Big Hollywood | by Leigh Scott | Nov. 13, 2009
Like many conservatives, I was intrigued and excited by the promos for ABC’s reboot of one of my favorite mini-series, “V.” Finally, we thought, one of us had infiltrated the system and slipped one by the hippies who run Hollywood. Even better, we hoped that ABC, in a brash display of “corporate greed” had decided to green-light a series that appeals to the many of us (the majority of the country actually) who are less than enthralled by the hopey changeiness of the current administration.
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. As my colleague Jeffrey Jena pointed out, the show’s writer is a devout leftist and Obama supporter. The show was actually written in 2007, long before David Axelrod and his minions concocted the brilliant marketing campaign that elevated an inexperienced and naive community organizer to the most powerful position in the world.
So, is that it? Case closed? Is “V” not an indictment and slam at the “O-mania” that swept the nation? Far from it. In fact, the show contains two powerful messages that should warm the hearts of all conservatives and make leftists think twice.
All art and good storytelling contain subtext. Sometimes, the creator of the work sets out to tell a story using the subtext as the motivator. On other occasions, the writer or filmmaker lets the subtext develop as the characters move through their arcs and the plot unfolds. James Cameron has stated in several interviews that the themes in “Terminator 2″ didn’t fully gel until after he completed the first draft of the screenplay. He read through his own script and realized, “hey, now I get what it’s about.”
Scott Peters didn’t set out to make a show that exposed the dangers of hero worship and the insidiousness of fascist and statist societies. He didn’t want to compare the Obama administration and the Democrats to flesh eating reptiles.
But he did.
Peters simply imagined how, in today’s society, one group could control the masses. Replace religion with secular or scientific “hope.” Promise things that are impossible like free universal health care. Manipulate the media and force journalists to only portray the positives in order to protect their careers and their egos. Utilize the Internet through social networking and slick websites. Create a sense of “coolness” and “hipness” in order to woo the youth of the world.
All of these tactics are amoral, corrupt, shifty, and slimy. It’s not Peters’ fault that they would actually be used by an American politician.
The artist, the creative force that is Scott Peters, subconsciously knows that these tactics are wrong. He knows, deep down inside that the path of the Visitors, like all totalitarians, is similar to what Obama used to gain power. Behind the slick marketing campaign lies something else. Whether or not that “something else” in the real world is evil or just incompetent is yet to be seen.
It’s shocking that a major network would put out a high-profile show that seems to skewer this president and his lackeys. What is even more shocking is that the writer of the show, who nailed Obama’s marketing campaign right down to the key slogans and key policies, would dedicate his time and money to support something that his own inner voice discerned was wrong.
It takes a healthy dose of cynicism, a dash of historical ignorance, and a lot of gullibility to fully embrace modern statist rhetoric. Hollywood drinks the kool-aid by the gallon. Yet, in their pursuit of good story telling and their aspirations towards art, they more often than not end up making really good conservative stories.
When you get right down to it, the reason there are so few “conservative” films out there is because most films are inherently conservative. Any film that champions the rise and strength of the individual is conservative. Any story that tells of the triumphs of good over evil is conservative. The subtext of films that resonate, films that capture our imaginations, are based on the romantic ideals of conservative thought.
We all know the classic romantic comedy formula. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. The backbone of this formula is individual achievement. Note that it isn’t boy meets girl, then boy gets government to force girl to be with him in the interest of “fairness.”
How many films end with the hero submitting to the collective? Did the audience cheer at the end of the “Invasion of Body Snatchers” remake? Were they happy that Donald Sutherland had given up that pesky individualism thing and joined the alien hive mind? When Jean-Luc Picard temporarily became Locutus of Borg did we all breathe a sigh of relief because we could finally root for the lead character of the series?
I’m sure everyone who serves in Palpatine’s galactic empire gets free health care. I don’t think Darth Vader had to pay an HMO for his suit. Yet, didn’t we all cheer when the rebels destroyed the Death Star?
The very funny and underrated film “The House Bunny” features a bunch of ugly duckling girls who find inner confidence and give each other makeovers to better their situation. They emerge from a snappy montage as a group of knock-outs. Again, this is conservatism. The girls rise to the occasion. They elevate themselves through achievement. Anna Faris’ character isn’t forced to make herself ugly in order to fit in with the awkward sorority.
et, in real life, Hollywood creative types advocate bashing all of us with an economic “ugly stick.”
Like many, I find it tedious and distracting when films and television shows delve into non sequiturs to bash Republicans, Christianity, and Conservatism in general. It’s not because I am religious (I am a devout Agnostic) nor because I call myself a Republican (I do not).
I despise it because it’s bad storytelling.
Progressive ideology does not fit well with classic narrative structures. The greatest stories are ones that champion things like individualism, freedom and faith. Big governments, collective thought, and cold scientific secularism make better villains than heroes.
Instinctively, we all know this.
So we can take solace in the fact that “V” is a classic validation of our ideology. We can also take away the fact that even the most die-hard, kool-aid drinking leftists know deep down inside that we are right. They might not say it with their voices, but they say it with their hearts.
And that’s enough for me.
. . . more