Archive - Feb 2009

February 2nd

A Bunch Of HAACs

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Memo to Small Hollywood: YOU ARE NOT BEING BLACKLISTED.

To the extent that there are any recurring themes at Big Hollywood, my new favorite catch-all wingnut blog, there is a common theme that conservative actors, writers, producers, and comedians are losing out on work because of their political views. This may or may not be true. It's difficult to tell, because the successful conservatives in Hollywood are too busy making movies to take the time to whine about not working in the pages of Big Hollywood.

So what we're left with, I'm afraid, are the hacks and the whiners. It's entirely possible that they're being held back artistically because of their political views. But what does that mean, exactly? Are they auditioning for a project, when suddenly the casting director gets a text message from their assistant, who's just Googled the aspiring actor and found out the shocking truth - that he thinks tax cuts boost revenue? Or, in a world where reputation and word of mouth rule the day, do people just mention how big an asshole that dude was, always going on about how liberals are ruining America while grabbing some wings from Craft Services?

I'm not sure what it is, but I do know this. It's not a blacklist. But that's what the douchebags at Big Hollywood insist in calling it, a BLACKLIST. Because while they may not be good actors or comedians, what conservatives ARE good at is elevating their personal problems to the status of whatever great historical tragedy vaguely resembles what they're going through. So if, in the 50s, the government questioned Hollywood types about their leftist views, and anyone who didn't cooperate had their names put on a list and given to the few people could determine whether they collected a paycheck, that's EXACTLY THE SAME as Orson Bean getting yelled at for supporting Proposition 8.

Orson Bean should fucking know better, because as he himself points out, he was a victim of the original 1950s anti-Communist blacklist. Well, sort of. His name ended up on a list because he went to Communist meetings with a girlfriend. So he got dumped off the Ed Sullivan show for a year, spent that year performing in a Broadway play, and once the year was up, was back on Ed Sullivan again. Maybe the tiny, tiny impact the first blacklist had on Bean is what makes him call any minor inconvenience based on politics a "blacklist".

It's not a blacklist when someone won't hire you because of your political views. It's a blacklist when NOBODY will hire you because of your political views. When Bean lost voiceover work because the head of the agency handling it found out he supported Nixon, that wasn't a blacklist. It was unfair, it was even(assuming Orson's telling the truth) discrimination, but it wasn't a blacklist. Similarly, gays and lesbians boycotting a theater company that employs Prop 8 supporters is not a blacklist. It's a boycott. You can argue whether it's fair or not, and whether a boycott is an effective tool in that situation, but it's not a fucking blacklist, and comparing your problems to what Joe McCarthy wrought in the 50s is like comparing the actual blacklist to the Holocaust.

And if Orson Bean isn't being blacklisted, then no fucking way is Steven Crowder being blacklisted. Here's how Crowder describes himself and his situation. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I am a comedian and actor. Yes it’s what I do for a living and no I don’t know how to wait tables. What many of you may NOT know, however, is that I, Steven Crowder … am a heretic. Since my mid-teens I have been banned and blacklisted from more comedy clubs and colleges than I care to count (not to mention the heated on-set conversations). One needs only take a peek at my YouTube channel to see the incredible hate mail received regularly from anonymous keyboard warriors. For a clean comedian working in a supposedly “open-minded” environment it’s shocking to hear, I know."

OK, first of all, YouTube comments aren't "hate mail", they're YouTube comments. It's a known fact that YouTube commenters are the dumbest, least perceptive audience in the universe, so if you've pissed them off, you're either doing something very, very right, or something mind-bogglingly wrong. Let's find out. I'll just hit "play"...

Dude. You suck. Not because you're a conservative, you just suck as a comic. And that's OK. A lot of people suck as comics. Many of them go on to be successful comics. But you're not going to get there by doing a bad Dennis Miller impression while going no deeper with your references than the front page of yesterday's USA Today purple section. Also, comedy is like kung fu. If each punch(line) has a jump-cut after it, that means you can't actually do it, and you have to rely on post-production to make it LOOK like you have a routine. And your little YouTube videos are edited like a Michael Bay film.

Also, this is not a joke: "How is Brad Pitt going to become society's conscience when the very moral compass he's been using to guide his own life is dangling loosely between his emaciated thighs?" I even gave you the benefit of the doubt and punctuated your question with a question mark even though your inflection was screaming "period". I mean, you even reference Brad Pitt's penis (an odd choice for a clean comedian) without making a dick joke. And if there's one thing I've learned in my time here, you can only yell for so long between dick jokes before people get bored.

It's much easier for the Steven Crowders of the world to think they're the victims of a House American Activities Committee, who have passed judgment on them for loving America, hating Arabs, and loving George W. Bush, and that's why they're not working. But the evidence is as plain as the YouTube on your page. You're just a HAAC.