OK, So Here's The Deal...

A Marine Major, Running Fool, and All-Around Smart-Ass.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Missed Tributes

(Ben Stein is probably best remembered for his role as the teacher on Ferris Bueller's Day Off but is much more prolific as aHollywood critic and all-around uber-smart guy.)




By Ben Stein

Now for a few humble thoughts about the Oscars.

I did not see every second of it, but my wife did, and she joins me in noting that there was not one word of tribute, not one breath, to our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan or to their families or their widows or orphans. There were pitifully dishonest calls for peace -- as if the people we are fighting were interested in any peace for us but the peace of the grave. But not one word for the hundreds of thousands who have served and are serving, not one prayer or moment of silence for the dead and maimed.

Basically, the sad truth is that Hollywood does not think of itself as part of America, and so, to Hollywood, the war to save freedom from Islamic terrorists is happening to someone else. It does not concern them except insofar as it offers occasion to mock or criticize George Bush. They live in dreamland and cannot be gracious enough to thank the men and women who pay with their lives for the stars' ability to live in dreamland. This is shameful.

The idea that it is brave to stand up for gays in Hollywood, to stand up against Joe McCarthy in Hollywood (fifty years after his death), to say that rich white people are bad, that oil companies are evil -- this is nonsense. All of these are mainstream ideas in Hollywood, always have been, always will be. For the people who made movies denouncing Big Oil, worshiping gays, mocking the rich to think of themselves as brave -- this is pathetic, childish narcissism.

The brave guy in Hollywood will be the one who says that this is a fabulously great country where we treat gays, blacks, and everyone else as equal. The courageous writer in Hollywood will be the one who says the oil companies do their best in a very hostile world to bring us energy cheaply and efficiently and with a minimum of corruption. The producer who really has guts will be the one who says that Wall Street, despite its flaws, has done the best job of democratizing wealth ever in the history of mankind.

No doubt the men and women who came to the Oscars in gowns that cost more than an Army Sergeant makes in a year, in limousines with champagne in the back seat, think they are working class heroes to attack America -- which has made it all possible for them. They are not. They would be heroes if they said that Moslem extremists are the worst threat to human decency since Hitler and Stalin. But someone might yell at them or even attack them with a knife if they sad that, so they never will.

Hollywood is above all about self: self-congratulation, self-promotion, and above all, self-protection. This is human and basic, but let's not kid ourselves. There is no greatness there in the Kodak theater. The greatness is on patrol in Kirkuk. The greatness lies unable to sleep worrying about her man in Mosul. The greatness sleeps at Arlington National Cemetery and lies waiting for death in VA Hospitals. God help us that we have sunk so low as to confuse foolish and petty boasting with the real courage that keeps this nation and the many fools in it alive and flourishing on national TV .

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11 Comments:

  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger O! said…

    Wow. This is definitely your best post to date.
    Where'd you find such a masterpiece???

     
  • At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Lily said…

    Excellent commentary -- great writing, and great thinking. Thanks so much for highlighting that. It does wig me out that a guy I like so much, Ben Stein, who is so freaking smart and funny -- dryest wit around -- "Win Ben Stein's Money" was hee-sterical -- was also a speechwriter and lawyer for Nixon. Oh well. This is great, though. So glad somebody said it...

     
  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    Well, it IS incredibly brave to stand up for homosexuals or any other group who is so openly persecuted in this country. And this country WILL be fabulously great once we DO treat everyone equally as we claim to do, but we're not there yet. Only when ALL my friends have the opportunity to marry who they love and have the same rights that go along with that as everyone else, will we be truly on the way to being equal.
    I watched the entire show and I noticed the omission as well. That's where I agree with Ben Stein, the men and women serving our country deserve every tribute we can possibly give them. That's the very least we can do. But the statement that oil companies are not evil? Wow, that's quite a stretch.

     
  • At 6:12 AM, Blogger Killjoy said…

    Oh dear...

     
  • At 6:14 AM, Blogger Viper said…

    O!: I was spammed with it.

     
  • At 6:15 AM, Blogger Viper said…

    Lily, I did not know that. And to think, he's best known for "Bueller.... Bueller... class..."

     
  • At 6:17 AM, Blogger Viper said…

    Killjoy, you really shouldn't call me "Dear" here. I know you want me but come on, Carrie reads this.

     
  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Ghostrider said…

    Capt. G you should really check out some of his other stuff if you haven't already. He's is about the most anti-Hollywood celebrity around, and I love it!! He's written similar pieces in the past about hollywood's rampant idiocy, and their neglect of America's fighting men and women.

     
  • At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Lily said…

    I double-checked before I posted that by Googling it, and read it on his own site, so I knew it was furreal. He's actually done a BUNCH of cool stuff, reinforcing his ubersmart status. But that is definitely one of the weirder ones. Still, I think he's great. He and Jimmy Kimmel together were a hoot. SO sarcastic and dry...and they played off each other so well. The professor and the perv, or something like that.

     
  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger Waycoolrob said…

    I am going to still borrow this or steal it whichever you prefer. You will get proper credit though. Thanks for posting it

     
  • At 2:13 PM, Blogger Waycoolrob said…

    I am going to borrow this or steal it however you prefer for my blog. Giving you the deserved credit. Thanks for posting it.

    Rob

     

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