Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Life in the Twilight Zone

The Hub grew up watching the Twilight Zone, so every major holiday weekend when one of the cable stations runs a marathon, he half-watches every hour or so in order to guess the episode within the first few minutes. I begin with this seemingly random pop culture anecdote because life since the Trumpacalyspe has felt at times like one of those bizarre Twilight Zone episodes. For instance, there is the one when someone with a golden chip on her shoulder blasts a Hollywood icon for being too elitist...

Which is otherwise known as that time when Meghan McCain criticized Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech. (I am a couple of weeks late, but I'm feeling a bit inspired by the Women's March to revisit this matter, especially since the Trumpet also made a point of lambasting celebrity activism).

The first irony, of course, is that Meghan McCain is herself an elite. She is the daughter of a U.S. Senator who happened to run for President. Twice. I'm not really sure what she does for a living, what she ever did for a living, but I know it currently involves working at FOX News. But even if she doesn't have any other real job, she is still the daughter of a U.S. Senator who ran for President, twice. Meryl Streep, on the other hand, is just the hardest working actress in showbiz (but let's not get it twisted as we all know that Streep is quite privileged herself, but go with me on this for a bit.)

I honestly would have overlooked this as white noise, but this weekend's juxtaposition of truth to alternative facts made me wonder. Why does an actor's statement at an awards show that only certain coastal elites bother to watch, and that would not have gotten much attention except for the fact that she took aim and fired a perfect shot at the then-President Elect without calling him out by name, matter to the conservative "activist" daughter of a U.S. Senator who ran for President, twice? Gee...

So my best guess is that as Meghan's Dad is still wondering why he is not vacationing with his lovely wife like the guy who beat him eight years ago, or painting lovely portraits like the guy who beat him 16 years ago, the family needs to find creative ways to stand up to the Trumpet. That guy who took the birther ball that McCain failed to deflate during his candidacy in 2008 and ran with it. The Trumpet. That guy who got endorsed by Sister Sarah, that chick McCain unfortunately tapped to be his running mate in 2008. The Trumpet. That guy who suggested that McCain was not much of an American war hero since he got captured and tortured. That guy.

So Miss Meghan seized the opportunity of the Golden Globes, the most self-congratulatory of the entertainment award season, to take a predictable swipe at Hollywood elitism and then quickly deny culpability since she and her family did not vote for That guy. That while she feels our pain, it is our "snowflake liberal" high-mindedness that enables folks like Meryl to dare speak out against him. I mean, what is she anyway, just some well-known blond with an opinion...

Perhaps it is the irony of Meghan's waning relevance as the conservative millennial who speaks for the little guy. Well, now that job now belongs to Lady Ivanka, but she still has a job at FOX, right? Oh wait, FOX just decided that Stacy Dash was redundant, so maybe they will be going in a different direction now that Rupert Murdoch is gone and the network is imploding. Can they fire the daughter of a U.S. Senator who ran for President twice?

Meghan, as the daughter of a U.S. Senator who ran for President twice, you could have used the opportunity to say a lot more about how Hollywood can facilitate building bridges to middle America without throwing bricks. How Hollywood has a responsibility to present diversity of opinion in such a way that demonstrates mutual respect rather than fomenting disunion. Instead, you emulated the Trumpet and deflected. If we really are on the same side in opposing the divisiveness that helped to elect him, then why perpetuate the narrative that certain Americans are somehow more authentically "American" than others?

What got the Trumpet elected was the unwillingness of men like your father, who ran for President twice, to do more than just not attend Trumpelthinskin's convention, not actively campaign for him, or maybe not vote for him. I remember how your father, who ran for President twice, politely corrected a woman at one of his rallies when she accused then-candidate Obama of not being an American. So having stood up and shown that type of character when it did not serve his interests back in 2008, it would have been just as courageous for your father to have denounced birtherism from the beginning. If he had, he could have saved us all from this American Horror Show.

Sorry Meghan, you do not get to blame liberals for the election of a reality TV star to the most important job on the planet. You do not get to tweet out nonsense and then assume that because you are the daughter of a U.S. Senator who ran for President twice, you bear no culpability. And it is not Meryl Streep's fault that your party got hijacked by its extreme fringe, nominated a demagogue, and is now stuck with him. Hollywood elites don't fan the flames of discord by embracing and promoting a narrow and opportunistic definition of patriotism. Tinseltown is far from perfect (having been shamed into making more efforts at diversity by a hashtag), but at least they try to promote an American ideal that can exist in the real world--not inside the Twilight Zone.

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