Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Letter to Keith Olbermann (re-post)

In honor of Keith Olbermann continual struggle for fairness and equality (except for those he deems unworthy) I wanted to repost an old entry:




In response to this Keith Olbermann article:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/#storyContinued



My response:

Like Keith Olbermann's statement, "This is a matter of the heart…" Is foolish. That statement over shadows the rest of his article. What great authority or tradition is he invoking? What beyond his own ideas of right and wrong can he measure his conclusion against? What common ground is he appealing to that all people agree?

Martin Luther King in his "I have a Dream" speech said. "…I have a dream that someday my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…" He was not advocating to a change the definition of what people recognized as a moral absolute. Martin Luther King instead reminding people of that moral absolute that all men are created equal.

To me it is extremely disingenuous for advocates of the homosexual community to associate their struggle for complete social endorsement of their practices with black Americans. Black Americans were denied basic human rights not because of their actions (like homosexuals) but because of the way they look. If someone cannot see the difference they are fooling themselves...

The commercials and advertisements seem to understand this clearly which is why I imagine that EVERY commercial never once said "homosexual" or "same sex marriage"… All commercials were pictures of racial violence, ambiguous talk about the "importance of family", or had a heterosexual couple denied the right to be married. It is a form of bait and switch. We (the public) are shown pictures of moral absolutes that we universally agree on and then they attach their proposition without every identifying what their motive is.

It would seem that even the advocates of same sex marriage understand that what they want is radically against universal acceptance, so much so that they omit the very detail that their cause is for. If same sex marriage is a basic human right then why is it not more readily spoken about in the ads that support it? Dr. Martin Luther King readily talk about specifically white and black people coming together because he knew it was a rallying point not an agenda to be cleverly disguised.

Proposition 8 was not about equality. It is about radical change. Whether or not that change is good or bad for society I am not even arguing but it is radical compared to traditions for the last couple thousand years. It is dishonest act as if homosexuals are being persecuted unjustly when (unlike the black Americans before desegregation) they are in fact given every right that every American has. -What they are not given is the ability to have all their actions endorsed by the state. Marriage is not a right it is an institution defined by the society that endorses it and is ratified by the state that the society elects… It is not an endowment to be stolen or taken by force. Proposition 8 was half about the definition of marriage and half about the outrage over a court that has overturned (for the second time) the will of the people that has elected them.

It is sad to think that in this country words like "bravery" have been stolen from men on the battlefeild and given to people like Keith Olberman who only preach nonsense to his chior and never invites open debates of his tirades....

Sincerely,

Someone who is tired of being called a bigot by the real bigots

Friday, May 1, 2009

Does Happily Ever After Exist in Hollywood?

The other night I went to a symposium on “church and beauty”. As terribly contrived as that title might sound to be deep or intellectual, it was an interesting lecture. The speaker (who by the way had two first names and referred to himself by both names) made correlations between art and Christianity. Some things he said were utterly fascinating with an amazing amount of insight. While other statements were left far too open ended as if because he said it, it doesn’t even need to be challenged. But that might be my preconceived notion that most intellectuals are so used to being in a class room setting that they never get challenged, therefore stop feeling that they need explanations for there ideologies…
Anyway in his talk he basically brought two scenarios of story foundations that he thought covered every popular story today… he put it that most stories fall into two categories: either “boy meets girls (and of course, vice-versa) and “a nobody rebel who makes good”.
He also made a fascinating parallel between our culture’s values and the stories we tell with their slow digression of morals… For example:
Beauty and the Beast. The original story was about a rich merchant with three daughters. Two of the daughters were selfish, self-centered and vain. The third was polite, selfless, and compassionate. One day through some trans-ocean voyage this merchant loses all his fortune and his family becomes impoverished. The two selfish daughters resent their father for it while the good one loved him all the more to support him. Through some turn of events the man’s fortune was later recovered and in celebration he asks his daughters what they desire. The two ask for gifts of jewelry and gowns, while the one asked for a single red rose.
The father returning from a journey one day finds a garden with beautiful roses and picks one, only to find that this rose garden belonged to a horrible beast! The beast after finding out he has these daughters makes a deal with the man that he will not kill him if he convinces the daughter of whom the rose was for to come care for the beast. The man agrees and to save her fathers life his one good daughter goes.
Time passes and the daughter falls in love with the beast breaking the spell that was on him and the two live happily ever after….
This stories moral was that good behavior and selflessness in rewarded while selfishness is never satisfied.
Contrast that with a Beauty (Bell) who’s first song in the Disney cartoon declares her superiority to her surrounding neighbors. Disney backs this notion up by not only making the entire village full of idiots but also making most people basically indistinguishable from the others. Bell is later rewarded for her believed greatness by actually achieving it and becomes queen over a town whose people are so brainless that they can be easily swayed into becoming an angry mob through a two-minute speech by another self diluted character, Gaston.
Disney effectively conveys that as long as you think you deserve something, you’ll get it. (Unless you have dark hair, then you’re a bad guy.) But working to achieve your goals or earning what you get is not important. In fact the character of Cinderella is now frowned upon as ridiculous or na├»ve. The idea that Cinderella’s principals kept her submissive to her stepmother and sisters is an idea almost unconscionable now at days.
The speaker made a much more detailed and compelling argument but said this to back up his main point in this section of the lecture …it is a lack of creativity that our arts become perverse and even dangerous. Like the pied piper who took the towns kids, the arts unchecked blur our direction for virtue and morality by caring away our sense of decency and duty. He sighted an idea in France from I don’t know what year that talked about regulating poetry and what is said. The reason was because the idea was that art was a window in which we see the soul of society. Just as any good poem can inspire you, a bad one can enslave you.
Of course he brought up Brokeback Mountain but only said that he felt artistically it was uncreative as if they took any other over played story line and made everyone nocturnal or some other arbitrary difference from normal stories.
I say all this because throughout his talk I thought about the film and theater industry. These people who spend a career pretending to be something they are not, speaking words written by other people, masquerading as lives that are not theirs become delusional and believe that they are bold in speaking out about things that they don’t understand. These misguided people have an ability to inspire people to believe past their surroundings but instead spend their time and popularity speaking out against injustices that exist in their sheltered little universe of morally inept peers.
If you can act well, you have an amazing gift. To be brave isn’t to take a roll that Hollywood deems controversial, or another roll that magnifies the worst part of our world and portrays it as commonplace. The brave path is to make sure that your ability to bring people into a character to inspire them to be better people.
What Hollywood does not want to accept also what enforces the idea that they are trying to create their own morality is the blocking, blackballing and or ignoring of original stories.
Passion of the Christ grossed $350,000,000.00 in the theaters and almost matched that on video. It was sold out weeks then days in advance for the first month it was out, breaking every box office record. Yet there was no talk of it at the Oscars or any other awards by the “entertainment industry” The hypocrisy of this industry crying the loudest about government cover-ups decides what is good and what is bad by what they determine good and bad not by actual ticket sales. They exalt the creators of Brokeback Mountain as if they were courageous to bring this love story to the public but had no difficulty with any one group about its opening. There was even a quote that said they were hoping for some uproar to help promote it and believed that Christians were trying to purposely ignore it so not to bring attention to it.
Lord of the Rings re-wrote J.R.Tolken’s King Aragorn as more rebellious so to appeal to a younger crowd. It was later changed back but again Hollywood thinks that things cannot be interesting unless they are rebellious, sending a message that you can’t be interesting unless you are rebellious!
Chronicles of Narnia: the original screenplay tried to write out Aslan as a lion! This movie grossed $300,000,000.00 without a word from any award organization! Instead the people who make movies were handing awards to themselves for the courageous release of an old story with a perverted twist of two men who fall in love with each other and then cheat on their wives. Unfortunately this story not only leaves the viewer with a distortion of real love as life long commitment would encourage but leave the viewer with a perversion of morality that “passion” somehow is such a pure virtue, that it trumps any duty or responsibility. Not to mention that this industry is the loudest proponent of born sexual orientation but is now advocating the natural interchangeability of one’s own orientation through two married men.

The point is people gravitate toward good stories that depict a world they want to live in but Hollywood is force-feeding a reflection of a deprived world because they have lost the ability to be truly creative.