Having addressed the silliness of a Fox News imagined America as run by celebrities, it seemed appropriate to throw some speculation back the other way. If you think celebrities would run Washington into the ground, just wait till you see what politicians would do to Tinseltown.
If Washington Ran Hollywood
The studio chiefs would be elected with voting machines manufactured by Sony: Poll-ay Stations. There would be no audit trail and the secret, proprietary code would be subject to hacking and fraud. Election day would come at the end of a multi-million dollar, months long marketing campaign complete with television commercials, jingles, and personal appearances (some things never change). Once elected, the real fun begins.
When a societal need (i.e. a market opportunity) is identified, writers will draft scripts and introduce them as proposals to executives. They will immediately be assigned to committees where they will languish for months before being debated and amended. Once the marked-up script has been neutered and approved, it returns to the executive suites for another round of amendments. It is at this time that riders (aka earmarks) are added for everything from casting the producers daughter in the title role, to selling product placement advertising. While this process appears to have some similarities with the current process, if run by Washington, the journey described above would take 12 years and everyone from CEOs to interns would have received baskets of cash (and gourmet pastries) from lobbyists.
To be green-lighted, a film would have to communicate a message certified by censors at the FBI and CIA. Anyone deviating from sanctioned dogma would be subject to termination, prosecution, and detention at Guantanamo Bay with no access to legal representation. Their names would be removed from party invitation lists and added to no-fly lists. Political correctness would be codified into a new law where “correctness” would be defined by the government. All industry personnel would either conform or be ostracized and risk losing their electability bankability.
Production budgets would skyrocket from tens of millions currently, to tens of billions. This would be due primarily to the insertion of expenses for projects completely unrelated to filmmaking. For instance, megastar Ted Stevens would finally get that bridge he’s been pining for. There would also be billions of dollars unaccounted for that would be attributed to contractors or sloppy bookkeeping. No one would ever be punished for such losses in the new DC-ified Hollywood.
A fence would be built around the country to keep out foreign language films that the new regime would accuse of taking jobs from Americans. At the same time, the film industry would export millions of jobs overseas to exploit cheap labor and talent. The biggest stars in America would soon be Ganaraj Waleed and Kim Choi Park. Of course, they will have had plastic surgery and changed their names to Jerry Wallace and Kim Parker to ease marketing to an increasingly jingoistic domestic market. If a foreign producer managed to build an enterprise that threatened American economic interests, he would be dealt with harshly - by invading his country, killing him and his colleagues (and tens of thousands of innocent civilians), and handing over his production facilities to Hallie (Barry) Burton, Inc.
That’s just the beginning. Wholesale changes would be implemented in the area of employee benefits. Healthcare would be cutback and retirement would be privatized. Under the guise of religious freedom, prayer would be mandatory at all business lunches, screenings and awards shows. Tax reform would eliminate taxes on profits from movie and television programs, but there would be new “user fees” assessed on consumers to make up the shortfall.
And as if all of this weren’t bad enough, we would have to endure the creative judgment of artists like Lynne Cheney, author of “Sisters,”, and “Scooter” Libby, author of “The Apprentice.” In the musical performance category we have such talents as The Singing Senators and Orrin Hatch. And who could forget Colin Powell’s homage to the Village People?
If we’re going to examine the feasibility of an America run by celebrities, we have to put it into context. Could they do any worse than the politicians have? John McCain went on Saturday Night Live and said:
“Do I know how to sing? About as well as she [Barbra Streisand] knows how to govern America!”.
If the last 25 years is an example of how well he governs, frankly, I’d rather listen to him sing. And that goes for the rest of them too. Any group with the record of failure, corruption, and incompetence that has been demonstrated by our professional class of politicians should think twice before denigrating the character of others. At least some of the Hollywood folks are actually good at what they do. And the fact that many of them are also honest, hard-working, compassionate, and patriotic, makes them at least as well-suited for public service as the greedy, power-hungry, egomaniacs that reside on Capital Hill.
|Brought to you by News Corpse, the Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay. All Content and Images © 2006 Crass Commerce.|