Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 10, 2011, 7 p.m. EST by Chvelle
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Take a long look at the robber barons you are NEVER instructed to hate.
by John Hayward
Liberals are strangely incurious about why their betters never instruct them to hate Hollywood during their class-warfare lectures. I mean never. Movie stars, singers, producers, directors, and star athletes are the millionaires you’re never told to envy. Their “fair share,” and the methods they use to avoid paying it, are not topics for discussion.
Liberals are even willing to extend this consideration to a grotesque caricature like Michael Moore, the greedy millionaire who made a fortune by making his fans look stupid, and refused to employ union labor while doing it. He walked right past union operatives to receive a warm welcome from the Wall Street protesters. He moved out of a luxurious New York City penthouse to avoid paying his “fair share” of New York taxes on his immense movie profits, celebrated the release of a movie lambasting capitalism with a posh party at another swanky penthouse, and filled in a wetland to put the finishing touches on his million-dollar Michigan estate.
There are some obvious tactical reasons why the leadership of the Left meticulously avoids pointing fingers of blame at Hollywood millionaires. The Left gets a huge amount of funding and ideological support from entertainers, of course. Those entertainers are very good at generating emotional reactions, and drawing attention to themselves while they support various charitable and humanitarian endeavors – which is great for the worthy causes they support, but also creates an armor of selfless morality for celebrities that is unavailable to largely unseen businessmen who donate big money to charity.
Also, there’s a sense among the liberal rank-and-file that entertainers earn their millions, in a way that businessmen do not. Average liberals don’t know what goes on in a corporate boardroom, but they’re pretty sure it doesn’t involve the kind of work that goes into producing the glittering value splashed across movie and TV screens. Of course someone who starred in a movie that made $200 million deserves to be rich!
Paradoxically, Hollywood wealth has a dreamy quality that sets it apart from the grubby, purportedly unethical dealings of the hated “one percenters.” It’s common to fantasize about becoming a star, and this fantasy burns eternally in many hearts. You could be one day away from the discovery of your long-hidden talents by a big Hollywood agent! It’s like winning the lottery – a clean and pure blast of refreshing good fortune, quite unlike the dirty money bankers get by tricking people into signing mortgage papers.
Nevertheless, the Occupy Wall Street crowd really should think about dispatching some angry protesters to Occupy Hollywood. For one thing, Hollywood accounting is crooked on a scale that would make any Wall Street firm blush. David Prowse, the very tall actor who wore the Darth Vader costume in the original Star Wars trilogy, recently remarked in an interview that according to the studio, Return of the Jedi has never made a nickel of profit, so Prowse has never been paid any residuals. The film grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide, but the studio rigged the books to show zero net profit, almost thirty years later. In the course of explaining why this sort of thing is commonplace, Atlantic magazine notes that even Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is currently on the books as a net loss.