- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic subtext

“Which brings me to the final subtext: The World Peace Subtext. I know there are plenty of people who don’t like the New Agey, avante-garde, grand secularist ‘one-worlder’ dream of the Olympics. I love it. I told my film students that there’s no such thing as an anti-war war movie. Once the film shows two sides at war, you want one side to win and the other side to lose, and you start caring less and less [about] the means they use to get the win. You see this in the last Bourne movie, which tries hard to be anti-military, but just makes military means and motives look cool. …

“Drama has to take into account the real-world actions and responses of real people. It has to be structured within a traditional moral order or it loses its audiences. It’s the same with the Olympics. After the opening ceremony is over and the weird-shaped torch is blazing away somewhere in the background, it’s all about your nation one-upping the other nations. Canadians make fun of Americans for chanting ‘USA! USA!’ Then, when they’re behind, they steal our rhythm and chant ‘Ca-na-DA! Ca-na-DA!’

“It’s world peace through honest, friendly differentiation and competition. It’s diversity at its best: I respect you enough to train my hardest so I can pummel you at ice dancing, twirling my little ice-skater woman more times, to faster music, than you ever will. And the USA is ahead on the overall medal count, so there.”

- Tom Hoopes, writing on “Three Olympic Subtexts” on Feb. 22 at his National Catholic Register blog

Oscar subtext

“James Cameron on why he might lose the Oscar for Best Director to Katherine Bigelow: ‘I would say that it’s an irresistible opportunity for the Academy to anoint a female director for the first time. I would say that that’s, you know, a very strong probability and I will be cheering when that happens.’ …

“There’s no way to interpret that other than Cameron saying that her win will represent some form of tokenism. As the ultimate Hollywood insider-conformist, Cameron’s spreading the idea that if he loses to Bigelow she had the edge because of her gender, not her talent.

“Because Cameron’s a hopeless Leftist, we can’t even be sure that he understands how undermining it is to slip this idea into the narrative of a Bigelow win. I’m not sure anyone else understands it either. This interview posted last week and my Google search found no criticism. But what a great example this is of the corrosive evil of affirmative action, multiculturalism, political correctness - whatever you want to call it. The protected class that ‘benefits’ from this nonsense always has an invisible asterisk after their name that questions the true merit of their accomplishments.”

- John Nolte, writing on “ She’s a Girl,” on Feb. 22 at Big Hollywood

Abortion subtext

“It occurs to me that the strategy for Focus on the Family may be to create pro-life ads so utterly innocuous that they necessarily make critics thereof look like total loons. Case in point. Here’s what left-leaning and women’s groups/blogs are complaining about now:

” ‘The National Collegiate Athletic Association is taking heat over an ad for a conservative advocacy group that appeared for a time this week on its corporate Web site. The promotion for the group, Focus on the Family, features a smiling father holding his young son, next to the words “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.” Beneath the photo appears the message: “All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing.’ ”

“Really? That’s the message folks want to go on-record as opposing? A happy father, holding a baby, wishing to make a positive impact on the child’s life. That’s not a controversy; that’s a dream.

“The NCAA took the ad down despite the fact that its policy allows ads from ‘cause-related organizations … unless the cause endorses a controversial or unacceptable viewpoint.’ ”

- Mary Katharine Ham, writing on “Another Innocuous Pro-Life Ad Draws Criticism,” on Feb. 24 at the Weekly Standard

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