Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics for “Hooray for Hollywood” in 1938 when Hollywood was much different than today. He declares, “Come on and try your luck. You could be Donald Duck. Hooray for Hollywood.”
Actually, Hollywood hit the skids soon after that and has gone down hill like a toboggan sled on an icy slope ever since.
The very next year Hollywood released Gone with the Wind and had Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) using a four-letter word, which was a “no-no” back in the 1930’s when society was more genteel compared to the present-day fare of an avalanche of profanities and expletives.
Year after year, Hollywood pumps out the same formulaic dross, appealing to the very basest elements in the human character. It is a rare and wonderful Hollywood film that elevates the soul and inspires us with a sense of human potential.
Eduoard Metrailler, editor of The Harvard Salient in 1997, wrote, “Attending movies is nowadays an exercise in numbing oneself to gratuitous violence, drug abuse, and sleaze. We are finally experiencing the dangerous consequences of this corrupting education. We must acknowledge that society cannot long endure if its children are so infected by Hollywood’s perverted attitudes.” The Harvard Salient was founded in 1981 by students at Harvard University to provide a journalistic alternative to the predominately liberal campus press.
Interestingly enough, a higher percentage of Americans went to see movies each week during the Great Depression, which swept the United States in the 1930’s, than during the times of economic expansion and great prosperity the United States has seen since.
In 1930 (the earliest year from which accurate and credible data exists), weekly cinema attendance was 80 million people, approximately 65% of the resident U.S. population. However, in the year 2000, only 27.3 million people attended the cinema weekly – a mere 9.7% of the U.S. population. A brief look at the raw numbers will clearly indicate that cinema attendance has taken a steep decline in seventy years.
Michael Medved, in his book Hollywood Vs. America, suggests that the entertainment industry is forfeiting both profits and paying customers in a crazy campaign to foist its own loony lifestyles and muddled world views on the American people.
Hollywood is the primary purveyor of popular culture. In fact, American life is becoming victim to the onslaught of Hollywood culture; its selfish, greedy vapidity; and its far left agenda. Furthermore, we must resist the debasing of our political life by keeping the boundaries between politics and popular culture clear and distinct.
Politics, though often marred by corruption, should be an arena for virtue. By welcoming popular culture into the political sphere, the prospects for virtue become very bleak indeed.
That bleak prospect is exacerbated by a motley aggregation of Hollywood glitterati – bullhorn radicals like Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Streisand, and yes, Jane Fonda, whose combined college credit units would probably not get you one decent college degree, although Sean Penn did study auto mechanics at Santa Monica College. What legitimate reasoning qualifies them to have a platform to express their opinion on politics, the Iraq war, or anything else?
Charlie Sheen is best known in Hollywood for his sexploits (Maxim, a heterosexual magazine, reported last year that Sheen claims to have had sex with 5,000 women). The Tinseltown gigolo is reportedly in talks to narrate an Internet documentary that suggests that elements of the United States government were behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
The 79th Academy Awards, hosted by the openly gay Ellen Degeneres, was more a brazen act of wartime propaganda by the shameless secular-progressives than an awards show.
Rosie O’Donnell, the raunchy standup comedienne and talk show host, but hardly a Hollywood starlet, has frequently appeared to be sympathetic toward terrorists groups threatening America and has even said that we ought “not to be alarmed by terrorists.” She frequently insults the collective intelligence of the American people and recently demonstrated her contempt for followers of Christ by comparing radical Islam to radical Christianity on ABC’s The View.
David Limbaugh, best selling author and attorney, recently commented, “Until Hollywood hotshots demonstrate some modicum of the diversity of thought they sanctimoniously demand of others, they will not and do not deserve to be taken seriously.”
Medved states, “America’s long-running romance with Hollywood is over. Tens of millions of Americans now see the entertainment industry as an all-powerful enemy, an alien force that assaults our most cherished values and corrupts our children. The dream factory has become the poison factory.”
Maybe we could say “Hooray for Hollywood” in 1938, but certainly not today.