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Archive for January 8th, 2009

The Tears of a Hack

Posted by s.z. on January 8th, 2009

Well, if Scott is in negotiations with Roger L. Simon, then I think that it’s only fair that Wo’C consider offering Roger work.  So, in tested Hollywood tradition, we are posting a spec column from Roger to see how the test audience reacts to it. 

Well, it’s not actually a column, it’s an excerpt from his upcoming book, Playing With Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Hack in the Age of Nobody Returning My Calls Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror.  It was posted on  Andrew Breitbart’s new web site for Hollywood’s conservative bawl babies, Big Hollywood (as not featured on today’s O’Reilly Factor).

So, take it away, Roger!

The following is an excerpt from Roger L. Simon’s Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror, which will be published by Encounter Books in late January. Simon is the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Enemies, A Love Story, Bustin’ Loose and Scenes from a Mall, among other films. He is also the author of the multiple award winning Moses Wine detective novels, the first of which, The Big Fix, was made into the Richard Dreyfuss film with a screenplay by Simon.

Give it back, Roger!

Sorry, folks — I guess I forgot that every mention of Roger requires his complete Imdb listing. So lets move things alone and do a slow dissolve to the scene where Roger talks about the horrors of being blacklisted.  [Setup]  Roger starts by explaining that the first tactic of his oppressors is to make him wait at scheduled meetings.  This is to put him in his place, either because (a) he’s a conservative, (b) he’s old, or (c) he’s a writer (or d, they just find him annoying, and want to jerk him around).  Anyway, the next atrocity is the dreaded waterboarding small talk.  Roll the clip!

Once inside the executive’s office, the pecking order of talent and management thus confirmed, it’s instantly waved off in a burst of small talk and a call for the requisite mineral water—originally Perrier, now something more exotic like an obscure Welsh brand in a blue bottle whose unpronounceable name you can barely remember. But the small talk is what’s important. It usually revolves around the freeway traffic (a perpetual subject), the Lakers (depending on the year), and, over the last half-decade or more, a ritualized Bush bash. (What will they do without him?) Fucking Bush did this or that … Did you hear the stupid thing Chimpy the Idiot said? You didn’t even have to hear Bush referred to specifically— the word “idiot” sufficed. You knew. The subtext was that we were all together, part of the secret society, the world of those who know as opposed to those who don’t.

Roger, sometimes an idiot is just an idiot, and not part of some Matrix-like secret world.

If you didn’t agree with this particular Weltanschauung, if you dissented from its orthodoxy just a tiny bit, you had but three choices: One, you could argue, in which case you would be almost certain to be dismissed as a fool, a warmonger, or a right-wing nut (all three, probably) and therefore have had little or no chance at the writing or directing job that brought you there. Two, you could shut up and ignore it (stay in the closet), in which case you felt like a coward and experienced (as I have) a dose of nausea straight out of Sartre. Three, you could stop going to the meetings altogether—you could, in effect, blacklist yourself.

Take Door Number Three!  Take Door Number Three!

I don’t know the size of that self-selected blacklist, but I suspect it’s substantial, though certainly not as large as the number of those in the closet.

And that, kids, is the official reason why Roger was not asked to write the script for the latest Clint Eastwood movie — he blacklisted himself. And the official reasons you don’t date Scarlett Johansson are: your strong moral code, your love for America, your dose of nausea straight out of Sartre at having to force laughter while watching that movie she made with Woody Allen, and the fact that she doesn’t know that you’re alive.

Anyway, test audience, do we hire Roger as our Wo’C Conservative Whiner of the Week? 

But wait, don’t answer yet!  United States Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter is gunning for the job, and being a total Hollywood outsider, he brings a certain fresh, loopy charm to the job.  In his column “C-List” Casting Call: Will Hollywood Conservatives Come Out to Play?, he steals lines from a Beatles’ song to hit on Mia Farrow’s teenaged sister, and to invite Hollywood conservatives to drop some acid with him outside the Ashram.  It’s chock full of wingnutty goodness, but lets skip to his anguished lament for the plight of the tortured conservative, and his impassioned invitation to right wing Hollywood to join him on the cross.

Our camaraderie stems from our shared suffering as conservatives. Conservatism being the negation of ideology, our existence threatens the Left’s dogmatic ideologues, who revile, repress and retaliate against us: Congressional Republicans are targeted for political extinction; and Big Hollywood’s cloistered conservatives are targeted for professional ostracism.

All that is missing is the Gulag and/or concentration camp reference!

Of course, there is an important distinction. Congressional Republicans voluntarily incurred Leftist attacks by entering politics. Republican oriented artists, however, have been involuntarily subjected to Big Hollywood’s new version of the old “blacklist’: the “C-List” of conservatives who are marked for censorship and career ruin for deviating from Left-wing orthodoxy. Nonetheless, though our specific struggles differ, we are equally embattled and immutably bonded, because we suffer for our love of America.

Let us take a moment to weep for the suffering of Congressional Republicans.  Now, get out another hankie for those poor Republican-oriented artists who are constantly persecuted for loving America too much.

Finally, conservatives share a duty to channel empathy into creativity. For example, legislators must create just laws that reconcile the people’s need for order and freedom; and artists must create works that reveal the enduring human truths needed to preserve and renew the culture.

See, kids, Congressman Thaddeus and Brittany Spears are just two sides of the same coin.

Bonded by camaraderie, universality, and creativity, Congressional Republicans and Big Hollywood’s cloistered conservatives must build a bridge across the counter-cultural divide of Big Washington and Big Hollywood.This is no tranquil work. An enraged Left will intensify their attacks, and some conservatives could be hammered down the memory hole into political and professional oblivion before our bridge is finished.

We can only hope. 

Sadly, I’m afraid that the world was never made for one as beautiful as Thad, and he is going to be one of the casualties of the enraged Left, who will soon be failing to mock him on blogs like this one, thus sentencing him to obscurity and a life as a Congressman, a sad existence enlivened only by sex scandals, graft, and cronyism.  Anyway, those are our conservative martyrs for today.  I hope you enjoyed their suffering as much as they did.

What A Country!

Posted by scott on January 8th, 2009

Good news (for people I owe money to)!  I’m currently in negotiations with Roger L. Simon to leave World o’ Crap and go to work for Pajamas Media as either a brain surgeon or an astronaut.  At the moment I’m leaning toward the brain surgeon job, partly because s.z. is an astronaut, and I signed a No Compete clause when she hired me, and partly because I really don’t like Tang.  I mean, no matter how much you stir it, it still tastes grainy, and I understand that’s not a problem with the brain.