Go Ahead, Make My Day

clint.jpg

First, it was Kinsey:

the right-wing police have turned their sights on Bill Condon’s new biopic, Kinsey, in the same hysterical terms that greeted Alfred Kinsey himself more than half a century ago: Such immoral subjects shouldn’t be made public. Robert Knight, the (predictably male) head of the Concerned Women of America’s Culture and Family Institute, compares Kinsey to the notorious Nazi Dr. Mengele; meanwhile Dobson’s Focus on the Family Web site savages Condon’s movie and claims Kinsey should have been imprisoned. Now, that’s one big thumbs down.

Now, the culture warriors are decrying Oscar winning film The Million Dollar Baby for a “lack of balance”. Whatever. As David Marr pointed out last night on Lateline, this is a concept that makes dubious sense when it comes to current affairs, very little when it comes to reporting, and I’d argue, none at all when it comes to movies. I suppose Dan Quayle started it all by attacking Murphy Brown. Now, people have a perfect right to say “I think this movie is crud” or “I don’t like the movie’s politics”, but balance? It’s odd – I haven’t seen the film in question, but as far as I can tell, it’s standard Hollywood fare. I thought the free market was meant to sort out viewer tastes. Clint Eastwood was once a poster boy of the Nixon Republicans (when Hunter S. Thompson refused to serve… Nixon saw him as a possible GOP conduit to the Freak Generation). Why should films have political balance? It’s meaningless. It’s conspicuous indignation gone mad. As LA Weekly columnist John Powers writes about Right-Wing PC:

These days, the limits on speech are increasingly defined by the right, which never, ever stops pushing. Despite controlling all three branches of government and the machinery of economic power ¢â¬â two-thirds of those making over $200,000 voted for Bush ¢â¬â conservatives keep playing their tricky double game. Even as they insist that they have been given a mandate (51 percent), they rail that leftist elites are somehow running everything.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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Amanda
2022 years ago

Once again the word “balance” is used to mean “do what we want.” The film is standard Hollywood fare, although very well done Hollywood fare (nontheless, Scorsese wuz robbed!) and a stab at moral ambiguity is attempted. Won’t say more and play spoiler.

If I were a southern white rural conservative (two out of four ain’t bad) it isn’t the Big Issue of the film I would find disturbing, but the fact Clint lays it on with a trowel with Swank’s family (hideously crass hillbilly white trash.)

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

“If I were a southern white rural conservative (two out of four ain’t bad) it isn’t the Big Issue of the film I would find disturbing, but the fact Clint lays it on with a trowel with Swank’s family (hideously crass hillbilly white trash.)”

Sure, Amanda, but bear in mind that the Swank character who is a heroine in every sense of the word, comes from the same family.

I should note that Clint probably doesn’t give a stuff about the religious right – he has self-identified as a libertarian comrade

Amanda
2022 years ago

Which only serves to highlight their hideousness. That mother constantly shrieking about her welfare and trooping in in matching Universal Studio shirts was a bit much for me. Everyone is praisisng the film as “restrained”, I thought that element undermined the whole.

derrida derider
derrida derider
2022 years ago

Yeah, I for one am sick to the back teeth of neo-fascists deriding ‘political correctness’, when in fact virtually all the presure on free speech is coming from them and their ilk.

Yes, you can find absurdities on the left – but in the US and in Oz they are nuisances and not the threat to liberty that the troglodytic conservatives represent, precisely because these troglodytes have political influence and the (tiny) lunar left does not.

derrida derider
derrida derider
2022 years ago

PS I just heard about the Darwin quake – I hope you’re all alright up there. Shaken, not stirred, I trust.

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

Our family are all OK, but it was pretty scarey. What is it saying on the news? I’ll have a look.

Irant
2022 years ago

I made similar comments earlier today on the following thread:
http://troppoarmadillo.ubersportingpundit.com/archives/008627.html

I demand royalties! I have a mortgage you know. At least buy me a beer if you get to Sydney.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Glad to hear all is good, Ken. Not much said on Lateline (it’s 10.50pm in Bris) – early reports no injury or damage, and 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Irant, at least you have a job! Still, I’ll buy you a beer when in Sydney… I meant to acknowledge you in the post – apologies.

Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

So Ken and jen, did the earth move for you?

The only news reports I’ve seen so far have all spelled “Troppo Armadillo” wrong.

yellowvinyl
2022 years ago

Hilary Swank gets my vote for worst Oscar gown…