Conservative Blog post for October 7
Washington Box Office Flops
It was reported this week that Hollywood is finally reacting to the economic downturn and is expected to drastically reduce its collective costs and overhead for future releases. The request for a bailout has not been made public yet. Maybe Tom Cruise will finally be laid off too. Although quick to blame the economy for most of the missed revenue expectations, Hollywood would do well to look at the actual product they are producing. It would seem that Hollywood expected Americans to pay a lot of money for junk.
Heads are expected to roll out of the So Cal executive suites this week as punishment for decisions such as putting out two horrible films; Funny People with Adam Sandler, and Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. These films collectively cost some $170 Million to make and grossed but a small share of that figure in sales. This must be why Hollywood is so qualified to offer advice to our elected leaders. If Congress and the President made decisions like these, the nation would soon be headed for bankruptcy. Of course… the country is headed exactly there.
It is interesting how Hollywood and Washington DC have merged their methodologies. DC politicians have adopted the Hollywood belief that a good performance makes up for terrible policy. DC liberals have extended their belief that a dramatic display of concern can override the laws of economics. In the end the main characters in DC and Hollywood discover that efforts to change others’ behavior always carry unforeseen negative consequences. In the Democrats’ case, these consequences will be felt in November of 2010.
Hollywood invests heavily in films that offer performances by big name stars. Washington also wants its big name stars to carry the flag for things like the health care takeover. Big names though don’t necessarily mean success. And as Obama Himself discovered, even His great oratory cannot repeal the fundamental law of supply and demand. Hollywood paid Sandler and Ferrell handsome sums prior to making Funny People and Land of the Lost. The investors lost big money and the execs that made the bad decisions are going to walk the plank. In Washington, the plank stroll takes place next year.
Funny People and Land of the Lost do have several similarities to the way Washington is now handling key issues:
Funny People and the health care takeover. The central storyline of the Hollywood picture surrounds a comic who is diagnosed with an incurable disease of some sort. This causes him to change his life, take some chances and of course learn some things before bucket time. No matter how one tries though, death just cannot be made very funny – unless it is Osama Bin Laden bungee jumping with a cord that is greater than the height of the bridge he swan dives off of.
In the Washington storyline, the insensitive reference to death reflects Team Obama’s willingness to restrict or control life extending treatments for Senior citizens in the interest of saving money. Saving money is in itself a laughable storyline conflict, because government in general and Democrats in particular never, ever are willing to take action to save a dime on anything. So changing liberal behavior is an irrational and illogical part of the DC storyline.
To save the story, President Obama invests himself in persuading senior citizens – who interestingly have read the proposed legislation that Obama wants. Seniors, falling back on their wealth of life-experience, have seen snake oil salesmen before and are generally smart enough to have the offender tarred and feathered. The Washington/Hollywood response has been to roll out the biggest name star in the arsenal – Barack Obama Himself – to bring people to the show and separate them from their money.
Team Obama insists of course that there will be no rationing of health care – even though it occurs in every nation on earth that has tried this kind of medical delivery system. Pelosi, Reid and company believe in themselves so much that fundamental economics escapes them. They appear to be the evil characters in the film and they fully understand what takeover of the health care industry will look like – and they like it. Pelosi and Reid in fact don’t want to release the story until after the damage is done; they are actively opposing a bill that would require posting the health care legislation on line prior to voting.
The Obama persuasion methodology has simply been to repeat the same old lines over and over and to appear again and again at press conferences, speeches and a White House remake of Dr. Kildare. No matter how hard He tries, He just isn’t funny. The story isn’t logical. And besides, the public is tired of disaster films – especially when they are in ‘em.
Land of the Lost – Lost in Foreign Policy. This is almost too easy. Will Ferrell is a washed up, has-been scientist that somehow gets sucked through a ‘way back’ machine to land in an alternate universe. Obama thinks He lives in an alternative universe where adoration for Him personally will make all His leftist dreams come true. While the Hollywood film has Ferrell and company fighting for their lives, Team Obama will be fighting for their political futures soon enough. They will be looking for their own ‘way back’ machine to take them back to the era when the press never asked any challenging questions and Saturday Night Live only made fun of the GOP VP candidate.
Like Ferrell being unprepared for his trip into prehistory, the Obama administration was completely incapable of reading the mood of the country – even after the election. An overwhelming Democrat majority in both houses, the reasoning went, should enable Obama to radically transform the country in the first 100 days. Obama did run up the country’s credit cards far beyond our reasonable ability to pay, but other than that, most other initiatives have thankfully stalled.
Most of Obama’s troubles can be traced to the fact that He has never had a job where He had to produce any tangible result. Accordingly He doesn’t know how to manage others to do the same. The greatest asset that most in Team Obama contribute is the ability to complain and demonize conservatives. This makes the Chosen One a perfect Hollywood resident. Most actors couldn’t hold a real job if their lives depended on it.
Obama is just plain lost. Dithering on Afghanistan – looking for a way to fight the war He promised to competently lead and win and at the same time appeasing His leftist base by pulling out. This is an impossible storyline and one side or the other is going to lose. That is why Obama keeps putting off any decision. Don’t’ look for any decision on Afghanistan until the health care debate is settled.
Compounding the intrigue, it was also reported today that Team Obama is considering firing White House Counsel Greg Craig for botching the closing of Guantanamo Prison. Even though Obama Himself believed that Guantanamo was the source of distain for America, He was utterly unprepared to actually close it down. Again, this is where some real job experience would have helped. The Great Leader would have understood that these decisions have to be executed and that before one makes a drastic decision, it is wise to have some kind of plan.
In keeping with His Hollywood theme, the President made a big theatrical production out of signing the closure order on day one of His presidency. One problem – no one had any idea what to do with the trained killers locked up there. And surprise of surprises – even Nancy Pelosi didn’t want any of them near her district. So… getting the storyline to reconcile with reality requires the firing of Mr. Craig. This story isn’t over though. It is completely unfair to punish the attorney (even if he is an attorney) for the Chosen One’s horrible decision.
All Hollywood lefties are incredibly egocentric. Like Obama telling the UN that since He was inaugurated, America is now a good place. When Obama told the Olympic Selection Committee that holding the Olympics in Chicago would help America rebuild its image abroad – ostensibly because the nation had essentially been evil prior to his election – the Olympic Committee headed for the exit and demanded a refund. By bouncing Chicago in the first round of the selection process, the Olympic Selection Committee walked out on the film.
US voters are going to walk out on this disaster picture in 2010.