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Life Arts    H2'ed 3/8/10

No Anti-Right Wing Shout-outs, But the Progressive Message Won Big at Oscars

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The two movies that won the most Oscar Gold in last night's Academy Award Ceremony, Avatar and Hurt Locker, were movies that annoyed the right.

When being, at least, honest, right wing commentators attacked Avatar as anti-American. Then there those who attempted to marginalize the explosive popularity it was experiencing, by saying it wasn't a very good story-- a flat out total lie. An official Catholic Church publication took that approach.

Right wing pajamas media exulted,
"The Hurt Locker" winning over the enviro-pabulum of "Avatar" and Sandra Bullock garnering the Best Actress Oscar for a Christian movie, the times are a-changin' at least somewhat, maybe even a lot.
The Wall street Journal's Gerard Baker also rejoiced, with Pajamasmedia, that right wingers and their causes were not vocally attacked, saying,
Most years Hollywood can't resist exploiting its big night of unfettered access to the homes of tens of millions of Americans to parade the monolithically liberal prejudices of its denizens. Oscar night is usually replete with winners and presenters lacing their lachrymose expressions of self-love with gratuitous denunciations of capitalism, reactionary conservatism, or, for that matter, what most people at home might innocently think of as American values.

But tonight's show was politics-lite.

Funny treating a young black man with love and kindness, while Christian, certain doesn't seem to represent the haters who compose such a big part of the right, especially the teaparty people. The Blind Side was one of my favorites and Sandra Bullock earned her Oscar as best actress. She acted out a true story of a family tnat did the right thing in spite of friends and community. And in spite of the way most right wing Christian fundamentalists vote, if you look at the kind of haters they elect.

And was the Hurt Locker really pro-military?

Joe Stumpo, of the Richland Chronicle wrote, in his article, Anti-American-anti-war politics detract from Oscar-nominated Hurt Locker - Avatar
The problem I had with Bigelow's Hurt Locker film is for every scene that made me admire what the bomb disposal experts went through in Iraq, particularly the character Jeremy Renner played, I saw a number of scenes that painted the American troops in a negative light. It's like listening to the good angel on one shoulder telling me to say thank you to the next soldier I see.

Then, there's the devil on my other shoulder feeding me scenes of disenfranchised military men questioning why our government sent them there in the first place. Or shots of ungrateful Iraqi citizens, some of whom could be terrorists, watching with great interest to see if any of our military servicemen will come out alive as they attempt to disarm another roadside bomb.

...Don't tell me there aren't people out there who believe the reason American troops were sent to Iraq for Gulf War II was not to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power and keep the country from being overrun by al-Qaida terrorists. They think the reason was so "Dubya" and Vice President Cheney, with the help of Halliburton and that dastardly private military company, Blackwater, could get America's greedy hands on Iraq's oil supply.

I know there is no stopping filmmakers from injecting their personal politics into the movies they make. Bigelow has been quoted saying on IMDB.com that movies are "a great opportunity to comment on the world in which we live."

"Perhaps just because I just came off The Hurt Locker and I'm thinking of the war and I think it's a deplorable situation. It's a great medium in which to speak about that," Bigelow said. "This is a war that cannot be won. Why are we sending troops over there? Well, the only medium I have, the only opportunity I have, is to use film. There will always be issues I care about."

Michael Moore, in his Oscar follow-up article had a different take on Hurt Locker than pajamas media or the WSJ.
Some critics have hailed "The Hurt Locker" because the film "doesn't take sides" in the Iraq War -- like that's an admirable thing! I wonder if there were critics during the Civil War that hailed plays or books for being "balanced" about slavery, or if there were those who praised films during World War II for "not taking sides?" I keep reading that the reason Iraq War films haven't done well at the box office is because they've been partisan (meaning anti-war).

The truth is "The Hurt Locker" is very political. It says the war is stupid and senseless and insane. It makes us consider why we have an army where people actually volunteer to do this. That's why the right wing has attacked the movie. They're not stupid -- they know what Kathryn Bigelow is up to. No one leaves this movie thinking, "Whoopee! Let's keep these wars going another 7 years!"

Moore also commented on Avatar
James Cameron has been targeted by the crazy right, too. Because -- and Fox and Rush have this one correct, too -- "Avatar" is, in fact, an allegory for America -- a land stolen from an indigenous people who were slaughtered, a nation that not only allows corporations to call the shots but let's them privatize our wars (wars in distant places with the objective of controlling a dwindling energy resource), and a people who seem hell-bent on destroying the environment.

Cameron is a brave and bold filmmaker, a college drop-out who became a truck driver and then one day just decided he was going to make movies. "Avatar" is an idea he's had in his head since he was a teenager -- and somewhere, somehow, his dreams and creativity weren't snuffed out by the machine. Thank God.

Joe Stumpo finished his Oscar review with the comment, "Bigelow and Cameron are entitled to their opinions. That's what makes America great. They should, however, be thankful to even live in a country that allows them to make anti-American films that critics and audiences embrace. If they lived in any other country, movies like The Hurt Locker and Avatar would not be tolerated, much less made." I have to wonder, if the right wing had its way, whether they would be allowed to make their moves in the US. I get the feeling the five neanderthals on the supreme court would support litigation against anti-american speech.

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

Check out his platform at RobKall.com

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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