Want to give voice to all those terrible things President Bush is doing to America? Make a movie loaded with a ton of sex and then say something like this:
“It’s a little bit of a cri de coeur to us, a little bit of a call to arms,” against “the era of Bush, which is about clamping down, being scared.”
Those words, quoted by the Hollywood Reporter, issued from Cameron Mitchell, director of “Shortbus,” a film being shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
Like me, maybe you can’t help noting that if ours was an era of clamping down, someone would halt the showing of this movie in the United States. That would have been done in any number of previous eras with different mores and laws — say, the era of Kennedy— but it won’t happen now.
You might therefore conclude that Mitchell is historically ignorant and politically paranoid. Let’s hold our tongues, though, because Oliver Stone might get upset. He was recently quoted by contact
music.com as saying he has had it up to here with entertainment personalities being called “Hollywood wackos.”
“We have a right to speak, and every time we speak, [we hear] ‘you’re an actor, a show business director,’ we’re making it up. … This is slander,” he said.
Stone knows a thing or two about slander. He committed it in his movie “JFK,” which depicted the CIA and Lyndon Johnson as likely slayers of President Kennedy based on wholly refutable speculation.
Hollywood types aren’t criticized because of what they do for a living. They are criticized for the inanities they utter. For instance, Stone, who has a movie coming out about the attacks of Sept. 11, believes the day’s terrorism was a “revolt” against big movie studios. Really. That’s what he said in a panel discussion. As reported in the New Yorker, another panelist, the journalist Christopher Hitchens, later called Stone “a moral idiot, as well as an intellectual idiot.”
Has George Clooney completely lost it? You might think so, considering the actor’s defense of the movie “Syriana,” in which, it is reported, the CIA collaborates with an American oil company to kill a reformist Arab prince. Clooney, who produced and acted in this movie, has said it is an attack on “the system that has been in place for 60 or 70 years — oil always being at the center of it,” which is conspiracy-minded flapdoodle.
But let’s talk about Darfur.
The government of Sudan is committing genocide in this province and an appropriately concerned Clooney wants a “multinational force” to intervene. The United Nations will not be that force because of political reasons. The United States and allies coulddo it, but Clooney has screamed against our intervention in Iraq, saying among other things that we should have attacked North Korea first if we were serious. Does he now suggest his “multinational force” attack North Korea before intervening in Sudan?
Meanwhile, Madonna began a world tour by hanging herself on a cross on a Los Angeles stage, making a lewd joke about President Bush and showing videos in which you would see Adolph Hitler one minute and Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair the next.
What was that phrase Stone wanted us to avoid?
Oh, yes. Hollywood wackos.