In grad school one of my professors said that if you made in The Smithsonian, you've compromised your values, sold out, conformed. Basically, he was making the claim that once you were acknowledged by “the mainstream,” you were no longer doing anything interesting to change the world. By “mainstream” he meant any award show that was broadcast on NBC, ABC, OR CBS (like the Grammy’s). I think he meant PBS, too because he made some shots at Ken Burns.
While I haven't decided yet if I agree with the idea that PBS is selling out, it wasn’t until tonight watching the Academy Awards that I realized how right he was about "making it and being recognized" the mainstream world. Think about it, it wasn’t until those bands like The Beatles, The Clash, or The Rolling Stones had established themselves in a redundant musical formula or stopped recording music all together that they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As everyone knows, even though Elvis started out changing the world of rock-n-roll, he was only mainstreaming the type of music established by the many, many less successful black men before him.
So, now it’s groundbreaking that Hollywood produced and got behind a gay cowboy movie? I guess it’s a good thing- it’s finally OKAY to talk about homosexuality. Wow. Good to know. Just last night we were watching snippets from 1995’s “The Celluloid Closet.” Over ten years ago independent (note: successful independent) filmmakers called out the fact that Britain had openly dealt with homosexuality in 1961’s “Victim.”
The National Review took George Clooney to task for his ‘acting at activism’ in their magazine last week, and though I’m pretty sure Professor Lyne would slash his wrists before reading from a conservative periodical, I’m fairly certain that he would agree with what Mark Steyn is saying about Hollywood: “…Hollywood prefers to make ‘controversial’ films about controversies that are settled, rousing itself to flight battles long won…”
Well, now, I’m pretty sure that we haven’t won the racism or homosexuality battle. I guess what drives me crazy is that Hollywood is supposed to be this liberal, open town, and they produce movies that will only succeed because of the mainstream folk willing to pay for watered down topics and issues that have been in discussion—and often decided on—for years or decades.
Oh, well. I do like that the subversive Jon Stewart - (wait, does this mean he's not subversive anymore) hosted.