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Hollywood Degrades Society and Exports Filth About America

Moviemakers increasingly debase our society via storylines, profanity, and numerous ploys.

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Normally, the Oscar Awards show would be scheduled for the next week or so, but this year it is delayed until April 25. Last September, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a new set of standards for the Academy Awards’s best picture category. Starting in 2022, films that under-represent racial minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities in both cast and crew will not be nominated. So watch for Viola Davis to portray Queen Victoria, and for Denzel Washington to star as Teddy Roosevelt, any day now.

Even before the ‘social justice’ edict which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences levied on the film makers, the movie industry was in a state of flux with new releases delayed, theaters abandoned, and streaming services sharply rising in popularity. One year earlier, the industry was on a roll. When visiting RottenTomatoes, you couldn’t ignore the number of movies rated 80% or higher.

An insidious trend, nonetheless, has continued for decades: Hollywood increasingly degrades society via storylines, profanity, and a multitude of devices. Then it exports its filthy vision of America around the world. Reviewing the last several years, 2017 appears as a turning point. During that year, in the films released, which had been in production in 2015 and 2016, use of foul language in scripts noticeably accelerated, as if screen writers had made a pact with one another.

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That’s Entertainment?

In I, Tonya, one might expect to occasionally hear the f-word, but 120 times — more often than once every 60 seconds? In a scene from the acclaimed Lady Bird, the mother rants at her family seated at the dinner table, “Make your own f___ dinner.” Gratuitous, egregious, and offensive behavior, masquerading as entertainment? What parent, who sends her daughter to Catholic school, acts in this manner?

In Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, the level of profanity is over the top. Every 10th word out of Frances McDormand’s mouth, and out of the mouths of the townspeople, is f___ this, and f___ that. Early on, Woody Harrelson, as the police chief, during his Easter dinner with his wife and his two young children greets a caller, with, “You god__mn ass__e.” He then winks at his children and says, “Sorry girls,” as if such terms are permissible in that setting as some kind of an inside joke.

The website KidsInMind.com counts about 84 f-words and its derivatives in Three Billboards. The sordid language in this 115 minute movie also contains scatological terms, 23 milder obscenities, 15 “anatomical” references, 7 disparaging remarks concerning African-Americans, 4 explicit sexual references, 2 disturbing terms for homosexuals, 2 disrespectful terms for Hispanic people, and 1 demeaning term for small people.

All this amidst name-calling such as dummy, idiots, retards, stupid, dumb, crazy old ladies, fat boy, fat little Mexican boy, wife beaters, lazy, scumbags; provocative language, on average, every 40 seconds. Okay, it’s a dark comedy, we get it. Each of us has the option to skip seeing the movie, but many actors, critics, and film societies chose it as the best picture of the year.

Inept, Unimaginative Writing

In The Florida Project, a story about children of single mothers, living in the throes of Disney World, guess what one hears throughout the whole movie? In the acclaimed thriller, Get Out, it’s more of the same. In dozens of the top movies, the f-word predominates. It’s standard fare in Good Night and Landline, and is lightly sprinkled throughout Molly’s Game and All the Money in the World.

Are screen writers inept and unable to derive cleverer ways to express characters’ emotions? Over-employing the f-word reveals language deficiency. The writer does not have a sufficiently broad vocabulary to intelligently express a character’s emotions.

Is dropping in the f-word frequently “keeping it real?” Today, when few people read history or historical novels, many derive what they ‘know’ from the cinema. Perhaps worse, cultures around the world, who gobble up what Hollywood has to offer, gain parallaxed views of the U.S.

James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, more recently, Clint Eastwood played tough guys, often in dire situations, and (due to industry codes) never uttered the f-word once. The same for females playing ‘tough’ roles, such as Barbara Stanwyck,  Lana Turner, and Betty Davis. We recall these actors in their classic roles. Who today can match them?

Impressionable Viewers

Hollywood is gripping our culture by the throat, and it’s intentional: A 50+ year assault, since the anti-heros of the late 1960s, and getting worse. Dropping the f-bomb is an easy and calculated way for writers, directors, and producers to degrade society. They ought to know better and they ought to do better.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Culture Jamming, by Kalle Lasn

America has been subverted by corporate agendas and its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office

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Here are excerpts from the culture-shaking book, Culture Jamming by Kalle Lasn, published by  William Morrow in 1999, which rings truer now than ever!

A Multitrillion-dollar Brand

America is no longer a country. It’s a multitrillion-dollar brand…. essentially no different from McDonald’s, Marlboro or General Motors. It’s an image “sold” not only to the citizens of the U.S., but to consumers worldwide. The American brand is associated with catch-words such as “democracy;’ “opportunity” and “freedom.” But like cigarettes that are sold as symbols of vitality and youthful rebellion, the American reality is very different from its brand image.

America has been subverted by corporate agendas. Its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office. A collective sense of powerlessness and disillusionment has set in. A deeply felt sense of betrayal is brewing.

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By The People?

American culture is no longer created by the people. Our stories, once passed from one generation to the next by parents, neighbors and teachers, are now told by corporations with “something to sell as well as to tell.” Brands, products, fashions, celebrities, entertainments, the very spectacles that surround the production of culture, are now our culture.

Our role is mostly to listen and watch-and then, based on what we have heard and seen, to buy.

A free, authentic life is not possible in America today. We are being manipulated in the most insidious way. Our emotions, personalities and core values are under siege from media and cultural forces too complex to decode. A continuous product message has woven itself into the very fabric of our existence.

Most North Americans now live designer lives: sleep, eat, sit in car, work, shop, watch TV, sleep again. I doubt there’s more than a handful of free, spontaneous minutes anywhere in that cycle.

Smile Button Culture

The human spirit of prideful contrariness and fierce independence has been oddly tamed. We have evolved into a smile-button culture. We wear the trendiest fashions, drive the best cars industry can produce and project an image of incredible aff1uence-cool people living life to the hilt.

Behind that happy mask is a face so ugly it invariably shocks the hell out of my friends from developing countries who come to visit, expecting the giddy Americana depicted on TV and finding instead a horror show of disconnection and anomie.

Our mass media dispense a kind of Huxleyan “soma.” The most powerful narcotic in the world is the promise of belonging. And belonging is best achieved by conforming to the prescriptions of America™. In this way a perverted sense of cool takes hold of the imaginations of our children. And thus a heavily manipulative corporate ethos drives our culture.

The Facade of Cool

Cool is indispensable, and readily, endlessly dispensed. You can get it on every corner (for the right price), though it’s highly addictive and its effects are short-lived. If you’re here for cool today, you’ll almost certainly be back for more tomorrow.

American cool is a global pandemic. Communities, traditions, cultural heritages, sovereignty, whole histories are being replaced by a barren American monoculture.

Living in Japan during its period of sharpest transition to a western way of life, I was astonished by the speed and force with which the American brand took hold. I saw a culture with thousands of years of tradition behind it vanquished in two generations. Suddenly, high school girls were selling themselves after class for $150 a trick so they’d have cash to buy American jeans and handbags.

The Earth cannot support the lifestyle of the cool hunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we’re about to pay.

Killing the Planet

Economic “progress” is killing the planet. This did not fully hit home for me until nightmarish environmental stories suddenly appeared on the news: acid rain, dying seals in the North Sea, medical waste washing up on New York beaches, garbage barges turned away from port after port, and the discovery that the milk in American mothers’ breasts had four times the amount of DDT permitted in cow’s milk.

To people like me, for whom time had always seemed like a constant, eternally moving train which people got on and, seventy years later, got off, it was the end of innocence. The premonition of ecocide — planetary death — became real and it terrified me. It still does.

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How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci

Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity

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Author Michael J. Gelb wrote a wonderful book titled How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, which contains many insights.

“Leonardo da Vinci lived to age 67 and during his life pioneered the sciences of botany, anatomy, and geology. He drew up plans for a flying machine, parachute, and helicopter, and he invented the telescoping ladder that’s still used by firefighters today. He also painted The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.” Here is what Gelb said about da Vinci and the topic of creativity:

[ ] Ask Questions. Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with child-like intensity. For instance, “How do birds fly?” “What makes the sky blue?” The answers can lead to discovery.

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[ ] Carry a notebook at all times so you won’t forget your brilliant ideas. By the way, da Vinci’s wrote many of his notes backward. Some people think it was because he was protecting his ideas from being stolen.

[ ] Challenge your long-standing opinions. You might have formed many of your views during or immediately after important childhood events. Ask yourself whether those conclusions still make sense.

[ ] Use your eyes and ears. Focus on the various parts of an object or scene, not just on the whole. This can help expand your perception. Instead of simply looking at a mountain, notice the rock formations and trees.

[ ] Try to write with your non-dominant hand. Taxing the opposite side of your brain can help you to think in a different way. And some people will think you went to medical school!

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