- - Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A man’s world

Helen Mirren took Hollywood to task Tuesday over the entertainment community’s obsession with youth and young men, in particular.

“During her speech given at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment breakfast, the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award recipient noted that “journalists are always asking her to complain about the lack of opportunities for older women on screen.”

“‘I resent in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones,’ Mirren said. ‘However, with all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room … really not too much has changed in the canon of Hollywood filmmaking that continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis.’”

Jenna Bordelon, writing on “Helen Mirren Knocks Hollywood for Worshipping Young Men” on Dec. 7 at the Hollywood Reporter

Swede-shaming

“Before [Julian] Assange was remanded to custody in the United Kingdom, awaiting a possible extradition to Sweden to face multiple sexual assault charges, his most credulous supporters switched tactics, from attacking the overly broad Swedish conception of rape to suggesting one of his alleged victims moonlights as an American agent; downshifting from Camille Paglia to ‘Three Days of the Condor.’

“Here’s how an evidence-free, innuendo-filled personal attack on a rape accuser trespasses the mainstream political debate. On his Twitter feed, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (162,000 followers) links to a rambling blog post arguing that Anna Ardin, the Swedish feminist who accused Assange of rape, is an anti-Castro activist with connections to CIA front groups. Elsewhere on the Internet, NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, the popular liberal website FireDogLake, Bianca Jagger, and The First Post … all circulated the charges without an ounce of skepticism. … If American intelligence could dream up COINTELPRO, they could surely convince a pair of left-wing political activists to lure Assange into a ‘honey trap,’ right?”

Michael C. Moynihan, writing on “Olbermann, Assange, and the Holocaust Denier,” on Dec. 7 at Reason

Food wars

“In a much-discussed 2009 Policy Review essay, Mary Eberstadt talked about how odd it was that liberal elites are extremely permissive about sex, but Puritan fussbudgets about food. What’s less well explored is the culture-war role food plays among conservatives, especially in the South. My experience is anecdotal, of course, but I’ve seen emerging back home a growing sense that food intake is not something that can be held up for moral analysis and judgment. Those who attempt to do so are typically seen as liberal snobs trying to impose their own preferences.

“There’s no doubt that liberal foodies can be horrible snobs, and excruciatingly moralistic (to shop at the organic co-op in my uber-liberal neighborhood is to rub shoulders with people every bit as prissy and intolerant as the Church Lady). But at some point, it’s downright absurd for conservatives to ignore that food choices have moral implications. For me, going to my home county is an occasion for culinary culture shock, because middle-class people there simply do not have the same outlook on eating — especially for their children — as middle-class people do in my liberal city. Put plainly, people eat whatever they want, and lots of it, without giving it a second thought. More to my point here, they see the idea that one ought to care about such things as a sign of effete, high-handed liberalism.”

Richmond Ramsey, writing on “Food Fight Becomes Open Class Warfare,” on Dec. 7 at the Frum Forum