Several post-election pundits wondered if the region of Whoopi Goldberg values would receive the message that pro-family voters sent the Democratic Party on November 2nd. Based on the recent Golden Globe nominations which allegedly honor Hollywoods best and which are viewed by many as a precursory indicator to the subsequent Oscar nominations, the answer would be message not received. Hollywood is notorious for its annual ritual of mutual back-slapping which general elevates snobbishness to new levels. Those who nominate and ultimately select these self-congratulatory awards have consistently delighted in picking the provocative over the popular, the controversial over the inspiring and the edgy over the mainstream. Its the once-a-year opportunity to thumb their highly-elevated noses at the common trash who so faithfully line their pockets with their blue-collar dollars.
Lets examine some examples of their high-mindedness this year. Notably missing from the Golden Globe nominations is any mention of The Passion of the Christ. This mega-hit blockbuster doesnt have a chance in the Christophobic atmosphere of todays entertainment culture. They are furious at a depiction of Christ that was so graphically accurate, they are furious at Mel Gibson for having his way in yet another grand epic with his signature on it, they are furious with the evangelicals and religious communities who made it a financial success for Gibson and his fellow entrepreneurs who chose to work outside the traditional Hollywood publicity troughs. So, with one last flailing attempt to de-legitimize this powerful film, they boycott it with their nominations.
Instead, we find a movie that glamorizes Alfred Kinsey, the late architect of the sexual revolution in the West, being singled out as exemplary. They also honored Closer which has been described as a caustic sex tale. For TV shows, you had to either be a premium cable TV subscriber (which many red state voters are not) or enjoy bizarrely edgy shows on minor networks to recognize the nominees. Nip/Tuck the cable TV show featuring seamy plastic surgeons in a setting filled with profanity, nudity and promiscuity is a hit with the Hollywood crowd. The Sopranos is a perennial favorite as well for those who enjoy plenty of vile language and gore for entertainment. ABCs hot nighttime soap opera Desperate Housewives was a less-than-shocking selection and of course, Sex and the City and Will and Grace two tinsel-town favorites were also singled out for honors.
I will confess that Im no entertainment blue-blood or critic. I still think that Andy Griffith and Little House on the Prairie had good entertainment value. Im also semi-addicted to those blasted reality shows which I generally dont admit in public. But it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see the trend in Hollywood each year that gives us these prurient works that glorify sex, sin and sensationalism while ignoring, if not mocking, traditionalism, conservatives and family friendliness.
In much of red-state America those portions of the nation who supported George W. Bush for re-election, voted based on values and which tend to trend conservative, these shows are simply not where we look for entertainment. I get enough cynicism, violence and sex discussion from reading the newspaper, I dont need to pay extra to have it piped into my living room. These are not the values of my home, my friends, my community these are the values from which I try to protect my impressionable children and I dont need to see it depicted on big or small screens to know that they are destructive to families and relationships.
Hollywood doesnt understand red-state voters worse yet, they despise them. Their arrogance produces periodic tirades against people of faith and values from the likes of Barbra Streisand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg. These petty and shallow people who make ungodly amounts of money pretending to be people that have generally never existed live in a fantasy world from which they rarely escape. They preach tolerance in condescending tones while refusing to accepting one whit of responsibility for the sad and unhealthy consequences of the values they promote and exemplify.
Sadly, too many of us red-state voters keep them in business by subscribing to HBO and Showtime, going to their tasteless movies and paying for their lifestyles with our hard-earned dollars. Until we get smart enough to stop feeding the mouths of those who curse us, we can expect more of the same.
Thankfully, for now it appears those who care about the kind of values our children embrace are speaking in a unified enough manner at the voting booth that we maintain at least some political power. But one must wonder what the long-term impact of these darlings of the elite culture of Hollywood will have on our nation in the future. To deny the power of projected images is to ignore the power of advertising all together. It is inaccurate to imply that Hollywood merely reflects real life. It also impacts it and that should be cause for pause, if not alarm.
Copyrighted by Dan Burrell 2004 For permission to reprint, write email@example.com. For more commentaries by Dr. Burrell, visit www.danburrell.com.