My card carrying capitalist son Michael and I went to see Atlas Shrugged last night. I went in with fairly low expectations and came out feeling like I’d gotten my money’s worth and then some.
I’d waffled for the last 2 days on whether I’d make the 100 mile trip to Las Vegas or not. First I was going and probably alone. Then I wasn’t going. Yes, I’d go. Then, nah, I’d wait for the DVD. And finally, I decided to go and take my son with me. His weekend (his days off) are Thursday and Friday, so I’d hoped that he had no plans tonight after work and he had none. I knew that he’d like this movie even though he’d never read the book and really didn’t have a clear idea what it was going to be about. On our way to the movie, I gave Michael a quick synopsis.
The reviews that I’d read by the so-called professionals who review movies, panned it. The dialog was contrived, they said, although it was pretty much verbatim Ayn Rand. They criticized the low budget effects and scenes. Yadda yadda yadda: elite critiques from the nose in the air “professionals.”
Honestly, I rarely go by what these guys call good or bad. They don’t live in the same world that I do so they have no basis to make judgements for me.
Early yesterday I wandered over to BigHollywood and read the reader comments to John Nolte’s blog about the movie. (Had I not done so I wouldn’t have known that Andrew Breitbart was an extra in the Reardon’s anniversary party scene. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch for him – he’s there standing with 3 other men by a small stairway with a lamp post on it.) But the readers are the critics that I’m going to trust. Hands down, they liked the movie. And when I read 3 different posters comment that the audience applauded at the end, I’d read enough and the plan was set that I was going to see this movie after all. Really, how many movies have you seen lately that the audience applauded when it was over?
We went to the 9:30pm show because Michael doesn’t get off work until 8:30. The theater was half to 2/3 full and to my happy amazement, they were all young people.
As far as the movie goes, I’ve seen lots worse out of the mega Hollywood studios (I walked out of Independence Day- it so sucked.) And for a low budget movie, it was damned well done. And they were pretty faithful to the book. I didn’t find the dialog goofy (again, I walked out of Independence Day) but then I’ve read and listened to the book so I knew what to expect. The movie never dragged. The director and producers laid down the foundation for the next 2 episodes very well and ended with a great cliffhanger. When the DVD is released, I’ll be buying it.
As I posted yesterday, an additional 150 people are now unemployed in Las Vegas, primarily because charitable donations are down. Those wealthy individuals and corporations no longer have the tax breaks and just like the rest of us, they are feeling the hit of this horrible economy we are in.
The statist’s answer to our problems is to tax the rich MORE. But it should be now proven to every one that it has a devastating effect on the economy and the employment sector. When Boyd Gaming or Harrah’s stop donating a wing or a floor to institutions like Nevada Cancer Institute or Adleson Hospice, people start losing jobs and no one is being hired.
The wealthy are the job creators. Why is that so hard to understand? And how many more episodes like this one, nationwide, do the statists need to create before they get it? The less money the rich spend – or have to spend – the fewer cabbies, cooks and hotel housekeepers there are; the fewer nurses, back office people, lab techs and administrative assistants facilities like NCI employ.
What I find amazing is that the wealthy liberal left and right coasters – the elite, the ruling class, the academicians, the Hollywood “stars” – want more taxes on profitable (or once profitable) corporations, while at the same time, they are spending less and less money themselves.
This is why I believe that liberals suffer from mental illness: they keep doing the same things over and over, they keep doggedly following the same failed philosophy and never learn that it’s just NOT working.
[…] Mr. Armey has one final piece of advice for the new conservative members he has done so much to elect. “The first rule of conservatism,” he chuckles, “is to accept that if you are true to yourself, Hollywood celebrities will never hug you in public. Ultimately, serving the people and upholding the Constitution will be much more satisfying.”
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is out to make sure his presence pays for Democrats, launching a three-day fundraising trip on Monday in which he will touch nearly every region of the nation and play up his economic agenda.
His stops include a glitzy Hollywood fundraiser. Oh to be a fly on the wall there: being among the elite who think that Americans are redneck morons who don’t know what’s good for them.
The most important sentence is this one:
By pairing official events with political ones, the White House can bill taxpayers for most of the cost of the trip.
Once again, we will be paying for the Democrat’s campaigns. I don’t know about anyone else but, I don’t want MY tax dollars being used for this. It’s a given that we have to pay for his security, no matter where he goes or what he does, but to pay for him to campaign for his party, really makes me see red – and you, too if you’re reading this.
All together, Obama will visit Wisconsin, California, Washington, Ohio and Florida before returning to the nation’s capital Wednesday night. Each stop involves tight races in states that could be vital to Obama himself in 2012.
The second most important paragraph is that this is about getting him re-elected. But really, those states aside from maybe Florida, are going to go for him again, no matter what. California, Washington and Wisconsin are a lock for him. Ohio and Florida might be iffy. It will be interesting to see how his campaigning will help those candidates.
Bill Whittle and his colleague have started a new movie corporation that emphasizes American values that have been lost in Hollywood for the last several decades. I hope they get the support they need, both financially and from the public.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Everyone’s heard of the genius of Menlo Park. Well, okay. Everyone who graduated from high school before 1975. Thomas Edison is a crown jewel in American history. He founded General Electric 120 years ago, this year.
Edison was primarily a self-made man. His mother took him out of school at an early age because a teacher called him “addled. ” She taught him at home and being a curious person, he read a lot.
From about age 12, he was mostly deaf. Edison says that being lifted onto a train by his ears, caused his deafness. But being born before the victim mentality was discovered, Edison believed that it was a benefit to be deaf: he could work harder and concentrate better on his inventions.
The list of inventions that came out of his Menlo Park lab, and how they impact our daily lives is amazing: lightbulbs, phonographs, moving film. The list goes on and on. He held nearly 1100 patents.
“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”
Pay close attention to this little documentary and keep in mind that we are paying for all this. This is what GE is today – Hollywood and government elite, academy award winners:
Without question, these innovations and inventions are amazing and spectacular – a pocket doppler? This is Star Trek technology, Dr. McCoy would feel almost at home in the 21st century.
But the sinister side of all this medical technology and advanced health care can’t be left hidden by all this glamour. The loss of our privacy to the government can’t be diminished by the wonder of these inventions. The role that GE plans to play in the future health care reforms, will not be altruistic. They’re banking on that. You should too.
Imagine if the Knight of Columbus decided to give an award to a pedophile priest who had fled the country to avoid prison. The outcry would be universal. Victim groups would demand the award be withdrawn and that the organization apologize. Religion reporters would be on the case with the encouragement of their editors. Editorial writers and columnist would denounce the knights as another example of the insensitivity of the Catholic Church to sexual abuse.
And they would all be correct. And I would join them.
But why is there not similar outrage directed at the film industry for giving an award to Roman Polanski, who not only confessed to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl but fled the country prior to sentencing? Why have film critics and the rest of the media ignored this case for 31 years? He even received an Academy award in 2003. Are the high priests of the entertainment industry immune to criticism?
The president and cultural minister of France, where Polanski has been protected for years, objected when the Swiss arrested Polanski at the Zurich airport when he arrived to attend a film festival at which he was to be honored. Good for the Swiss. Good for the Los Angeles prosecutors who have not given up on this case.
Polanski’s defenders, including a 2008 HBO documentary, argue that he should not be punished. They say that the girl was willing and sexually experienced and she has forgiven him (after receiving a settlement). They even cite his tragic childhood and life as an excuse. And besides, it is ancient history.
Such arguments from pedophile priests would be laughed out of court and lambasted by everyone, and rightly so. It makes no difference that the girl is willing and sexually experienced, it is a crime. It is the role of the court, not the victim, to decide who goes to jail and for how long.
It is not as if Polanski is the only Hollywood celebrity to be accused of child abuse. Woody Allen and Michael Jackson come to mind. I am sure that with a little research the media could come up with quite a list. The Catholic Church has rightly been put under a microscope when 4 percent of its priests were involved in abuse, but what about the film industry?
The world has truly changed. Entertainment is the new religion with sex, violence and money the new Trinity. The directors and stars are worshiped and quickly forgiven for any infraction as long as the PR agent is a skilled as a saintly confessor. Entertainment, not religion, is the new opiate of the people and we don’t want our supply disturbed.
Is there a double standard here? You bet.
Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is Senior Fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.