Around a year ago, I was lambasted on the blog for calling a girl a “girl” in a post I wrote, instead of calling her a woman, even though the other female readers of this blog freely use the pejorative “girl” for girls of the same age as the one I talked about.
In the comments I exposed that double-standard, but at the time I don’t recall mentioning the insane hypersensitivity and political correctness that drove the response.
This week I watched with amazement two other incidents (not involving me) showcasing more examples of this hypersensitivity and insane political correctness.
In the first case, Dov Hikind dressed up for Purim as a basketball player. A black basketball player, mind you. And for that he’s going to hell and his career is almost certainly damaged.
Because apparently you can dress up as anything on Halloween or Purim, except as a black man (or am I supposed to say African-American).
In the second case, Seth MacFarlane made some amusing jokes about Jews controlling the Hollywood movie industry, during the Oscar ceremonies. As a result, he was attacked for it by the Jewish watchdogs.
What?! Are you people insane?
A comedian suddenly can’t make jokes about something that is pretty darn near close to true, or certainly used to be.
This hypersensitivity is out of control.
Neither man had any racist intent in their acts or statement. Neither were aware that what they did would be considered racist or insensitive.
And why should they have?
People don’t costume up as Hassidim? As Italian Mafiosos? As Arabs? As Rastafarians? You can get all those costumes in the store.
But a black man is off limits? Or is it that costuming as a black basketball player if off limits because it’s a stereotype. Though what kind of stereotype can it be when 78% of basketball players are black?
And look how many Hollywood producers and actors are Jewish (or of Jewish descent at least). You’ve got to be an idiot to not see that.
But apparently it’s now wrong to point that out. (Unless you’re John Stewart, in which case it’s OK, presumably because he’s Jewish).
Is it going to be racist to point out how many Jewish Nobel prize winners there are? Is that an offensive stereotype too?
It really is time that this hypersensitivity got toned down, and save it for real racism.
I only recently saw Argo, which won “Best Picture” at the Academy Awards last night. As a whole, it was a decent movie, and it brought to light the true story of individual’s who took personal responsibility and risk above the call of duty and even in defiance of orders – and saved lives.
But the film’s opening narration reads like a textbook Obama must have read in college and then reread as a refresher before getting to work on the speech he gave at Cairo University at the start of his presidency.
The part of the narration that really got me was the statement, “[t]he Iranian people took to the streets outside the U.S. Embassy” to demand the U.S. give up the deposed Shah so he could be tried and hung.
No, it was not terrorists, militants, or radical Islamists who stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, but “the Iranian people.” Really? Were all Iranians there? Did they all support it?
My experience as a political activist is that large groups of people don’t spontaneously appear anywhere. Someone needs to organize it – even if it’s incredibly popular, which in the Muslim world, attacking Western embassies and other acts of barbaric murder seem to be – someone needs to tell people to show up at a certain place at a certain time. And if something else aside from a protest is going to happen, there is going to be an individual or group of individual’s intent and direction behind it. It is ludicrous to claim that an entire nation was so outraged that a mob spontaneously formed to commit acts of violence at a particular spot.
(See this article by an Iran expert describing how it was a group of radical Islamists were behind it, how the public at large were probably against it, and how the radicals used it to help seize power).
But today’s leftist-multicultural-Arabist view is that every anti-American act, including murder and terror, is the righteous anger of the an aggrieved people as a whole, but when the American people in the righteous anger demand justice or vengeance – that is the ugly American idiot rearing his head.
So while even Carter at the time of the hostage crisis was characterizing the incident as “terror” and “blackmail” on the part of the Iranian regime, in the new version of things, it was the people as whole behind the affairs, no matter how impractical that actually is.
When this perspective is brought to bear in current events, where the Islamic revolution that took place in Iran has since spread the rest of the region, Islamists and terrorist acts excused and legitimized. So for instance, when the American ambassador to Libya and other embassy staff were murdered today, U.S. administration officials spent about two weeks claiming this was done by some spontaneous mob outraged over an anti-Islamic video created in the United States.
And in this view, Islamists – who seek to impose Islam, and their strict form of it, on the rest of the population, and who back directly or indirectly terrorism against Western countries – are viewed as legitimate leaders to be respected if they win one election, regardless of what they did to win or how they stay in power afterwards.
This is the view that is spreading from the leftist professors to the U.S. presidency, to the various executive departments, and to the people themselves through cinema. It’s aim is to cause the U.S. to either feel too guilty to pursue and protect its interests and promote its values abroad, but that it should instead, through foreign aid, supplying weapons, extending legitimacy, assisting in regional goals, feed the beast that hungers for the extinction of the American world order.
Last night I watched Academy Award Best-Picture nominee, Life of Pi.
I was more impressed with the existential, religious and deeply-human aspects of the film; nevertheless, the special effects were spectacular.
One Hebrew word for spectacular is מַרְהִיב. This active-causative הִפְעִיל verb derives from the root ר.ה.ב (r.h.b). רַהַבis the Biblical name of a Canaanite god synonymous with the sea. The great body of water is something gripping and spectacular, as one might observe at the beach (or while lost at sea), and as the ancients knew very well.
An example of מרהיב:
“חַיֵּי פַּי” הוּא סֶרֶט מַרְהִיב. Life of Pi is a spectacular film.
The nominations for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards best movies of 2012 were announced yesterday, January 10, and two Israeli films are among those nominated.
Of course, both movies portray Israel in a negative light, so calm down before kvelling.
The movies, “5 Broken Cameras,” and “The Gatekeepers,” were both nominated in the category of Best Documentary film. Both films portray Israelis as primarily violent thugs who are intent on oppressing the Arab Palestinians.
“5 Broken Cameras” is produced and directed by an Arab Palestinian, Emad Burnat, and an Israeli Jew, Guy Davidi. It won the World Cinema Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Festival.
Emad Burnat, the storyteller in “5 Broken Cameras,” is from the village of Bil’in, which is the site of a weekly protest by the villagers and numerous activists hungry for fights with Israelis. The protests are ostensibly about the creation of Israel’s security fence – which opponents often refer to as an “Apartheid wall,” and the film documents these protests. The 5 broken cameras in the movie’s title refer, according to Burnat, to five different cameras of his which have been broken by the Israelis in “brutal” attempts to squash the Arabs’ “non-violent” protests.
No doubt the true story behind the death of Jawaher abu Rahma, on December 31, 2010, was not included in the movie. But the story behind her death might do a better job of educating the world about the conflict than a movie like “5 Broken Cameras,” which simply promotes the standard, one-sided, often false, understanding of the conflict.
Abu Rahma’s death made headlines because it was claimed that the 36 year old woman was killed by tear gas thrown by Israelis who were trying to control one of the “non-violent” demonstrations at Bil’in. As was eventually revealed only through the piecing together of information that few wanted to see the light of day, it turns out that abu Rahma was not even at the Bil’in demonstration on the day she was allegedly killed by the Israeli tear gas. Instead, it appears that she died as the result of medical malpractice at a Ramallah hospital, where she was taken for an unrelated medical issue.
It is hard to believe that “5 Broken Cameras” would have been considered for Academy Award status were it not in lock-step with the glitterati world view of the Arab-Israel conflict: Arab good and non-violent, Israeli oppressive, brutal occupiers.
The film has been used by its creators to “expose” Israel as a brutal force, and Davidi in particular seems determined to ensure as many young Israelis as possible see the film so that they, like he did, will refuse to serve in the IDF. As the radical-left +972 site reported:
Guy Davidi has decided to take this film and use it as an educational tool to try and raise awareness among Israelis, most of whom either haven’t heard of Bil’in or don’t really know (or believe) exactly what has gone on there. The Education Ministry’s “culture basket,” which determines which films and other media and programming are introduced in Israeli schools, doesn’t take politically charged films – certainly not one like this, which exposes the darkest sides of the IDF’s violent, illegal and unethical conduct – and which shouldn’t be surprising considering that Education Minister Gidon Sa’ar is behind instituting Israeli school trips to occupied Hebron, and the effort to open a university in the settlement of Ariel.
Davidi is therefore launching a campaign to try and bring the movie to Israeli schools, to teenagers who are gearing up for their army service. If he cannot do it through Israel’s formal educational institutions, then he is doing it informally, through independent initiatives.
No doubt the Oscar nomination will make Davidi’s goals even easier to achieve, with star-struck Israelis and American Jews preening over an Israeli film making it to “the big time.”
The second movie selected for the Best Documentary category, “The Gatekeepers,” also presents Israel in the caricatured fashion the world has come to expect, as peopled by brutal thugs whose goal in life is to do nothing more than make the lives of the poor, non-violent Arabs as difficult as possible. This film, directed by Dror Moreh, takes interviews with all six surviving directors of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, and intersperses the interviews with newsreels and bomb sites. “The Gatekeepers” was named the best nonfiction film of 2012 by the National Society of Film Critics in the United States.
The movie site, Slant, provides a fairly good example of how many people who are even slightly inclined towards seeing Israel in the worst possible light, will understand “The Gatekeepers”:
Moreh’s not so lucky. As skilled an interviewer and documentarian as he may be, he’s squaring off against intelligence officers who didn’t just execute systematic torture, abuse, and other “enhanced interrogation techniques,” but devised them. And even when the so-called Gatekeepers offer up damning testimony against their organization, there’s no real threat that they’ll ever be held accountable for it. Rather, their willful participation in this documentary seems to function as a form of tacit forgiveness, rendering all the un-redacted revelations contained within doubly disquieting.
What a shame that a truly lovely film by Rana Burshtein, “Fill the Void,” about the charedi world in Tel Aviv, did not make the cut in the Academy Award’s foreign language category.
Marvin Hamlisch, the acclaimed composer and arranger of dozens of films and Broadway shows, has died at 68.
Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles following a brief illness.
He is best known for his work on the long-running Broadway musical “A Chorus Line,” which won several Tony Awards and for which Hamlisch won the Pulitzer Prize.
Along with the Pulitzer, Hamlisch earned three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony, four Grammys and three Golden Globes.
Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People,” and “Take the Money and Run.”
Hamlisch was born in New York to Viennese Jewish parents and at 7 became the youngest student ever accepted into the city’s prestigious Juilliard School. He started on Broadway as a rehearsal pianist and assistant vocal arranger for “Funny Girl,” starring Barbra Streisand, for whom he would later compose “The Way We Were.”
Hamlisch also was also a conductor and led symphony orchestras across the United States, including in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle, Dallas and Pasadena, Calif.
Deadline’s Nikki Finke reports from Hollywood that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has pulled actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s tickets from the 84th Academy Awards. He will be banned from attending the Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars of “Hugo,” Paramount Pictures’ contender for Best Picture and 10 other nominations.
Finke says a source at Paramount told her that “Unless they’re assured that nothing entertaining is going to happen on the Red Carpet, the Academy is not admitting Sacha Baron Cohen to the show.” Right, who wants that?
The reason for this severe case of overreaction is a proposal that reached the Academy for Baron Cohen to strut the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy “The Dictator.”
In a later report, Finke added that, faced with all the bad publicity resulting from its action, the Academy tried to parse what it did when questioned by some media outlets. But the fact is that, this morning, the Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time that he won’t show up on the Red Carpet in costume and won’t promote his movie on the Red Carpet.
The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets. But, knowing Mr. Cohen, this whole thing may have been an orchestrated incident to increase anticipation of his strutting. when he starts strutting.