Hey Conservatives, It's Not Our Fault That You Suck At Art.
Since the dawn of motion pictures, Conservatives have been at war with Hollywood -- from early censorship bills to conservative studio heads attempting to kill unions and police the behavior of their biggest stars to the creation of the Motion Picture Production Code (AKA the Hays Code) and through the blacklisting of suspected communists in the industry. It's been going on since forever, and it went on before that with other forms of art. Hell, it goes on in every high school in America.
But today's conservatives are trying to rewrite the script. Rather than acknowledging that yes, people who go into creative fields just tend to be more liberal, they have decided that the absence of conservative artists is part of some vast conspiracy on the left to keep them out of these industries.
Last night, during the Academy Awards, Glenn Beck was one of many conservatives to publicly kvetch about all the Hollywood actors being too liberal:
This tweet is exactly why conservatives don't have their own Hollywood, and it's why Glenn Beck's attempt to start his own movie studio failed. Because they think art is both easy and ultimately useless for anything other than propaganda.
Let's take Dana Loesch, who is also fond of suggesting that "Hollywood" is out to get conservatives:
"They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and awards shows to repeat their narrative over and over again....All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream 'racism' and 'sexism' and 'xenophobia' and 'homophobia.'" @DLoesch #Oscars pic.twitter.com/fjgdiQg4nN
— NRATV (@NRATV) March 5, 2018
Ten years ago, Loesch pitched "NCIS: New Orleans" co-executive producer Paul Guyot to produce a sitcom, starring her, about a "hot young mom" with a conservative radio show:
Did Dana Loesch have any acting training when she pitched Guyot the idea for her show? Not really! She had experience being a conservative talk show host. She just looked at other people with television shows and thought, "Oh, whatever, I could totally do that. That's not real work."
That is insulting. It is insulting to everyone who has worked their asses off for years simply to get a one line role on "Law & Order: SVU," to everyone out there right now spending their free time doing community theater, to everyone who has actually worked for it.
It is not the fault of "Liberal Hollywood" that Dana Loesch did not get her "hot mom sitcom." It is her own damn fault for not having been an actor. There is not some liberal cabal that bans young conservatives from taking acting classes or joining drama club or participating in community theater. There is no one stopping them from hosting their own comedy open mics. No one at the music store is going to ask you who you voted for before they will sell you a guitar. There is not some Hollywood Fairy that hovers over Schwab's Drugstore looking for random liberals to make into superstars. The people who work in Hollywood are there because it's something they actually worked for and sacrificed for.
Republicans love voting to defund arts education. They mock people who major in artistic pursuits in college, or who want to be actors or writers or artists instead of being hedge fund managers. They find these things unnecessary because they do not think that art involves any kind of actual hard work or study. That is why they are bad at it. Because if you do not ever work at something, it is highly unlikely that you will become good at it. It is even more unlikely that a career in it will be handed to you.
Also, they are often uncomfortable with LGBT people, who make up a large portion of those in creative fields. They make fun of empathy, they make fun of people having feelings -- qualities that are absolutely necessary to producing the kind of art that resonates with other people. They get very confused about performance art and think that it is evidence of actual Satanic rites.
What, exactly, about any of this is going to lead to them being major players in Hollywood or any other artistic industry?
Compounding this is the fact that most "conservative art" is made only for conservatives. Take Jon McNaughton. It's not like he's a conservative who also happens to paint things. All of his "art" is politically conservative art, like this weird picture of Donald Trump clutching a dirty flag.
He doesn't make art for love of art alone. That's the difference.
Even when conservatives do actually dedicate themselves to making art, when they try to make "conservative art," it really doesn't work. Look at David Zucker's "An American Carol." David Zucker has made things that were good and funny, but when he set out to make a conservative movie for conservatives, it was painfully bad and not funny.
A career in the arts involves taking more risks than conservatives are often comfortable with. It involves risking being "the weird kid" in high school who joins drama club or the literary magazine or starts a band rather than playing sports and going to keggers. It involves dedicating your time to something that will almost definitely not result in you actually being a superstar, just because you actually love doing it. If they are not willing to take these risks, they do not deserve the rewards.
You know who deserves rewards? Your Wonkette, JUST FOR BEIN' US. Also, it is your OPEN THREAD.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse