Monday, April 29, 2019

"You're Killing Me, Smalls!"

Frequent comment AB Prosper offers the following, in comments to Off The Cuff:
To the topic at hand I'd say your latent Civ Nat is out its cage again.

Hollywood for good or ill however disproportionately Jewish at the top and sometimes the cultural differences can be very grating especially when they are unconscious or concealed. The funny thing there , openly Jewish movies like the Princess Bride or TV like the O. C. with a Jewish lawyer as a lead no less can be really great.

I might broadly disagree with more than a few of your points,

A: is just wrong I'm afraid, saying "pass" on movies and TV just means you are just as entertained doing something else, probably cheaper. You lose nothing

B: I can't speak to this and while its true enough for the Marvel movies I did see, I simply don't like them for the most part , caveat Logan and do not wish to watch them. I saw the remake of Death Wish though and it was decent

C:True but there is little good culture in Hollywood

D: I think not, Few people can remember movies from the 60's and 70's and they made a lot of good ones. The medium will also die faster than books and I suspect in a hundred years or so, none of them will be remembered and the medium dead. Books will go on and on though only some will be remembered

E: So? Its a dead nation now and the medium that it created can go with it for all I care.

F: Not our jobs to spread our values and its folly to do so in this age as we can see from the actions of people in charge have spent decades doing just that and fucking everything up. American values as seen in the Constitution and all that barely work for us and won't work for anyone else anyway. They were meant for a very specific people and a very specific time and didn't survive industrialization or the first European immigration wave

G: Too late for the most part I think though its will be tempered by the fact most moves going forward have to be international and get past Chinese and Indian censors as the market there combined is like 8x that of the US . The only way around that is for the Right to build its own infrastructure with things like what Vox Day is doing and for us to support them

I also strikingly doubt Hollywood is promulgating by message of nationalism for all and to each people its own culture traditions and ways . A few movies do promote Americanism but that isn't my ideology at all.

That said your last point about culture is spot on.

Broadly though, its not bad to simply avoid media and find something better to do with you time than watch TV or waste ,money at the movies, YMM as they say very

Once again, we remonstrate, not with AB, but with the unvoiced thousands his response represents:

A. That's just gainsaying. And books vs. movies is a false dilemma. Neither need exclude the other.
By not going, you lose the most important, visible, and influential cultural medium, in return for nothing. No one is saying sit in the cinema 24/7/365. But going to the few good flicks every year is as inconsequential as voting. Ask our current president if voting matters. Then ask the criminal shrew he defeated.

B. It's a free country, but the underlying point remains, and actions (as well as inactions) have consequences. See A and H.

C. All the more reason to support the few pearls there are.

D. Last week's box office, for any value from 1925-present, shows that's not so.
If you're depending on the apocalypse to wipe out the medium, that becomes a self-fulfilling curse. Plays have been around for 3000 years; but now, we see them digitally for the most part. And the worst-produced TV show you ever saw was better than the best local theatre you'll ever get. It's just the nature of the beast.

E. See D, above. Cultural nihilism is a poor excuse for ennui.

F. Another self-fulfilling curse. It's exactly your job to fertilize the ground, till the soil, and plant the trees, both culturally and actually, for the next generation and beyond, even if you'll never sit in their shade nor eat their fruit. You've let the civilizational poisoners do that for 50+ years; how's your current everyday going now after that monumental error starting probably before you were born?
People who won't man the pumps of civilization deserve to be adrift at sea without hope when the boat sinks, but for the millions they'll condemn to a similar fate through laziness and indifference they deserve to die a thousand deaths. And they're going to get both.

G. The market in China and India is a fraction of the US market and always will be; it's about dollars, not bodies. They aren't paying $10-15@ there to see flicks, and in China, they simply steal them outright for nothing. This is why Hollyweird is nailing itself into its own coffin. Americans won't see 95% of their tripe, and the Chinese won't pay for what they make, even the good stuff, but they'll happily bootleg it and laugh about that.
For reference, this Avengers movie was already pirated in China before I saw it, at midday on the day it nominally opened.

You get the culture you build and nurture, and that's what gets you the civilization amidst which you (and generations yet unborn) will live.
Anyone cheering pulling down the Parthenon and burning Notre Dame is a Visigoth, no matter how they dress it up.

Anyone who can't find $10 once in a blue moon to see a good flick is sure as hell not going to man the barricades and put their own life on the line when a cultural conflagration opens up in earnest. It's like saying I won't pay for a seawall now, but come the day, I'll take a sandbag down to the shore to stop the tsunami.

And not doing the easy things to wait for the hard things instead is, as noted, myopic and self-defeating.

I don't care if no one wants to see this particular pic.
I don't care if you see it via DVD/BD/streaming service, in the comfort of your home theatre lashup.
But someone who won't see any flick, ever, is cutting his own throat.
And a lot of other peoples'.
For no valid reasons, but just a plethora of excuses.

This flick grossed $357M, just here in the US, in 3 days.
That means they had an audience of 36M people for 3 hours, sitting there, and absorbing messages willingly, in rapt attention.
And 2-5 times that overseas, not counting the ones who watched it pirated for nothing.
$1.2 billion. $1,200,000,000.
And that's only in the first 3 days.
In a week this movie could buy and sell Donald Trump. In a year, you could add Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, George Soros, and dozens of lesser lights.
And half that audience is young, impressionable kids.

There isn't a producer in Hollywood anywhere, movies, TV, or commercials, who wouldn't kill his mother and yours and all their children but himself for a fraction of that audience, since 1900.

There isn't a president or candidate for the office going back to George Washington who's every had that kind of audience turnout. Not one.

Now, anyone, tell me why it's a waste of time and doesn't matter.
Anybody, call that kind of clout - financial, rhetorical, and cultural, combined - "just a comic book movie". (If you do, you're an absolute moron.)

People not getting this obvious common sense without being beaten over the head with a cluebat is why we're where we are right now, and why a cultural war is about to become a civil one, with all the trimmings.

Write it on the blackboard 10,000 times, until it penetrates your skull.

Andrew Breitbart shouted that from the rooftops, and still people don't get it.
People are setting their own houses on fire, and crapping in their own wells, and wondering why things aren't looking very rosy.

Nothing personal, and that's not aimed just at the original commenter.
But it's inarguably the way it is, and why.

And I'll drive the point home yet again with another flick moment of cultural history:


Mike said...

Your points are all good ones, Aesop. But I myself haven't been inside a theater in years; hell, I haven't even turned on my TeeWee in about eight or ten months. Not as any kind of a protest gesture or even a conscious decision. I just find that, as I get older, my interest in doing anything but working as much as I possibly can, spending time with my little girl, and trying to string together more than two hours of sleep at a stretch is rapidly ebbing.

As you say, even the SJWs, shitlibs, and ((((JOOOOOOOZ!!)))) (OH MY) in charge of Hollywood do good work despite themselves now and then. Case in point: Hollywood proto-libs Spielberg's and Hanks' Saving Private Ryan, which now that I think of it might be the last movie I saw in a theater.

Night driver said...

I'm thinking that Dobama regularly blows 80% of TeeVee out of the water, and yeah they ARE local theater. As is Great Lakes Shakespeare Theatre. (Heh, Tom Hanks comes "home" about 1ce every 2 or 3 years to GLSF)

OK, so I prove your point by citing 2 of the likely 30 exceptions.


Aesop said...

In exactly the same way Little League regularly blows 80% of MLB out of the water, and Pee Wee League contests regularly overmatches the NFL.

This is why people come from thousands of miles around to become part of local theater, and have since...oh, wait, never.

There's a reason local theater is local theater.
Talent with choices does it as a hobby primarily because they miss instant feedback, something you almost never get in movies, and only occasionally in television.
Don't mistake that urge for the patina of quality.
Anyone can watch Mike Trout or Mookie Betts take batting practice.
That doesn't mean it's the World Series.

Talent, at every level of any pursuit, inexorably goes where the money is.
And money goes to talent in the same way.

That's the whole engine of capitalism.

But try your best, and demonstrate where Adam Smith got that wrong in 1776.


"Politics is downstream of culture". Took me a long time to get the message, but I got it.

Personally I haven't been to a movie in a couple of years; kids, work, family, Shul, blogging. And realistically, there just haven't been movies coming out that I really want to see. Sure, CGI and glitz are fun but - maybe it's my becoming an old fuddy-duddy - I think it's because I'm more interested in HUMAN than cardboard cutout.

And if you'll tolerate the shameless self-promotion, here's my first piece on the Left's slowly-slowly pushing of our culture:

McChuck said...

Embrace the power of AND.
Stop feeding the monsters in Hollyweird and Jew York.
Build our own entertainment centers. Fox News is the model.

Aesop said...

^^That, right there.

Isolationism fails every time its tried.

Bury the Left with their own medium, and make it yours again.
But you can't do it sitting on the sidelines.

ADS said...

I'm not against paying money to support "our guys" but they're few and far between. I'm not aware of any writer, actor, or director publishing anti-orthodox material in hollywood with the exception of Mel Gibson, who has been systematically excluded from the machine. I'd welcome any direction in how to spend my federal reserve fiat notes in a productive manner to our side. From where I sit way out in the cheap seats, the best you can hope for is "not overwhelmingly pozzed" and most current movies are lukewarm reheats of IP that used to be good.

tweell said...

Vox Day is working on a cultural rebound with his comics, I'm supporting those. Get enough exposure there and as the MCU continues to get woke, Alt-Hero will make it to the big screen.

Anonymous said...

"Now, anyone, tell me why it's a waste of time and doesn't matter.
Anybody, call that kind of clout - financial, rhetorical, and cultural, combined - "just a comic book movie". (If you do, you're an absolute moron.)


Moron here.... Your blog discusses serious topics. You speak to the adults in the room. The adults are drawn to your work due to your observations...which usually resonate with your readership.

Considering your demographic, why comic book movies? The fact that the movie was wildly successful does not provide me, and perhaps others, with a sense that our culture is improving...on the contrary, it is devolving into the dystopian construct that you often describe. The success of the movie is just another blow against the empire.... It is vaguely unsettling.

T-Rav said...


Why are comic-book movies, in and of themselves, a sign of social rot? Don't get me wrong, they *can* be bad, and carry destructive messages, but so could any genre of movie. What you're saying about this genre could be, and has been, said about Westerns, romantic comedies, crime dramas, etc.

Is Avengers: Endgame the most conservative movie ever made? Not by a long shot.

Is it light-years better than that POS The Day After Tomorrow? It absolutely is.

Good vs. evil, the value of life, willingness to sacrifice oneself for others: these are things our culture absolutely needs to hear, from whichever medium they can.

I don't expect everyone to like the same movies I do, and if you'd rather not pay out the nose to watch this one, that's totally fine. But don't crap on the people who do without any good reason.

AB.Prosper said...

Unfortunately for our host the meme at the end is completely lost on me though a quick search determines its from some movie called the Sandlot which is one I've obviously never seen.

Broadly I agree with McChuck though Fox will soon be Left Wing news as its owned by Disney and the new person running it is a Left Wing city gal even though she is her fathers heir apparent.

You would think men would remember to never allow their college educated daughters to run things or advise much seen nearly everyone of them is to the Left of Lenin but even the President God bless him doesn't get it. Ye Old father Son Rivalry Dynamic in operation I guess.

If you want actual Conservative news Think One America News and a few parts of Fox for now. Hannity will probably be out of work in a few years anyway and replaced by Rachael Maddow Lite more than likely

Getting our message out will require soon enough that we build our own network and/or that we make sure the people that are supposed to represent us will use the power of the State to protect our ability to speak

We can have all the good ideas on the planet but the Left will gladly prevent us from sharing them using the "private sector" if they can't use the State

As for the movie industry, most movies these days are for the global market in to a lesser degree Netflix etc

This is older information but business insider notes in 2013

"If you look at the stories that we're telling, like 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' these pictures are meant for every person on the planet," said Bruer. "They're not U.S.-centric. They're relatable for everyone."


It wouldn't have come anywhere close to record numbers, however, if it weren't for the foreign box office. With international grosses added into the mix, the top ten 2012 box office movies earned $9.2 billion at theaters. Without overseas earnings, the same films earned $3.2 billion.

Things certainly have shifted but at least in 2012, the top earning movies were nearly 2/3 overseas revenue. Its probably close to that now.

No on is saying, you are anyone shouldn't give money to people who hate everything you stand for its your money but I'd like to give them less of mine and use what I have to spend on people who at least don't hate me.

Politics is downstream for culture for sure . I do get that but there are things within that stream that are not opposed to our values and its better to support them first. I don't know if Avengers Endgame meets the criteria in a way that Captain Marvel didn't but I get the idea that "if you like superhero movies, support the good enough ones."

As noted I just don't much like superheros , basically loathe the theater experience and have since I was a young adult d and I don't much like TV either.

Unknown said...

Of ALL the things to so polarize your readers...DAY-UMMMMM. I totally agree with you (Aesop), BTW

John said...

Slightly off topic...

Recently two local theater chains initiated a "reserved seating" system (same old movie house for the most part, maybe they reupholstered the seats) along with a slightly higher ticket price. You are expected to pick out the seat you are going to sit in on a digital display outside at the ticket counter. The seat number is printed on the ticket, then you are expected to go inside and find that seat and sit there. And stay there, even if a family of loud kids sits next to you, or some broad with a big hat and an active smart phone sits in front of you. Just sit there.

The two chains that now have this policy I will never go into again. Just when you thought that they couldn't make the "theater experience" any worse they surprise you.

/rant off

Crew said...

The last movie I went to see was not produced in Hollywood.

It was Project Gutenberg from Hong Kong.

Far better than any of the crap they produce in Pedowood, but it helps if you can understand some Cantonese and Mandarin.

I think it has been many years since I saw something from Pedowood in the cinemas.

Aesop said...

If anyone is polarized, they haven't been paying attention.

Things are where they are now because people who should have known better turned their backs on entertainment and education.

Now they're shocked. Shocked, I say, to find out half the country has lost its mind, and embraces openly and out loud things once so alien, fringe, and loathsome that to speak them aloud would have had you beaten in the public square.

You got here because you thought there were planks in the hull of civilization that "aren't that important".

How's that epic mis-estimation paying dividends for you these days?

Star Trek was "just pulp sci fi". Star Wars was "just a kids movie". Marvel is "just making comic book movies".

Oh, and also making billions.

And reaching audiences to which Stanford research papers and Hillsdale college lectures will never penetrate.

Around the world.

Foreign audiences aren't the problem.
They're the target audience.

Or do you really think 150 nations like the America you grew up in would be a bad thing?

If so, go sell that in Venezuela about now.

Movies are going to be made.
Other people are going to see them, even if you don't.
You won't starve the beast, you'll simply teach it to love a new master if you neglect it.

So knowing that, whose messages do you want conveyed, and to whom do you wish the beast to answer?

Choices have consequences.
You're paying now for the short-sightedness of "conservative" idiots in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

So, as bob Dylan asked, "How does it feel?"

Glen Filthie said...

Not trying to be a dink, Aesop - just trying to understand your point. You are confusing the slow stupid kids. Breitbart said, and I quote verbatim:

"Culture influences politics, and in ways the Left has understood for a long time. The Right has sat idly by, as they did with higher education, and let an ideological movement take over one of the most important aspects of American society. If the Right has any interest in reclaiming that ground, they must vote with their pocketbooks as well as their voices, and their votes. Given the decline in box office admission volume and network television ratings, they are getting the message."

I got it from here:

I am not understanding how what he said supports your position. Not that I disagree with you either - I just view things much more simply. These Hollywood guys, for all their charisma and money - they are just dancing monkeys to anyone with an intellect. And if the monkey doesn't entertain me, I won't put a coin in his cup. I think those numbers you are seeing reflect an audience literally starving for entertainment. Also, if you consider the Big Screen as an art medium - by any measure these super hero movies are just shlock being shovelled to empty skulls. When was the last time Hollywood produced a masterpiece?

The last movie was Endgame. Well... guess what: the next one will be the ultimate end game too! And the one after that. And the one after that. What, exactly, am I missing? Put it in perspective - those guys invested 100's of millions of dollars to produce that movie... and this is the best they can do with it?

The Dixie Chicks got what they deserved when they shat all over the audience. Good musicians are everywhere and some of 'em are smart enough to keep their mouths shut. Gillette pished me off with their poz too - I can get a good razor anywhere from companies that value my business. Nike decided to line up behind some black baboons who think feral blacks should be able to kill cops. Fuck them too.

If these transglobal megacorps want my business, they are going to have to earn it and respect me as a customer. And I think THAT is what Breitbart was trying to say.

But whadda I know?

Aesop said...

Read what I posted 2 seconds before you did, Glen.

You're right, but you can't only walk away.
Walk away from crapola?

But anyone carrying your water for you, even if only for the fare, is still helping you.

Marvel has been carrying conservative themes for a decade-plus. They can't help it, the stories are hard-wired into people.

People know Right from Wrong, and we want to see Good win, and Evil lose.
Nobody shed a tear at the end of Bonnie and Clyde, no matter how fab Beatty looked, or how hot Faye Dunaway was.
They had it coming.

If anything, people just wanted their own BAR.

Trying to flip those sensibilities, and undermine those feelings, is what's getting the shit kicked out of Kathleen Kennedy and the SJWs at Disney for what they've done with the latest StarWars abortions.

Solo wasn't just a title, it was also the audience turn-out.
They're making mega-flops now.
Like chick-Ghostbusters.
Like Oceans8.

Shellack the BS.
But dive for the pearls.

Or else all you'll get, forever, is BS, because you opted out.

crew said...

To be honest I don't really have time for movies unless they are really compelling.

I have two intellectually demanding jobs and really prefer to read some good books, like the stuff from Matthew Bracken.

If someone made a movie of his Enemies foreign and domestic I would go see it.

Glen Filthie said...

Marvel is not a proponent of conservatism, Aesop. You are seriously misinformed on that score.

But I get the rest of your point. Knowing what I do of Marvel, yours is a case of rock solid logic leading you to a point 180 degrees from where you want to be. You’re feeding that beast, Aesop. You need to look at the dreck they slop the kids with in their printed mediums.

Aesop said...

I didn't say Marvel, Inc., and all its heirs and assigns are bastions of conservatism.

Their movies have been.

Linda Fox said...

I'm with you. Culture is the force that shapes the civilization. One thing we CAN do is to support the occasional picture that is counter-cultural. The recent film "Unplanned" has set a standard. It shows that films with a moral point of view can be successful.

Cutting the cable is a powerful move. The other media have seen that, and the films that are popular on Hulu and Netflix, and are starting to pay attention.

Hallmark channels, saccharine and formulaic as they are, fulfill a need in entertainment. Don't think that the other channels are not paying attention.

I'm still working on that Meme Generation video (I've been sidetracked by personal illness, family illness/crises, and now - a broken leg. However, I'm feeling marginally better, and have some ambition, so I'll get cracking this week. Look for announcements, when I'm finished, on

Eskyman said...

You've given me plenty to think about Aesop, though I see some things from the opposite side of the mirror.

I prefer live theatre to TV any time. TV acting can be ghastly, as I've thought since I was a boy; I used to wonder why they got such terrible actors to appear in TV shows, when good ones were available. I have been an actor, though- graduated from the same academy as Hugh Jackman- so maybe that's warped me. I'd sure take a live local production over any TV show though, that's most of the reason I cut the cable over a decade ago! YMMV, and probably does.

And I have a hard time seeing the longevity of movies. I like old movies, as I've said before in other threads, but I'm often struck by their ephemerality- and of course they easily become politically incorrect, which removes them from the marketplace, e.g. Song of the South and to a lesser degree My Fair Lady (1964) which I watched last night. The country that made those films no longer exists, and the people that enjoyed them, like me, are old and will soon be gone too.

Books remain, and no matter how filmmakers change and alter the stories the books contain, the book still tells it correctly and without added social justice.

I guess the bottom line for me is that there are very few films I'd like to see, most modern films have far too much PC in them, and I fail to see the conservatism that you think is being exported, though it's probably just the blinkers on my own eyes.

Lawrence Person said...

Sorry, but the idea that China is not an important source of income for U.S. movie studios is demonstrably untrue. Just under 75% of Avengers: Infinity War gross was from overseas. You can say that the overseas box office is disproportionately important only for big budget special effects movies, but those are by and large the profitable tentpoles that keep the system afloat.

Lawrence Person

Aesop said...

No one said it isn't important, but it's not the whole ball game either.
Overseas gross represents 75% of the gross, but that's divided among 60+ countries.
And if you think Chinese are paying the equivalent of $10@ to see a first-run flick, I have a bridge to sell you.

They're also pirating content (this flick was bootlegged within 3 hours of it opening)like crazy, so their financial share drops even farther.

Currently, China's reported gross is even with North America's.

But nobody anywhere else goes to see movies because they're a hit in China.
The Chinese, however, do go to a flick because it's a hit in America.

And frequently, movies here are so bad they'd be total flops if not for the overseas gross propping up the effort.

That's another side effect of what happens when Americans stay home: they just let foreigners decide what you're going to get on screen.

There's even a sub-genre of crap movies so awful you'll never see them, made strictly for overseas markets with A-list American stars (I could name names), which contractually will never, ever be distributed here.

So besides Jackie Chan, name the next 5 biggest stars from China.

The Chinese market is Podunk, they're robbing Hollywood blind, and the only thing making them important is the sheer mass of butts in seats they contribute to the bottom line.

Probably at the equivalent of $1@, for the ones who actually pay to see something.

Why it's vital is Hollywood accounting's dirty secrets:
Movies cost twice what they tell you, and bring in half what they advertise.

Not knowing any better, you'd be forgiven for thinking that making $300M on a movie that was made for $300M means you broke even.

Hollywood accounting sez "Natzsofast, Guido."

Distribution deals mean theatres and middlemen take half the reported gross before it gets back to Hollywood.
And "standard movie industry accounting practices" means that for a $300M movie, they spent another $300M in back-end costs to advertise and promote the flick.

So a notional $300M flick actually cost $600M, and a $300M opening only brought in $150M.

Finance tip: When you lose $450M, it's called a flop.

Aesop said...

So, movie depend on overseas to come up with additional money, and then the DVD/BD sales, and television broadcast licensing brings in the rest.
They hope.

If you make a decent flick for a bargain (<$30M), it's almost impossible to lose money.
Movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Full Monty were made virtually on credit cards, and returned millions and millions.
Waterworld and Ishtar and heaven's Gate, OTOH, will never return a profit.

Avengers: Endgame will, and not only because of China, but because it's going to be one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. So even with the doubled-and-halved accounting, they're still going to make their nut when all is said and done, and even pile up a tidy surplus to finance other projects.

OTOH, when Cleopatra came out, it nearly bankrupted an entire studio.

Now, DVD/BDs, streaming, and TV rights are usually required before a film breaks even.

One of the reason you don't have Blockbuster (or anyone else) here renting videos for 15 years and onwards to infinity, is that by live-streaming, the studios eliminated the middlemen, and keep all the profits on that in-house, while eliminating the overhead of 2000 stores staffed by 10,000 slacker flunkies.

It's also why streaming everywhere is going to displace theatres overseas: full return, almost no overhead, no distribution deals and kickbacks, and they'll make all their money opening day.

But unless a flick is vetted by American audiences first, and gains approval via the bottom line here, foreign audiences will look at anything not proof-tested in a dark room with 500 strangers in Peoria as suspect, and on the level of their own home-grown schlock.

And nobody in Shanghai is ever going to shell out the equivalent of $10/American for a movie ticket.
It's only because they provide 3-10X the audience, paying a fraction of what you'd pay here, that China matters at all.

Aesop said...

What's worse is that by folks staying home here, Hollywood has to cast farther afield for revenue.

And they have to sell 5-10 seats in China or Zimbabwe to make up for every American who turns up their nose.

In short, American audiences add value that can't be had anywhere else.

And staying away is what got you the dreck-fest everyone laments.

That's what starving the beast has only made it seek out other masters, get fleas and ticks, and come home rabid.

Well-played, culture war draft-dodgers!