By Purnell Pinkney
Children derive exquisite pleasure out of playing the game of “pretend.” All kinds of personas are suddenly possible in this game and credibility merely requires holding the attention of playmates long enough to impress and entertain. That’s what children do in their innocence. They play social make-believe games. Adults also play the “pretend game;” it’s called acting, Hollywood, the “silver screen, “Broadway” and a half dozen or so other names. As adults however, “pretending” is serious big-business…in fact it is a socio-cultural, cash-cow industry. Actors of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors and levels of ability, are paid handsomely to pretend that they are not themselves, but rather, that they are some imaginary character freshly minted from the mind of a skilled writer. The “star” actor class in America… the 5% to 10% of them, who earn approximately 85% to 90% of the total wages paid to all of these performers, are generally recognized as “celebrities.”
So powerful has the influence of Hollywood celebrities grown that their cinematic success is now wrongly assumed to indicate… 1) elevated IQ’s and 2) possession of political notions of what is best for the American people. And so the U.S. public finds itself being nudged in a certain social and political direction by a class of people who are, a) paid to “NOT” be their “REAL” selves, b) who must constantly seek the personal approval of the public, c) who as a result of that pursuit are most likely to be neurotic to various degrees, d) who at all costs must maintain their theatrical persona in order to sustain marketability and e) who spend their entire professional lives avoiding the public exposure of their private lives. No one can be reliably certain of when these people are “in” or “out” of character. But so profound is the impact of the images of these folks on the silver screen, that a normally rational viewing audience will abandon common sense and bestow upon these performers some sort of special gift of prescience. In committing this error of presumption, the public inadvertently elevates ordinary everyday people who happen to work in an exclusive occupation to the lofty status of a kind of “American Nobility.” On a wide range of socio-political issues, large numbers of enthusiastic admirers eagerly subscribe to the opinions and judgments of this movie land pseudo-aristocracy. These fans steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that everything about Hollywood, including the actors and actresses, is contrived, controlled, fictitious, fake or imaginary…everything, that is, except the cash raked in by various studios from the revenues generated from the periodic block buster film.
So popular has the trade in fantasy become that Hollywood in recent times has slowly ratcheted up its influence on a dumbed-down public and openly entered partisan politics. Hollywood is now an unapologetically leftist operation. It is using its influence and financial clout to advance the agenda of the leftist elements in American politics by appealing to the naïve sensibilities of America’s millennials and at the same time, troll for the support of independents and minorities. This industry was instrumental in President Obama’s 2008 election and 2012 re- election. Nonetheless, it is now becoming evident that dealing in fantasy while positioning to dispense political and social dogma is a recipe for national chaos.
Regrettably black men in America are innocent casualties of this political “passion play.” The Hollywood version of America’s black men call for violent, misanthropic, unrefined, immature, predatory images and no amount of appealing to the studios to stop the damaging trend has produced results. There are no disclaimers on crazy-violent films that warn that the contents are make-believe…not true-to-life. Where there is viewer confusion, fantasy becomes dangerous; especially for black men in America at the hands of Hollywood studio executives. It can generate false images, untrue characterizations and more importantly, the attribution of beliefs, values and behaviors to black men that are misleading and derogatory. Notice that the unpredictable brute stereotype attached to black men who are actors continues to persist and just as importantly, these characterizations continue to fill the seats in movie theaters.
Having succeeded in casting black men and black communities as hopelessly pathological, Hollywood set its sights on imposing its version of social, economic and political reality on the American public via mass media scripting of certain elements of the secular- progressive agenda. To accomplish this objective, Hollywood relied upon the method it knows best; scripting. Without a script, Hollywood implodes…just as it did during the turbulent Civil Rights, Anti-War, “Academic Freedom” era of the 1960’s.
At that time theaters and movie houses simply became irrelevant as the “real” world of reconciling America’s espoused values with its actual values was publicly debated. During these epic struggles, fantasy was put in its proper place; the bottom of the list of national priorities. Hollywood struggled mightily through that slump and was unable to extricate itself from the decline until it stumbled upon the novel idea of “Blaxploitaion Movies.” The first and most successful of these movies was the block buster film, “Super Fly.” It is the opinion of many that this film, with its all-black cast, single-handedly ended the Black Power movement and the Civil Rights movement in America while simultaneously ushering in a self-indulgent era that glorified and encouraged sex, drugs and criminality in black communities across America. The effects of this movie and others of that genre are still reverberating throughout black communities across the nation.
But the film industry was just beginning to flex its muscles…for it had rediscovered the vulnerability of the American viewing audience to the power of suggestion and cinematic imagery. The transition from influencing pop-culture to orchestrating political thought proved to be an easy task; the apparatus was already in place. The studios had money, politicians, an ideology and an impressionable new audience to engage. This alliance was so powerful and new on the American political landscape that it was difficult to counter; for it had no clearly defined leader or identity to refute or discredit. Consequently, this union of Hollywood and political dogma appeared vague and innocuous. Even more important was that this scripting alliance was so positioned that its objectives appeared to represent the enlightened will of the American people.
The strategic weak link in this coalition however, was the absence of a means of stifling popular opposition to the scheme. To remedy that problem, “political correctness” which had been steadily injected into the public psyche over a period of about 20 years, was the perfect solution…shame and the prospect of public vilification throttled dissent. No one and nothing dared to openly oppose the Hollywood/progressive/leftist agenda; neither churches, not conservatives nor the activist “Tea Party” groups ventured to risk the wrath of this new alliance.
For a while the agenda of this new force was virtually unstoppable … and then something happened. It became increasingly clear that nothing that the liberal-progressive Congress and President succeeded in passing into law, produced the desired results. Consequently, anything they wanted that failed to obtain legislative success was forced on the American public by activist judges and a passive U.S. Attorney General. Though the crown jewel of the Left’s agenda, “amnesty for 10 million illegal aliens” still eludes Congressional passage…it is almost a foregone conclusion that president Obama is “evolving” on the issue and will grant the amnesty before he leaves office in 2016.
Is it possible that the present state of affairs in America is the result of a series of scripted socio-political legislation introduced by the Left and aimed at creating a new version of America by totally dismantling the value system, religious ideals and social mores that have made the United States the most powerful and influential nation in modern history? The answer to this question seems to be a resounding “yes.” If there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Hollywood is complicit in this scheme, then it can be established once and for all that the use of scripting as a political tactic is indeed being used as a device to lull the masses into a sense of false security all the while subjecting the same masses to manipulation by an unprincipled cabal of zealots whose intent is to force their views upon the electorate.
Black men were always suspicious of the sudden and ubiquitous changes being forced upon them and their communities across the nation. Political correctness suppressed the concerns of these men however, and the Left ran roughshod over their sensibilities as the scripting expanded and intensified to encompass freedom of speech on certain subjects and personal behavior with respect to other situations. Nonetheless black men generally acquiesced to the script as it was given to them…if not they risked being accused of violating “political correctness” protocol and faced certain exposure to public ridicule by the media. This situation amounted to a form of psycho-social, high-stakes, behavioral blackmail. So how does this scripting operate in its ordinary and practical application?
Consider these examples:
1. One of Hollywood’s most masculine, macho, tough-looking actors suddenly announces his support for homosexual marriage. A few months later he produces a flop of a movie about a 1960s singing group. His movie was heavily promoted and released. Looked like the studios rewarded him for his favorable public stance on homosexuality. Scripted?? Looks possible.
2. Bill and Hillary Clinton were vehemently against homosexual marriage when President Clinton signed the DOMA Bill in 1996. By 2008 they were vigorously for it and in 2012 they encouraged the U.S. Justice Department not to enforce it laws against it. Sudden conversion…or scripting?
3. Anyone who disagrees with the liberal party-line is a bully, bigot or a Neanderthal. These labels enter the public discourse through the media and gain general acceptance. The use of the labels however, is a misapplication of the terms. Scripting??
4. A mediocre NBA player announced that he is a homosexual and the President of the United States invited him to the White House. Sales of his jersey supposedly skyrocket. At present this player is apparently not on the court but is being used as a “Poster Child” for diversity of any kind. Scripting gone sour??
5. Mr.Obama condones gay marriage and a slew of Hollywood types; male and female “come out” to the applause and admiration of their peers. Some of them were in career slumps and used the “disclosure” to try to re-charge flagging careers. Others had no career and try to use the gay card to jump-start a career in cinema. Actors vie for the opportunity to disclose their sexuality. Scripting??
6. President Obama laments the inaction of Congress on immigration and signals his sympathy for illegals and waves women and children besiege the US southern border overwhelming resources and personnel. It is the largest mass migration of unescorted children across international borders since the Europe’s “Children’s Crusade” to free the Christian Holy Land in the year 1212 AD. Latinos sending their children on a 1200 mile trip alone, through dangerous territory, on the top of freight trains?? No one saw them as they debarked? No one saw them coming toward the U.S. border?? Nonsense…this was a clear case of Scripting.
7. Global warming did not seem to find traction so now the liberal mantra is switched to “climate change.” No explanation for the change is offered.
8. A homosexual football player awaiting his selection to an NFL team announced his gay orientation to the fanfare of national press coverage. After a tearful acknowledgement that he had been drafted in the last round of the NFL draft he kissed his boyfriend in the mouth on national TV and it was replayed over and over ad nauseum by liberal media groups. Weeks later he had a book deal with Oprah and an exclusive interview on her show. A few months later the gay player was released by the Dallas Cowboys, the last team to give him a shot. For whatever reasons, he is no longer in the NFL. There was very little media coverage of his being cut from the squad in Dallas. Scripting gone sour??
9. The media encourages American children to play soccer. Soon a ho-hum American soccer team drafts one of the world’s premier players to bolster sagging attendance at games. US sports media have a field day covering the occasion and the player receives immediate commercial endorsement contracts. The player, Mr. David Beckham leaves at the end of his contract not to return. Americans consistently reject soccer as a mainstream major sport to the dismay of the scripting machine!!
10. A horrific shooting takes place and the script calls for the media to attack the 2nd amendment and gun ownership in America. A solemn President Obama appears on TV to call for much stricter gun control. No mention of the mental condition of the perpetrator is made. The people who have done most of the mass killings in America are proven to be mentally imbalanced. The Script calls for silence if confronted with that sort of evidence. It calls for silence on the murder and mayhem in the streets of President Obama’s hometown, Chicago. In 2011 the city recorded nearly 500 murders annually by criminals with guns acquired by extra-legal means. Scripting perhaps??
11. Common Core was considered the “Holy Grail” of the liberal educational agenda. It has been revealed to be a “Common Crime” against the children on America. The script called for complete adherence to the dictates of the program. The American people are rejecting the plan completely in state after state. Script gone sour??
12. The script calls for the rejection of organized religion and in particular Christianity. Religious organizations have taken to the courts to protect their First Amendment rights and they are prevailing in most cases. Script reversal??
13. The script calls for the Holder Justice department to selectively enforce the laws of the nation. Suits filed against the U.S. Justice Department are piling up and aimed at forcing that agency to enforce the laws of the land.
14. Using the IRS to blunt the efforts of conservative groups to legally organize was another key element of the script. That plan has been exposed and discredited. Civil and criminal suites have been filed against the IRS and key administrators therein. Script gone awry??
15. Americans want jobs. The script call for a welfare state. President Obama extends unemployment benefits as long as he can to stave off an inevitable crisis resulting from the lack of jobs. Script out of control??
The fundamental change that president Obama promised the nation and by extension, black men, in 2008 is a far cry from the transformation that black men had expected. And besides, the details of the planned transformation were never fully explained. As a result, different demographics had different notions of how the transformation would occur and how they would be affected. African American men naively thought that change meant a new day in employment opportunities, safe communities, health care, education, business opportunities and access to the Oval Office to present the case for black America’s inclusion in the impending prosperity of the nation. Instead they got smoke and mirrors and chastening, condescending lectures on what they needed to do to measure up to the expectations of their nation’s president. The script prepared for black men did not call for their economic advancement or the alleviation of their array of continuing problems. These men were simply written out of the “Hope and Change” agenda, restrained at a safe distance from real political power and given a numbing dose of “benign neglect.” There was to be no happy ending in the script prepared for brothers. Instead they were publicly scolded whenever the opportunity presented itself and made to feel that they themselves were the source of all of their problems…that they would continue to languish in poverty, crime and unemployment unless they accepted the script. Black men seem to have rejected that offer and now they are beginning to reject their critic: the President of the United States. The separation appears to be overdue and perhaps even…permanent.