<blockquote>A Hush Over Hollywood<br>by Pat Sajak<br>Posted Nov 30, 2004<br><br>Picture this: <br><br>Somewhere in the world, a filmmaker creates a short documentary that chronicles what he perceives as the excesses of anti-abortion activists. An anti-abortion zealot reacts to the film by killing the filmmaker in broad daylight and stabbing anti-abortion tracts onto his body. How does the Hollywood community react to this atrocity? Would there be angry protests? Candlelight vigils? Outraged letters and columns and articles? Awards named in honor of their fallen comrade? Demands for justice? Calls for protection of artistic freedom? It’s a pretty safe bet that there would be all of the above and much more. And all of the anger would be absolutely justified. <br><br>So I’m trying to understand the nearly universal lack of outrage coming from Hollywood over the brutal murder of Dutch director, Theo van Gogh, who was shot on the morning of November 2, while bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam. The killer then stabbed his chest with one knife and slit his throat with another. <br><br>The presumed murderer, a Dutch-born dual Moroccan-Dutch citizen, attached a 5-page note to van Gogh's body with a knife. In it, he threatened jihad against the West in general, and specifically against five prominent Dutch political figures. Van Gogh’s crime? He created a short film highly critical of the treatment of women in Islamic societies. So, again I ask, where is the outrage from Hollywood’s creative community? I mean, talk about a violation of the right of free speech! <br><br>Perhaps they are afraid that their protests would put them in danger. That, at least, is a defensible position. If I were Michael Moore, I would much rather rail against George W. Bush, who is much less likely to have me killed, than van Gogh’s murderer and the threat to creative freedom he brings. Besides, a man of Moore’s size would provide a great deal of “bulletin board” space. <br><br>Maybe they think it would be intolerant of them to criticize the murder, because it would put them on the side of someone who criticized a segment of the Arab world. And, after all, we are often reminded that we need to be more tolerant of others, especially if they’re not Christians or Jews. <br><br>There’s another possibility; one that seems crazy on the surface, but does provide an explanation for the silence, and is also in keeping with the political climate in Hollywood. Is it just possible that there are those who are reluctant to criticize an act of terror because that might somehow align them with President Bush, who stubbornly clings to the notion that these are evil people who need to be defeated? Could the level of hatred for this President be so great that some people are against anything he is for, and for anything he is against? <br><br>As nutty as it sounds, how else can you explain such a muted reaction to an act that so directly impacts creative people everywhere? Can you conceive of a filmmaker being assassinated because of any other subject matter without seeing a resulting explosion of reaction from his fellow artists in America and around the world? <br><br>As I said, it’s a nutty-sounding explanation, but we live in nutty times.</blockquote><br><br>link<br><br>****************<br>I have no signature at this time
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This is from a Salon article about the filmmaker...<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Some of van Gogh's colleagues insisted that the filmmaker's insults were a pose and that it was a "test of intelligence to be able to see through them," as the critic Hans Beerekamp put it. But it wasn't always that straightforward. Many people were offended when van Gogh made Holocaust-tinged jokes about Jewish writers and filmmakers: "Hey, it smells like caramel today -- well then, they must be burning the diabetic Jews," Leon de Winter, in the Wall Street Journal, recently quoted van Gogh as saying. Van Gogh's friend, writer Theodor Holman, had once called "every Christian a criminal" and van Gogh couldn't resist rushing to his friend's defense after Christians raised a public outcry. Van Gogh declared that Holman's enemies were only "the fan club of that rotting fish in Nazareth."<p><hr></blockquote><p>Now, I am not using this quote to justify violence against the filmmaker, but it does show that Pat Sajak here is essentiallizing on a story that is much more complex than he would have his readers believe. The Salon article goes on to talk about free speech, inclusion, violence, and the problems inherent in each of them, the goal being to tell the whole story. (You can read the whole thing here.)<br><br>Now I beg explanation from a hand that first slaps Hollywood for it's moralizing liberalism and than slaps the same Hollywood for silence on a moralizing issue. The fact of the matter is that Hollywood and the media at large do not constitute a tangible collusion worth criticizing with such vague statements about Hollywood. I'll tell you exactly why so few people in the American media care about the death of a Dutch filmmaker. It's because very few people in the American media care about anyone Dutch. Hell, maybe it would have gotten some traction over here if it contained sex with an intern or a member of the British Royal Family.<br><br>Maybe Pat Sajak's next column should be about why Americans don't seem to care too much about things that occur outside our borders. He could still work in the Hollywood straw-man and put George W. Bush back up on the cross like he has here. Either way, it's the same damn stretch to include the two.<br><br>Now I'm assuming you are trying to draw attention to Sajak's tenuous little bit of irony about religious tolerance. I'm sorry, but that leap of logic and essentialization betrays your intelligence and I'm sad to see you endorsing it. I'm not going to make some point here about the difference between toleration of religion but not tolerating violence because it does not need to be made. It should be assumed by those who don't patronize.<br><br>-- Charlie Alpha Roger Yankee Whiskey
The Hollywood crowd is selective in their outrage and it doesn't surprise me that their defenders just don't get it. Because the dead filmmaker chose to take on a vicious ideology, the cause is not seen as being a "noble" one. Had the filmmaker made a movie about fundamentalist Christians, we would still be hearing about it. <br><br>Sajak, as a memeber of that Hollywood community, has the standing to ask the question he's posing. Of course I don't expect you to see this. To you, anyone who supports George Bush is flawed, should be tied to a post, given 40 lashes and be thoroughly mocked or belittled. <br><br>Maybe you could write a little post on why you're so intolerant of over half the people in this country and what your plan is on heeding John Kerry's advice: finding the common ground, coming together. <br><br>****************<br>I have no signature at this time
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I'm not sure how I got the title of Hollywood apologist here, because I was merely saying that Sajak is making a straw-man here and taking a huge leap in the process. I'm certain that I could find look back and find several dozen causes in the last decade that Hollywood ignored just as worthy as van Gogh's. Where that changes the argument is that they are likely to be completely politically neutral. What I said was that there was a perfect explanation for Hollywood (and the media's) ambivalence over van Gogh: if it doesn't involve sex or occur somewhere between New York and Los Angeles, it just doesn't happen.<br><br>Pat Sajak is from Hollywood? Good for him, but that does not give me any incentive to follow his politics any more than I would Martin Sheen. Of course I see it. I see his politics just as I would any other political writer. He uses the exact same rhetorical tactic as half a million other partisan hacks out there: essentializing (using an exception or otherwise unreliable sample to generalize on a group). The connection with George W. Bush is just Sajak's way to politicize it, and now you are using that very same thing to essentialize my positions in regards to Bush supporters.<br><br>Now I'm glad you have made this personal because I have in fact written a few posts since November 2nd and the ones directly afterwards were about how partisan topics like red state vs. blue state were doing harm and needed to stop so we could get down and talk about issues. Now if you didn't read those posts, it's okay, but it's a topic I have covered extensively here and elsewhere, recently and farther in the past. I have pride in what I write, so I'm glad you have brought it up despite the patronizing language.<br><br>I believe my little posts speak for themselves.<br><br>-- Charlie Alpha Roger Yankee Whiskey
Other than write this article chastising others' lack of outrage, what has Sajak done to publicize his outrage? Or Bruce Willis. Or Tom Selleck? Or Mel Gibson? Those four alone could organize a candlelight vigil that would draw lots of media attention. LIberals in Hollywood act as a collective yet conservatives can't pick up the phone and talk to each other?<br><br>This is like those grumpy old politicians who moan about the lack of parades for our returning Viet Nam soldiers yet never bothered to organize one themselves when they had the chance. <br><br>
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