisees? Discuss!