Here's an expanded version of my post over at Hollywood Elsewhere.
Is there a conspiracy against Jon Voight and other conservatives in Hollywood? Last month Voight wrote an anti-Obama column for the right-wing Moonie-owned Washington Times. Soon after, a blogger named Jeffrey Wells suggested off-handedly that Hollywood big-wigs would do well to avoid casting the actor in future roles. Then the usual right-wing blowhards jumped into the fray, crying out against a new Hollywood blacklist.
Don't swallow the bullshit. I know you've been asked to chug buckets of the stuff over the last eight years, and maybe some of you even grew used to the flavor. I encourage you to back away from the buckets, gargle with mouthwash, and never eat this fecal gruel again.
The only successful blacklist in Hollywood was carried out by right-wing fanatics in the 1940s and 1950s. It ruined the lives of many innocent people whose only crime was speaking out against their country. Free speech is one of those rights guaranteed to all citizens by the U.S. Constitution. There were people who didn't like that. These were the Cold War grandfathers of the neo-conservative movement.
The only modern blacklist we've seen comes courtesy of the same far-right fringe element that has run the Republican Party into the ground. For the past eight years, the neo-cons and their water-carriers have been screaming "SHUT UP!" at anyone who disagreed with them, with shills like Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly leading the charge.
Let's not forget that while Ann Coulter advocated the bombing of the NY Times building, other talking heads "joked" about liberal labor camps and political executions. And what did certain Americans do to deserve these fascist fatwas? Why, they dared to publicly disagree with a disastrous administration that we now see has been 100 percent wrong on every issue, from Iraq to Aghanistan to global warming to the economy to national energy policy to political corruption ... the list goes on and on. And we'll be mopping up and paying for their unholy mess for decades to come.
Now that these failed neo-con policies are no longer being swallowed by a gullible and fear-ridden public, this same fanatical contingent has the utter gall to bellow that some monstrous left-wing Hollywood cabal is trying to silence their free speech?
Bullshit. It's a smokescreen designed to make them look oppressed. And make no mistake, the strategy of smokescreens is the only chance they have of not being utterly demolished in the fall elections. They cannot run on Bush's eight-year catastrophic record. They cannot present their candidate, John McCain, as a maverick of change, as he has voted in agreement with Bush 99.999 percent of the time. They cannot hide the fact that the only thing they have to offer is more of the same. And that's a losing proposition because nobody in America is better off than they were eight years ago (unless you're among the 1 percent controlling 99 percent of the wealth, or if you have stock in Halliburton).
Nobody in Hollywood or anywhere is advocating a blacklist against conservatives. I certainly don't wish to silence them. Each time they try to make their non-existent case to the public, they come closer to losing what few shreds of power they still hold in their bony little claws. Lots of us on the left have been waiting far too long for moderate, reasonable and mature conservatives to retake control of their wayward party. For that happen, the neo-cons must be completely and utterly demolished in the public policy arena.
Blacklists are morally wrong and anti-American. Unlike the last one in Hollywood, which saw the far right damage and ruin the lives of many on the far left, a left-wing blacklist couldn't work. For every George Clooney seen fundraising for Obama, there are dozens of centrist or right-wing studio executives and CEOs funneling streams of cash to McCain. The purse strings of the entertainment industry are controlled by people historically sympathetic to the Republican party. This is key information the neo-cons don't want you to have because it doesn't fit into their paper-thin mythology that fuels the smokescreen of their culture war.
So Voight voiced his wrong-headed opinion in the nation's biggest joke of a newspaper. Obama a socialist? Viet Nam a just war? Hey, I'll have a pound of whatever dim-witted Joe Buck's been smoking, please! In response, one Jeffrey Wells -- a blogger in no position to control the hiring and firing of anybody outside his little website -- pecked out his gut reaction. Both used their powers of free speech to voice their opinions. That's all that happened.
Look past the smoke. See the neo-con desperation and fear for what it really is and don't give in to it. These greedy, corrupt and war-mongering monsters have almost completely ruined this country's economy, morale and reputation. They have the right to say anything they want, and we have the right to reply loudly and clearly: Fuck you!
I for one can't wait to see Voight tackling the role of George Washington in David Zucker's movie An American Carol. The "satiric parable," in which a Michael Moore-like filmmaker takes a guided tour of history to witness the error of his ways, sounds like the lobotomized propaganda knee-slapper of the year. Voight as the ghost of George Washington standing atop the rubble of the Twin Towers? That's kitsch of a cosmic caliber. If you've ever watched Zucker spew his far-right paranoid beliefs on Fox News, you know this guy is fucking nuts.
The pic below (with a hilariously miscast Kelsey Grammer as Gen. George Patton) promises to be a laff riot rivaling the best work of cross-dressing hack filmmaker Ed Wood, Jr. Hell, Voight even looks like his makeup was applied by a drag queen. This Windex-clear vision into the morally misguided heart mind of the neo-con fringe is on my must-see list, and I wouldn't ban it for anything. Hell, I'll tell everybody I know to go see it.
2008 is the year we take back America. There will be righteous anger, followed by celebration, laughter and freedom. We will have the pleasure of watching the neo-con movement die an overdue and very just death.
And this is how the death rattle begins ...