Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Editor's note - This is the only post I will write today because I am sidelined with a nasty fever. Enjoy the post, respond if you deem it necessary, and by all means, check out last night's post on the definition of bigotry.

Anger over Milk's Oscar wins yields ignorance and evasion

I am disappointed.

When Milk won two Oscars (Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor), I knew some members of the religious right would register their disappointment and anger.

But I didn't realize how pathetic some of this anger would be.

Ted Baehr of Movieguide has written a piece attempting to scold Hollywood for its Oscar picks.

First of all, who is Ted Baehr and what is Movieguide?

If you type in http://www.movieguide.com/, you will come to a legitimate Hollywood site.

That's not Baehr's Movieguide. The address for his site is http://www.movieguide.org/

Not that I am accusing Baehr of attempting to piggyback credibility on a legitimate site or anything.

According to Wikipedia:

Baehr began publishing MOVIEGUIDE as a biweekly magazine of movie reviews "from a biblical perspective" aimed at helping parents use informed judgment when deciding what entertainment products are suitable for their families' enjoyment. Movieguide's reviews address not only specific portrayals of sex, violence, and profanity, but also address the "worldview" implicit in a movie's theme.

In other words, Baehr's scolding is going to be a hatchet job perpetrated by a phony pro-values group attempting to be credible while putting its biases on the front shelf.

And that's what it is:

Hollywood Denounces God and Applauds Pedophilia at the Oscars

The Academy Awards showed its support for sexual perversions last night at its annual Oscar ceremony.

And, the Academy wrongly painted the Entertainment Industry as a bunch of Commie rats, as it applauded Communist sympathizer Sean Penn’s gleeful greeting after winning an award for portraying an assassinated homosexual leader, “You Commie, homo-loving sons of guns!”

For the record, what Penn said was strictly tongue-in-cheek. That's why the audience applauded - it was a funny line.

At the beginning of the show, host Hugh Jackman described the message of MILK as, “It’s okay to be gay.”

Of course, Jesus Christ believes otherwise.

“Haven’t you read,” he says in Matthew 19:4-6, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not tear apart.”

Actually, Jesus never said a word about being gay. You won't find anything in the Bible proving so.

But then Baehr really gets cooking with his "how dare Hollywood show filth-flarn-filth" whine:

The movie industry also gave an Oscar to Kate Winslet for playing an illiterate escaped Nazi war criminal and pedophile who repeatedly seduces a 15-year-old boy.

Even though she played a pedophile, Hollywood decided that Kate Winslet finally deserved to get an Oscar for her performance in THE READER.

Gee I don't know. Maybe they gave her the Oscar because it was a good performance. Baehr makes it seem that Hollywood is honoring her for playing a pedophile rather than creating an excellent portrayal.

Baehr continues the criticism with an attack on Meryl Streep:

The attack on biblical values continued as Meryl Streep was praised for portraying a strict Catholic nun who struggles with herself and the fact that modern times are passing her by.

How is this an attack on Biblical values? Showing a nun who is concerned with modern times? I guess in Baehr's world, only nuns like those portrayed in The Story of Bernadette and Come to the Stable should warrant Oscar nominations.

But the next part is where Baehr trips up. And it's always where these so-called pro-family types make their biggest errors - when they manipulate the data to suit their point of view. Baehr contends that based on his group's figures, films with lgbt or "anti-Christian" (his words) content are not as successful as films with what he calls "very strong Christian worldviews."

. . . statistics show that movies with very strong Christian worldviews like PRINCE CASPIAN and FIREPROOF averaged $43.5 million at the box office while movies with very strong atheist or anti-Christian worldviews like Maher’s RELIGULOUS averaged only $11.2 million and movies with very strong pro-homosexual content like MILK averaged even worse, only $6.3 million.

In fact, the more homosexual content a movie had, the less it earned at the box office, according to MOVIEGUIDE®’s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, which examined the Top 250 English-language movies at the box office:

First of all, what constitutes "very strong pro-homosexual content?"

Secondly, Baehr's contention about the "more homosexual content a movie had, the less it earned at the box office" is ridiculous because it does not take into account the movie's budget, how many screens it is shown on, or reviews.

Baehr is clearly channeling Paul Cameron here.

Also, RELIGULOUS is a documentary and documentaries usually do not get a much push or are shown on as many screens as movies like Prince Caspian.

But RELIGULOUS was a successful documentary - It's budget was $2,500,000. It made $11,478,638 - which constitutes a profit.

Milk has only been in wide release since January. Before then, it was in limited release. It's budget was $15 million and it has already made $28,853,456. Most likely this will increase.

Baehr is being highly deceptive by including Prince Caspian in the mix because it was a big budget studio feature in wide release from its first day at the box office.

The worldwide total for Prince Caspian was $419,649,113 but its budget was $225 million.

The other "positive" movie, Fireproof, was pushed heavily by religious right groups such as Focus on the Family and Christian groups (the two sets of groups are not similar).

On a budget of $500,000, it made $33,351,975.

But Fireproof's success still does not prove Baehr's theory, especially when one takes into account just how much Prince Caspian figures into his numbers.

By the way, Iron Man and the Dark Knight made more money than all of these films combined.

I wonder if Baehr would label them as movies with "strong Christian worldviews."

But the bottom line is Baehr's piece is poorly done.

And unfortunately, so damn typical of the religious right.