Archives For Hollywood

City of Beverly Hills officials have issued an indefinite order banning gatherings of no more than 10 people in residential areas.

The ‘civil emergency order’ is a response to violent Black Lives Matter protesters disturbing the ‘peace and tranquility’ of the “home of the stars”.

The order cites, one ‘group called “Occupy” staging loud protests at night using bullhorns and loud music in residential areas’, with Vanity magazine adding that the ban also coincides with an earlier curfew put in place after ‘Beverly Hills was hit by violence, and property damage as looting began in the area, particularly around Rodeo Drive’ in May.

According to the LA Times, City officials were none too happy about Beverly Hills residents sleep being disturbed by protesters, and therefore ‘deemed it necessary to limit the use of residential neighborhoods at night to allow residents to sleep.’

Vanity’s Jordan Moreau noted, ‘silent gatherings, like candlelight vigils and private events, are still allowed, but people disobeying the order will be subject to arrest.’

The ban on gatherings came into effect on Saturday.

The decision met some resistance on social media with a number of Twitter users calling the decision hypocritical, given the large support from some of Hollywood’s elite for protesters carrying the Black Lives Matter movement’s Marxist banner.

Worse still, while George Floyd’s brother, Terrance, was calling for peace, those same Hollywood elites were chanting to the equivalent of “burn it all down.”

In May, Michael Moore encouraged rioters to burn down the police precinct, while simultaneously calling for no violence:

Ice Cube fueled the “kill whitey” flames by lending his support for violence, (which on another occasion included his use of an Anti-Semitic cartoon):

Legendary rapper and television star, Ice T, along with Miley Cyrus lent their unwavering support to the protests.

Ice T’s Twitter wall is drenched with anti-Trump rhetoric, conflating hatred for Donald Trump with the notion of “systemic racism”, celebrating peaceful Black Lives Matters protests, while giving an approving nod to any Anglo-American fans who genuflected to the BLM movement’s narrative, ridiculing those who questioned it.

Rosie O’Donnell, Bette Milder, reflected a similar sentiment, throwing up “police are racist” retweets; mixing that in with their hate Trump because love trumps hate dissonance, all in between their worship of Barrack Obama and “love is love”.

Rob Reiner also fueled the fires and fanaticism, encouraging division and ethnic tension by spamming his Twitter feed with rants accusing Donald Trump of ‘being a white supremacist’ labeling the Republican President a racist confederacy supporter.

The City of Beverly Hills ban is a “hell no, not here” to violent Black Lives Matter protests. There’s nothing wrong with officials maintaining law and order.

Hollywood supporters of BLM movement protests don’t get off so easy. It seems that protesters, protesting injustice against African Americans, disrupting and destroying the lives and livelihoods of those in predominately African American neighborhoods, is all still okay, just don’t do it to their neighbourhood, or on their front yard.

All of this suggests that there’s one rule for those who wish to rule us, another for those they wish to rule.

First published on Caldron Pool, 18th June 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

Jussie Smollett, who, according to Chicago police, faked a race hate, and “homophobic” incident earlier this year, has been released without charge.

In response to the breaking news, Smollett’s highly paid lawyers went out of their way to paint Smollett as the victim, despite the fact that Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts related to making a false report to police.

Smollett’s was let off because of his “volunteer service in the community, and agreement to forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago.”

Chicago police spokesman, Eddie Johnson, responded with a damning condemnation of the decision, saying:

“Do I think justice was served? No. where do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology… If I was accused of something, I’d want a trial, to have my name cleared. I’ve heard that they wanted their day in court with TV cameras, so America could know the truth, but no, they chose to hide behind secrecy and broker a deal to circumvent the judicial system.”

Johnson, clearly disappointed, said that the $10,000 bond wouldn’t come anywhere near to covering the cost of the investigation, jury and resources used on the case. Johnson also made a point of highlighting the ethical cost. Smollett used race hate legislation, signed into law by Barack Obama, to “self-promote his own career”. His decision to manipulate those laws, to his own advantage, has disadvantaged real victims, making it harder for the potential victims of real crimes to find justice. This is because it “casts a shadow on whether they’re telling the truth” (Johnson).

Chicago’s Mayor, Rham Emanuel was just as furious. He alluded that Smollett’s fake police report was divisive, saying Smollett’s actions had brought disgrace on Chicago. His release only carries that smear further. Emanuel alluded, that the dismissal of Smollett’s crimes, is a mockery of the hardworking men and women of the Chicago P.D., a mockery of the justice system and a repudiation of the citizens who participated in the grand jury.

“This is a whitewashing of justice. Where is the accountability in the system? You cannot have (because of a person’s position) one set of rules apply to them, and another set of rules apply to everybody else […] Our officers did hard work, day in and day out – countless hours working to unwind what actually happened that night. The city saw its reputation dragged through the mud, but I remind everybody it was not just the officer’s work that work involved a grand jury and they made a decision based on only a sliver of the evidence.”

Candace Owens also noted:

What many people are missing about Smollett’s dismissal is the timing.

In February, when Smollett was charged, we saw a smokescreen pulled up over the news, and social media, with people fixating on an interview given by John Wayne in the 1970’s. The news about Smollett quickly disappeared, as the divisive noise being pumped out about John Wayne took the headlines.

Yesterday, the highly anticipated, Robert Mueller report made headline news. The report completely exonerated Donald Trump from false accusations that alleged Trump had colluded with Russia in order to win the 2016 Presidential election in the United States.

After almost three years, as well as a ton of false accusations, with millions of dollars spent, Trump’s exoneration implicates that there’s been some dirty political manoeuvring from within the Democrat party, therefore, the timing of Smollett’s release is another curious co-incidence.

Given the February smokescreen of news about Smollett’s felony charge on 16 counts, this new event makes for a compelling argument which suggests:

a). Smollett getting-off-scott-free is another smokescreen designed to take attention away for the Mueller report that exonerated Trump. It’s a convenient political strategy for many on the Left, who may have their own crimes against the people exposed.

b). Smollett’s getting-off-scott-free, backs up the fact that committing a crime is not always treated as a crime, if someone from the Leftist camp commits a crime. They move the goalposts then move them back again, and Left does this if they sense some political benefit from it. For example: Michael Jackson[1]; Will Connolly (aka Egg boy).

Smollett has reason to smile. So do some Democrats and the Leftist cult of modern liberals among their ranks. They’ve successfully pulled off another political maneuver, which removes their treasonous deeds from the front page, and away from the concerns of the people.

It is likely, that Smollett will now get a book and movie deal. Along with countless talk show appearances and maybe even the University lecture circuit, etc.

The best action the discerning citizen can take now, is call out the timing, change the channel back, make a note of the smokescreen, and the double standard, then tune the guy out.

[1] To her credit Streisand has apologised for making the comments, but that doesn’t negate the point being made here. The fact is her initial reaction says a lot about Hollywood. “From out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45)

Photo by Jaroslav Devia on Unsplash

(Originally published at The Caldron Pool, March 27th, 2019)

©Rod Lampard, 2019

Thomas Doherty’s 2013 book, ‘Hollywood and Hitler: 1933-1939’, is a 373 page look into the past ideological make-up of Hollywood.

The book is well referenced, including both footnotes and a lengthy bibliography. The text flows chronologically and stands as essential reading for anyone studying, or wanting to know more about, both Hollywood’s reaction, and involvement, in Europe and America during the 1930’s.

Doherty paints a picture of the Hollywood scene, beginning with a basic introduction to the context and zeitgeist. What emerges is an insight into the things which divided and unified Hollywood. Avoiding a dreary run down of politics and economics, Doherty writes about a vibrant and diverse group of people, who, though continents apart and ideologically separated, forged an ardent opposition to Nazism and Fascism.

One of the main pillars of his book is Doherty’s exposition of the pro-active steps taken in order to counter the rise of anti-Semitism and Fascism. Opposition to Nazism from within the American film industry was an up-and-coming movement, which matured quickly after Hitler’s 1933 election to the Chancellery.

The movement wasn’t free of factionalism and fickle alliances. According to Doherty, shifting loyalties were brought about because of concerns raised with regards to the reach of Nazi propaganda and communism’s covert takeover of the Hollywood entertainment complex. Communists were involved in the Hollywood anti-Nazi League (HANL) movement. Consequently, some individuals within the movement became as much about quietly promoting Communism, as they did resisting Nazism. This narrowed diversity, as new factions split off and other groups, such as traditional Christians, were slowly purged from their place in the HANL movement. As Doherty shows, the biggest challenge for Communists was in maintaining a push towards Communist influence whilst keeping up the movement’s anti-Nazi; anti-Fascist agenda.

Doherty writes:

‘The Hollywood Anti-Nazi League’s rise, dominion and fall offer a case study in the merging of media and politics, celebrity status and social activism, and the ultimately irreconcilable marriage between starry-eyed liberalism and hard-nosed communism in the 1930s’ (p.100)

Hollywood & Hitler’ unpacks this subtle Communist overthrow of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi league. The primary factor for the ousting of Catholics and non-communists was the Spanish Civil war. As Doherty explains, the Spanish Civil had a complex political context. By proxy, Nazi Germany, Italy, and the Soviets were warring against each other.

The Spanish Civil war is a key feature under Doherty’s microscope. This is because it was the first conflict to be filmed, and shown to the public, close enough to real-time. Images flowed from the battlefront and were spilled out onto audiences through cinemas. The skills, process, procedure and art developed during these times, pioneered the way for film makers during World War Two.

Two compromises appear. First was the compromise of neutrality. Hollywood had a strong economic reason for working with the Germans and therefore a majority was against any boycotts of German goods[1]. Hollywood had to maintain neutrality wherever possible, in order to keep from directly enraging the Germans. Subsequently, Hollywood practiced a selective self-censorship of anything which displayed blatant opposition to the Nazis or Nazi ideology.

Second was a compromise of values and unity. One radical splinter of HANL, The Hollywood Popular Front, considered ‘neutrality the moral equivalent of lending aid and comfort to the enemy’ (p.161), such an extreme view alienated balanced reporters and compromised integrity. This was fueled further by a war between propaganda and ‘cinematic neutrality’ (p.171) over how the Spanish Civil war should be reported and retold[2].

Hollywood’s neutrality and its selective self-censorship[3] came under attack. Censorship and propaganda became the battlegrounds. Countering Nazi propaganda in films was an opportunity for the Popular Front to slip in Pro-Communist agitprop.  Simplifying the great length Doherty goes to in order to unpack this: there was an obvious tension between those who desired to push back against the evils of Nazism and those who wanted to do so by pushing the “virtues” of Communism. Not every member of NAHL was as starry-eyed about Communism as the Communists would have liked.

Doherty suggests that the ‘best explanation for the affinity of motion picture artists-actors and screenwriters [“Champaign communists”] especially-to an ideology counter to their economic self-interest [capitalism] was the respectful hearing according to them by the Communist Party of the USA. In Leninist doctrine[4], the artist stood among the vanguard elite, a cadre whose shining example would lead the benighted proletariat into the dawn of revolutionary enlightenment…the artist was the antenna of the revolutionary race-so much the better if he or she was a magnet for publicity and a donor with deep pockets.’ (p.114)

Doherty also points out the inconsistency of Hollywood’s Communists and their anti-Nazism. For example, the Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop-pact with the Nazis caused the Communists in Hollywood to double-down on their anti-Nazi rhetoric. This dilemma didn’t just reveal the façade that hid Communism, but how (with a few exceptions) self-serving their loyalty to the anti-Nazi cause was.

For better or worse, the Hollywood anti-Nazi movement, birthed (the now common) political celebrity[5]. The success of pushing support for ideas and consumer products through well-known and trusted, voices and faces, became common practice. Even if the celebrity didn’t know much about what they were selling, the opportunity to do so was as risky as it was potentially lucrative[6].

In Doherty’s words, HANL resorted to reaching the masses using ‘the same “hypodermic needle” theory of mass communications propounded by Joseph Goebbels: Inject the message into a mass consciousness through repetition, simplicity, and raw emotion.’ (2013, p.106)

The process this followed was to ‘first, gain the individual’s sympathy for what he is about to learn and second, present the material in a way which reaches his or her personal interest and at the same time supplies the necessary facts to sustain the first emotional reaction.’ (ibid)

It wasn’t until later on that Hollywood gained enough room to move on to directly producing films that had an anti-Nazi theme. Worth noting is Doherty’s point on how far Hollywood has shifted since the 1930s. The industry reluctant to criticize Nazism, has built a thriving business[7] on Nazis as the arch-nemesis of all that is good, (and for good reason!).

The Nazis, in the moral universe of Hollywood are the equivalent of pure evil, ‘the Nazi-centric documentary and narrative feature film is cultural currency –rarely dropping in value, always a good investment’ (2013, p.371).

It’s curious, however, that Nazism’s not so distant cousin, Communism, moving freely behind the anti-Nazi platform[8], has largely been given a free ride.

Perhaps this is why Doherty concludes that,

‘The American Communists had never thought of the movie capital as a party mint, but Otto Katz (a communist agent) corrected the oversight. Theodore Draper, the historian of American communism who observed Katz work his magic, described him as “the international Communist huckster par excellence”…Katz sold communism to the wealthy Hollywood magnates by working on their bad social consciences until they were cringing with contrition. The complete religious and metaphysical desert in the mind of many in the motion picture colony made Katz’s game easier’ (pp.103-104).

Hollywood & Hitler’ is balanced and tactful. Doherty draws from a depth of well researched information, and has taken pains to avoid any statements that would lead to the charge of McCarthyism. While Doherty addresses the positive points surrounding the anti-Nazi/anti-fascist movement in Hollywood, he doesn’t gloss over the negatives. ‘Hollywood & Hitler’ is well written, surprising in its relevance and enjoyable to read.

With the increasing visibility of celebrity activists, voicing opinion after opinion against things that Hollywood dislikes and distances itself from, the facts presented by Doherty, prompt the reader to question whether Hollywood has become what it once took a firm stand against. Jim Carry’s recent supportive statements in favour of Socialism, and every Hollywood award ceremony since 2016 being saturated in irrational, venomous hatred for one of their own, American President, Donald Trump, ( force the question: has the institution, which once valiantly fought the dragon, become one?

Notes & References

[1] This was because, ‘American Jews in the motion picture business warned that any boycott of German imports would only rebound to the grief of their kinsmen overseas.’ (p.179)

[2] ‘Like the rest of the Spanish Civil war documentaries, it was less a recruiting device for new converts than a ritual; exhibition for true believers’ (p.171) #greatquote

[3] From both Catholic and Jewish sections of the Entertainment community, see footnote #2 and Doherty’s discussion on the National League of Decency, pp.154 & 155: ‘the watchful eye of the Legion fell increasingly on any glimmer of communist influence in Hollywood Cinema.’

[4] The same is with Nazism. Doherty: ‘Unlike  the American government, whose policy toward creative expression was mainly benign neglect, the Nazis honored intellectuals and artists as avatars of Aryan culture…Talented filmmakers of good stock and reliable opinion were pampered; the rest were persecuted.’ (p.197)

[5] ‘In casting actors as activists, HANL was a farsighted pioneer.’ (p.113)

[6] This may be backfiring on Hollywood, where people, in a technological age start to see through the veneers and question why, who is selling what to whom.

[7] ‘In the digital age, the collection and repackaging of images of the Nazis remains a growth industry, sustaining documentary features, action films, and cable channels.’ (p.371)

[8] The Communist beachhead in Hollywood caused a split it, which created the far-left’s Popular Front, and the Catholic, National League of Decency (formed in 1934).

Doherty, T. 2013 Hollywood & Hitler: 1933-1939 Columbia University Press

Image credit: Columbia University Press

©Rod Lampard, 2018

Disclaimer: I received no remuneration of any kind for providing this review.

A friend recently sent me a link to a Jim Caviezel interview, given in August of 2010 at Rock Church, San Diego.

Throughout it Caviezel discusses his reasons for working on the ‘Passion of the Christ’. He details the before and after experience, making it clear that the work was not easy.

Unfortunately he didn’t discuss his work in ‘Frequency’ (2000), Jim Caviezel_compendium ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ (2002) and ‘I am David’ (2003).

He did, however, make some pointed remarks about freedom, society, faith and politics.

For example:

 ‘We cannot continue as Christians and sit here and say, “well I’ll only be a Christian if it’s about prosperity”…’

‘…Every generation of Americans needs to know, that freedom exists not to do whatever you like, but having the right to what you ought’

{Quotes appear @ 21:50-23:34 in the video linked below}

Three things stand out.

First, Caviezel’s delivery. His tone is for the most part sombre, sometimes urgent, but appeared to be full of conviction. He is keen to proclaim a message.

Second, despite some cheesy remarks from the interviewer, who all-in-all did a great job, Caviezel stays focused on his message. He sticks to clear points of interest that suggest this is not a put on just for entertainment or publicity value.

Third, Caviezel appears to be a man of conviction, speaking about lessons learnt from difficult experiences and introspective reflection.

Despite what you might think about ‘The Passion’ Movie, Mel Gibson or Caviezel, this interview is a rare insight into the journey of an actor who, by taking up the role of Jesus in the movie, gained more than he gave up or had stripped from him.

Caviezel knows the caveats in interviews where testimony plays a major part of the content. His comments make it obvious that he has put lot of consideration into how to communicate his faith in the shadow of masked pleasantry. This is tacitly referenced to in his statement that:

‘…you don’t have go out and do a song and dance for secularists because they won’t believe – they won’t believe anyway. You can pray for them, but understand people are going to choose evil’

{Quote appears @ 22:43 in the video linked below}

I thought the interview was candid and free of theatrics. It reveals a man willing to confess his faith in Jesus Christ, in full awareness of the cost to his own financial security, professional reputation and ambition.

Seeing as how this interview was almost four years old, you may have seen it.

If not, the full 40min is worth making the time to watch it.

(Please note: the linked video contains limited footage of the crucifixion scene in the movie)


Rock Church, 2010 Events: Jim Caviezel Comes to the Rock :
Image: The Passion of the Christ