Inspired by Ben Shapiro’s new book, “Primetime Propaganda.”
Think about a spoiled teen. His parents have given him everything he could possibly want, demanding nothing in return. His toys are piled high, his room filled with all of the latest gadgets and gizmos, his parents heaping praise on him night and day. Is this child happy? No, he’s miserable. And he’s angry. His only joy coming in wallowing in his teenage angst and his victimhood and from his ginned up sense of superiority to the rest of the world which is evil and stupid and just doesn’t get him. Keep this image in your head, now, and you have the perfect description of the Hollywood star.
Not all Hollywood stars, of course. There’s a word for Hollywood stars who aren’t immature and spoiled babies. They’re called conservatives. And there aren’t more of them for a number of reasons.
First, the industry tends to attract narcissists. Narcissism is the normal state of the young child. Since the Hollywood star tends to never mature morally or intellectually (is there anything he believes that is a) based on fact and b) different than what he believed when he was five years old?) he tends to be stuck forever in the narcissistic state and, since he never matures, he tends to remain forever an adherent of the ideology about which Winston Churchill said, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re still a liberal when you’re older, you have no brain.” The child is all heart and no brain. So, too, are the vast majority of those in the business of show. It’s not surprising, then, that the permanent narcissist would seek an industry where, like a child calling out to mommy to “look, look!!!” all eyes are on him.
Show business tends to attract the infantile because, well, it is an infantile profession. So obvious is this that we ourselves in show biz don’t even call what we do grown-up “work,” but admit that it’s akin to child’s play. Ask Bruce Springsteen how he accumulated his hundred million dollar booty and he’ll tell you honestly, it was from playing the guitar. Ask Susan Sarandon about her eighty million dollar stash, she’ll tell you honestly, it came from playing roles. Wonder where Bill Maher was this weekend? Chances are good he was in Las Vegas, playing at Caesar’s Palace while it’s a good bet that Alec Baldwin might right now be in New York, playing in a play that’s playing in a playhouse. To expect a Sean Penn to have any great insight into the issues of war and peace because he played soldier for a while is as wise as turning over your household finances to your six-year-old daughter because she just finished counting to ten.
These are the things that attract the child – the Liberal – to show business. What tends to keep him Liberal is the fact that he doesn’t have to know anything. In fact, in one of the most oft-quoted books about the inner workings of Hollywood, screenwriter William Goldman writes “If there is a Roman Numeral One to this book (and I’m not sure there’s a Roman Numeral two) it’s this: (In Hollywood) Nobody knows anything. But not only do the people in Hollywood tend to not know anything, they also don’t do anything. The job of the actor is to pretend to be doing the things that the people who do things do. But the actor – like the child – is all talk, but he’s no action. And the thing is, when you don’t do anything, you don’t need to know what you’re talking about because, when you don’t do anything, what could possibly go wrong?
The fireman, for example, needs to know what he’s talking about because, if he’s wrong – if he misjudges his own abilities, mistakes those of his colleagues, reaches for the wrong equipment – he can get hurt. In fact, he can get killed. But, when Bruce Springsteen sings a song about what he thinks it might feel like if he were to ever do something like being a fireman, he doesn’t have to have a clue what he’s talking about (and doesn’t) because if he’s wrong, it’s no big deal for two minutes and twelve seconds later he’s pretending that he’s a highway patrolman. If the soldier is wrong, he can get hurt. He can get killed. If Sean Penn, playing at being a soldier, is wrong about the soldier’s life, it’s not a problem because four weeks later he’s pretending to be something else about which he knows nothing.
The child can afford to be stupid because he’s never put in a place where what he believes comes with any cost or consequence. The Hollywood star can remain forever stupid because his beliefs are never tested in the real world nor does he pay the price for his stupidity. A unique aspect of Hollywood stardom is not only the virtually unparalleled riches enjoyed by even the moderately successful in show biz (a quarter of a century ago – so, adjust upwards for inflation – Goldman wrote that “A million dollars is what you pay the actor you don’t want”) but that these riches are garnered at an age unknown in any other field and unprecedented in human history. Yes, there might be a CEO here or a COO there whose income approaches what a Springsteen pulls out of his mailbox every day in residuals, the difference is that that the most successful of businessmen spent twenty, thirty or forty years making his way to the top and was likely in his forties or fifties before he became the boss. Springsteen was “The Boss” while he was still fighting his teenage acne, while George Clooney was pocketing millions, being waited on hand and foot and called by those many decades his elder, “Mr. Clooney” (as in “You’re right, Mr. Clooney, oh, you’re so smart and wonderful, Mr. Clooney”) from before the boy reached puberty.
The fabulous riches enjoyed by the wunderkinds and the prepubescent isolate the Hollywood star even further from the costs and consequences of clinging to his infantile beliefs. When one lives in a world where there are no costs or consequences – the child’s parents’ home or their mansion in Little Holmby Hills – there is no reason to think through what one believes because, in this utopia, the only right answer is the utopian answer. If there are no costs or consequences, sure, why not let illegal aliens flood our shores. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to live anywhere they want? If there are no costs or consequences, what the hey, why not give everybody lots of paid vacation days and year after year after year of free paychecks now dubbed “unemployment” and “welfare” checks.
In fact, when there are no costs or consequences to what you believe, then not only is the utopian policy the only right policy, anyone who raises even the slightest objection to it is not merely wrong in his policy, he’s downright evil. After all, if there are no costs or negative consequences to illegal aliens swarming our shores, then the only possible reason anyone could oppose the utopian open borders and blanket amnesty of the Liberal is either that they’re racists or filled with an insane fear (some “phobia” or another.)
Isolated by their riches – and with those riches, isolated geographically from all those they literally see as beneath them (as in looking down from the hills of Beverly or the slopes at Aspen, etc) – there are no consequences to them. If illegal aliens destroy the public schools it’s not a problem for those with this kind of wealth, for their children (if they even have children) go to private academies. If Obama’s utopian healthcare scheme (you know state-of-the-art medical care for life for everyone!!!) destroys what is now the best healthcare system in the world, it affects the Hollywood star not at all. He’ll still have a private floor set aside for him with the best of the best of the best care humanly possible at Cedar Sinai and NYU. Crime in the streets? Not his streets for his are behind a gate, privately patrolled, with their own walled-in mansions protected by the state-of-the-art security system they found in a bag under their seat all for attending one of the four thousand parties and award shows with their gift baskets valued at more money than the average American makes in half-a-decade.
Now, allow me to be clear. I am not saying that Bruce Springsteen stands on the veranda of one of his many (many, many) mansions (“I’ve got a mansion, forget the price. Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice,” sang Joe Walsh about the life of a rock star) looking down at the losers below, hands on hips, bellowing “Bwa-hahahah!!! I shall use my money and power to destroy the public schools because my children go to private academies, bwa-hahahaha!!!” Instead, this wunderkind director who was rich beyond belief before he’d spent a second being poor, simply doesn’t know what the real world is like. How would he? How could he?
Instead what happens is, one day Springsteen walks into a room where (gasp) someone is watching Fox News. Before he can run yelling and screaming about what Nazis and fascists and Hitlers everyone at Fox is (Liberals think that anyone who disagrees with them is a Nazi for the same reason the small child thinks that a parent who tells them it’s bedtime is “the worst father in the history of the world.” It’s not because it’s true, it’s because the child and the Liberal has no concept of what the rest of the world is like) – he catches a glimpse of a story about gang violence in the schools. The image bothers him – could the Goebbels at Newscorp really have fabricated the whole thing?
He tries mightily to forget about that awful image – he plays with one multimillion dollar toy and then another – but he can’t shake that rare contact with the outside world. And so, when his daughter comes home he asks her, “Honey, did you see any gang violence at your school today?” And she replies, “What the f—? At Harvard-Westlake??? Come on, dad, you know the only gang violence we’ve ever had was back in 1972 when the polo team pantsed the rowing club. Of course, that was before they stopped playing polo cause someone could get hurt and defunded the rowing team because not everyone could win.”
For some, that would be enough. But not for Bruuuuuce, because Bruce cares. He really, really cares. So he goes down to his climate controlled garage, picks one of his 18 vintage classic cars and he drives. He drives and he drives and he drives and he drives until he reaches his next door neighbor’s house. He knocks on the door and when the man answers he says, “Jackson. Jackson Browne, did your kids see any gang violence in their school today?” And Jackson takes another long toke on his spliff, coughs out with a leer, “kids? I’m sure I have some, just never met ’em, if you know what I mean…rock star!!!”
But Bruce cares. He really, really, really cares. So he gets back in the Maserati, blasts his Bose speakers, and he drives. And he drives and he drives and he drives and he drives till he gets to the next house. He knocks, the owner answers, he says: “Alec! Alec Baldwin. I know you have a daughter, did she see any gang violence in her school today today?” And Baldwin instantly becomes morose. He starts to cry, “That is the cruelest thing I’ve ever heard. You know the courts don’t allow me to see my daughter anymore.”
And Bruce drives. You know why? It’s because he cares. And he drives and he drives and he drives and he drives until he gets to the next house. He knows. “Charlie! Charlies Sheen…”
For the most part the Hollywood Liberal isn’t evil, he just doesn’t have a clue. He’s never spent a moment in the real world. He doesn’t know anyone who has spent a moment in the real world. He goes from the gated-in studio into the backseat of his private car to his gated community where he parties behind his or his neighbor’s giant walls. His beliefs are never tested by consequences because his money and his stature protect him from them – and has, if he was a child actor, for his entire life; if he’s a rock star, he has been protected since long before the stage of life known as “adulthood” hits. He’s all talk but no action, meaning he doesn’t need to know what he’s talking about – in fact, according to the experts, none of them know anything – and he doesn’t need to know how to do anything. His entire life is play. Hollywood is dominated by Liberals because there simply is no better profession for people who don’t know anything and don’t know how to do anything. It’s all play, it’s all pretend, it’s all without consequences. It’s “high school with money.” It’s a place where you can reach the top having learned everything you’ll ever need to know in kindergarten.