Tag: Hollywood

The Oscars and The Lying Ground

A few thoughts from last night’s Oscars:

First, I thought Chris Rock’s opening monologue was quite good. He lampooned the boycotters and the self-righteous while still making some great jabs at Hollywood’s genteel racism.

Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.” That’s how Hollywood is.

It isn’t unusual for Rock to take on race issues head on from both sides. He’s always had a bit of a conservative and contrarian streak in him. He recently talked about how he won’t play college campuses because of political correctness run amuck. His routine last night reminded me of this spot on How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police (language):

The worst moment of the night was Joe Biden coming out to thunderous applause to lecture the rest of the country about how to prevent sexual violence. I don’t object to the message. I do, however, object to it coming from a Vice President known for unwanted touching of every woman in reach, a party that happily overlooked sexual predation by a President and the message being cheered by the same Academy that gave Roman Polanski a standing ovation.

Clean up your own house, guys. Then you can talk to the rest of us about what we should do.

Joe was out there because Lady Gaga was about to perform her song from The Hunting Ground, a supposed documentary about sexual violence on college campi. But The Hunting Ground represents everything wrong with the debate, from getting basic facts wrong to threatening their critics. I’m glad it didn’t get any awards.

As for the ceremony itself, it was way too long and self-indulgent. I only had it on as useful background noise while I wrestled kids into bed and processed gamma-ray burst data. The only Best Picture nominees I had seen were The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road, both of which were very good.

Right Problem, Wrong Solution

I can’t stand crony capitalism. I have little tolerance for special subsidies and tax breaks being paid out to rent-seeking industries. So you can imagine that I’m not on board with what’s going on in New York because … holy crap.

Nearly two-dozen studios raked in more than $1.5 billion in rebates from New York over the past nine years as the state rapidly expanded its incentives to lure in movies and shows.

Indeed, no New York tax program is as generous as the one targeted toward the film and television industry, and records obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau shows that big-name studios reaped massive rewards for shooting in the Empire State.

NBC/Universal was by far the leader in rebates awarded between 2006 and 2014, getting back a whopping $320 million for up to 30 percent of its production costs to film in New York.

Sony/Columbia was refunded $200 million, while HBO got $198 million, the WB got $185 million and CBS received $171 million, the records obtained by Gannett through a Freedom of Information request showed.

The figures were staggering to critics of the program, who said the money should be used instead to help existing businesses in New York, particularly in regions trying to recover from decades of decline in manufacturing jobs.

Overall, $423 million was sent back to studios in 2014 – with the most, $117 million, returned to CBS, said Empire State Development, the state agency that runs the program.

Defenders of the program point to $8.7 billion in business Hollywood studios bring to the Empire State. But there’s no way that this possibly pays for itself. Hollywood mostly brings in its own people and its own experts. What’s the benefit to New York jobs? Selling the camera crews some Starbucks? And it’s not like if the tax benefits disappeared, Hollywood would stop making movies and TV shows in New York altogether.

And the benefits to New York businesses run into another problem. If Hollywood studios aren’t paying their taxes, that means someone else is. That means businesses that are native to New York, that are based in New York, that do all their business in New York have to make up the difference.

Here’s where the critics get it wrong. They think New York should be replacing those subsidies with other more targeted subsidies for upstate businesses. That’s better, I guess, in some weird sense. But here’s a better idea: just make taxes lower for everyone. Make New York friendly to all businesses, not just those that have some pull in Albany.

But … then you wouldn’t have Hollywood movie stars kissing up to politicians and making them feel important. Can’t have that, can we?

Did you know Obama shot bin Laden himself? I saw it in a movie!

It looks like the Obama propaganda machine is in full force for the 2012 election. He never stopped campaigning & raising money – considering his skill set is limited to those of an Alinskyite disciple and community organizing, I am not surprised at this either – which explains why the country is doing so well. They have been controlling the press and have gotten real angry when the reporters haven’t stayed on message. The usual suspects in the LSM have tried hard, but in vain, to convince us that things are getting much better – suddenly 9%+ unemployment isn’t so bad when they constantly complained of a 4% unemployment during the Bush years for example – but even the most partisan hack sees through the bullshit. Their latest tactic, to blame the Tea Party for the US credit rating downgrade by the S&P, has also already derailed and failed miserably.

But have no fear, our Noble peace Prize winning prez and his team have plans, and now we find out that one of the big the plan is to use a great success by our military to make Obama out as a great warrior leader. It seems Hollywood is putting together a movie about how our SEALs bagged bin laden. One scheduled to come out just a month before the November 2012 elections. And the WH has given them full clearance to look at everything, just a few months after a critical operation when that intel is still hot and can be used to go after the personnel involved or damage the operational capabilities employed by exposing them, so they can make this movie.

Yeah, Hollywood. The place whose leftard dominated crowd of idiots’ idea of what the military is like produced such great fare as “The Hurt Locker” or that horrible “Green Zone” with Matt Damon, and whatever else anyone but the rabid anti-Bush leftists that ended up wasting their money watching these stupid works of pure unrealistic fiction most, if not all, of the sane public ignored at the theaters because they knew better. They are now making a movie about how our military killed bin Laden. And people are suspicious, as they should be, of both this effort and the timing. Especially when you find out these SEALs are now wasting time with Hollywood bozos, who I am sure aren’t going to use this movie to make Obama look good – that was a meant as an insult for those of you that aren’t quick enough to catch the sarcasm – instead of doing the work their country needs them to.

Maybe Obama’s people should stick to throwing lavish fundraiser parties where the elite get to hob-nob with the Hollywood celebs, eat & drink like kings, and dance the night away while Rome burns.