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Hollywood: Where Hard Work Doesn’t Always Yield Reward

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:31 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV

Yesterday, Glenn Reynolds linked Prateik Dalmia’s excellent piece at the Daily Caller on Why Hollywood Loves Democrats, quoting this insightful observation:

Hollywood stars hence feel that there is something arbitrary about their success — that their personal merit does not warrant their revered status. While they may be pleased at this outcome, they can’t help but feel that the system is unjust because their status is undeserved.

First, read the whole thing.  I may offer further thoughts later, but do agree that the success of some in Hollywood does sometimes seem quite arbitrary.  Given the amount of competition in this business, a lot of people, many quite talented, work really hard without getting any recognition — while others find success just through their contacts, being in the right place at the right time or having exactly what “they” (i.e,. the powers that be) want when they want it — and knowing how to sell it.

But, for so many in this town, it often seems that earnest effort does yield any real reward.  Hard work isn’t recognized here as readily as it is in the rest of the country.  This is not to say that some very successful people here don’t work very hard.  Many of them do.  Indeed, I would dare say, most do.  It’s just that they see others working just as hard and not getting the same recognition  — or earning the same salaries.

A number of my actor and actress friends spend thousands of dollars and devote hundreds of hours to getting head shots, perfecting their resumes, sending them out — and following up on their efforts and find that, in return, they only get a handful of auditions — with no paying parts.

Had they applied the same effort in in any other industry (well, perhaps not in this economy), they would likely have job offers out the wazoo.

NB:  Wrote the original draft of this in a Jiffy Lube while waiting to get an oil change.  Thanks to the due diligence of my readers, I caught at least one glaring typo, then proofread even more and caught even more.  My apologies.

Meg Moves Into Lead in CA Governor’s Race

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:12 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

Doesn’t seem that all the ads that the (mostly) union backed California Working Families has pumped into trashing Meg Whitman (as opposed to promoting their guy) have had much effect:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in California finds Whitman earning 48% support, while Democrat Jerry Brown picks up 40% of the vote. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

These new numbers move California from a Toss-Up to Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Their last poll showed the former governor up 43% to 41%.  “When leaners are included in the new totals, Whitman posts a 51% to 43% lead over Brown.”

Looks like there’s hope for a real change in the (once and future) Golden State.

Easier to be gay in a conservative environment than to be conservative in a gay environment

In his post on Ken Mehlman’s coming out, Don Surber, while mistakenly calling me the GayPatriot (that title belongs to my co-blogger Bruce) cites some of the bile on the left and wonders at one of the smears, “If you smear a homosexual as homophobic, does that make you homophobic?

Yeah, the rhetoric from the left has been pretty heated.  They’ve even labeled us and other gay conservatives “quislings”!  What is it with these folks and their Nazi analogies?

Contrasting the left-wing vitriol with the more measured response from the right reminds us yet again of what we, as gay conservatives, have long experienced and what our reader Megan so perfectly articulated in a recent comment:

Just a personal observation from a heterosexual, middle-aged woman. I once worked at a restaurant with a number of conservative, gay customers. They told me that it was far more comfortable to be gay in a conservative environment than it was to be conservative in a gay environment.

Emphasis added.  I’ve experienced that at least since I’ve come out — and particularly since I’ve started blogging.  And my e-mail and our comments indicate that our readers have as well.

Will Ken Mehlman’s coming out lead to a more civil conversation on gay marriage?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:33 pm - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

That’s what Peter Wehner thinks:

I think, that all sides in the same-sex marriage debate need to strive for greater respect and civility, for grounding this discussion in reason and empirical facts, in what advances self-government and the common good. And regardless of whether or not one agrees with Ken’s position, he will add to, rather than subtract from, the substance of the discussion. That is more than can be said for the haters.

Unless he does a full David Brock, Ken Mehlman won’t escape the wrath of the angry gay left

My hope (and prayer) right now for Ken Mehlman is that he can count on his friends and family for the next few days until the hullabaloo about his coming out has passed. It’s never easy to have your private life become public information.

To be sure, as a public face for the Bush Administration and the GOP, he’s used by now to the bile of the left, so he should be prepared to face their taunts and attacks.  But, I wonder if he’s thinking, “If I could just show them I’m not the demon they believe me to be, maybe then, by golly, they’ll like me, they’ll really like me.”

No, Ken, no, they won’t.  We’ve all thought that.  Or at least most of us on the gay right have.  We’ve all wondered what we could do to end the animosity coming at us from certain segments of the left.  To be sure, some (many, perhaps) gay liberals will surprise you and will treat you with decency and dignity despite disagreeing with you on matters political.

All that said, unless you do a full David Brock, you won’t end the bile coming from the gay left.  And to do the full Brock, you not only have to toe the line on gay issues, but also publicly, prolifically and regularly repudiate the right.

Remember, most straight conservatives won’t treat you any differently once you’ve come out as gay.  We don’t expect ideological rigidity from our allies nor demand social conformity from our friends.

Meanwhile, many gays on the left of the political spectrum are showing no sympathy for Mehlman’s journey and tossing out terms that one reserves for one’s bitterest enemies — and tosses out when throwing a temper tantrum.  They’re not interested in Ken as a person; they just need someone on whom to project their own animosities. (more…)

“Proper Places” or “Maybe I’ll Stay In, Thanks”

Posted by Sarjex at 11:57 am - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: cartoons

Buy a shirt and help send me to CPAC! Questions, comments requests can be sent to sarjex (at) gmail dot com

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W: “Incredibly Supportive” when learning Mehlman was gay

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:26 am - August 26, 2010.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics

Seems that I was right when I wrote that many of Ken Mehlman’s “former White House and GOP colleagues have been contacting him privately to offer their support.”  Well, we don’t quite yet have evidence that many have done this, we do know that at least the most important member of the Administration has.  From Mehlman’s interview with Politico:

Q. Have you talked to President Bush about this?

A. Yes, I talked to him and he was incredibly supportive.

Q. Was it this year?

A. Yes.

Q. How widely known was this before?

A. It was not known by anybody. It was known by me. That’s it.

George W. Bush? Supportive?? But, I was told he was a demon who hated gay people!

(FYI, this is not the “next post” I mentioned in my preceding post.  I was working on that one when I discovered this interview.)

In coming out, Ken Mehlman will find more support on the right than on the left

From various sources, I have learned that the reaction on most gay left blogs to the revelation of Ken Mehlman’s coming out has been as vitriolic as we could have anticipated.  I really have no interest in addressing their comments directly because it’s not worth my time to engage those who, to paraphrase Albert Camus, cannot be persuaded.

They simply believe that when working for W and helming the RNC, Mehlman was not just closeted, but also fully aware of the meaning of his feelings for men.  It’s easier for them and fits their narrative, that gay conservatives are all self-loathing.  They would rather attack the demon of their imagination than understand the individual who stands before them.

They fail to appreciate that gay conservatives are just like many of them — and often have had to struggle to come to terms with their emotional and sexual attraction to individuals of their own sex.  For some of us, it takes longer than others.  For Ken Mehlman, it apparently took 43 years.

Mehlman says he wasn’t aware of  (perhaps, it might be more accurate to say, hadn’t fully dealt with) his sexuality when he worked for the 2004 Bush campaign and chaired the RNC:

Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.

“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “I can’t change the fact that I wasn’t in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”

I believe him.  I remember what it’s like “not to be in that place personally.”  Don’t they?  Why do they refuse to take him at his word?  It must be that (R) after his name.  Or his association with the nefarious Bush regime and its chief henchman, Boba Rove. (more…)

Ken Mehlman & the Politicization of Gay Identity

In his piece on Ken Mehlman’s coming out, R.S. McCain points out the obvious, well, that is, to those who read this blog.

What has changed is that gay-rights activists have turned sexuality into an identity-politics racket, so that any gay person who doesn’t share their agenda is made to feel inauthentic, a traitor to The Cause.

More on this anon, much more.