Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
Stone’s "W" a flop!
by Steve Fair
Oliver Stones, “W” opened this weekend. The cost to produce and market the movie was $55 million, so short of a taxpayer funded “bailout,” it will lose money. There was a lot of hype for the “original” idea of a leftwing socialist making a movie about Republicans. There was also a lot of curiosity, not just in Hollywood, but in political circles as to how many people would go the theater and see “W”. On Friday it was #2, but by Sunday it was #4 behind The Secret Life of Bees. Less than 400,000 total saw “W” this past weekend. That translates to an average of 195 people per theater- not exactly a blockbuster.

According to Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood, exit polling for “W” found that 89% of those attending the movie disapprove of President Bush. 78% are voting for Obama with only 6% voting for McCain. Those numbers are not surprising because over half who went said they went to see a movie that made fun of Bush.

Oliver Stone is a three time Oscar winning director who is also a decorated Viet-nam veteran. He is also an unabashed socialist, and liberal whose portrayal of President Bush in “W” is less than flattering. In the movie, he has Bush, who is portrayed by Josh Bolin, drunk driving his car onto the lawn of his parent’s home and challenging George HW Bush to a fistfight. The incident never happened, but future generations will be telling that story as fact.

There is also a scene in which during a meeting on Iraq, Bush playfully locks Colin Powell out of the room. He then steals a mint from Condolezza Rice and tells Paul Wolfowitz to trim his ear hair. Another scene has Bush in a sit down with Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. The President(Josh Bolin) explains that he has given up sweets since the beginning of the Iraq war. “This is my personal sacrifice to show support for our troops.” Watch for that quote in next year’s liberal history books.

Stone belittles the President’s faith by having a sign where he tells a televangelist, “The truth is, I really don’t want to run for President, but I feel that God wants me to do this and I must do it.”

I’m no screenwriter, but Stone should have included a scene of “W” calling down Hurricane Katrina. Liberals still believe there is a “hurricane” button in the Oval Office and one day Bush decided he wanted one to hit the Gulf Coast that day and pressed the button.

There used to be a time in our country when there was a respect for the office of President. No matter who held that office, they were not personally ridiculed. Their policies and leadership skills were questioned, but their personalities were off base.

Gone are the days when Hollywood produced movies like John Ford’s, Young Mr. Lincoln and Frank Capra’s. Mr. Smith goes to Washington- both released in 1939. Moviegoers who viewed those films got an accurate view of history and politics. Capra’s film was so controversial that during its premiere, the sitting Speaker of the House allegedly walked out because he said it portrayed politicians as “crooks.” Mr. Smith has been called the “whistleblower” film because it dealt with the issue of corruption in Washington from a moral perspective.

But few of Generation Y has seen those films. The members of this generation, who grew up in the ‘90s, are exceptionally tech-savvy. According to Reynol Junco and Jeanna Mastrodicasa in their book, Connecting to the Net.Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today's Students , 97% of them own a computer, 94% of them have a cell phone, 76% use instant messaging, and two thirds of them have a Facebook profile. But they don’t use conventional means to get their news- 34% of them use websites as their primary source of news. 28% of them author a blog and 44% read blogs. While that may be high-tech, it’s not always accurate or unbiased.

Their kids are even less informed. In a recent survey of kids 13-17, only 25% could name the city where the US Constitution was written (Philadephia). However 80% could identify the city whose zip code was 90210 (Beverly Hills).

The distorted, whacked out views of someone like Stone will likely influence a new generation of leaders who will have a revisionist view of history. They will not develop critical thinking skills. They will believe there are no absolutes, and conduct their lives using situational ethics.

In a satire movie called Idiocracy, Luke Wilson is a man with an average IQ who is frozen in an experiment in 2000 and then thawed in 2500. When he awakes, he finds he is a genius. His IQ isn’t any higher, but the rest of society has become completely clueless about the most basic truths. For example, they believe a sport drink is the key to everything including the growing of crops. With Stone and the Hollywood elite being the source of history for future generations, perhaps Idiocracy is not a satire, but a prophecy.

No comments: