Conservative film makers just don't get it

by Paul William Tenny

THR is playing up a new comedy called American Carol due out this weekend by David Zucker that's notable because it's a great example of my main objection to conservatism: no sense of humor. Something like The Daily Show or South Park finds the funny in virtually everything we see because they they aren't looking to score political or philosophical points with their audience, they just want to make people laugh and there are few easier targets than politicians. For whatever reason conservatives don't seem to get it at all, they think comedy is mean and therefore it's only fair to use it like a weapon against people they don't like.

The result is usually a joke or TV show that's more of a poorly conceived insult than it is an actual joke or funny, and this movie reeks of it.
The first sign of intent is the smell of hypocrisy, and Carol is full of it. The premise is intellectually empty and obvious: a liberal filmmaker who is a cheap parody of Michael Moore is visited by the ghosts of George Washington, George Paton, and apparently John F. Kennedy. The first two are obvious choices because if there's anything conservatives respect, love, and hold dear, it's strong male military figures that represent the kind of commanding presence and manly toughness they usually lack. Nothing will slap those dirty Hollywood liberals around better than a couple of true American military heroes, and if they don't listen, hey, who better to kill Americans than a couple of patriotic generals?

Think I'm kidding? At one point in this film, a psychotic judge played by Kelsey Grammar actually murders an ACLU lawyer.

I don't know why conservatives hate the American Civil Liberties Union so much when they profess to love their country but hate a group that protects our civil rights in court often times more vigorously than the government does with such fanaticism that in their sick theatrical fantasies, lawyers seeking to protect our rights and uphold the constitution are killed by right-wing judges. I realize that not everyone shares my views on politics but I think we can all agree that movies like this are as nonsensical as they are disgusting, I'd actually expect that kind of militant "comedy" coming out of the Middle East countries people like Zucker want perpetual war with.

Sure, the David Zuckers of the world have the right to make movies like this and theaters have the right to show them and I'd be the first to jump to their defense if anyone moved towards censorship, but that doesn't mean movies like this ought to be made or that they should go without some level of criticism.

Although THR tries to equivocate or at least note the existence of "left leaning" W., Oliver Stone's new Bush pic, these two movies are incomparable. One is a slanted view of a corrupt and embarrassing administration while the other is practically theatrical slander against half this country's population.

W. may be upsetting to the some 16-20% of the people that still like and support Bush, but Carol is basically calling 150 million Americans traitors and scumbags.

Zucker would tell you that his movie is just for fun and that he's just turning the tables on liberals that supposedly hate their country and love making movies that make America look bad, that these people are anti-American haters, that his movie makes fun of these people and nothing more. Given that Zucker's movie makes fun of Americans to suit his political agenda to combat liberals making movies to suit their political agenda, the irony of his criticism is apparently lost along the way.

While I've no doubt that many conservatives will welcome American Carol, I doubt people are going to justify its existence with their wallet. In the end, it amounts to little more than petty name calling and gross distortions of a non-existent reality, presenting a fictional world where the defenders of our civil liberties are murdered by right-wing judges while audiences cheer.

in Film


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