Hollywood: A mirror on the cesspool of American culture

Hollywood: A mirror on the cesspool of American culture

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WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 — Anyone needing further proof that our culture has become a cesspool of multiculturalism and political correctness need look no further than the Academy Awards ceremony held in California last month. The annual event was attended by Hollywood glitterati and cultural barbarians who spend their time inflicting an infectious stew of poisonous ideas on the world in the name of “art.”

A few good films that come out each year, films with real artistic merit. These films stand out for their rarity, and they seem harder to find every year. The tawdry and common crowds out the good, a trend has been  unmistakable for decades.

The major focus of Hollywood blockbusters this year has been to politicize entertainment, shape opinions and solidify misinformation already planted in the minds of dumbed-down, low-information voters. The results of the 2012 national election are enough to demonstrate that most Americans are idiots. They vote like lemmings, turning elections into an exercise in national suicide.

Hollywood and Washington elites have a definite interest in keeping things that way. They may even believe that what they spew forth as cinematic truth is actually true, but the odds are that they comprehend fully what they are doing and the implications for the rest of us.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis used the Academy Awards to endorse same sex marriage as a “human right.” This drew enormous applause from Hollywood and media giants. Hollywood and the media juggernaut for “social change” are locked in a symbiotic embrace. The left relies on Hollywood for millions in election support, and Hollywood is off  limits when the left talks about the “one percent,” campaign finance, or the sexual abuse and the degradation of women.

There was enormous irony in seeing the Hollywood arbiters of social mores, dress, and attitudes wearing their designer clothes and gems. Any one actress who attended the event was probably wearing items worth more than most families earn in a year. Yet these same people decry the one percent and stand in solidarity with the poor. They see no contradiction; their wealth is somehow good, even if the Lindsay Lohans and Justin Biebers of the world blow it on expensive drugs.

In the 1950s and 1940s, not all films were quality products. But there was a sense of patriotism and a celebration of American traditions present in many Hollywood releases. Such films as “Friendly Persuasion,” “The Quiet Man,” “Shane” and “They Were Expendable” were not isolated examples. They invited us to recall our past, defend our heritage, cherish and live our faith.

The social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and the resultant infiltration of our film schools and acting profession by committed Marxists and fuzzy-brained idealists have had their effect. In the 1970s, conservatives clustered in business and economics. Students on the radical left were largely in communications, media, and the liberal arts — a trend that continues today. Those leftists now direct and act in the films, run the studios, and dictate national taste in the arts and culture.

Film is easy for average people to understand; economics is hard. We can fight well the business and economic battles all we want, but if we lose the cultural war, then we lose all round. The cultural war is not waged in the departments of economics or in business schools; it is waged in our theaters and on TV, in news departments and recording studios. And the Left, the multicultural, neo-Marxian Left, has won an easy victory. They understood where the essential battle needed to be fought. “Conservatives,” by and large, did not.

So, this year’s Academy Awards were one more celebration of that victory. There are still some hold-outs, those who reject the “dynamic movement of history.” The entertainment and media juggernauts simple label them “hate mongers,” “racists,” “sexists” or “homophobes,” people to be marginalized, mocked, and ultimately ignored. Hollywood transforms them into non-people (one of the very things it accuses them of doing) meriting exclusion from the national confusion.

The plans of the cultural Marxists, who are rolling along at breakneck speed, may yet unravel and fail. But for that to happen will require intelligence and sound thinking from conservatives, and it will demand greater involvement by those who oppose what’s going on. It will take more prayer and resilience in the face of the present cultural collapse. Is it possible? Well, just ask “Shane” whether out-drawing and defeating the bad guys was possible. It was, and he did.

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Boyd Cathey
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.