Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Oscar Attendees Virtue Signaling to Each Other

 

Kyle Smith just published an outstanding article about last night’s Academy Awards. This outstanding article included the following outstanding paragraph:

“Booksmart” star Kaitlyn Dever made, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “a sustainable fashion statement at the Oscars in a custom-made ethical gown by Louis Vuitton, featuring eco-responsible silk satin that was embroidered with Swarovski crystals and beads.” Whatever that is. Phoenix has been wearing the same tuxedo all Oscar season, because no sacrifice is beyond this man. The last role he played before the Joker was Jesus, and he is a method actor. Maybe he thinks he’s here to save us all.

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

How many moviegoers really care whether an actress they’ve never heard of wears a sustainable, ethical, eco-responsible gown? That number may not be zero, but it’s probably close. Nobody cares. And the Hollywood crowd knows it: Those middle-American rednecks may be deplorable rubes, but hey, they buy movie tickets to pass the time in the God-forsaken nowhere-ville that they live in. So, whatever.

The Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s made it difficult for many of those with connections to Communism to work in entertainment, although some managed to work around it and avoid drawing attention to themselves. Today’s Hollywood blacklist of conservatives is more effective because the Hollywood types themselves are doing the blacklisting.

Again, the anti-communist blacklist in the 1950s was different. There were some in Hollywood who thought that the anti-communist backlash was appropriate. But there were others who thought it was overdone, or unnecessary, or misguided. And still others just didn’t care that much. It didn’t bother them to look the other way from time to time. C’mon – we’re just trying to make movies, here…

That is not the case with today’s anti-conservative blacklist. The hatred of conservatives in Hollywood is not unanimous, of course, but it’s close. And the loudest, most powerful voices thunder against conservatives in unison. They don’t view conservatives with distaste, but with disgust. There can be no middle ground when dealing with such evil as American conservatives. They are beneath contempt.

If you earn a living in Hollywood, this must be a little scary. No room for any misunderstandings in this environment:

Famous actor: “Allow me to make perfectly clear, once again, that I am progressive! Very, very progressive! Yep – not a conservative bone in this body! Absolutely!”

Bored-looking waiter: “So what do you want for lunch?”

So they scream their radicalism from the rooftops, not to us but to each other. Because, hey, they’re trying to earn a living. And if the part is going to go to a progressive, then you want to make sure everybody in your industry knows that you’re much more progressive than the next guy. If you don’t get the part, someone else will.

These actors aren’t discussing politics, they’re auditioning. Just trying to get the next role. Just doing business, that’s all. Nothing personal.

C’mon – we’re just trying to make movies, here…

Published in Entertainment
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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    It’s worse than that. They are trying to compete with each other over who is more virtuous, thereby spiraling reasonable ideas (don’t waste things) into the absurdities they have become.

    • #1
    • February 10, 2020, at 10:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I thought @garymcvey ‘s recent history of the 1950s blacklist argued that it was mostly Hollywood professionals doing the blacklisting. That’s how it began, anyway.

    Here it is.

    • #2
    • February 10, 2020, at 10:30 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Ray Gunner Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    I think that’s true, and I would only add this: After ten years in the entertainment industry it became obvious to me that many in the business pronounce their fidelity to progressive causes not only to look good in front of their peers, but because progressive causes can serve to satisfy the basic, human longing for meaning (a la Victor Frankl). My observations were that shallow thinking show-biz types derive meaning from progressive causes because (1) they always sound really noble, and (2) because the dominant culture within the industry openly disdains every other traditional source of meaning: G-d, country, family, church. (Why this is so is another discussion.) In a culture in which G-d is anti-intellectual; country is colonialist/imperialist; family is patriarchal; and church is misogynistic/homophobic, progressive causes become the default sources of meaning in show-biz culture because they are the only noble sources available, and, unlike traditional sources of meaning, conspicuous fealty to progressive sources carries no risk of mockery or ostracism. 

    • #3
    • February 10, 2020, at 10:46 AM PST
    • 23 likes
  4. I Walton Member

    Come on, just because they change views regularly doesn’t mean they don’t mean what they say and just because they don’t understand what they’re supporting or opposing doesn’t mean they don’t truly feel it.

    • #4
    • February 10, 2020, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):
    Ray Gunner

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    I think that’s true, and I would only add this: After ten years in the entertainment industry it became obvious to me that many in the business pronounce their fidelity to progressive causes not only to look good in front of their peers, but because progressive causes can serve to satisfy the basic, human longing for meaning (a la Victor Frankl).

    There was an absolutely brilliant post along these lines on Ricochet last year.

    Good to see you @raygunner! I haven’t seen you around here recently – or am I just not paying attention?

    • #5
    • February 10, 2020, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    I gave up applauding Hollywood film stars for their eco-conscious ways, when one magazine on architecture was applauding Leo deCaprio for his exquisite sensitivity to nature by having so many eco-friendly products inside his 7,000 foot home.

    If you live in a 7,000 sq foot home you have worked to get, good for you. Just don’t start telling me how eco-conscious you are.

    • #6
    • February 10, 2020, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  7. Steve C. Member

    The depth of politics and causes in Hollywood bear a striking resemblance to pot fueled late night talkfests in a freshmen dorm.

    Poor people are poor, man. Somebody needs to do something.

    Yeah. And don’t bogart that joint, my friend. Pass it over to me.

     

    • #7
    • February 10, 2020, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We’ve come a long way, baby, and it ain’t for the better.

    In 1940 Bing Crosby lent his name to the “No Third Term” movement. It wasn’t overtly Republican but in the age of dictators some Americans, regardless of political leanings, weren’t necessarily keen on the idea of an American president looking at himself as more indispensable than George Washington. What it got him was public rebuke with anti-Crosby editorials running across the country. The “Shut Up and Sing” sentiment was born. However, by 1944, the shoe was on the other foot.

    In November of that year, dozens of Hollywood celebrities had volunteered to participate in Roosevelt’s drive for a fourth term. An all-star election-eve broadcast featured such stars as Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart and Judy Garland. Of course, Roosevelt needed the star power because of his increasingly failing health that the brave members of the press refused to talk about. And you couldn’t avoid it, either. The DNC bought an hour of time on NBC, CBS, the Blue Network and Mutual. So as not to be accused of favoritism, the networks offered the hour afterwards to the RNC and the Dewey campaign. But the Democrats’ producer, Norman Corwin, deliberately shorted his broadcast by almost 9 minutes to force the nets to fill and drive any competing audience away.

     

    • #8
    • February 10, 2020, at 11:34 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat

    EJHill (View Comment):
    The DNC bought an hour of time on NBC, CBS, the Blue Network and Mutual. So as not to be accused of favoritism, the networks offered the hour afterwards to the RNC and the Dewey campaign. But the Democrats’ producer, Norman Corwin, deliberately shorted his broadcast by almost 9 minutes to force the nets to fill and drive any competing audience away.

    Wow. That’s brilliant. Nasty, vicious, and despicable. But brilliant.

    • #9
    • February 10, 2020, at 11:54 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    I thought @garymcvey ‘s recent history of the 1950s blacklist argued that it was mostly Hollywood professionals doing the blacklisting. That’s how it began, anyway.

    At least they were fighting a real enemy – communism.

    • #10
    • February 10, 2020, at 12:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVeyJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    I thought @garymcvey ‘s recent history of the 1950s blacklist argued that it was mostly Hollywood professionals doing the blacklisting. That’s how it began, anyway.

    Here it is.

    Yes, that’s right. The Blacklist wasn’t forced on Hollywood; it was “our” own idea. It started in 1947 as a simple, bright line rule: you couldn’t be a current member of the Communist Party. If you were merely some kind of liberal who was against racial prejudice, no problem. If you’d been a Communist in the depths of the Depression, it didn’t matter. If you sang at a wartime bond rally that also featured a Russian symphony, who cared? 

    But like most other causes, the Blacklist slowly got corrupted. By the time it was near its finish, the Right was doing every bad thing that today’s Left is doing. Mimeographed hate sheets with a circulation of all of a few hundred people caused enough fear to get people fired, like Twitter today. Why be surprised? Human nature doesn’t change. 

    • #11
    • February 10, 2020, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    Well, obviously “we” are not their audience. The ratings for the Oscars broadcast dropped to yet another all-time low. It’s an industry awards ceremony, no different from the annual awards of the National Association of Insurance Adjusting Underwater Plumbing Inspectors. It’s clearly nothing more than a circle jerk.

    https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/oscars-ratings-2020-1203499199/

    • #12
    • February 10, 2020, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    Well, obviously “we” are not their audience. The ratings for the Oscars broadcast dropped to yet another all-time low. It’s an industry awards ceremony, no different from the annual awards of the National Association of Insurance Adjusting Underwater Plumbing Inspectors. It’s clearly nothing more than a circle jerk.

    https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/oscars-ratings-2020-1203499199/

    Yep from my twitter feed:Charlie Kirk @charliekirk11

    Facts: In 2018, just 26.5 million people watched The Oscars.

    Last night, a new record low 23.6 million people tuned in last night It’s almost as if Americans don’t want to be lectured for three hours about climate change & income inequality by jet-setting multimillionaires

    • #13
    • February 10, 2020, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk andJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Meanwhile, there’s the Film Independent Spirit Awards, where the focus is actually on filmmaking.

    • #14
    • February 10, 2020, at 1:56 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    Well, obviously “we” are not their audience. The ratings for the Oscars broadcast dropped to yet another all-time low. It’s an industry awards ceremony, no different from the annual awards of the National Association of Insurance Adjusting Underwater Plumbing Inspectors. It’s clearly nothing more than a circle jerk.

    https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/oscars-ratings-2020-1203499199/

    As already mentioned in the Film Society group, a similar entertainment industry — video games — has attempted to attract interest in its award ceremonies by accompanying the show with new game trailers and announcements. I don’t know if that improves ratings, though the game industry is more comfortable with online streaming than traditional TV coverage. 

    Game award shows are similarly chock full of “diversity” pledges and politics.

    Asian game developers are treated like Hollywood celebrities in their home countries. In the West, only a fraction of gamers know or care who makes their games.

    • #15
    • February 10, 2020, at 2:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Ralphie Member

    Dr. Bastiat: These actors aren’t discussing politics, they’re auditioning. Just trying to get the next role. Just doing business, that’s all. Nothing personal.

    Put another way, it’s the Poster Test.

    • #16
    • February 10, 2020, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Oscars were on last night?

    • #17
    • February 10, 2020, at 2:36 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Ray Gunner Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    There was an absolutely brilliant post along these lines on Ricochet last year.

    Good to see you @raygunner! I haven’t seen you around here recently – or am I just not paying attention?

    Dr. B! I missed that post! Shame on me. It is brilliant. I like this especially:

    I think that one of the reasons that so many celebrities seem so odd is that they know, deep in their hearts, that they went from waiting tables in Malibu to making millions on a sitcom due to, largely, blind luck. I think that one reason that guys who become millionaires in the business of, say, residential light fixture manufacturing, is that that guy understands why he’s rich – he by God worked for it. The light fixture guy is comfortable with his position and doesn’t feel the need to convince others of his personal virtue by preaching about climate change or transsexual rights every time he climbs into his Porsche.

    Spot on. 

    2019 was a crazy year at the Gunner house. Nice to be able to wade back into Ricochet again. 

    • #18
    • February 10, 2020, at 3:11 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLC Member
    Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLCJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

     

     

    • #19
    • February 10, 2020, at 3:40 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  20. Steve C. Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Asian game developers are treated like Hollywood celebrities in their home countries. In the West, only a fraction of gamers know or care who makes their games.

    I don’t care who makes my refrigerator either.

    • #20
    • February 10, 2020, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Asian game developers are treated like Hollywood celebrities in their home countries. In the West, only a fraction of gamers know or care who makes their games.

    I don’t care who makes my refrigerator either.

    Few people have fervent ideas about how fridges could be improved. Everyone’s a movie critic. Games are similar. 

    People argue passionately over the quality of movies and games. I have never heard a battle over who has the better refrigerator. But I can think of a few proud Ricochet pedants who might give it a try.

    • #21
    • February 10, 2020, at 6:38 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Bishop Wash Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Asian game developers are treated like Hollywood celebrities in their home countries. In the West, only a fraction of gamers know or care who makes their games.

    I don’t care who makes my refrigerator either.

    Few people have fervent ideas about how fridges could be improved. Everyone’s a movie critic. Games are similar.

    People argue passionately over the quality of movies and games. I have never heard a battle over who has the better refrigerator. But I can think of a few proud Ricochet pedants who might give it a try.

    I enjoy my refrigerator. The one that came with the house started failing after a year. We replaced it with a Whirlpool from an outlet store. I didn’t know about this feature until we’d had it about a week; it has a calibrated water dispenser. I punch in measurements in 1/4 cup increments and hit dispense. Handy for recipes. 

    • #22
    • February 10, 2020, at 7:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Misthiocracy ingeniously (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: I’m becoming increasingly convinced that their increasingly absurd virtue signaling is not directed at us – their audience. I think they’re virtue signaling to each other.

    Well, obviously “we” are not their audience. The ratings for the Oscars broadcast dropped to yet another all-time low. It’s an industry awards ceremony, no different from the annual awards of the National Association of Insurance Adjusting Underwater Plumbing Inspectors. It’s clearly nothing more than a circle jerk.

    https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/oscars-ratings-2020-1203499199/

    I haven’t done a thorough scanning of all the pre- and post-Oscar media coverage, up through the release of the ratings numbers, but just from a casual scan the one name I haven’t seen anywhere outside of the normal conservative media outlets is Ricky Gervais. He threw a fire hose of cold water on the Golden Globes over celebrities and their award show virtue signaling and their hypocrisy while virtue signaling, and was tweeting again about it during the Oscars on Sunday night.

    Surely, you’d think after the 20 percent drop in ratings — in a year where most of the Best Picture movies were actually well-received by the public — that some news outlet might use Gervias’ jihad through the Hollywood crowd just two months ago as a jumping off point to mull over a possible reason for the TV ratings plunge. But like I said, I haven’t seen anything from a mainstream outlet yet, possibly because it’s not just the celebs in Hollywood who are fearful of blacklisting for showing any conservative views — a pop culture reporter might also fear their career could suffer a negative impact if they even broached the possibility that moralizing celebs inserting their political beliefs in areas where most people go to get away from politics might be driving viewers away from awards shows (and it’s the same thing with the movies themselves, where the media denies that inserting progressive politics into non-political movies has any negative effect on the box office.)

    • #23
    • February 10, 2020, at 9:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes