Artful Dodging: Ars Gratis Artis – NOT!

by Steve Finefrock – [scriptwriter]

Colorful is the artful rant in Modern Conservative, by Jeani DiCarlo and Yervand Kochar, entitled “End the Leftist Establishment’s Use of Movies and Art for Propaganda” – a lovely collection of pointless thoughts, mindful of the very Marxist blather which all conservative thinkers find entertaining, risible and even charming, if not entirely without danger. DiCarlo and Kochar miss the point, like liberals miss the point of the Second Amendment, when lefty minds insist we can all be kissy-huggy if only guns were outlawed.

One of the stupidest cinematic declarations is the coda preachment by Klaatu to adoring, compliant peacenik Earthlings, wrapping “The Day The Earth Stood Still” with a declaration of surrender to a leviathan brigade of all-powerful robots, whose duty is the absolute power for their human creators. Nowhere is the question asked, much less answered: Who built those robots? Which government contractor on Klaatu’s world made a creature of impenetrable metal which can work with its robotic siblings to keep mankind from expressing its id? A better cinematic thought is in the Shakespearean texture of “Forbidden Planet” – sci-fi with some thought, inspired by “The Tempest” and more to the point, with the super-smart Krell building such a powerful machine that was their undoing.

DiCarlo & Kochar [D&K] seek a world where art is FREE, FREE, FREE – untainted by bias. If only those nasty leftists would quit being – LEFTISTS!  Then we can all sing “Kumbaya” and art would be pure.

Here’s the coffee scent, D&K: Art is not just for art’s sake. Never was, never will be, must not be.  To surrender the choice of pursuing art for the sake of values, a message, a goal of sustaining our philosophy is to surrender to Klaatu’s Gort, to give over to the massive machine of the Krell, to expect man to be all kindness and light.

At the heart of a very complex philosophy dubbed ‘conservatism’ is Madison’s mantra: If men were angels, there’d be no need for government. And in that meaning is the underpinning: MEN ARE NOT ANGELS. They cannot be trusted with disarmed society; there are evil among us, some petty, some grand, some mega-grand. Armaments are the instruments of civility – guns, artillery, bombers, tanks, nuclear devices.

And the armaments of the Cultural War include film, and TV. At present, conservatives are already nearly totally disarmed, hoping, yearning, wishing, begging, urging liberals to sing “Kumbaya” by offering a few table scraps here and there, as a sop to our complaint that they aren’t being fair, balanced, respectful of our values.

Do D&K really think ‘Aaron Sorkin’ is going to make film and TV to be balanced? Can he, or others of the left, disconnect their creative impulses from their philosophy? If the first rule of writing is, Write What You Know – then ask, can one write what one does not know, or embrace, or feel in his or her heart and mind and soul?

Can ‘Aaron Sorkin’ – a generic term for all the liberal thoughtmeisters in Hotel Whiskey [phonetic for ‘HW’ as abbreviated once by a friend, for Hollywood] – be expected to surrender his POV of the world? Can any liberal actor ever find a ‘method’ to truly represent a conservative-drawn character in a manner we would applaud? Here’s a news flash: THEY CAN’T DO IT. They not only won’t do it – no definition of ‘fair’ will compel them to even attempt a task so foreign to their perception and experience – but they SHOULD NOT TRY, for they will fail.

Only WE CAN WRITE US, only WE CAN DIRECT US, only WE CAN MAKE OUR ART for our audience, to give our hungry public a view into story and structure and character and plot and theme that fits our world view. No liberal ‘Aaron Sorkin’ can possibly, in the most determined and ‘honest’ effort, approach even the outer suburbs of what we believe and feel and advocate in the political arena.

When an odd conservative character pops up in any ‘Aaron Sorkin’ output – either he literally, or his many similar minions – the result is typically wooden, shallow, stereotypical. Both in the writing by the original conception – as revealed honestly by Neil Simon in “Rewrites” regarding his conservative cutie in “Star Spangled Girl” – and its direction by a helmer, and the rendering by the chosen actors to make a page go onto the stage and age well in the minds of the audience.

The blunt, basic, bold truth – as Simon Cowell would assert – is that ART IS NOT FAIR, and will NEVER BE FAIR. Liberals cannot meet the demands of the idealistic, Kumbaya-istic D&K. No more than disarming ourselves will make the evil among us, the id-kids driven by their Krell-kin ids, will simply leave us alone once they find us disarmed and vulnerable.

The fight for the minds of our citizens, of our children, of our audience, in theatres and auditoriums and outdoor arenas and politics and bar-stool discussions is one which requires us to NEVER DISARM, and never expect them to be fair. Art is most definitely NOT beyond left and right. At present, it is dominated by the left, and perhaps will always be mostly a leftwing expression.

But many conservative artistes exist in Hotel Whiskey – as proven often, and expressed boldly in my address to the Heritage Foundation in September of 2007 [see for “The Other Hollywood” to view the 66 minute presentation]. At least a quarter, and maybe even a third of the working, earning pros in Tinseltown hold rightwing views. Even Beverly Hills High School election-day voting by its students showed a full third voted for John McCain – a THIRD in the deepest, darkest recesses of the beast we all abhor! The beast that will NEVER DISARM ITSELF.

Can art ever be free from bias? NEVER!!  Can it be less biased? PERHAPS – if conservatives quit whining, roll up their sleeves, get busy financing those conservatives in Hotel Whiskey, awaiting a chance to challenge leftwing characters, stories, plots and themes – with their own writing, directing, casting, acting, editing, cinematography, producing and promoting skills.  Which are aplenty in Hotel Whiskey.

Surrendering the fight is no solution, and mere whining is just intellectual masturbation. Asking the left to be ‘fair’ is worse than masturbation – it’s calling for intellectual and ideological disarmament which they will never grant to us. And expecting their ‘fair’ treatment of us in the face of our own current, continuing disarmed status is pure fantasy land.

While there is some satisfaction to declaring that only lies need propaganda to live, the fact is that so long as an adversary is engaging in battle methods, it is suicide to condemn the combat methods and refuse to engage in return. Ghandi was a fine feller, but succeeded only because he was engaging in peaceful dissent in the face of a fading British empire.  The same method would result in death and destruction in the face of Hitler, or a Hussein, or Muhammad.

Hotel Whiskey’s lefties adore Ghandi in theory, but not in their own practices – they will not respect our peaceful quiescence. It will only make them bolder. A Ghandi strategy by conservatives in Hotel Whiskey will be as stupendously stupid as the Charge of the Light Brigade, or Pickett’s Charge, or the Boston Massacre. They got guns – we gotta get guns, gunpowder, flint and the other armaments of this battle. Get in the game, get marksmanship and sneakiness and practice our artistic talent. Get the cash to back up the cache of many conservative artistes already ready and waiting in Hotel Whiskey

As per Churchill: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP, but engage and learn and maneuver and counter-maneuver. Ride to the sound of the gunfire, but first GET SOME GUNS, and fight this fight like it is meant to be won. Art is not free. As liberty is not free, never was, never will be. There is no disarmament strategy for conservatives in this fight for our nation’s soul. The talent is in Hotel Whiskey, ready and eager and capable to make conservative film and TV.

It only needs organization, financing, leadership and a sense that someone is on their side. And asking art to be ‘free’ is as silly as Klaatu’s departing wimpiness. The left has a Gort – we need our own Gort.  A squad, then a company, then a battalion of Gorts.  And not surrender to their Gort, hoping for fairness and ‘freedom’ and balance.

Kumbaya? NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!

ExileStreet copyright 2008 Steve Finefrock Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called “A State of the Union”], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA’s Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…

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