Monday, March 31, 2008

Idle threat of the week

It's another week and another box office dud for an Iraq War movie. Some industry insiders had thought Stop Loss, which was heavily promoted, had garnered solid reviews, and featured an attractive young cast, had a chance of breaking through by not being a complete flop. It wasn't able to.

While many will attribute the continued rejection of Hollywood's Iraq War treatments to the public's perception that Tinseltown's judgment is clouded by a liberal bias and anti-military sentiment, there is actually something much larger at play.

Entertainers and politicians are our two most prominent groups of citizens. We the people have granted these two groups our adulation, gave them the best seats in our restaurants, and make any personal relationship with a member of either group to be the ultimate in social currency. For this all we ask is that there be a separation of power between the two.

Meaning politicians get to make decisions that could effect our lives, and entertainers get to live their lives to excess, but neither privileged group can infringe upon the other's specific privilege.

So that's why Eliot Spitzer's visits to a hooker and John Edwards's gigantic mansion and foppish hair-styling techniques get them sent to the reject bin. Likewise, anytime anyone with a record contract or an IMDB page starts pontificating on the important issues of the day the public sticks their fingers in their ears and starts humming loudly.

It may not be completely fair, but it is the way it is. And Hollywood's latest attempt to violate this system of cultural checks and balances is the Idle Threat of the Week for March 24th to March 30th.

As baseball season begins, and we head to the Final Four, let us all marvel at the ability of our athletes -- who constitute a much revered segment of our entertainment industry -- to shut up and play.

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