This isn’t terribly surprising but it is good to keep in mind while ingesting media. Interestingly the CIA helped foster the post-war emergence of abstract expressionist art in the USA so it makes sense that the agency might be involved in movies like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo. I personally prefer the Jackson Pollock paintings.
The Oscars this year left a lot to be desired. An industry which is deeply crony, corporate as all get out (anyone heard of Sony Pictures or the MPAA?), highly stratified, a boys club at the highest levels, collectively decided to try to shame the great unwashed on Sunday night on all manner of things. DiCaprio waxing about “corporate interests” (huh?) and “protecting the planet” while still smelling of fresh jet fuel from his flight into La La Land was classic.
The “spirit” of Hollywood.
Hollywood is a money making machine. (Most of the time.) It has also shown itself to be a retrograde industry which employs big time crony tactics to crush those who challenge the movie studio staus quo. (Think SOPA.) It is a club which celebrates itself over and over and pretty effectively gets much of the world to buy into the charade. Even people with real power fall victim to movie star charms.
Politicians have a weird relationship with the entertainment industry. I was once in a room full of influential Washington types and a 3rd tier reporter from one of the cable news shows walked in the room. Suddenly the focus shifted immediately to the ” television personality.” It was weird. All these accomplished big shots and they suddenly were interested in this fellow who was probably 5 years out of college. I can just imagine what happens when Robert Redford or Taylor Swift walks into a room full of wonks.
Hey, good for him. He’s arguing against a push by the Actors’ Equity Association, to impose a minimum wage on small theaters. These theaters are basically volunteer operations, many showing old movies for a handful of people a showing. Places, usually tucked away in college towns and hip neighborhoods where one can see Gone With the Wind, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fantasia, or Doctor Zhivago* on the big screen.
These subsidies make little sense from the taxpayer’s perspective. They do however make sense for the studios (which have powerful lobbyists) and politicians who can laud their ability to lure Hollywood even to their unglamorous state.
When it comes down to it Hollywood wants to make money. Sure it may rail against “capitalism” and “greed” and the town may be full of people who would swear that they are anything but capitalists. But it costs money to fill swimming pools and party in “The Hills.” And so the movie industry has largely abandoned the once Golden State.
Hollywood knows how to work the system. There is just something about movie stars which hypnotizes politicians. That and the pile of campaign contributions.
This story comes to us courtesy of the CIA’s own former General Council, John Rizzo, who explains in a new book that the CIA and the entertainment industry have a long history of working together. This is logical given the power vested in the movie studios of southern California. (To a lesser extent today.) Control the narrative, the story, and control the direction of public sentiment. At least to some degree.
The French Socialists also want to tax cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices on which people watch moving images.
Hollywood is a weird place. All the money, the traffic, the fame, the sunshine, the agents, the status seeking, the pools (no one goes in), the palm trees, the cameras, and the partying come together to form a vortex of American decadence. (Which has its place.)
The 20th Century was all about big giant businesses, with a Vatican-like hierarchy. The movie and TV business was no exception.
How is it that the entertainment industry, be it in Hollywood or Paris or Bollywood, always seems to get special treatment?
My theory is that politicians just like getting invited to parties with movie stars.
We have incredibly restrictive copyright laws in this country. Big media companies have made the media marketplace worse for the public with these laws and may have even worked against their own interests by lobbying for overly restrictive copyrights according to a new study.
Hollywood crony deals seem to fail like Madonna movies.