Friday, October 24, 2008


See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

He deliberately plays down the glitz of Hollywood. Instead, he strips away the envy-inducing "glamor" of Hollywood, and you see a middle-aged bald guy with a paunch and nose hairs, talking from the gut, as it were. That Ron Howard is a pretty smart guy, no wonder his films are so good.

One thing I don't understand is why Hollywood in general and Barbra Streisand in particular are such easy targets for political ridicule. I'll take Hollywood's track record on issues over the years against the record of any other industry you can name, and Hollywood will come out ahead. Civil rights? Hollywood was ahead of the curve. Women's rights? Ahead of the curve. This war? Ahead of the curve. Bush's presidency? Ahead of the curve. It isn't a perfect record by any means (The black list comes immediately to mind), but overall Hollywood-style activism has a good track record, particularly compared to, oh, we'll say the sober folks in the financial industry. Or the energy industry. Or the arms industry.

And as for Streisand, the safest thing in the world for her to do would be to shut up about politics, keep selling records, going on tours, making mediocre films, and sucking up the money. Instead, she alienates lots of people by speaking up because she gives a shit about the direction the country is taking. Compare her to, we'll say Rush Limbaugh, who is paid tens of millions of dollars a year to make people angry, and the more outrageous, loud, and nasty he is, the more he's paid. One sacrifices for expressing her views, the other is rewarded handsomely for expressing his, but one (the wrong one) is considered a patriot and the other, not. It makes no sense at all. Agree with her or disagree with her, Streisand's courage and passion deserve respect, but she doesn't get it, gets the opposite, in fact, while Limbaugh's avarice, constant shit-stirring, and dishonesty deserve derision, but he not only doesn't get derided -- he gets respect, gets sitting presidents and presidential hopefuls to come on his show and treat him, this bigoted hypocrite, with deference. Maybe it's my perspective, but the world seems upside down.