Stop the servers! Jackson Williams at the Huffington Post has a newsflash: Actor Matthew Marsden Hides His Right-Wing Political Views.
This raises a couple of questions. The first is, “Who is Mathew Marsden?” Well, he was an up-and-coming young English singer and actor with athletic roles in Rambo and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. Which leads to the second question – why would writer Jackson Williams be so giddy about the revelation that Marsden apparently does not hew obediently to the Hollywood left’s party line?
Well, it sure isn’t because he’s interested in giving Marsden’s career a boost. Like the grinning little snot in every elementary school class who gets off on the high of narc-ing out the other kids to the schoolmarm, Jackson’s purpose was to tattle to every producer, agent, actor and other Hollywoodoid that Marsden had been a bad, bad boy. He exercised his right to think for himself. Maybe Jackson should wear a sash: “Political Hall Monitor.” But it’s clear that his article is simply a nomination of Marsden for a spot on the New Hollywood Blacklist.
And what is Marsden’s alleged thoughtcrime? Well, since Jackson’s “reporting” appears to be based solely on his reading of some newspaper articles, and because Jackson never bothered to ask Marsden anything, it’s difficult to tell. It appears the actor was a guest of a “sneaky” “conservative” “outfit” called the Council for National Policy that was “smoked out” when it held a “secret, far-right conclave” in an Austin hotel. We know it’s “sneaky” because its website fails to provide all of the information Jackson thinks it should, though having a public website would seem to be the opposite of “sneaky.” For that matter, having its event in a public hotel seems to be the opposite of “secret.”
In any case, you really don’t need to know any more than the fact that it appears that some evangelicals are involved. Case closed. To the keepers of the New Blacklist, evangelical Christians are clearly agents of the antichrist, mostly because they believe in Christ. Or something like that.
Jackson’s particular bugaboo seems to be the kind of “lunatic” who spews “right-wing screeds,” and for this he cites Pat Boone and Chuck Norris. If you’re wondering what kind of screeds these are, well, some seem to be “anti-gay.” I guess Jackson is referring to those who support traditional marriage – you know, like the majority of the American people and our President. Or perhaps he is referring to those with belief in a Creator, a belief he labels “creationism” – you know, like the belief shared by the majority of the American people and our famously Christian President.
Marsden’s purported embrace of the same values and beliefs of most Americans and our President apparently somehow has the effect of placing him far outside the mainstream. Of course, to the New Blacklisters, the mainstream consists solely of a few thousand Hollywoodoids dwelling in the 310 area code. Well, maybe some folks in the 212 qualify too – you know, for diversity.
Nothing in Jackson’s article – which, after all, is just a summary of someone else’s reporting – offers any explanation of why Marsden might be less than thrilled to have his political beliefs publicized. Maybe he doesn’t feel like he wants to impose his views on his fans. Maybe he feels he should learn more before speaking out. Or, I dunno, maybe he doesn’t want a bunch of left-wing bigots indulging their prejudices and blacklisting him from future work because he dares think for himself.
Jackson’s big objection seems to be that Marsden doesn’t make a big public spectacle of his beliefs, which he seems to think makes Marsden liable for lefty animus. Strangely, Jackson seems to argue that conservative animus toward Hollywoodiods who are not only public about their views but beat paying customers over their heads with them is misplaced. So, the guy who quietly works for his beliefs – evil. Loudmouth no-talents who stop their concerts to trash their country to paying customers or who prance about in North Vietnamese AA-gun emplacements — well, they’re America’s greatest heroes.
[youtube gl5EMcp3ajc&feature=fvw nolink]
In my experience, there are three types of people in Hollywood. There are a few smart ones. Most of them had to work for success and have life experience in the real world that gives them a certain level of wisdom. Then there are the ones who are dumb but think they are smart – mostly because they’ve been told they are awesome by sycophants and suck-ups like Jackson (Ms. Streisand and Ms. Sarandon, you are so “honest” and brave in your liberalism – can I come to the party now?). And then there are the ones who are dumb and know it but don’t care because they are really good looking and rich to boot.
I can deal with the first and the third kind, and they are also the two types that do not go in for the New Blacklist nonsense. They couldn’t care less about your political views as long as you do your job.
It’s the dumb ones who impose lefty political litmus tests. The dumb ones come in two types – people who just aren’t that bright to begin with and people who went to expensive, prestigious universities and therefore became dumb by buying into commie academic nonsense.
The first kind tends to end up on camera pledging to be a servant to a politician. The second tend not to know anyone to the right of Dennis Kucinich and therefore buy into every negative stereotype about normal Americans that they come across on the HuffPost. Alienating huge numbers of potential paying customers by attacking those few in Hollywood who share their beliefs is just bad business. Jackson sneers at the “Left Behind” books in his article. Hey, they aren’t my cup of tea either, but if a major studio made a movie out of one it would do Twilight-level box office. Hollywood, there are a lot more evangelical Christians out there with nothing to spend money on at the multiplex than lonely teenagers pining away for emo bloodsucker sagas.
The New Blacklist barring those with dissenting views is particularly dumb in an age of technology that makes the old Hollywood-centric model of a single, monolithic entertainment complex increasingly untenable. Pretty soon technology is going to make major motion picture studios obsolete. Anyone will be able to make a professional movie. Just look at Panic Attack, a robot invasion short some dude in Paraguay made for about 100 pesos, lira, shiny rocks or whatever they use for currency in Montevideo. And the distribution system based on film stock will go the way of phrenology, buggy whips and popular faith in global warming as the next generation of movies is transmitted to theaters digitally. In the past, the Hollywoodoids could maintain a blacklist because only they could make and distribute movies; tomorrow, the blacklisted will just go around them.
Now, not everyone in Hollywood with a political opinion is a fool. The man who was arguably the greatest American of the last half-century was an actor – an actor who spent years in the political arena, developed and honed his views, and convinced his countrymen to elect him their president. On the left, actors like Mike Farrell and Martin Sheen expose the silliest leftism, but there can’t be any doubt that they both have learned and developed expertise regarding their issues – they just got the issues completely wrong. But their usual acting work is generally non-political, making it easy for fans to appreciate their craft while ignoring their views. Hell, I’m even a huge fanof HuffPost columnist Alec Baldwin’s acting – in fact, he’s one of my top four favorite Baldwin brothers.
Here’s an idea. It may not be so popular anymore but it seems due for a comeback. It’s called freedom. It’s the idea that people are free to say, do and think what they want without petty fascists trying to punish them for presuming to think differently. Liberals used to believe in that – until they got the power to do the punishing.
Hopefully, and despite Jackson’s best efforts, the revelation that Marsden dares to have opinions that many in Hollywood do not share will not harm his career. There’s probably another Transformers movie on the horizon, and while I have no clue as to Michael Bay and his team’s politics, I do know they are HUGE supporters of our troops and therefore deserve the benefit of the doubt.
By the way, Marsden himself is a big soldier supporter too, and he actually did a parachute jump with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights (Airborne – all the way, Matt!). Uh oh, I probably just moved him up the New Blacklist about twenty spots by revealing that he doesn’t hold our fighting men and women in sufficient contempt. I can see his panicked agent now, nervously tugging on his Armani tie, telling his client, “Hey, Matt, you gotta get in front of this thing! You gotta turn it around! You gotta hug a Latin thug, burn a flag or maybe spit on a wounded Marine! You do that and, well, I think I smell an Oscar!”