La La Land and The Slaves Who Drank to Forget

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image: vox.com

Meryl Streep bared her soul while excoriating Donald Trump at the Golden Globes Sunday, January 8th when she received a lifetime achievement award. La La Land, the musical film starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling won seven Golden Globes that night, the most of any film in the history of the Golden Globes.

Streep represents why I came to L.A.: to make a difference, to tell stories that convey something, to find meaning in my work. I soon found out that anyone who’s making art is funding it themselves. Art is poverty. La La Land is business: massive, gorgeous, fun, and thin.

But even as Streep nearly wept for the country from her place on stage, The Globes, as all awards shows, speak for themselves.  Hollywood values entertainment more than truth. La La Land, a love letter to L.A. celebrates, as the L.A. Times observed, “the one thing Hollywood loves, itself.”  Hollywood blusters and preens. It spends sums of money that rival the GDP of most countries on films about nothing. It’s a business that serves, quite self-consciously, as an opioid to the masses, which the masses consume with vigor.

And on the sixth day the slave drank to forget

Slave owners gave their slaves one day off a week. On that day the owner supplied the slave all the alcohol he wanted. In this way, the owner correctly concluded, the slave imprisoned himself. If a slave didn’t have time to think about his plight, he might not develop the imagination to escape it.

I always think about the slave owner and the slave whenever I see billboards advertising movies like La La Land. Inoculate the masses so they don’t develop the imagination to demand movies that feature real life heroes, people who truly inspire the working class to believe in themselves and take back the houses, jobs, and savings they’ve lost. Manchester By The Sea stars a troubled Casey Affleck who’s lost everything. I loved this film. It won one award: Best Actor.

Andy Cohen, architect of the Housewive’s franchise and arguably the father of reality television, told the New York Times he didn’t make people want what he produced, he just gave them what they wanted before they knew they wanted it. He predicted Donald Trump’s win. He understood what Donald Trump knows, entertain the people and they enslave themselves to your programming.

Deep Talk and Shallow Tales

A large portion of the country feels movies and journalism are connected. They feel both enterprises engage in a dance to hypnotize and deceive the country. And that’s not not true. Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are on tour right now. A mere 330 bucks gets you front and center for,  “AC2: An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen—Deep Talk and Shallow Tales.” What’s more, when news anchors, like Cooper, get paid tens of millions a year, they’re no longer journalists. They’ve sold their souls to the same gods who employ men like Cohen.

I see a different connection between Hollywood and journalism: both have the opportunity to tell the truth, one with facts, one with art.

Journalism began as a way to reveal to voters what politicians did behind closed doors. It’s why politicians hate them and work tirelessly to turn the population against them. Beware of the politicians who rail against journalists the loudest. They’ve got the most to hide. Republicans have been campaigning since Nixon to get the population to turn on journalists. They’ve won. And here we are, with a president who promises to undo journalism itself.

No one is listening. People barely care. They’d rather not think. Because if they did they’d have to turn off The Real Housewives to read things, understand that not all politicians lie, facts are not biased, and there are journalists, Senators, and brave Congressmen and women who want to lead this country, who have a vision to restore it. But they can do nothing without us. They cannot stand against the tidal wave of corruption, naked power, and obscene wealth sitting in highest seats of power. We are facing the final blow to democracy, rule by oligarchy. And we just voted our favorite reality TV star into office.

9 thoughts on “La La Land and The Slaves Who Drank to Forget

  1. Well said. I find that when I start making dinner, and I’ve suffered through a day of news about tweeted this, government failed to check and balance that… well, bring me that glass of wine there sir.

    Ugh. What strange times.

  2. The noise is considerable, from all sides. In life, I’ve chosen to put on soft music and go with dignity. Long before election results were final, I’d taken my seat, in spirit, among the band that continued to play aboard the Titanic as it sank.

      1. You’re the best. It’s not so much resignation as it is a choice against participation. It’s done my heart such good.

  3. Have you ever seen Knight of Cups? I love Terrance Malick films. I appreciate movies that arent spoon fed to me. Anyway, reading your blog. Enjoying your honesty.

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