Friday, February 24, 2017

A changing definition of "elite". . .

I had prepared something to post sooner but then decided to wait.  Sure enough Millie Hemingway did a better job than I could have in responding to the diatribe of Meryl Streep who won a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.  You can read her words here. . .

Let me instead focus upon one line.  Streep said, “Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.” 

Hmmm.  Streep would have us believe that she and her Hollywood cohorts are an oppressed group.  Think about this.  The average person in that room wore clothing that cost more than most families spend on clothing for an entire year.  The venue and its production cost more than most school budgets for a year.  The media provided not only prime time access to the goings on but made sure that it all made the news in a variety of ways following the event itself.  The combined income of the folks in that room was greater than the entire economy of most countries in the world.  The work of an actor may be difficult but it is not back breaking (Anthony Hopkins said this) and most of the people of the world work harder than Hollywood to find basics like clean water, secure shelter, food, and medical care.  At the end of this event, they all went home to houses that hardly anyone in the TV audience could afford to visit -- much less live in.  Most of the folks in that room could pick up the phone and be plugged directly into the power brokers not only of Hollywood but the world (witness the access they had with President Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton).  I could go on.  I think you get the picture.  These are the elite of the elite and Streep was preaching to the choir.

I must admit that my view of Streep has been indelibly etched by her portrayal of a self-absorbed woman who abandoned not only her marriage but her son and then tried to come back and steal him from his dad (Kramer vs Kramer).  While I appreciated her role in The Devil Wears Prada, that part could hardly have been much of a stretch for a woman accustomed to power, glamor, and being a member of the elites in America.  For what it is worth, I was greatly disappointed in her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, an iconic figure who ended up looking demented in the biopic starring Streep.  So, I am not really a fan even though the verdict has been rendered and she has been deemed the best of the best.  But whether I like her as an actress or not, she is neither oppressed nor threatened by me or Trump or anyone else.  Folks like us will continue to go to the movies and watch them on DVD and wait for them to run in edited versions on TV and all the while she will collect a grand salary for her work and people will presume that with her notoriety there is wisdom that makes her smarter than the rest of us.  But it is a sham.

The real oppressed today are those who refuse to bow before the Baal of progressivism, who stand against the prevailing mood and opinion of culture (in everything from gender identity to sexual politics to ecology to anti-religious sentiment).  The real oppressed today are bakers who lose everything because they won't bake a cake for someone who could have gotten a cake from anywhere or the child in the womb treated like it is somebody's possession to be discarded with the garbage on a whim or those threatened with banishment from the public square because they believe a truth no longer tolerated.  I am not oppressed and have never claimed to be.  But I know who is.

Meryl Streep and her friends in Hollywood want to run the White House as if The West Wing was still in production.  They are not shy about telling us all what we ought to think, how we ought to vote, how we ought to act, what we ought to say, and when we ought to shut up.  They can have their opinions.  This is America, after all.  But their opinions count no more than mine nor the opinions of anyone else.  They have access to media and they exploit it well but they remain elite in every way that term is defined.  Vilified by a few -- maybe.  Unpopular with the new occupant of the White House -- maybe.  Oppressed?  Not at all.  Wake up and smell the roses.  The smug put downs that are not radical or edgy at all betray the intolerance of those who claim to be tolerant and the arrogance of those who have the most access to media and power in America.  I do not believe Trump is a hero or a savior but neither is he a villain.  In the great debate, ideas and arguments count -- not innuendo.  Maybe we will all be better off when Trump and Streep both realize this.

1 comment:

Cliff said...

You were too kind Pastor Peter in your evaluation of Hollywood, as they enjoy elite status and do carry far too much influence on society. I think a more fitting description would be more like a cesspool?