The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, April 08, 2019


I have never been one who asks for autographs or worships anyone in the arts. Sure, I can appreciate talent and marvel at artistic skill, but I, and many others like me, recognize that musical, artistic, or acting talent in no way imbues an "artist" with any special insight into politics, morality (that's actually funny where Hollywood mores are concerned, think: Harvey Weinstein among many, many examples), or the state of our nation. In many cases, the glitterati are far more narrow-minded and ignorant than the people they regularly criticize.

For those unfamiliar with his work, Bret Easton Ellis is a novelist and screen writer who is often considered among the glitterati in the arts. In a recent article, he writes about Kanye West and his bromance with Donald Trump but also comments on the utter hypocrisy of the Hollywood glitterati:
Ever since the election, Hollywood had revealed itself in countless ways as one of the most hypocritical capitalist enclaves in the world, with a preening surface attitude advocating progressivism, equality, inclusivity and diversity — except not when it came down to inclusivity and diversity of political thought and opinion and language. They proudly promoted peace just as they were fine with Trump getting shot by Snoop Dogg in a video or decapitated by Kathy Griffin or beaten up by Robert De Niro or, more simply, as an apparently drunken Johnny Depp suggested, assassinated.

Fellow comrades had started to adhere to their new rule book: about humor, about freedom of expression, about what’s funny or offensive. Artists — or, in the local parlance, creatives — should no longer push any envelope, go to the dark side, explore taboos, make inappropriate jokes or offer contrarian opinions. This new policy required you to live in a world where one never got offended, where everyone was always nice and kind, where things were always spotless and sexless, preferably even genderless — and this is when I really started worrying, with enterprises professing control over not only what you say but your thoughts and impulses, even your dreams ...

Since November 2016, I had heard that a horrendous economic collapse was about to materialize, the planet was going to melt, countless people would die, the fraught situation in North Korea would send the United States into a nuclear Armageddon, and Trump would be impeached, brought down by a pee tape — leaving no jobs for anybody and Russian tanks in the streets.

We also idly noted that the filmmaker David Lynch couldn’t say in an interview that he thought maybe Donald Trump would go down as one of the great presidents in history, not without groupthink forcing him into apologizing for this immediately on Facebook. And where was a resistance that was so attractive and cunning that it managed to sway you, that maybe made you see things in a broader, less blinkered light?

But the one we had in 2018 seemed bent on advocating mostly vandalism and violence. Trump’s star on Hollywood Boulevard was destroyed with a pickax, an actor resembling a septuagenarian Lorax said “F–k Trump” at the Tony Awards, a television hostess called the first daughter “a feckless c–t” on her TV program, another actor suggested the president’s 11-year-old son should be put in a cage with pedophiles. And all of this from Hollywood: the land of inclusion and diversity. Maybe it was just another episode in the reality show that is still unfolding. Or maybe when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.
As I wrote in a recent post: "...Trump Derangement Syndrome is a powerful force that dulls the intellect, clouds judgement, and heightens the emotions to the extent that people act crazy."

I suspect that Bret Easton Ellis would agree with that assessment.