Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why We Fight

Another day, another thump from the constant drumbeat by the morally and (more importantly) intellectually bankrupt American right-wing in their increasingly-successful attempts to invent a nonexistant controversy over Katherine Bigelow's in-production "Killing of Bin Laden" movie.

John Nolte, "Big Hollywood's" once very talented but now hopelessly-corrupt bossman, has dropped all pretense that the faux-outrage is about anything but dutifully doing his part to stop a movie that might make Obama slightly more popular, writing in his latest screed against the project:

"This bin Laden film needs to scrapped. It is now tainted in every imaginable way -- artistically and as it relates to our national security. And if it's not scrapped, we can only hope that the blowback forever taints those involved."

At least they're honest, I suppose...

What truly drives me mad about this nonsense isn't so much the manufactured "campaign" itself - American "conservatives" behaving poorly stopped being shocking a long time ago. What infuriates me is how little coverage or even FACT-CHECKING this is getting from the rest of the entertainment press.

Somehow, "digging up" the real reason for Paramount bumping G.I. Joe 2 ahead nine months is more pressing/interesting than a cabal of political hacks actively trying to destroy a movie because it's presence might be beneficial to their political rivals. How is this not news? Why am I not seeing people other than ME calling the Breitbart Gang out on this sleazy, disingenous, nakedly-agenda-driven hackery?

The advantage that the right-wing "new media" has is that no one in the legitimate press takes them seriously until it's too late. These are the people who framed Shirley Sherrod, turned "health care" into a four-letter word and are busily working to "de-habilitate" the late Trayvon Martin's image into that of a "thug" who deserved his murder; and they keep getting away with it because the "real" media won't pay them any mind until the damage is already done... refusing to understand that right-wing activism's ability to weaponize the paranoia and stupidity of the masses has become a potent tool in the age of social-media.

This not (only) about politics, this is about decency and duty: People in the Film Press are, fundamentally, supposed to be here because we love and support films and filmmakers. Katherine Bigelow is a hell of a filmmaker who waited far too long for recognition; and these shameless savages are looking to destroy her unfinished, unseen-by-them-or-anyone-else movie NOT because it's "bad," NOT because it's "wrong," but because destroying it might help their prefered presidential candidate.

This is something that anyone who claims to hold films and the art of filmmaking in any kind of regard should not simply be "against;" but madly, passionately and VOCALLY against. If we can sign petitions and pimp kickstarters to save old theaters, restore fading prints, promote struggling productions, etc., then surely it's not only right but righteous that we stand up and say that this disingenuous smear-campaign is wrong and cannot be allowed to rage on unchallenged... that we use our voices to throw a spotlight onto this nonsense. The movie may be good, bad, or average; but it deserves to get made and be judged on it's own merits - not killed in the crib for the short-term goals of Teabagger political hacks.

This is me issuing a call to all film lovers who read this; particularly those of you with columns, blogs or other movie-related platforms of your own: Don't ignore this. Don't let this slide. Speak up. Tell people that this is going on. Support this film and it's makers. Speak out AGAINST the politically-motivated attempts to preemptively "taint" or damage it. Make sure that people know about it, and make sure that they know the campaign to kill it is bullshit being propagated by activist hacks.

Speak up. Speak out. Don't let the bastards win this one.

Thank you.


Fallen Angel said...

Fucking A. Well said. I've been following this story from my native France and at least as far as I know, the press has mentioned NOTHING about the issue. Mainly because they're too busy following the Cannes Festival.

It's disgusting. I'm telling my whole social circle about this. Maybe it might open a few eyes.

James said...

See Bob, this is why I call you a left-wing Limbaugh; because you're no better than the far right nutjobs you rail against. You're hateful, arrogant, and you demonize "the other." It takes away any and all credibility from what you say.

Heir to the Throne said...

are busily working to "de-habilitate" the late Trayvon Martin's image into that of a "thug"
As opposed to the false narrative he was a tiny innocent child "armed only with Iced tea and skittles" gunned down in cold blood by a uninjured 250lib white guy.

Wes Fulgham said...

Nice straw man, Heir. Back to the subject at hand, you have my ax, Bob.

Anonymous said...

@ James, Can you maybe explain why these overused to the point of meaningless insults apply to Bob? And because he's biased towards liberals is not a good enough reason.

Jake said...

While i agree James is overdoing it, Bob generalizes too much, or tries to lay out the psychological underpinning of people he disagree's with.

Silens said...

Uh... James, what's your defence for this? If Bob is incensed - and from my research on this subject, he does have a right to be - what's your counter-argument? Can you honestly defend the behaviour of your preferred party?

Look, I'm just trying to understand this. While Bob tends to use incendiary rhetoric that reminds me of Olbermann more than Limbaugh, he does have a point regarding the attempts to sabotage this movie's release. Why does the right-wing feel this attempt at censorship is necessary? If they are confident in their own platform and advertising, they shouldn't be worried that a Bigelow movie (which won't be a huge blockbuster everyone will see, if we're all being completely honest here) will present much of a threat.

And if I'm going to be even more honest, how can you defend that linked article on Breitbart's site? Not only being intellectually dishonest (by saying that the films Hollywood put out during the Bush years were done to 'aid and abet and encourage al-Qaeda'), it's just as spiteful and jingoistic as anything of which you accuse Bob. And while Bob is left-leaning (even he won't deny that), his outrage is also more driven by the fact they're trying to stop the film from being released, not that it's pro-Obama. And frankly, there aren't any good reasons why the film shouldn't be released - hell, if Michael Bay was allowed to make three right-leaning jingoistic Transformers movies, why can't Bigelow make one leaning the other way (particularly considering Bigelow will be lucky to make a quarter of what one of those movies brought in)?

Look, I think the film should be released - I'm against censorship, and that's everything the campaign against this movie feels like, regardless of its content. But I have to ask, James, what's your side of the issue? Forget the rhetoric on both sides, it's pointless and arguing about that is meaningless deflection - can you honestly defend the censorship of this film?

Ironhammerstew said...

I agree with you completely Moviebob. I am determined to see this movie, partially cause it will hopefully be a cool movie but also on principle.

@Wes Fulgham
...and my bow

Anonymous said...

I believe in Catherine Bigalow...

and something scathing to Republicans is going on my facebook.

Ironhammerstew said...

"and they keep getting away with it because the "real" media won't pay them any mind until the damage is already done"

Its weird...on one hand, one would think that not paying these guys attention would be a good know, not give them the time of day. But I guess slighting them through ignoring them truly is not an option now.

shibolena said...

"This is something that anyone who claims to hold films and the art of filmmaking in any kind of regard should not simply be "against;" but madly, passionately and VOCALLY against"
So... basically either I'm with you or against you? Good to know. But no, I don't really care. Not a big fan of political movies on either side, and never saw hurt locker. I don't have a issue with political messages in movies(see starship troopers or robocop), but I have zero interest and getting preached to by a filmmaker standing on their soap box.

And no, I don't agree with the guy on bh. I read it and he's full of shit. But as usual bob, you turn it into this crap where if I'm not bitching about it to other people, I'm the enemy.

Anonymous said...

A thought I had about this movie...

Could it be at all possible, that the movie might HURT Obama if it's released? Let us just take a moment to think about this.

Obama's ONE major accomplishment has been the slaying of big bad Boogyman Bin. But how did he do it? He had to fight and find out where he is by torturing prisoners. Something The Left tends to speak out against. And what does he do when he finds Bin Laden? He has a SEAL team shoot him in the face. Strange, that kinda goes against the "Lets all hug and be nice to everyone" agenda of The Left.

So if anything, the movie might have the message that the only way to get shit done is to Zerg Rush the bad guys and shoot them in the head. Sounds like something The Right would be all for. In a "HA HA! You had to do things OUR WAY to get the job done! TROLOLOLOL!"

But then again, this is all just speculation that I'm pulling out of my hat. I'm just another rambling nerd on the web.

biomechanical923 said...

"Another day, another thump from the constant drumbeat by the morally and (more importantly) intellectually bankrupt American right-wing in their increasingly-successful attempts to invent a nonexistant controversy over Katherine Bigelow's in-production "Killing of Bin Laden" movie. "
The comment I left on your last blog post applies here as well. You're still working just as hard to invent a non-existant controversy. You're still quoting the ultranationalists at Breitbart and misrepresenting them as examples of common right-wingers. You're still throwing around ad-hominems by accusing conservatives of being morally and intellectually inferior.
I'm half-inclined to suspect you of just being a huge troll for pageviews at this point, because you keep making the same strawman argument over and over by taking the Tea Party / Breitbart / Fox News, and going "See guys? This is exactly what I was telling you about conservatives". It's pure intellectual dishonesty.

biomechanical923 said...

"How is this not news? Why am I not seeing people other than ME calling the Breitbart Gang out on this sleazy, disingenous, nakedly-agenda-driven hackery?"
Because, as I already said, the Breitbart group is populated by fringe lunatics and everybody knows this. They do not represent the right-wing, no matter how much you would like them to.
Let me also repeat that I am neither Christian nor Conservative, so I have no latent bias toward defending the right-wing.

Elessar said...

Could not agree more Bob. And since we're doing the LotR references (in reverse order):
You have my sword.

Megabyte said...

I can think of exactly two reasons why some conservatives would see this movie as a threat.

1) For the election coming up, we ARE dealing with a movie to cater to the MOVIE GOING audience... the ones who Bob himself has said as so damn stupid the Transformers needed to be dumbed down for them.

and 2) It is currently at least in rumor they got access to info no one else did. Speculating on that doesn't take long to wonder if they got something that could be harmful to soldiers on the field if it got out to those movie goers and therefore was being talked about by everyone and got EASILY into the wrong hands.

Just a few thoughts out there off the top of my head.

But overall, this is definately a SOME theory because a) pretty much everyone has decided their vote already in this election (ironically on Obama more then anyone who would have been thrown at him), and b) Im about as synical as it gets when it comes to what I expect Obama and his campaign to put to risk if it means getting 4 more years.... and even I don't believe they would give Hollywood something that could risk national security... really doesn't benefit him.

Anonymous said...


Well done young apprentice, insult the man and ignore any valid points made. You will soon be a very powerful pundit, now let the hate and fear fill you, they will make you strong.

Megabyte said...

Um, Wes... Bob brought that case up.. not Heir. It's not Heir's straw man. And to further, it is Bob's for there will be no way we can know real innocence or guilt since evidence is changing literally by the day... even witness accounts, and drastically. But that doesn't matter. The case has already been decided before evidence was brought. (Seriously, the man will be found guilty one way or another of murder. His actual guilt or lack of will be irrelevant.)

SirRosser said...

I have to agree with Bob that this movement has a whiff of censorship about it. I think it's ridiculous to rail against something based on a message it MIGHT contain, and it's somewhat insulting as a potential viewer to have people think that a movie is going to completely change my political opinion just because I saw ONE film that connects a candidate to a tangential positive. This preemptive mudslinging (for lack of a better term) needs to end.

Of course, I only say all this VERY grudgingly. Nobody likes agreeing with someone who just called them "morally and intellectually dishonest." Ya joik.

Pat said...


I think Bob's point stands. Yes, most people think Breitbart's group is full of shit, but they DO have an audience, otherwise they wouldn't still exist. Stupid movements like the "birther" thing happen because nutjobs like these spread conspiracy theories, their followers believe it since no one wastes their time dignifying it with a counter-argument, and before you know it, it becomes a widespread thing. That's why it's important not to let their bullshit slide. Because they DO have an audience and to act like they aren't worth discrediting is to willingly allow that audience to believe their bullshit unchallenged.

Also, Bob did put quotations around "conservative", implying that they weren't true conservatives. He's not attacking the entire right-wing, just these ones. And frankly, if you don't want to be lumped together with those guys, you might want to stop jumping up to defend them. I know you say that everyone knows they're crazy, but your implication is that Bob is attacking all conservatives by attacking them. If you truly think they're crazy and you just want to make it clear that they aren't representative of true conservatism, you should probably just say something like, "Bob, this nonsense really isn't worth your time. Also, you might want to be careful about some of the generalizations you throw around. Not all conservatives are like that," rather than going on the defensive. You'll probably have a much easier time that way.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

I agree that trying to prevent this (or any) movie from being made for political reasons is completely idiotic.

However, it seems to me like you and Big Hollywood are the only people talking about it.

That's not to say it isn't important: I just think everyone knows that no one (relatively speaking) is going to see this movie when it comes out. So why make a big hubbub over a movie that's going to have little to no impact on the box office and cultural opinion?

Let's be brutally honest here, no one saw The Hurt Locker in theatres, and it only won the Academy Award because the Academy really, REALLY didn't want to give Best Picture to Avatar.

That's not to say Hurt Locker sucked: I haven't seen it. There just wasn't one film besides Avatar that was garnering the type of pre-Oscar press necessary to win the award that year. So, to avoid giving Best Picture to a sci-fi crowd-pleaser, they gave it to Hurt Locker instead.

As for your constant demonizing of anyone and everyone who's on the political right, it gets real old real fast.

Yeah, it's your blog, and you can say whatever you want: I'm not trying to say otherwise.

It just gets annoying when I want to come here to read musings about the G.I. Joe delay or some other nerdy issue only to see a number or articles decrying people that don't agree with your political views.

If I wanted to read left-wing drivel, I'd go to MoveOn.Org or one of those other crazy liberal blogs.

I come here because I value your opinion on movies, video games and other nerdy items. Not to hear you complain about politics.

For the sake of transparency, I'm very politically Conservative (though I believe strongly in gay marriage), but I think Big Hollywood is crazy, too.

As a thought, I'm sure you're going to put up more political postings as we get closer to election day: have you ever considered splitting American Bob off onto another BlogSpot site?

The Game Overthinker has its own site: why not American Bob?

Heck, you could set up a MovieBob Blog Network at that point.

The people that enjoy your political pieces can go read them, and those of us who come here for your movie/game related musings can do so without running into politics.

Just an idea, of course! Peace out!

P.S. For people that think Bob is only lambasting Big Hollywood in this article, re-read his first sentence.

Pat said...


Case in point, take a look at Sam Robards' comment. Constructive, level-headed, reasonable, and intelligible. He's basically saying exactly what you're trying to say but he's being diplomatic about it.

@Sam Robards

I'm actually not sure you're right about this movie doing poorly. It depends entirely on the marketing, certainly, but topical films released during an election year can pull surprising business. Take "Fahrenheit 9/11" for example. That movie was by far the most successful Michael Moore film of all time, grossing around $200 million, which is more than the combined gross of every other film he made. My point is, just because "The Hurt Locker" wasn't successful, doesn't mean "Zero Dark Thirty" won't succeed, particularly if it starts to get free publicity from pundits.

However, an important thing to keep in mind is that this film is no longer slated to be released before the election. Due to the controversy, they moved it to December, meaning there's practically no way this movie could have a significant impact on the election, unless people are convinced of Obama's awesomeness by a movie trailer or something.

I personally wasn't a fan of "The Hurt Locker". It ran on too long, all the interesting characters died way too quickly, and the main character's arc is difficult to relate to since he often doesn't feel like a genuine human being. The deeper points about the human cost of modern warfare were made much stronger in the film "Jarhead", where the characters were far more relateable and the themes were much clearer and the action served the larger messages. You're right that they gave the award to "The Hurt Locker" that year because they wanted to have their first female Best Director and they wanted to cockblock "Avatar".

I also like the idea of Bob having a blog specifically for politics, but I do think this particular article fits since it does relate to controversy surrounding a movie.

Smashmatt202 said...

I agree with MovieBob and I'd like to speak up, but I don't feel like I'm necessarily qualified to talk about politics... Not to mention, I'm also afraid that people will call me out on it, even if the people calling me out are the dumbasses who eat this shit up. Because really, I don't have anything to really justify myself other then "These guys are being jerks, they should stop." Sounds kind of pathetic to me...

James said...

Silens: I am not defending those idiots who want to get the movie pulled. I think their actions are deplorable. But I'm sick of Bob's sheep mentality where he says that if one side is worse, you excuse the bad from the other side. That's why he gives Obama a free pass for doing things he'd criticize a republican for doing. That's why he says he's okay with peoples rights being violated if it supports "his agenda." That's why I'm sick of him acting like anyone whose mentality isn't the exact same as his is inferior to him.

Face facts, Bob IS as bad as the right-wing nuts he rails against.

Fallen Angel said...

@ James

This is an accusation you've repeated over and over again. We get your point. Find some new material or just knock it off. You speak of sheep, yet that's exactly what you sound like: endlessly bleating the same angry remarks over and over again. Just stop. It's boring.

Besides, since you seem to be obssessed with your personal vendetta against Bob, why not set up your own blog and post your own counter-arguments?

Anonymous said...

Folks, for or a more detailed incite into what’s really going on here I recommend reading this:

Smashmatt202 said...

I DO remember one time Bob criticized Obama; it was over the space shuttle program, or more accurately, finding a replacement program for it.

...Yeah, it's only once, and I get where James is coming from, but honestly, Obama and Democrats don't do NEARLY as many idiotic (and insulting) things as Republicans. I mean, I'd LIKE to acknowledge that one side is just as bad as the other, but Republicans just seem to do it more openly and don't seem to care what anyone thinks of them. Probably because the only people THEY care about are like-minded individuals.

I GUESS Democrats can be the same way, but I haven't really seen it done to the degree of Republicans. I just see Republicans say and do so many more things that I find wrong then Democrats. Not that I'd want to be labeled a Democrat myself, I mean, I don't want to be on anyone's "side", but still, the older I get, the more news I watch and articles I read, the more unappealing people who are "right-wing" seem. Yeah, I know, not ALL Right-Wing people are like that, but you GET what I mean.

Anonymous said...

James makes no sense. Let's all just ignore him. Trying to pick his brain doesn't get anybody anywhere, so if you would just pretend he doesn't exist we can see him go away, or just pretend he did.

Danimaltl said...

It's hard to argue with a man who's defending art.

Anonymous said...

Here is another terrorist campaign people Bob is talking are waging that needs to be stopped: