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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Five Stupid Things 
Monday, June 6th, 2011 | 05:38 pm (UTC)
I read about that book in the news the other day. "Primetime Propaganda" is a naive perspective. It's so naive, in fact, that I would argue that the kid who wrote the book has never worked a day in his life without bitching about it. Just a few of Shapiro's quotes made me realize that the book should have been titled, "Right wing propaganda that attempts to slam liberals in Hollywood". The first thing that struck me, was his misuse of the English language, like "Brainwashing". Can we stop using words like "Brainwashing" when it's clearly being used in the wrong context? "Shows like Sesame Street BRAINWASH kids ...blah blah blah." I'm sure you've heard that sort of bullshit before.

"...brainwashing, also called Coercive Persuasion, systematic effort to persuade nonbelievers to accept a certain allegiance, command, or doctrine. A colloquial term, it is more generally applied to any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action against the desire, will, or knowledge of the individual. By controlling the physical and social environment, an attempt is made to destroy loyalties to any unfavorable groups or individuals, to demonstrate to the individual that his attitudes and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling party."

Mr. Shapiro must have had parents who would tie him into a chair, sew his eyelids open, and forced him to watch television AGAINST his will. In order to be "brainwashed", you have to be powerless to stop it. The great thing about television, radio, newspapers, magazines, online blogs, news sites, is that we have that very important component that prevents us from being "brainwashed". It's called "choice". Turn the fucking TV off if you don't like what's coming out of it. As for the helpless little children who he thinks are being manipulated, how about their parents make that decision for them? They have the authority to censor media that child is getting exposed to. In fact, I would fully expect any decent parent to be monitoring their childrens behavior and looking for what the parents perceive to be trouble. Parents these days grew up with Sesame Street and are therefore OK with letting little Johnny watch it. Shapiro seems to be suggesting that someone else other than the parents should decide what a child will be allowed to look at.

As for Shapiro's bitching and complaining about the hiring practices in Hollywood, and himself being unemployed, (mentioned the liberal nepotism) grow up Ben. Did you really think you would make a living as an actor? When I was preparing for college, I was already well aware that the money was not in the Liberal Arts degrees, so I went for math and science. Ben, don't take my word for that, ask your parents what they think your chances are for income in the different fields. Ok, Ben, now that you made your choice to get into acting, let's talk about these charges of "nepotism" that you describe. Son, when you enter the real world and are attempting to penetrate the work force, it will come as a shock to you that nepotism exsists in EVERY profession, and even in professions that you might think don't have it! What a revelation this is!!!! When I see my boss hire both his brother and father into job roles that did not exist before, I'm not even the least bit surprised. It's how things go in the real world, like it or not.

Ben told the news that all he really wants at the end of the day is for Hollywood to hire conservatives occasionally, or at least more than the rate they do now, into tv, movie and director roles. Doesn't that reek of that foul thing that Conservatives fought so hard to eliminate? "Affirmative Action"! I seem to remember them fighting tooth and nail against such nonsense. They change their stance when it seems to not be in their favor.
Monday, June 6th, 2011 | 05:38 pm (UTC)
So, here is what to take from all this:
1. If you don't want your kids watching a tv show, don't let them.
2. If you don't want to watch a tv show, then don't watch it.
3. If you are concerned about your employment status, then get into a profession that has a higher rate of employment. You knew what you were getting into before you took and paid for that first class in college.
4. Nepotism exists in all professions, not just in Hollywood. It's all over the world, and it's not going away.
5. It looks like Ben found his calling in life. He writes worthless, redundant, propaganda that falls in line with conservative talking points. Keep pretending to be angry and jaded about your lack of opportunities in Hollywood, Ben. That angst will help inspire you to write more books like this.
Monday, June 6th, 2011 | 08:58 pm (UTC)
I think you nailed it.

My wife and I were talking about this the other day, and we hit on something else that relates to your calling Shapiro and others out on the use of the term "brainwashing". The liberal bias in Hollywood, such that it exists, is largely due to the fact that most creatively-oriented people -- artists, writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, etc. -- wind up being liberals. Not all of them, to be sure. It's possible that you could have grown up dreaming of life on the stage and idolizing Ronald Reagan. But odds are you didn't.

Because the film and television and music industries are populated predominantly by liberal and progressive people, it only follows that the work those people produce will reflect their values and perspectives and life experiences. Most of the instances (though again, not all) Shapiro and other conservative media critics cite when whining about liberal bias are not examples of a writer or a director trying to push an agenda or shove a particular political viewpoint down someone's throat. It's rather the work reflecting the artist.

But, when conservatives, having mistakenly taken this as an attempt by leftists to turn all the kids into gay-loving commies, get the chance produce something, they do what they think those liberals are (but mostly aren't) doing, and make something that has a very overt, pushy conservative message. Thus you get projects like An American Carol, or The 1/2-Hour News Hour, which failed not because of any bias in the media, but because they were terrible.

Hollywood is one of the most pristine free markets in the world today. Studio execs are like wrestling promoters -- they'll push anything that makes money. I don't recall hearing too many complaints about The Passion of the Christ. If something comes along, a film or a TV show that leans to the right, that people want to see, believe me Hollywood will gladly allow them to pay for the privilege to see it. It's not Hollywood's fault that conservatives have failed to produce what the consumers in the entertainment market want. You'd think conservatives, of all people, would appreciate that.
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