It has long been the belief of Radical and Right that the arts and entertainment worlds attract a disproportionate number of people with serious personality problems. We don’t delude ourselves into believing that we are trailblazing with this conclusion. Anyone with a knowledge of literature, painting, music, dancing, fashion and the theater will be aware that throughout history, most of the very talented people in these fields have had disastrous private lives. A random sample will make the point. Proust, Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, Brendan Behan, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, Tolstoy, Mozart, Isadora Duncan, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Gucci, Vivien Leigh and Oscar Wilde – these names came to mind in a few seconds and are as random a list as you can get.
It is not our intention here to discuss why so many artists and artistes are and always have been overwhelmingly flawed and unhappy people. Suffice to say that it seems a truism that the sort of people who marry, go to work in regular jobs, raise children more or less successfully and keep the world of industry and commerce running (dare we say, “normal” people), do not gravitate to the stage or shut themselves away to paint or write.
Since most of the “normal” people like to be entertained and since works of art contribute to civilization, we must all be thankful that there are “abnormal” people in the world. Most successful, stable societies would be boring and dull without a Bohemian fringe of artists and entertainers.
The problem, as we see it, arises when the Bohemians find themselves propelled from the fringe to center stage. When the Media people begin to get their hands on the levers of power, surely the rest of us need to get worried, especially as we know that a new ruling class likes to remake society in its own image.
The film industry developed primarily from the world of theater, and we can (over) simplify this by saying Hollywood was the child of Broadway. We also can say that Hollywood has played a leading role in the formation of the Media Class and has stamped its politics and morals onto it. Radical and Right believe that if we know what Hollywood people are like, how they behave and what political causes they have long supported, we can make sense of the agenda that the Media Class pursues. Here are some books that provide insights into Hollywood people and their world, the world that they are busy imposing on the rest of us.
DARK CITY by EDDIE MULLER. The book is subtitled “The Lost world of Film Noir” and was published in 1998.
This is a well-researched and interestingly written book about films churned out by Hollywood in the late 1930’s, the 1940’s and early 1950’s. They were all black and white films, cheaply made as supporting films in the days when cinemas showed a main feature and a supporting film. Despite the intentions of the Movie Moguls that these films should be second- class, Muller believes they were a genre and were groundbreaking in techniques. Eventually, many were to become main features. Film Noir gave many talented people – actors, actresses, writers, directors, cameramen and others a chance to create some great and influential films. As a young filmgoer who saw many of these films and was greatly influenced by them, I agree with him. For me and many other young Brits, these films were the “Real America”.
What I did not know until I read Muller’s book, was that these films were vehicles for a political agenda and that many of the people involved in their making were dedicated Leftists who had graduated from the New York writers and actors scene. To me, they were simply crime films, action packed, somber, gritty, and mostly depicting the New York and LA underworld and city life as a moral and actual jungle. Looking back, I can see that they also blurred the distinction between right and wrong and influenced me to believe that society was generally unfair, law enforcement corrupt, and that decent little people were powerless in a greedy and amoral American world. This was indeed the message the film-makers wanted to portray. Muller shares their view of US society and his sympathies are all with the Leftists, many of them card-carrying communists.
Besides revealing the political intent of these films, Muller tells us much about the actors, actresses, directors and writers. The two things that stand out are their Leftist beliefs and their dysfunctional lives. Of course, some of the actors, Robert Mitchum and Burt Lancaster for example, were not political, whilst others like John Garfield (an excellent actor and pioneer of film noir) were openly committed communists, but I was surprised to learn that Sterling Hayden, Robert Ryan, Gregory Peck and many other excellent actors and actresses of the era were such politically motivated and unhappy people.
For anyone who believes that the highly political and dysfunctional Hollywood people of today are a new phenomenon, this book is an eye-opener. The Leftists, it seems, have always dominated, but in the past the powerful studio bosses were able to suppress their public utterances whilst unwittingly enabling them to channel their anti-American, anti-business beliefs into fiction.
TALES of HOLLYWOOD the BIZARRE by JOHN AUSTIN
This book was published in 1992. By then, Austin had been a Hollywood reporter for many years and is clearly an insider. The book is a lightweight ramble through Hollywood scandals such as the death by auto-erotic asphyxia of cultured actor Albert Dekker (another Leftist activist) in 1968, the unsolved murder of Karyn Kupcinet in 1963 and the death of Jayne Mansfield in 1967. However it is chapters on the Oscars, sexual harassment and blacklisting politics that make this small book worth reading. Austin is not a communist sympathizer and is spot-on about Hollywood’s hypocrisy and about who really suffers from blacklisting. He also reveals how Hollywood has always controlled its own news, an important point now that the Media Class is controlling nearly all our news. In previous articles on this website we have commented on how Big Business is vilified in the media for greed, so it is worth quoting Austin’s comments in Chapter One. “The earnings of major stars and executives are obscene compared to other industries. In itself, this has created an “us against them” mentality in order to protect those earnings. This attitude creates an atmosphere which breeds mystery and isolates its subjects, inviting them…..to do anything they damn-well please. In a broader sense, it also breeds utter contempt for the laws of normal human behavior”
OPEN SECRET (GAY HOLLYWOOD 1928-1998) by DAVID EHRENSTEIN.
Published in 1998, this book’s author is both an insider and a homosexual, so the book is not an attack on homosexuality, rather a celebration of it and its powerfully influential place in film-making. Ehrenstein writes well, knowledgeably and objectively, especially on issues such as the philosophical clash between those Hollywood homosexuals who wish to keep their same-sex practices concealed from cinema audiences and those who are open and wish to “out” everyone. The latter believe that if we all know who are homosexual and the extent of homosexuality in Hollywood, same-sex relationships will be accepted as a normal state of affairs by the wider public.
Although Ehrenstein leaves readers wondering about some famous names (clearly he does not want to “out” anyone), he leaves us in no doubt about the size of the homosexual community in Hollywood and the huge influence it now has. Because he inhabits the entertainment world, he labors under the illusion that homosexuality is commonplace. It does not seem to occur to him that the Media world may be attracting much more than its fair share. The book is filled with quotations from Hollywood homosexuals and for the discerning reader they are very informative about their moral standards or lack of them (depending on your viewpoint).
After reading this book, nobody should be surprised that “Brokeback Mountain” was produced, expertly touted by a very professional propaganda machine, and showered with accolades by the Media. We can expect many more such films until we all agree that same-sex relationships are not just “normal” but better than normal. We can also expect the campaign to defeat AIDS to dominate Media publicity over all other diseases and for Hollywood money to flow to Leftist causes and politicians. Chapter Nine offers a fascinating insight into how Bill Clinton transformed his first campaign for President and became a front-runner in the Democrat Party Primaries. On the night of May 18th1992 he addressed a Hollywood Aids benefit and pledged his support for the homosexual community. In doing so gained the overwhelming support of Hollywood’s rich and powerful. Although he backtracked on his commitment later when President (don’t ask, don’t tell in the military), the Clintons continue to enjoy crucial Media Class support because of their same-sex sympathies.
This book is highly recommended both for those who are film buffs and those wishing to know more about our new Master Class.
EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS by PETER BISKIND.
This book, published in 1999, is a reminder to readers that Hollywood’s heterosexual community is dysfunctional and debauched too, perhaps more so, than its other sub-groups. The book’s subtitle says it all! “How the Sex, Drugs and Rock-n’ Roll Generation saved Hollywood”. If you have the stomach to read a whole book about the self-destructive people who made and starred in films like “Easy Rider”, then this is the book for you.
You might be left wondering whether the film business is a magnet for perverts, neurotics, psychopaths, and discontents, or whether it corrupts those who enter it. I suspect both explanations are true. The question is, do we want such people remaking our society in their own image?