Dec
19
2014
6

George Clooney discovers the essential uselessness of the Hollywood he helped create.

Oh, God, while the Sony situation isn’t funny George Clooney’s reaction to it certainly is. Well, not Good Funny.  This is Bad Funny… anyway, let’s go over who Clooney blames, shall we?

  • The press. “They played the fiddle while Rome burned.” They should have mentioned that this was blatantly a North Korean-friendly (at least) operation, based on the very name (I freely admit that I missed the historical details behind that one).
  • Trial lawyers. “[The theater chains] said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.” Those tort-obsessed trial lawyers…
  • Movie executives. “They know what they themselves have written in their emails, and they’re afraid.” Clooney argued that that’s why the first wave of emails were the embarrassing ones: to keep the rest of the industry’s heads down.
  • The government. “Everybody was doing their jobs, but somehow, we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.” …This is as close as George Clooney will ever come to criticizing Barack Obama, and while I normally don’t grade the Left on a curve there were just too many other good bits in this interview to make me entirely merciless*.

That’s… a large cross-section of the Establishment Democrats’ supporters up there, huh?  We’re just missing the academics, Big Labor, and Big Green.  George Clooney thinks of all of these people as being a bunch of cowards, which is certainly true; but what he’s apparently not getting (while sounding like quite the fire-eating Republican on this issue, might I add**) is that they didn’t become cowards overnight. This is, in fact, pretty much reflective of the standard operation procedure that’s been adopted by the Other Side over the last few decades; and forgive me for saying this, but that’s why they were targeted***. Nobody over there wanted to fight.

So in the end George Clooney gets it almost right.  What he fails to see is that Hollywood’s moral defeat here was inevitable, because the institutions and groups that Clooney’s spent so much time working with were not up to the task****. It is my humble suggestion that the man consider this fact in the future when deciding what kind of civic contributions he wishes to make in the future in order to better help the Republic…

Via @SonnyBunch.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Besides, despite it all the man did still give a great performance in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  You’re just going to have to forgive me on this one.

**The rule of thumb is, You are most conservative about the things that are most important to you.  It would appear that the movie industry is genuinely important to George Clooney.

***They, of course, did not deserve to be targeted: ‘the way she was dressed…’ defense is not accepted in modern society, and for good reason. But many in modern society seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between saying that a behavior is risky, and saying that the same behavior justifies a particular response.

****At this point there are probably reflexive if not outright indoctrinated responses – not all from Democrats, alas – that the Right is just as much a bunch of cowards.  Far be it from me to suggest that the GOP is made up of a band of strong-jawed paladins and stalwarts.  But we do know when it’s time to circle the dang wagons, and this would be one of those times.

Dec
19
2014
0

Quote of the Day, Maybe The Commie-Hipsters* WILL Move To Havana edition.

OK, lemme break a rule and quote the Daily Beast.

If you listen to people who know nothing about anything, you’ll inevitably be told that Cuba has the best health care on the planet, despite it’s poorly remunerated and constantly defecting doctors, a lack of basic medical supplies, and a lider maximo who jets off to Spain when his life is in danger (the poor saps who believe the health care propaganda, like Castro manqué Hugo Chavez, tend to end up stuffed with newspaper, covered in wax, and on display in a mausoleum).

So it might seem odd that [Alan] Gross would have lost sight in one eye, shed almost half his body weight, and emerge from captivity with the dentition of a minor league hockey player.

(more…)

Dec
18
2014
0

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hoard,’ revisited.

Recited by Tolkien himself:

…and if you haven’t seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies yet, you should probably check this out first. It’ll clarify elements of the film for you.

(more…)

Dec
18
2014
3

Off to go see the Battle of the Five Armies.

Early-early showing, because it’s a long flick.

Dec
18
2014
0

‘Twas the week before Christmas, so FINISH YOUR SHOPPING.

Amazon still has four days left for free two-day, so get on that. Link here.

It’s interesting, by the way, just how quickly this paradigm changes.  I’ve gotten used to the idea that, yeah, sure, when I wake up in the morning there’s going to be a bunch of Christmas presents out on the front porch because Amazon’s having a really busy month.  And I no longer feel even vaguely guilty that I’m skipping all that brick-and-mortar shopping.  I had to hit the Target a couple of times this week, and… hoo, brother, even weekday morning shopping is all nerve-jangling now.

[snip]

I almost wrote out Amazon is getting close to becoming a public utility, there.  Which should probably worry Amazon: when pundits start making that assumption, watch out. That kind of thinking is like a lure to the spirits of Creative Destruction. …But that’s going to happen before next Wednesday, so go finish your shopping.  Again: link here.

Dec
17
2014
1

Time for the Screwtape Letters Cowardice quote again, apparently.

Chapter XXIX of The Screwtape Letters, but you probably knew that already.

Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember; Hatred has its pleasures. It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of Fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate. And Hatred is also a great anodyne for shame. To make a deep wound in his charity, you should therefore first defeat his courage.

Now this is a ticklish business. We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame. The danger of inducing cowardice in our patients, therefore, is lest we produce real self-knowledge and self-loathing with consequent repentance and humility. And in fact, in the last war, thousands of humans, by discovering their own cowardice, discovered the whole moral world for the first time. In peace we can make many of them ignore good and evil entirely; in danger, the issue is forced upon them in a guise to which even we cannot blind them.

Fortunately, things are not nearly as bad now as they were when the book was written. But the basic gist remains relevant, methinks.

Dec
17
2014
0

Prayers and good wishes for @jerrypournelle…

…unhappy news:

Jerry Pournelle was always a crackerjack writer: his Empire of Man series remains a delight. I hope he makes a full recovery.

Dec
16
2014
0

‘The Chanukah Song.’

The Chanukah Song, Adam Sandler

I regret nothing, but holiday greetings to those who celebrate it.  And yeah, I know that this isn’t even one of the big Jewish holidays.

Dec
16
2014
0

The 113th Congress is done.

And with it, I’m switching over to a holiday schedule for the rest of the year. There simply isn’t enough political stuff going on between now and the 114th to justify the regular output; I’ve been spinning wheels trying to come up with half-assed meaningful copy. So… semi-vacation.

I leave you with this cheerful note:

And God bless us, every one.

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