CRASH of the FIRM Forum
Posted on September 4, 2003 at 06:02:04 PM by James Jaeger

The out-sourced servers for the FIRM Forum crashed. All data was lost. We are busy restoring the site as best possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

You can post now.

James Jaeger

Re(1): CRASH of the FIRM Forum
Posted on October 6, 2003 at 08:16:23 PM by REPLY

Is this working now?

DreamWorks To Distribute PASSION?
Posted on September 4, 2003 at 10:45:46 PM by James Jaeger

The studios may have a tricky decision to make with respect to the release of Mel Gibson's, THE PASSION. Here's why:

Fox, Gibson's first-look studio (for his prodco, ICON) has already passed on distributing THE PASSION. Other MPAA studio/distributors may follow suit. If all do, this will be a problem because it will look like censorship by the MPAA. Thus one of them, or at least one of their subsidiaries, or affiliated companies, will be forced to step forward. I say that an affiliated company, will step forward and that company will be DreamWorks.

Here's why:
Since people generally know that the studios are dominated by liberal Jews, the Christian community in particular may feel the Jewish community is not being supportive of a Christian story. This could be bad PR for, not only the studios, but the Jewish community in general. Thus, the studios and/or Jewish community run the risk of bad PR if they DON'T distribute THE PASSION and the Jewish community runs the risk of increased anti-Semitism if the studios DO distribute THE PASSION.

Again, I will bet Steven Spielberg will step up to the plate and put in a bid to distribute THE PASSION through DreamWorks. Spielberg tends to think outside the box and he's probably not as paranoid about anti-Semitism as the ADL. DreamWorks is not technically an MPAA company, even though they distribute through Universal, which is, thus they are an affiliated company.

James Jaeger

Re(1): DreamWorks To Distribute PASSION?
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 09:38:53 PM by James Jaeger

I am under the understanding that as of this date there is still no distribution deal for THE PASSION. Anyone heard anything to the contrary?

James Jaeger

Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 5, 2003 at 03:18:29 PM by James Jaeger

We are looking into the possibility that this Forum was sabotaged. If so, this would not be the first time.

I am sorry but the discussions/debates from August 2, 2003 to now, September 5, 2003 have been lost.

Fortunately most of the discussions/debates have been preserved in the FIRM Archives at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/archives.htm so if you wish to revive a particular thread, go there and copy and past the salient text into a new post in the CURRENT DISCUSSION section.

Additionally, I may have other discussions saved on other hard drives which I will try to revive.

James Jaeger

Re(1): Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 5, 2003 at 05:54:06 PM by Mitchell Levine

I'm surprised you haven't blamed me yet!

Re(2): Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 09:36:35 PM by James Jaeger

>I'm surprised you haven't blamed me yet!

Mitchell, you're that last person I would blame for sabotaging the FIRM site . . . what else would you have to do all day -- and worse -- all the nice little agitator fees you're probably getting from the MPAA would go away. :)

Which gives me an idea! Let's you and me and John and George pretend that we all have these differences about film reform. I promise that if you say A, I will argue B, and hopefully John and George will do the same. So as long as we provide a good argument, the MPAA will keep paying you. So why don't you cut us all in on the fee and we'll sit here and argue with you forever -- and we'll ALL get paid. This would be good for you because it would ensure an ongoing argument-income.

John and I COULD threaten you and say that if you DON'T do this deal, we're going to AGREE with everything you say (like "Jews are the greatest,' 'Lack of diversity in Hollywood is okay,' etc.) -- and then, hey you'd be a job. But don't worry, I don't think it will come to that.

James Jaeger

Re(3): Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:35:27 PM by Mitchell Levine

Mitchell, you're that last person I would blame for sabotaging the FIRM site . . . what else would you have to do all day

- Edit my education newspaper, and run my discussion forum?

-- and worse -- all the nice little agitator fees you're probably getting from the MPAA would go away. :)

- It would really be a shame, Jim - then you'd lose all those fees you get from the White Aryan Nations! It's not like Matrixx Entertainment's ever gonna support you!

Re(4): Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 00:00:45 AM by James Jaeger

>- It would really be a shame, Jim - then you'd lose all those fees you get from the White Aryan Nations!

Oh, so that's what all those checks in the mail are for. I though it was a bunch of Indians that wanted to make a movie about how the White man screwed them out of their land.

Re(5): Possible Sabotage of FIRM
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 00:13:55 AM by Mitchell Levine

These days, Jim, they really prefer to be referred to as "Native Americans," no matter what your brothers in The Order might think.

 

 

Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 6, 2003 at 12:06:55 AM by John Cones

Chapter 7 (from "Patterns of Bias in Motion Picture Content")

OTHER NEGATIVE PORTRAYALS IN HOLLYWOOD FILMS

The above listing and discussion is not intended to be exhaustive nor does it include all groups that have complained about being consistently negatively or stereotypically portrayed by the American film industry (or about the related lack of equal employment opportunity at all levels of the film industry). Other identifiable populations voicing complaints from time to time with regard to their portrayals in Hollywood movies include Muslims, Italian-Americans, German-Americans, Irish-Americans, Gypsies, the deaf and hard of hearing and the elderly. Also, we rarely see any Mormons working in the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry, nor many films about Mormons. Practitioners of the Voodoo religion are also consistently portrayed as villains in Hollywood movies, along with most forms of religions that are considered by the Hollywood community to be cults.
In addition to serving as a brief history of those groups that have recently complained about biased movies and their negative or stereotypical portrayals in American movies, this review also tells us which groups of people view themselves as "outsiders" or the "disenfranchised" in relation to the Hollywood power structure. Thus, relating back to issues discussed in this book's companion volume Who Really Controls Hollywood, this listing tells us quite clearly, who does not control Hollywood. For surely, if any of these groups controlled Hollywood, they would choose to portray themselves in a more positive light in motion pictures from time to time and provide more equal employment opportunities for members of their respective groups. Further, we see again that creative control in Hollywood cannot be separated from economic control, after all, the top studio executives ultimately make the decision as to which movies are produced and released for viewing by most moviegoers, and these same executives exercise considerable contractual control over the producer, director, screenwriter, script, actors, actresses, budget, running time and MPAA rating, all of which affect the creative result.
Many of the business practices (primarily distributor business practices) discussed in this book's companion volumes How the Movie Wars Were Won and The Feature Film Distribution Deal contribute to the major studio/distributors' control and dominance of the motion picture industry. That control in turn gives the major studio/distributors the power to make whatever movies they want and to communicate through such movies whatever ideas they choose. In addition, the control of the major studio/distributors excludes large segments of our multi-cultural society from meaningful participation in the movie-making process and results in the consistent portrayal of many of these same "outsider" interest groups in a negative or stereotypical manner.
Movie critic Roger Ebert comments on the problem of movie villains saying that "[m]ovies like The Fourth War (1990) are a reminder that Hollywood is running low on dependable villains. The Nazis were always reliable, but World War II ended forty-five years ago. Now the cold War is winding down, and just when Lethal Weapon 2 introduced South African diplomats as the bad buys, de Klerk came along to make that approach unpredictable. Drug dealers are wearing out their welcome. Bad cops are a cliche'. Suggestions?"
Yes, the portrayals of movie bad guys should be distributed more evenly among all populations within our society. It may be unreasonable, however, to expect the presently configured power structure in Hollywood to engage in such a re-distribution of portrayals. Thus, it may be necessary to take further steps to alter that power structure. Another planned companion volume to this book Motion Picture Industry Reform contains numerous suggestions along those line. Included are detailed discussions of the following possibilities, among others: (1) the creation of a national coalition to monitor and publicize on an annual basis, the patterns of bias contained in Hollywood films; (2) the creation of a national political action group designed to tell the truth about what is really going on in Hollywood to the general public, the press and our representatives in Congress, (particularly with respect to employment discrimination and anti-competitive business practices) so as to bring about reasonable reforms to permit all interest groups a fair opportunity to tell their important cultural stories through this significant medium for the communication of ideas; (3) the bringing of a class-action lawsuit by all net and gross profit participants against the major studio/distributors for cheating them out of their fair share of the upside economic potential of their own films, with the related result that the creative control of such participants is severely weakened; and (4) the organization of a national boycott (including participants from all groups that are consistently portrayed in Hollywood movies in a negative or stereotypical manner) of all feature length motion pictures distributed by the major studio/distributors, until more diversity is brought about in the top level studio executive positions and throughout the industry, as well as more diversity in the portrayals in Hollywood films. Hollywood is too powerful for a limited boycott of one or two offensive films by a single interest group to be effective. Finally, on the novel side for possible remedies, it would only seem fair that a regional organization such as a Chamber of Commerce of the South might be able to bring a class action lawsuit against the major studio/distributors for defamation of the entire region.
Of course, it is also important to keep in mind that offensive negative portrayals or stereotypical movie portrayals do not always rise to the level of a movie villains (i.e., a person, place or thing can be portrayed in a movie in a negative manner without that person, place or thing having to serve as the movie's villain) or even as a lead character. It would also be quite natural to ask: "If all of these groups have been consistently portrayed in a negative or stereotypical manner all of these years, what group or groups in our diverse society have benefited from positive Hollywood film portrayals?" Unfortunately, that question goes beyond the scope of this specific work. However, it is treated separately in the companion volume Movies and Propaganda.
Conclusion--As we have seen, in recent years, numerous interest groups in the U.S. have vigorously complained about being consistently portrayed in a negative manner but such complaints have been effectively ignored by the MPAA companies. Quite often, as in this case, where power is concentrated in the hands of a few, such power breeds arrogance. Such outsider groups include women, the elderly, African-Americans, Hispanics, Arabs and Arab-Americans, Asians and Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, German-Americans, Southerners, gay/lesbians, Christians and others. Unfortunately, it is very likely that the consistent portrayal of negative stereotypes in U.S.-made movies contributes to prejudice. Prejudice in turn contributes to discrimination and discrimination often leads to conflict. Thus, in all probability, the U.S. motion picture industry has, over the years, become a contributing factor and potential cause of unnecessary conflict within our society.

 

 


Re(1): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 6, 2003 at 03:40:40 PM by George Shelps



John Cones wrote:

"Practitioners of the Voodoo religion are also consistently portrayed as villains in Hollywood movies."

___At last, John, you've found a way
to reduce the premise of FIRM to complete absurdity.

Re(2): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 6, 2003 at 07:51:10 PM by Mitchell Levine

Voudoo practitioners and Santerists have feelings too.

Re(3): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 7, 2003 at 07:38:01 PM by John Cones

Once again we are seeing how intolerant some of our correspondents are. So long as itís not a so-called major religion, it apparently is ok to negatively or stereo-typically portray a religion in Hollywood movies not practiced by them.

Voodoo (according to Religious Tolerance.org and the Encarta Encyclopedia) is more accurately known as Vodou or Vodun. It is a religion of Haiti, which is also practiced in Cuba, Trinidad, Brazil, and the southern United States, especially Louisiana. Vodou is commonly spelled voodoo, a spelling that, according to many scholars today, carries derogatory and inaccurate associations. Vodou combines elements of Roman Catholicism and tribal religions of western Africa, particularly Benin. Vodou cults worship a high god, Bon Dieu; ancestors or, more generally, the dead; twins; and spirits called loa. The loa, which may vary from cult to cult, are African tribal gods that are usually identified with Roman Catholic saints. The snake god, for example, is identified with St. Patrick. Other elements of Roman Catholicism in Vodou include the use of candles, bells, crosses, and prayers and the practices of baptism and making the sign of the cross. Among the African elements are dancing, drumming, and the worship of ancestors and twins. Today over 60 million people practice Vodun worldwide.

An inaccurate and sensational book (S. St. John, "Haiti or the Black Republic") was written in 1884. It described Vodun as a profoundly evil religion, and included lurid descriptions of human sacrifice, cannibalism, etc., some of which had been extracted from Vodun priests by torture. This book caught the imagination of people outside the West Indies, and was responsible for much of the misunderstanding and fear that is present today. Hollywood found this a rich source for Voodoo screen plays. Horror movies began in the 1930's and continue today to misrepresent Vodun. It is only since the late 1950's that accurate studies by anthropologists have been published.

Vodun, like Christianity, is a religion of many traditions. Each group follows a different spiritual path and worships a slightly different pantheon of spirits, called Loa. The word means "mystery" in the Yoruba language.

Sticking pins in "voodoo dolls" was once used as a method of cursing an individual by some followers of Vodun in New Orleans; this practice continues occasionally in South America. The practice became closely associated with Voodoo in the public mind through the vehicle of horror movies.

Once again, the motion picture has inaccurately portrayed a varied group of 60 million people that has little power to influence the kinds of movies that are made and the content of those movies. And, our resident Hollywood apologists would seek to ridicule any of us who point out this form of intolerance of the religious ideas of others.

John Cones

Re(4): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 7, 2003 at 08:29:16 PM by Mitchell Levine

Who was ridiculing them? As I pointed out, Santeria and Vodou believers also have human feelings, one of them being a negative reaction to ridicule.

The fact that people who practice this faith make up .0000000001% of the American movie audience doesn't change that.

In fact, the only two references to the belief system I can think of recently were in the truly inane movie Angel Heart, and the slightly offensive portrayal in Bride of Chucky: Child's Play III.

As a partial Romany, I have issues with the consistent portrayal of Gypsies as scum, like, for notable example, in Stephen King's Thinner.

 

Re(4): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 04:38:25 AM by George Shelps

Once again, the motion picture has inaccurately portrayed a varied group of 60 million people that has little power to influence the kinds of movies that are made and the content of those movies. And, our resident Hollywood apologists would seek to ridicule any of us who point out this form of intolerance of the religious ideas of others.

___Using the melodramatic depictions
of voodoo in Hollywood horror films
as an example of religious intolerance
trivializes the issue.

Re(5): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 12:33:10 AM by John Cones

No, it just demonstrates your own religious and cultural prejudice. You think it is trivial to express concern about lack of balanced portrayals in movies of religions that you do not respect.

John Cones

Re(6): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 02:18:41 AM by George Shelps


by John Cones

No, it just demonstrates your own religious and cultural prejudice.

___No, it demonstrates my concern for
vital issues.

Are you also going to attack
the depiction of Indian cult religions
in GUNGA DIN, too?

You think it is trivial to express concern about lack of balanced portrayals in movies of religions that you do not respect.

___I think your "concern" is phony.

I'll match my religious tolerance with
yours any day.

Re(7): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 11:41:39 AM by John Cones

No issue is more vital than the consistent use of a powerful communications medium like the movies, by an insular group, to stereotypcally and negatively portray other populations in our multi-cultural society, particularly when the others are routinely and regularly excluded from the seats of power in that same movie industry. You just don't get it!

John Cones

Re(8): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 11:54:10 AM by George Shelps



No issue is more vital than the consistent use of a powerful communications medium like the movies, by an insular group, to stereotypcally and negatively portray other populations in our multi-cultural society,

___America is not classifiable as a
"multicultural" society. There is indeed a broad, generic American culture and within that certain racial or ethnic
enclaves. But it is not composed of
competing ethnic identities.

particularly when the others are routinely and regularly excluded from the seats of power in that same movie industry. You just don't get it!

___We're back to this,eh? You've still never named one person who was excluded from the motion picture industry or from its "seats of power" on the basis of their religion or their ethnicity alone.

And your example of "discrimination"
against practitioners of voodoo is
not an indictment of the movie industry.

The culture of voodoo is simply alien
to American society as a whole and it
is unfair to single out the movie business as a example of "prejudice"
against it.

There are plenty of things wrong with the movie industry--especially in the
area of business practices---but the
imposition of an artificial notion of
"diversity" is not going to change them.



Industry Business Practices?
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:53:37 PM by James Jaeger

>There are plenty of things wrong with the movie industry--especially in the
area of business practices---

Care to expound on this George?

James Jaeger

Re(9): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 09:50:49 PM by Mitchell Levine

"And your example of "discrimination"
against practitioners of voodoo is
not an indictment of the movie industry.

The culture of voodoo is simply alien
to American society as a whole and it
is unfair to single out the movie business as a example of "prejudice"
against it.

There are plenty of things wrong with the movie industry--especially in the
area of business practices---but the
imposition of an artificial notion of
"diversity" is not going to change them."

- This might be a rare example where I don't completely agree with George. It is true that, as a culture, Vodou may be "alien" to the American audience as a whole like you suggest - but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's OK to consistently portray it negatively, or as evil.

For one, a major, but still minority, demographic in our culture is rooted in it, as it is indeed the native religion of the ancestors of many in the African American community.

Depicting it as evil and depraved is part of a subordinating dynamic that's historically been used to justify discrimination and prejudice. "Voodoo" is in many ways an icon for the concept of "socially acceptable racism." It's a token of "what those people would be like today, if it wasn't for us."

All you have to do is read any turn of the last century's antisemitic literature to see that the charge of "alienity" was used as an major argument for The Jewish Peril.

It may seem trivial or even ridiculous by comparison with lots of other issues in cinematic representation, but that doesn't make it alright. If you can legitimately marginalize them as "other," it becomes more acceptable across the board.

You're right that the imposition of an artificial notion of diversity is not a solution to the problem, but that doesn't imply that Cones doesn't have a point about the importance of identifying demeaning characterizations like this.

A very similar, and probably much more demographically substantial, case can be made for the damage done by film representations of Wicca.

Just ask Brandi Blackbear, a Wiccan girl in Oklahoma suspended from school for casting a spell that gave her teacher a bleeding ulcer.


Re(10): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 01:14:42 AM by George Shelps



"And your example of "discrimination"
against practitioners of voodoo is
not an indictment of the movie industry.
The culture of voodoo is simply alien
to American society as a whole and it
is unfair to single out the movie business as a example of "prejudice"
against it.

There are plenty of things wrong with the movie industry--especially in the
area of business practices---but the
imposition of an artificial notion of
"diversity" is not going to change them."

- This might be a rare example where I don't completely agree with George. It is true that, as a culture, Vodou may be "alien" to the American audience as a whole like you suggest - but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's OK to consistently portray it negatively, or as evil.

___I reserve judgment about the nature
of this religion, but Cones's argument
is based on the notion that a "control
group" is decreeing a negative portrayal---when it is actually individual film-makers who are doing so.


For one, a major, but still minority, demographic in our culture is rooted in it, as it is indeed the native religion of the ancestors of many in the African American community.

Depicting it as evil and depraved

___Yes, that has appeared in
a few horror movies.

is part of a subordinating dynamic that's historically been used to justify discrimination and prejudice.

__Too broad a generalization.

"Voodoo" is in many ways an icon for the concept of "socially acceptable racism." It's a token of "what those people would be like today, if it wasn't for us."

___I think it's about as racist as
Dracula is anti-Hungarian.

All you have to do is read any turn of the last century's antisemitic literature to see that the charge of "alienity" was used as an major argument for The Jewish Peril.

___The difference is that anti-semitism
was rooted in a broad cultural matrix
and this put-down of voodoo is the
product of specific film-makers---example, Val Lewton's
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

It may seem trivial or even ridiculous by comparison with lots of other issues in cinematic representation, but that doesn't make it alright. If you can legitimately marginalize them as "other," it becomes more acceptable across the board.

___I doubt that it was ever employed in
a movie for this purpose. If it was
distorted, it was done in ignorance and
the purpose of telling a good horror yarn.


You're right that the imposition of an artificial notion of diversity is not a solution to the problem,

___Well, Cones is attempting to elicit
concern for distortions about voodoo
as a way of justifying just such
an imposition of diversity.

but that doesn't imply that Cones doesn't have a point about the importance of identifying demeaning characterizations like this.

___He has no point. Misunderstandings
or distortions about voodoo are not
specific to the film business and
can't be used to justify the imposition
of diversity by fiat.

There is such a thing as an American
culture and it is proper that this should receive the broadest representation in the cinema--not
as just one cultural perspective in
a "slice-and-dice" diversity.

Cones and Jaeger in attacking the so-called "European" prejudice of the alleged "control group" are asking for a relativization of the founding culture
of both Western and American civilization.

Re(11): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 02:43:38 AM by Mitchell Levine


___I reserve judgment about the nature
of this religion, but Cones's argument
is based on the notion that a "control
group" is decreeing a negative portrayal---when it is actually individual film-makers who are doing so.

- I'm not supporting Cones' "control group" hypothesis, I'm just denying that the treatment of "fringe" religions like Santeria is irrelevant. It is individual filmmakers that are responsible, reflecting a Hollywood tradition of depicting Vodou as depraved. However, the administration could be more sensitive about demonizing a belief system. I'm not implying it's because of the ethnicity of the "control group." Considering that Gentiles have been equally disapproving of it - which is why the missionaries targeted Africa - I'd say it's just due to the low numbers of believers around to complain.


For one, a major, but still minority, demographic in our culture is rooted in it, as it is indeed the native religion of the ancestors of many in the African American community.

Depicting it as evil and depraved

___Yes, that has appeared in
a few horror movies.

- More than just a few, George. Can you name ONE positive depiction? It's not like it's happened once or twice. It's the dominant conception of the faith.

is part of a subordinating dynamic that's historically been used to justify discrimination and prejudice.

__Too broad a generalization.

- As an integrated social institution, maybe. But certainly not as a cultural tendency in the stigmatization of outgroups.

"Voodoo" is in many ways an icon for the concept of "socially acceptable racism." It's a token of "what those people would be like today, if it wasn't for us."

___I think it's about as racist as
Dracula is anti-Hungarian.

- If America were as anti-Hungarian as it has been racist.

All you have to do is read any turn of the last century's antisemitic literature to see that the charge of "alienity" was used as an major argument for The Jewish Peril.

___The difference is that anti-semitism
was rooted in a broad cultural matrix
and this put-down of voodoo is the
product of specific film-makers---example, Val Lewton's
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

- Racism IS a broad cultural matrix in the U.S. While I think it is the product of specific filmmakers, and not a top-down directive from any "control group," it's more than just a few isolated incidents. It's pretty much every instance of the religion's depiction in film. And it's one of the cinematic symbols of Africa itself; i.e., "witch doctors."

It may seem trivial or even ridiculous by comparison with lots of other issues in cinematic representation, but that doesn't make it alright. If you can legitimately marginalize them as "other," it becomes more acceptable across the board.

___I doubt that it was ever employed in
a movie for this purpose. If it was
distorted, it was done in ignorance and
the purpose of telling a good horror yarn.

- Oh really? Ever sit through, say, Steven Seagal's Marked for Death (which, to be fair, is set in Jamaica)?

You're right that the imposition of an artificial notion of diversity is not a solution to the problem,

___Well, Cones is attempting to elicit
concern for distortions about voodoo
as a way of justifying just such
an imposition of diversity.

- I'm obviously not arguing Cones' case here, just denying that Hollywood's treatment of Vodou is irrelevant. It IS possible that more diversity would be helpful here, in that people with cultural ties to the areas that practice traditional African religions might be less ignorant of their nature. On the other hand, I was asked to do a rewrite of a screenplay by two rappers called Voodoo Man, which had every negative stereotype ever seen, and probably came up with a few new ones to boot, so maybe not. I agree that artifical diversity mandates won't eliminate the poor treatment of minority religions.

but that doesn't imply that Cones doesn't have a point about the importance of identifying demeaning characterizations like this.

___He has no point. Misunderstandings
or distortions about voodoo are not
specific to the film business and
can't be used to justify the imposition
of diversity by fiat.

- Again, I agree: I'm only saying that they're not negligible. Replacing 98% of the Jews in Hollywood with Christians tomorrow would almost certainly have no impact on the problem. That doesn't mean it's acceptable to persistently demonize a minority belief system.

There is such a thing as an American
culture and it is proper that this should receive the broadest representation in the cinema--not
as just one cultural perspective in
a "slice-and-dice" diversity.

Cones and Jaeger in attacking the so-called "European" prejudice of the alleged "control group" are asking for a relativization of the founding culture
of both Western and American civilization.

- True, but, on the other hand, it doesn't mean that consistent stigmatization of a non-Western culture is therefore satisfactory either. One can be pro-American without being anti-Santeria, or hopefully anything else within reason.

Re(12): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 09:25:08 AM by George Shelps

All you have to do is read any turn of the last century's antisemitic literature to see that the charge of "alienity" was used as an major argument for The Jewish Peril.

___The difference is that anti-semitism
was rooted in a broad cultural matrix
and this put-down of voodoo is the
product of specific film-makers---example, Val Lewton's
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

- Racism IS a broad cultural matrix in the U.S.

___I don't think this much to do with
the depiction of voodoo. Generally,
Judeo-Christian culture has been hostile
to pagan religions, and that
is how voodoo is perceived.

As to US racism, I doubt that any
other country in human history has
gone as far in attempting to assimilate
a large racial minority to the extent
that the US has. Xenophobia is the
norm everywhere.

While I think it is the product of specific filmmakers, and not a top-down directive from any "control group," it's more than just a few isolated incidents. It's pretty much every instance of the religion's depiction in film. And it's one of the cinematic symbols of Africa itself; i.e., "witch doctors."

___Do you object to the depiction of
the Indian cult religion in GUNGA DIN?

It may seem trivial or even ridiculous by comparison with lots of other issues in cinematic representation, but that doesn't make it alright. If you can legitimately marginalize them as "other," it becomes more acceptable across the board.


___I doubt that it was ever employed in
a movie for this purpose. If it was
distorted, it was done in ignorance and
the purpose of telling a good horror yarn.


- Oh really? Ever sit through, say, Steven Seagal's Marked for Death (which, to be fair, is set in Jamaica)?

___No, but are saying that Seagall is
ignorant of voodoo's supposedly validity
or that he's peddling racism?

You're right that the imposition of an artificial notion of diversity is not a solution to the problem,


___Well, Cones is attempting to elicit
concern for distortions about voodoo
as a way of justifying just such
an imposition of diversity.

- I'm obviously not arguing Cones' case here, just denying that Hollywood's treatment of Vodou is irrelevant. It IS possible that more diversity would be helpful here, in that people with cultural ties to the areas that practice traditional African religions might be less ignorant of their nature. On the other hand, I was asked to do a rewrite of a screenplay by two rappers called Voodoo Man, which had every negative stereotype ever seen, and probably came up with a few new ones to boot, so maybe not. I agree that artifical diversity mandates won't eliminate the poor treatment of minority religions.
but that doesn't imply that Cones doesn't have a point about the importance of identifying demeaning characterizations like this.

___But the way you're reading his
"point" is in a general cultural way---which is not the topic here. He
is raising the "point" to gain some
minimal "moral highground" and divert
from the basically bogus "diversity"
cure-all he's advocating---which would
involve suppression/reduction of the
influence of other groups.
___He has no point. Misunderstandings
or distortions about voodoo are not
specific to the film business and
can't be used to justify the imposition
of diversity by fiat.


- Again, I agree: I'm only saying that they're not negligible. Replacing 98% of the Jews in Hollywood with Christians tomorrow would almost certainly have no impact on the problem. That doesn't mean it's acceptable to persistently demonize a minority belief system.

___I can't evaluate that. You say it
is a perfectly valid religious perspective comparable to Judaism? I
wonder if it is.

But even so, if it is distorted for the
purpose of making melodramatic entertainment--that doesn't equate
to institutionalized racism.

There is such a thing as an American
culture and it is proper that this should receive the broadest representation in the cinema--not
as just one cultural perspective in
a "slice-and-dice" diversity.

Cones and Jaeger in attacking the so-called "European" prejudice of the alleged "control group" are asking for a relativization of the founding culture
of both Western and American civilization.


- True, but, on the other hand, it doesn't mean that consistent stigmatization of a non-Western culture is therefore satisfactory either. One can be pro-American without being anti-Santeria, or hopefully anything else within reason.

___This is a cultural-political debate
outside the scope of the topic of
Hollywood film-making.

Re(13): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:12:42 PM by Mitchell Levine

- Racism IS a broad cultural matrix in the U.S.

___I don't think this much to do with
the depiction of voodoo. Generally,
Judeo-Christian culture has been hostile
to pagan religions, and that
is how voodoo is perceived.

- One of the reasons for that continuing hostility, IMHO, is ongoing misrepresentation in the media. I'll give Mr. Cones that much.

As to US racism, I doubt that any
other country in human history has
gone as far in attempting to assimilate
a large racial minority to the extent
that the US has. Xenophobia is the
norm everywhere.

- Quite true, but the United States was also the first country to canonize democracy and civil liberties to the extent we do too. If we start playing favorites with whom we allow to be stigmatized, when we supposedly champion constitutional equal protection, it's not so certain who'll be next. It's a dangerous game, I think. Either everyone is granted status, or I don't think anyone's really protected, and definitely not the minorities.

___Do you object to the depiction of
the Indian cult religion in GUNGA DIN?

- I object to the consistent pattern of demeaning portrayals. Whether any one of them in particular is necessarily that offensive is a different question. Some of them have been, like in Marked for Death; others of them aren't. Every one of them does continue to reinforce the stereotype. That's the problem. Many Jewish or gay stereotypes, for example, may seem harmlessly cute - but, regardless of their apparent benineness, they still encourage their audience to see Jews and gays, and sometimes Blacks, in stereotypical ways. They may not do the same damage that Der Erwige Juden or Birth of a Nation might have, but they have an impact, and it isn't positive.

___I doubt that it was ever employed in
a movie for this purpose. If it was
distorted, it was done in ignorance and
the purpose of telling a good horror yarn.


- Oh really? Ever sit through, say, Steven Seagal's Marked for Death (which, to be fair, is set in Jamaica)?

___No, but are saying that Seagall is
ignorant of voodoo's supposedly validity
or that he's peddling racism?

- Probably both. If you don't believe me, ask Spike Lee. Or DMX, for that matter. Maybe it explains why he's gone on to do his recent spate of films prominently featuring him wearing a Du-rag.

___But the way you're reading his
"point" is in a general cultural way---which is not the topic here. He
is raising the "point" to gain some
minimal "moral highground" and divert
from the basically bogus "diversity"
cure-all he's advocating---which would
involve suppression/reduction of the
influence of other groups.

- That may be his ultimate agenda, but it's not mine, as you, of course, know. I was merely stating that the idea that his focus on Santeria was "trivializing" FIRM (as if that were possible to do in the first place) was, in my opinion, off-base. It's starting to look like that was a stupid idea on my part.

___I can't evaluate that. You say it
is a perfectly valid religious perspective comparable to Judaism? I
wonder if it is.

But even so, if it is distorted for the
purpose of making melodramatic entertainment--that doesn't equate
to institutionalized racism.

- Whether or not it's religiously "valid" is, of course, impossible to determine objectively: until the day you die, the only way to answer the question is to make a value judgement, and that really IS ethnocentric!

It may not be "institutionalized racism" in the same sense that colored-only drinking fountains or university quotas were, but that doesn't mean we should discount it as acceptably negligible. The encouragement - or at least failure to discourage - that attitude is what I believe is the real danger. It has ramifications beyond just the case of Vodou, although the case of Vodou isn't negligible either.

- True, but, on the other hand, it doesn't mean that consistent stigmatization of a non-Western culture is therefore satisfactory either. One can be pro-American without being anti-Santeria, or hopefully anything else within reason.

___This is a cultural-political debate
outside the scope of the topic of
Hollywood film-making.

- Not within the context of the question of media accountability for cultural misrepresentations, and their effects on society as a whole. In its full generality, it is.

Re(14): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:38:20 AM by George Shelps


- Racism IS a broad cultural matrix in the U.S.


___I don't think this much to do with
the depiction of voodoo. Generally,
Judeo-Christian culture has been hostile to pagan religions, and that
is how voodoo is perceived.

- One of the reasons for that continuing hostility, IMHO, is ongoing misrepresentation in the media. I'll give Mr. Cones that much.

___Why? He's using as evidence to
marshall against the "control grpup."
He has an agenda. While stereotypes
and distortions are often deplorable,
there is no central "control group"
decreeing these things. Cones wants
you tp share his indignation against "white, male, European, Jewish, not very religious"movie executives by playing on your liberal tolerance.

As to US racism, I doubt that any
other country in human history has
gone as far in attempting to assimilate
a large racial minority to the extent
that the US has. Xenophobia is the
norm everywhere.



- Quite true, but the United States was also the first country to canonize democracy and civil liberties to the extent we do too. If we start playing favorites with whom we allow to be stigmatized, when we supposedly champion constitutional equal protection, it's not so certain who'll be next.

___"Slippery slope" argument. Making
cultural value distinctions is not
the same as racial bigotry.


It's a dangerous game, I think. Either everyone is granted status, or I don't think anyone's really protected, and definitely not the minorities.

___You're essentially arguing for the
basis of Cones and Jaeger's position,
namely, that Hollywood should reflect
all cultural venues and that this should
be morally--and implicitly legally--
mandated.



___Do you object to the depiction of
the Indian cult religion in GUNGA DIN?

- I object to the consistent pattern of demeaning portrayals. Whether any one of them in particular is necessarily that offensive is a different question. Some of them have been, like in Marked for Death; others of them aren't. Every one of them does continue to reinforce the stereotype. That's the problem. Many Jewish or gay stereotypes, for example, may seem harmlessly cute - but, regardless of their apparent benineness, they still encourage their audience to see Jews and gays, and sometimes Blacks, in stereotypical ways.

___THat's debatable. You actually don't
know how the stereotypes are being received.

I grew up listening to "Amos and Andy"
on the radio, and then watching the
TV version. I loved the show. And
I was too young even to understand that
the characters were a different race.

It had no more pernicious effect on
me than June Cleaver's housedress and
pearls.

They may not do the same damage that Der Erwige Juden or Birth of a Nation might have, but they have an impact, and it isn't positive.

__I wouldn't equate a Nazi propaganda
film with Griffith's film.

___I can't evaluate that. You say it
is a perfectly valid religious perspective comparable to Judaism? I
wonder if it is.

But even so, if it is distorted for the
purpose of making melodramatic entertainment--that doesn't equate
to institutionalized racism.

- Whether or not it's religiously "valid" is, of course, impossible to determine objectively:

__Supernaturally, mystically, yes...but
in terms of its teachings and moral
thought, no. There are bad religions
out there whose teachings are not benign, are even evil. Immediate example comes to mind, Jim Jones's
"The People's Temple."

until the day you die, the only way to answer the question is to make a value judgement, and that really IS ethnocentric!

__No. Religions have a universal ethical dimension which can be objectively evaluated by reason alone.

It may not be "institutionalized racism" in the same sense that colored-only drinking fountains or university quotas were, but that doesn't mean we should discount it as acceptably negligible. The encouragement - or at least failure to discourage - that attitude is what I believe is the real danger.

__I don't buy this "slippery slope"
argument. Racial, cultural, or religious
stererotypes do not necessarily lead
to gas chambers. That takes the application of power by a regime.

Re(15): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 10:50:48 PM by Mitchell Levine

___Why? He's using as evidence to
marshall against the "control grpup."
He has an agenda. While stereotypes
and distortions are often deplorable,
there is no central "control group"
decreeing these things. Cones wants
you tp share his indignation against "white, male, European, Jewish, not very religious"movie executives by playing on your liberal tolerance.

- That may well be true, although I'm not positive that it certainly is, but I can separate that agenda from the specific issue at hand. My response is to your belief that Cones' selection of Vodou and Santeria as a test case for xenophobic representation in film is ridiculous and trivializing. Whether or not Cones is manipulatively exploiting the matter to further his own ends is a different question.

Just because a minority religion like Vodou might be stigmatized by Hollywood, it hardly means that Cones and Jaeger's "control group" theory is correct. The reason why it happens is probably because:

1.) Dramatic conflict usually requires a villain or adversary to achieve.

2.) That means somebody has to be the villain.

3.) To sell tickets, you can't alienate your audience, which means you can't make a potential audience representative a villain.

4.) Thus, it's easiest to choose villains from populations which don't frequently show up much to complain.

No homogenous control group is required, and, in fact, you don't even need a homogenous audience necessarily.

The problem this scenario creates is that it means a successful film distributor has to either: a) constantly defame the same group(s); b) defame the majority population, which typically leads to catastrophic failure; c) release films without appreciable dramatic conflict, resulting in the same as b); or d) invent a new narrative paradigm people enjoy that doesn't need conflict, which no one seems to be able to do. Also, you could try some scheme of rotating the onus of villain status from group to group, which, as logical as it sounds, doesn't seem to work.

Based on this analysis, the problem is totally insoluble. It doesn't matter if you have a diverse "control group" or not. What motivates the whole thing is the audience's needs, not the control group's. The control group's only need is money.

That doesn't mean minority religions should always have to pick up the tab.


___"Slippery slope" argument. Making
cultural value distinctions is not
the same as racial bigotry.

- That doesn't mean it's not bigotry. There's no verifiable way of objectively establishing the truth of religious beliefs, and questions of ethics and morality ultimately ride on them, or something like a categorical imperative. It might not be racial, but it is an arbitrary value-judgement. The "slippery slope" doesn't have to end in the gas chambers-it probably never would in America under just about any circumstances-for there to be real danger. Look at the history of the eugenics movement, for example.

___You're essentially arguing for the
basis of Cones and Jaeger's position,
namely, that Hollywood should reflect
all cultural venues and that this should
be morally--and implicitly legally--
mandated.

- I didn't say that. I only said that it's not an insignificant question. As I noted above, the problem is basically unsolvable. The best we can do I think is try to balance things out while we go along. Touching on the unfairness of the cinematic portrayal of minority religions will at the very least hopefully lead to some awareness of the problem.

___THat's debatable. You actually don't
know how the stereotypes are being received.

- True, but the fact that they keep continuing to be promoted should be a big clue. Encouraging people to think in stereotypes is a terrible idea in any case, just on general principle.

I grew up listening to "Amos and Andy"
on the radio, and then watching the
TV version. I loved the show. And
I was too young even to understand that
the characters were a different race.

- As racially hypersensitive a guy as Charles S. Dutton says that "it was the funniest show ever on television," and that its perception as "racist" is due to a number of misunderstandings.

It had no more pernicious effect on
me than June Cleaver's housedress and
pearls.

- How do you know that June Cleaver's housedress and pearls didn't have a pernicious effect on you?

They may not do the same damage that Der Erwige Juden or Birth of a Nation might have, but they have an impact, and it isn't positive.

__I wouldn't equate a Nazi propaganda
film with Griffith's film.

- Virtually every black person I know who's seen the latter feels differently.

__Supernaturally, mystically, yes...but
in terms of its teachings and moral
thought, no. There are bad religions
out there whose teachings are not benign, are even evil. Immediate example comes to mind, Jim Jones's
"The People's Temple."

- I was speaking of genuine religions and not cults. Also, "good" and "evil" are judgements based on subjective, ultimately unverifiable criteria. How do we know what Jim Jone's karma with The People's Church was?

until the day you die, the only way to answer the question is to make a value judgement, and that really IS ethnocentric!

__No. Religions have a universal ethical dimension which can be objectively evaluated by reason alone.

- Two thousand years of Western philosophy hasn't produced any agreement on that score, so maybe "ethics objectively evaluated by reason alone" should be buried with Kant. Good and Evil seem to be relative with every culture. How I perceive them relative to my Eastern religious scheme is certainly pretty likely to be different from your conservative Christian one, although we agree on many too. We don't have any objective way of knowing who's "right" until, apparently, it's too late.

__I don't buy this "slippery slope"
argument. Racial, cultural, or religious
stererotypes do not necessarily lead
to gas chambers. That takes the application of power by a regime.

- Which usually happens when people become conditioned to accept that regime and its values uncritically. Most people look outside themselves for validation, and in any case, for the majority of people, values are relative. Did the suspension of the Founding Fathers' belief in personal liberties just suddenly happen instantly out of nowhere during the McCarthy era? A lot of "slipping and sliding" had to happen for that mess to go down. You're THAT sure it could never happen again?




Re(15): Patterns of Bias
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 10:50:47 PM by Mitchell Levine

___Why? He's using as evidence to
marshall against the "control grpup."
He has an agenda. While stereotypes
and distortions are often deplorable,
there is no central "control group"
decreeing these things. Cones wants
you tp share his indignation against "white, male, European, Jewish, not very religious"movie executives by playing on your liberal tolerance.

- That may well be true, although I'm not positive that it certainly is, but I can separate that agenda from the specific issue at hand. My response is to your belief that Cones' selection of Vodou and Santeria as a test case for xenophobic representation in film is ridiculous and trivializing. Whether or not Cones is manipulatively exploiting the matter to further his own ends is a different question.

Just because a minority religion like Vodou might be stigmatized by Hollywood, it hardly means that Cones and Jaeger's "control group" theory is correct. The reason why it happens is probably because:

1.) Dramatic conflict usually requires a villain or adversary to achieve.

2.) That means somebody has to be the villain.

3.) To sell tickets, you can't alienate your audience, which means you can't make a potential audience representative a villain.

4.) Thus, it's easiest to choose villains from populations which don't frequently show up much to complain.

No homogenous control group is required, and, in fact, you don't even need a homogenous audience necessarily.

The problem this scenario creates is that it means a successful film distributor has to either: a) constantly defame the same group(s); b) defame the majority population, which typically leads to catastrophic failure; c) release films without appreciable dramatic conflict, resulting in the same as b); or d) invent a new narrative paradigm people enjoy that doesn't need conflict, which no one seems to be able to do. Also, you could try some scheme of rotating the onus of villain status from group to group, which, as logical as it sounds, doesn't seem to work.

Based on this analysis, the problem is totally insoluble. It doesn't matter if you have a diverse "control group" or not. What motivates the whole thing is the audience's needs, not the control group's. The control group's only need is money.

That doesn't mean minority religions should always have to pick up the tab.


___"Slippery slope" argument. Making
cultural value distinctions is not
the same as racial bigotry.

- That doesn't mean it's not bigotry. There's no verifiable way of objectively establishing the truth of religious beliefs, and questions of ethics and morality ultimately ride on them, or something like a categorical imperative. It might not be racial, but it is an arbitrary value-judgement. The "slippery slope" doesn't have to end in the gas chambers-it probably never would in America under just about any circumstances-for there to be real danger. Look at the history of the eugenics movement, for example.

___You're essentially arguing for the
basis of Cones and Jaeger's position,
namely, that Hollywood should reflect
all cultural venues and that this should
be morally--and implicitly legally--
mandated.

- I didn't say that. I only said that it's not an insignificant question. As I noted above, the problem is basically unsolvable. The best we can do I think is try to balance things out while we go along. Touching on the unfairness of the cinematic portrayal of minority religions will at the very least hopefully lead to some awareness of the problem.

___THat's debatable. You actually don't
know how the stereotypes are being received.

- True, but the fact that they keep continuing to be promoted should be a big clue. Encouraging people to think in stereotypes is a terrible idea in any case, just on general principle.

I grew up listening to "Amos and Andy"
on the radio, and then watching the
TV version. I loved the show. And
I was too young even to understand that
the characters were a different race.

- As racially hypersensitive a guy as Charles S. Dutton says that "it was the funniest show ever on television," and that its perception as "racist" is due to a number of misunderstandings.

It had no more pernicious effect on
me than June Cleaver's housedress and
pearls.

- How do you know that June Cleaver's housedress and pearls didn't have a pernicious effect on you?

They may not do the same damage that Der Erwige Juden or Birth of a Nation might have, but they have an impact, and it isn't positive.

__I wouldn't equate a Nazi propaganda
film with Griffith's film.

- Virtually every black person I know who's seen the latter feels differently.

__Supernaturally, mystically, yes...but
in terms of its teachings and moral
thought, no. There are bad religions
out there whose teachings are not benign, are even evil. Immediate example comes to mind, Jim Jones's
"The People's Temple."

- I was speaking of genuine religions and not cults. Also, "good" and "evil" are judgements based on subjective, ultimately unverifiable criteria. How do we know what Jim Jone's karma with The People's Church was?

until the day you die, the only way to answer the question is to make a value judgement, and that really IS ethnocentric!

__No. Religions have a universal ethical dimension which can be objectively evaluated by reason alone.

- Two thousand years of Western philosophy hasn't produced any agreement on that score, so maybe "ethics objectively evaluated by reason alone" should be buried with Kant. Good and Evil seem to be relative with every culture. How I perceive them relative to my Eastern religious scheme is certainly pretty likely to be different from your conservative Christian one, although we agree on many too. We don't have any objective way of knowing who's "right" until, apparently, it's too late.

__I don't buy this "slippery slope"
argument. Racial, cultural, or religious
stererotypes do not necessarily lead
to gas chambers. That takes the application of power by a regime.

- Which usually happens when people become conditioned to accept that regime and its values uncritically. Most people look outside themselves for validation, and in any case, for the majority of people, values are relative. Did the suspension of the Founding Fathers' belief in personal liberties just suddenly happen instantly out of nowhere during the McCarthy era? A lot of "slipping and sliding" had to happen for that mess to go down. You're THAT sure it could never happen again?

 

decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 7, 2003 at 09:11:41 AM by Gott

I've been around the edges of the DV 'revolution' for a few years now and see what high quality product (relatively) can now be made outside the Hollywood set up. Crude, of course next to Josef von Sternberg or Howard Hawks, but then again, the merde that comes out of Hollywood these days (these days are now a number of decades old) is also crude by that comparison.

Anyway - without the stranglehold of needing expensive toys to make 'product' - particularly if DV technology does what it has been doing and continues to improve - won't the closed club that is Hollywood be greatly weakened?

As the Internet is also constantly improving...perhaps the means of distribution and exhibition might also be decentralizing out of the hands of the very few who control them now?

I'm curious to know what Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Cones think about this.

Re(1): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 06:53:31 PM by James Jaeger

>I've been around the edges of the DV 'revolution' for a few years now and see what high quality product (relatively) can now be made outside the Hollywood set up. Crude, of course next to Josef von Sternberg or Howard Hawks, but then again, the merde that comes out of Hollywood these days (these days are now a number of decades old) is also crude by that comparison.

Some of the stuff that comes out of Hollywood is very nice and polished, however you are correct: I would say an increasing percentage is crude, as well as formulaic. One only has to see a number of foreign and independent pictures that have recently come out, such as AMEN, THE GREY ZONE, THE BANK, EQUILIBRIUM and STRANDED to realize that Hollywood has no monopoly on originality and decreasingly on production values.

>Anyway - without the stranglehold of needing expensive toys to make 'product' - particularly if DV technology does what it has been doing and continues to improve

The 2 most far-reaching advances in digital technology have been Non-Linear Editing (NLE) and super high resolution film-to-tape and tape-to-film transfers (which has made green-screen photography more robust). The former has opened the door to cost-effective professional post-production for the masses (after AVID capitalized on their monopoly of NLE for years) and the later has placed high-quality digital special FX within reach of the independents at reasonable prices.

>- won't the closed club that is Hollywood be greatly weakened?

Yes. As additional technological advances place below-line costs within reach, the quality of a picture will be increasingly story- and screenplay-driven. George Lucas shot his recent STAR WARS picture on tape and transferred it to film. The quality was so good, it fooled me. My mentor, Lee Garmes, was the first to shoot a feature (WHY) on video tape. This technology lead the way to the technology Lucas eventually used for STAR WARS. In the next decade most filmmakers will be burning (shooting) their "films" (on) to DVD and laying-back to film or projecting the DVD in theaters. The resolution of such technology will eventually surpass film technology and the "look" will be indistinguishable -- as Lucas has already demonstrated, but at an expense.

>As the Internet is also constantly improving...perhaps the means of distribution and exhibition might also be decentralizing out of the hands of the very few who control them now?

Yes, this is the major point. We are headed for a paradigm shift where video-on-demand will eventually be the predominant distribution MEDIUM. Most likely VOD will be distributed over the broadband Internet, the new distribution CHANNEL. Already VOD has moved into the 2nd Window position in the market cycle of a feature, the position occupied by the homevideo market (i.e., video cassettes and DVDs) for the past 15 years.

When independents can reliably sell movies over the Internet on-demand as high-, or higher-quality than DVDs, I think we will see a serious erosion of Hollywood's distribution clout. Since the Internet will then be a global distribution center, Hollywood's role may diminish because it will be in ever increasing competition with original product from independents and the foreign market. Just as the networks seeded distribution clout to the cable industry, the MPAA studio/distributors will probably not enjoy the monopoly on the mainstream distribution of features they once maintained. Thus if Hollywood's distribution clout dries up, so will it's ability to finance features. If it's ability to finance features decreases, there will be less money to pay talent, thus talent will migrate elsewhere than Hollywood. Thus the current star-system will go the way of the studio-system. . . into OBLIVION, another nice little independent feature you might check out.

That said, I'm sure Hollywood will come up with something new to surprise us all. And I hope it does.

>I'm curious to know what Mr. Jaeger and Mr. Cones think about this.

The above is what I think, for what it's worth.

James Jaeger


---------------
P.S. There is much else written on this subject in the FIRM Archives.

Re(2): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 03:37:50 PM by Gott

I just saw you reply now Mr. Jaeger. Thanks very much. I spoke to Lee Garmes on the phone once and asked him if he really thought that Borzage's The Big Fisherman was the most beautiful film he had shot and he said yes! Borzage is probably my favorite director.

When you say that Hollywood will probably come up with a strategy to combat the DV revolution, I agree with you. When you say that doing so will be a good thing, I must disagree though, as a more loathsome bunch of shyster crooks and vulgarians I cannot imagine.

An earlier generation, but with the same values (or I guess anti-values) and the same trashy tastes, once tried to come up with a strategy to combat television (which ironically is even more horrible than Hollywood) and that strategy didn't work at all if maintaining a vertically integrated major studio is the mark of success.

I very much hope the current decentralizing of the industry and simplification of the film making process sends that town and those who run it to hell, where they all belong.

My compliments on fighting the good fight.

Lee Garmes
Posted on September 13, 2003 at 05:55:46 PM by James Jaeger

>I just saw you reply now Mr. Jaeger. Thanks very much. I spoke to Lee Garmes on the phone once and asked him if he really thought that Borzage's The Big Fisherman was the most beautiful film he had shot and he said yes! Borzage is probably my favorite director.

Yes THE BIG FISHERMAN was the first feature shot in Super Panavision. Lee did a number of other firsts among which, he was the first to introduce INCANDESCENT LIGHTING (then called Mazda lights) to American movie sets (which cut lighting costs by 75%). He produced and directed the first 3-D movie (HANNAH LEE) and produced the first feature shot entirely on videotape and transferred to 35mm negative (WHY?). When I was working with him 3/4-inch U-matic tape had just come in and we were in the process of setting up one of the first 3/4-edit bays in Hollywood.

>When you say that Hollywood will probably come up with a strategy to combat the DV revolution, I agree with you. When you say that doing so will be a good thing, I must disagree though, as a more loathsome bunch of shyster crooks and vulgarians I cannot imagine.

I understand where you are coming from. As much as I bitch about Hollywood I really love the place, especially the artists and technical people there -- the filmmakers, the writers, even the agents and lower- and mid-level executives. The only people I have a problem with are the people that allow the top managements of the MPAA studios to continue with such a lack of diversity, as John Cones' research spells out. Lee told me many of the exact same things John has substantiated with his research. Unfortunately, even if there were a greater diversity at the top, Hollywood would probably have many of the same difficulties. But at least a wider range of filmmakers would get to tell their stories while further reform was addressing the other problems: such as the excessive violence, the catch-22 unions and the creative accounting.

>An earlier generation, but with the same values (or I guess anti-values) and the same trashy tastes, once tried to come up with a strategy to combat television (which ironically is even more horrible than Hollywood) and that strategy didn't work at all if maintaining a vertically integrated major studio is the mark of success. I very much hope the current decentralizing of the industry and simplification of the film making process sends that town and those who run it to hell, where they all belong.

I know Lee worked for the star- and studio-systems over the course of his career (from Thomas Ince on) and at the end went independent. I was part of the inner circle that had the honor/opportunity to work with Lee and a number of other Academy Award winning talents on the ACADEMY ARTISTS project and establishment of the Independent Screen Producers Association which was a/the forerunner of the AFMA. Lee and his associates were setting up a $50 million revolving line of credit for independent films (a significant sum in 1979) with a plan to produce features back to back. We have captured, and are trying to implement, much of Lee's original business plan with the formation of Matrixx Entertainment (MEC), and Ruth Garmes is a stockholder. Whether we will be successful, I don't know, but at the very least, I and a handful of other stockholders and affiliates of MEC are trying to be true to Lee's pioneering spirit and part of that spirit is to have the guts to stand up for what one believes is true -- whether technically, socially or politically. This is one of the reasons I am involved with FIRM -- because Lee would be involved with it, were he still around. FIRM demonstrates what's wrong with the current movie industry and MEC demonstrates that how it can be improved. See the MEC Mission Statement at http://www.mecfilms.com/mission and the FIRM Mission Statement at http://www.homevideo.net/fmission.htm

>My compliments on fighting the good fight.

Thanks, I will do my best. You should stick around this site and help out with the battle. And invite some friends over. We keep getting the same boring apologists spewing all the same boring horse, so some new POVs would be refreshing.

James Jaeger

P.S. I have a taped interview I did with Lee and I was thinking of putting it on the Net. Do you think there would be any interest for that.

Re(1): Lee Garmes
Posted on September 13, 2003 at 08:08:12 PM by George Shelps

FIRM demonstrates what's wrong with the current movie industry and MEC demonstrates that how it can be improved. See the MEC Mission Statement at http://www.mecfilms.com/mission and the FIRM Mission Statement at http://www.homevideo.net/fmission.htm

>My compliments on fighting the good fight.

____Mr Jaeger is all talk. He hasn't
produced one feature film in all the years I've known him and FIRM has not
effectuated one single reform in
the movie industry despite all his ranting.


 

Re(1): Lee Garmes
Posted on September 17, 2003 at 02:26:04 PM by Gott

I'd certainly be interested in any interview with Garmes. He is such a classy and innovative cameraman. Even though I don't much like the picture...The Paradine Case has such elegant visuals, and Hawks' Scarface is beautifully shot as well. This is the guy who shot Morocco, Dishonored, American Tragedy and Shanghai Express? That is virtually mythological it is so fabulous. Even though the Fox pictures that follow are trivial, they are so beautiful. I Am Suzanne and Zoo In Budapest, for instance, look like fancy deserts that should only be eaten with gold forks off of the best china. He has a highly finished technique to be sure. Not much for actual location work, was he, or perhaps I'm not familiar with the right Garmes movies? I guess Land of the Pharaohs has a fair amount of location work in it - but that is probably second unit?

I read the posts here all the time, that is when coming here doesn't cause my computer to freeze up. It usually freezes up and I have to leave then re-log on the Internet. No doubt due to the 'regulars' who are assigned to monitor and disrupt your site.

Thought I've been in this field for a while now myself, I'm afraid my total loathing for those who have turned it into nothing but the lowest 24/7 trash or equally simple minded propaganda is so great, that I don't think you'd really want me to post here.

I read the posts here and find the immediate spoiling, disrupting and confusing semi-official replies to be quite amusing in a sick way as they are exactly what I expect to see. After all, it's their filthy job, now isn't it? But seeing good men fighting the good fight against swine who never play fair or by any decent rules, but who laugh at you for your decency instead is well, revolting.

So, you have my compliments for being decent and courageous - but like one of your critics said...what good does it do? What reform have you effected? And no reforms will be enacted until they are forced on the low filth that runs Hollywood.
Best wishes

Re(1): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 7, 2003 at 01:00:02 PM by Mitchell Levine

The decentralizing properties of the emergent communications technologies like DV certainly would have the effects you describe initially.

But eventually, the larger capital base would muscle its way in. The frontrunners WOULD have the opportunity to develop their own capital in the interim though, and perhaps make their way to new emergent technologies, which would start the whole cycle over again.

That's what Toffler says in Future Shock. He also states his belief that the fixed human biological ability to adapt will be strained, causing socialization problems.

Maybe that's what this is really all about.

Re(2): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 07:20:49 PM by Annonymous

I agree with the last two paragraphs of Mitchell's reply.

Socialization problems are seemingly increasing with the current state of politics and war on a large scale. Also, with the fact that Hollywood has been distributing films demonstrating cultural bias for years.

Re(3): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 8, 2003 at 08:54:37 PM by Mitchell Levine

According to Toffler, regardless of cultural bias or non-bias, socialization problems will increase as technologization does, because of the fixed human ability to adapt.

Another thing he discusses is the effect that "future shock" will have on corporations: under increased social transience caused by technological acceleration, vertical hierarchies of all kinds - like, for example, those of the studios - will tend to collapse. Because corporate structures are inherently inflexible, they eventually just implode like collapsible cups.

So maybe Jaeger's onto something with his delivery on demand mode concept.

Re(4): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 02:16:55 PM by Annonymous

I believe that Mr. Jaeger is onto something good and I wish him the very best. He's another genius of modern day society!

Re(5): decentralization and DV economies
Posted on September 9, 2003 at 09:54:22 PM by Mitchell Levine

Notice, of course, that the only way you'll actually go on record as saying that is by posting it anonymously...

 

 

Virtual delivery seen as death to discs
Posted on September 7, 2003 at 02:06:23 PM by George Shelps


Virtual Delivery Seen as Death to Discs


By Jesse Hiestand

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) -

Hollywood will win the war against illegal downloading but the battlefield will be littered with casualties, including the DVD and CD formats as physical means of distributing video and audio, according to a Forrester Research study released Tuesday.

The study predicts that in five years, CDs and DVDs will start to go the way of the vinyl LP as 33% of music sales and 19% of home video revenue shifts to streaming and downloading.

Part of that stems from the continued proliferation of illegal file trading, which has caused an estimated $700 million of lost CD sales since 1999. But it will be due more so to efforts by the studios, cable companies and telcos to finally deliver legitimate alternatives like video-on-demand, Forrester researcher Josh Bernoff said.

"The idea that anyone who has video-on-demand access to any movie they are interested in would get up and go to Blockbuster just doesn't make any sense," Bernoff said. "(The decline) begins with rentals, but eventually I think sales of these pieces of plastic are going to start going away because people will have access to whatever they want right there at their television set."

While consumers with VOD capabilities should grow within five years from 10 million to 35 million, or about a third of all U.S. television households, the association that represents disc makers does not believe that output will slow.

In fact, the Princeton, N.J.-based International Recording Media Assn. estimates that the number of DVDs replicated each year in North America will increase from a current 1.4 billion to 2.6 billion by 2008.

CD replications, though, are forecast by IRMA to fall by 15%-18% in the next five years, about half the rate of decline estimated by Forrester.

"The consensus in the manufacturing business is that there will be a decline, but we don't see as drastic a decline," IRMA president Charles Van Horn said. "We see growth (in video and DVD), and I don't think it will be because there are more pipelines to feed. It will be consumers buying discs."

Analysts also caution that the shift from hard copy to virtual distribution could be more gradual.

"People like walking into the store and seeing the product. It's part of the entertainment," Barrington Research Associates analyst James Goss said. "The studios would be just as happy to sell something in a streamed form or a hard disc form. But once you download it to your computer, you're probably going to burn it onto a CD or DVD, so you'd end up with the same optical storage issues."

The Forrester report lists a number of winners and losers from the expected changes.

Among the beneficiaries are Internet portals (news - web sites) that enable on-demand media services, broadband suppliers such as cable and telcos and the creative community, which would profit from the removal of manufacturing and distribution costs and constraints. AOL Time Warner's decision to sell off its disc manufacturing plants was said to be proof of this trend.

Media conglomerates could be among the losers if they do not have control of emerging means of distribution like VOD, Forrester said. Such retailers as Tower Records and Blockbuster will certainly feel the pain as sales and rentals shrink, though they may be able to sustain business by associating themselves with newer on-demand services. Major retailers including Wal-Mart and Best Buy are expected to survive by shifting CD and DVD floor space to sales of media devices.
The shift could also present several opportunities for companies if they move quickly.

Television companies have about three more years to release shows on DVD. By 2006, it is estimated that negotiations will start to focus on making content available on cable and Internet "basic VOD" tiers.

Movies studios are also urged to press the development of Internet-based alternatives to cable VOD for movies-on-demand.

"On-demand media services have the potential to turn pirate losses into gains even as they break the disc-based shackles that now hold back entertainment," the report concludes.

Re(1): Virtual delivery seen as death to discs
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:31:28 PM by James Jaeger

So what's new George?

James
http://www.mcfilms.com/mid

 

 

Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:27:46 AM by John Cones

No wonder George Shelps has difficulty understanding what FIRM is all about! He mistakenly asserts that the United States is not a "multi-cultural society". Of course, if there ever was a "multi-cultural society" the U.S. is that society. Our nation is founded on the concept of tolerance. Sorry that has to show up now as a gap in George's education. George further erroneously contends that this concept of a "multi-cultural society" necessarily means that the society is made up of competing ethnicities. Actually, the concept is just the opposite, that ethnicities in a multi-cultural society should be cooperating and getting along. The one group of concern to FIRM that agrees with George is the Hollywood establishment. That group has taken George's concept to the extreme, so that after 100 years, members of a small group of people who share a similar background occupy most of the positions of power in Hollywood. George further denies that this phenomenon is any evidence that any form of discrimination has occurred, and demands proof. My position is that this documented dominance by a narrowly-focused group is evidence enough to raise the presumption of discrimination, and it is enough for some of us to call attention to the problem. Which is exactly what FIRM is all about. It is not my or FIRM's burden to meet every ridiculous challenge brought up by someone as irresponsible and uninformed as George Shelps.

John Cones

Re(1): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 03:49:16 PM by George Shelps


AM by John Cones

No wonder George Shelps has difficulty understanding what FIRM is all about! He mistakenly asserts that the United States is not a "multi-cultural society". Of course, if there ever was a "multi-cultural society" the U.S.

___Only theoretically. I happen to be
a second generation American. My grandparents were immigrants. My parents sought to fit into the broad
American culture, not reflect back to
their parents culture. That is still
the model for for this country.

is that society. Our nation is founded on the concept of tolerance.

___Tolerance? Then be tolerant of the
majority.


Sorry that has to show up now as a gap in George's education.

___More condescension?

George further erroneously contends that this concept of a "multi-cultural society" necessarily means that the society is made up of competing ethnicities. Actually, the concept is just the opposite, that ethnicities in a multi-cultural society should be cooperating and getting along.

___With people such as you determining which size and slice of the pie is to be distrbuted to which ethnic/cultural group.

And "getting along" while retaining
a distinct ethnic culture is not
the model of America. The model is
"e pluribus unum," out of many, one.

The one group of concern to FIRM that agrees with George is the Hollywood establishment. That group has taken George's concept to the extreme, so that after 100 years, members of a small group of people who share a similar background occupy most of the positions of power in Hollywood.

_Stop lying about my views. And why don't you suggest one remedy or law
you think ought to be employed to change
this situation you deplore?

George further denies that this phenomenon is any evidence that any form of discrimination has occurred, and demands proof. My position is that this documented dominance by a narrowly-focused group is evidence enough to raise the presumption of discrimination,

____That's a police state attitude...like Orwellian "thought crime." I still ask for ONE EXAMPLE.
where access to the "control group"
was denied to someone with the financial
and show business expertise to belong
to it.

And how do you deal with the fact that
General Electric is the likely new
owner of Universal. You're going to tell me that one of the world's largest
corporations is going to be led around
the nose by a small "control group?"

and it is enough for some of us to call attention to the problem. Which is exactly what FIRM is all about.

___You do more than "call attention"
to it. You demonize it, imply it leads
to unethical business practices.

It is not my or FIRM's burden to meet every ridiculous challenge brought up by someone as irresponsible and uninformed as George Shelps.

___Because you can't.

Re(2): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:34:45 AM by mg

SHLEPS SAYS:
Only theoretically. I happen to be
a second generation American. My grandparents were immigrants. My parents sought to fit into the broad
American culture, not reflect back to
their parents culture. That is still
the model for for this country.

RESPONSE: This is one of the most ignorant, misinformed statements I've heard in my life. How can a man be so stupid?

Trying to dialogue with Shleps is like pissing on a sponge latrine.

The American "melting pot," as anyone who reads a single newspaper knows, is past history. And has been since at least the 1960s.

Organized Jewry has been in the vanguard of creating an American mosaic of Cultural Pluralism in which the social political creed of Zionism may take root without undue attention.

The intellectual founder of our "cultural pluralism" society was Horace Kallen, a Jewish professor in Wisconsin. He was also such a Zionist he was a member of secret Zionist society called the "Parishim." True. Read his biography. As I have.

Jews have been the in the vanguard of agitating for the destruction of the American "melting pot." Shleps is a Zionist sycophant.

Re(2): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 04:30:17 PM by John Cones

George:

Once again, you are revealing how uninformed you are about what has been going on in Hollywood for years. Did TransAmerica succeed in Hollywood? Did Coco Cola? All of the big corporate owners of major studios in Hollywood have had difficulty with management. The traditional Hollywood management has always taken the attitude that nobody else knows what they are doing in the film business and only that Hollywood insider group does. Certainly, none of these corporate "suits" understands Hollywood, in the opinion of the Hollywood insiders, so it's either play along with the Hollywood insiders and let them run the studio without outside corporate intereference, or the Hollywood insider community will not support the studio in its activities. That pattern has been repeated over and over in this town and you are not even aware of it. See "How the Movie Wars Were Won".

John Cones

Re(3): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 05:18:28 PM by George Shelps


by John Cones

Once again, you are revealing how uninformed you are about what has been going on in Hollywood for years. Did TransAmerica succeed in Hollywood?

__No, but UA is now owned by Kirk Kerkorian...not a member of your
"control group."

Did Coco Cola? All of the big corporate owners of major studios in Hollywood have had difficulty with management.

___That's true in any industry. But
the only studio whose ownership fits
your model is Paramount.

The traditional Hollywood management has always taken the attitude that nobody else knows what they are doing in the film business and only that Hollywood insider group does. Certainly, none of these corporate "suits" understands Hollywood, in the opinion of the Hollywood insiders, so it's either play along with the Hollywood insiders and let them run the studio without outside corporate intereference, or the Hollywood insider community will not support the studio in its activities. That pattern has been repeated over and over in this town and you are not even aware of it.

___I think Rupert Murdoch is deeply
involved in the decision-making at
Fox and you know that GE, through Bob
Wright at NBC, will call the tune at
Universal.

True, the studio owners do entrust
film-making to those with the background and experience, but they don't allow
them the total freedom you postulate.

For example, I would bet that Ron Meyer
will be replaced at Universal if GE-NBC
completes their takeover. Terry Semel
was basically asked to leave Warners
after the AOL purchase.

Your information is dated.

See "How the Movie Wars Were Won".


Re(4): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 10:19:00 PM by James Jaeger

>__No, but UA is now owned by Kirk Kerkorian...not a member of your
"control group."

And guess what, UA is not an MPAA company, so Kerkorian is not even in the game FIRM is addressing.

>___I think Rupert Murdoch is deeply
involved in the decision-making at
Fox

But Rupert Murdoch is Jewish, Dude, so of course he's going to get cooperation from the Control Group.

>and you know that GE, through Bob
Wright at NBC, will call the tune at
Universal.

Yeah, well we'll see.

>True, the studio owners do entrust
film-making to those with the background and experience, but they don't allow them the total freedom you postulate.

Well of course not. When David Begleman started embezzling money from actors and started kicking up a HUGE PR stink, you're right - the COKE suits DID come in and reign in some of that total freedom.

>For example, I would bet that Ron Meyer will be replaced at Universal if GE-NBC completes their takeover.

He won't.

>Terry Semel was basically asked to leave Warners after the AOL purchase.

That's because they were all a bunch of basket cases. It was the world's stupidest merger after all. (See my posts in the Archives stating this long before the crash.)

>Your information is dated.

Hey, George, UA isn't an MPAA company; itís just a subsidiary of MGM now Ė like Miramax or New Line are each a subsidiary of an MPAA company. The MPAA companies are as follows:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Paramount Pictures
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney
Universal Studios
Warner Bros.

YOUR information is dated.

James Jaeger

Re(5): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:25:39 PM by Mitchell Levine

Jim, Rupert Murdoch IS NOT JEWISH!!! That's a myth!

Re(6): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:24:37 AM by mg

I have posted here many times the citations we have about Murdoch. Murdoch may be of partial Jewish heritage (his mother's lineage), but I haven't been able to substantiate it.

The real issue is that he is Zionist sycophant, built to power with the help of the head of ABC Leonard Goldenson and the rest of the pro-Israel Jewish media cabal. Read his biographies, as I have.

Re(7): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:44:30 AM by mg

As a service to the world community, since Levine won't look up anything about Jung. Same theme as Hollywood:


In the early days of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was actually relieved to count Carl Gustav Jung -- a non-Jew -- as an adherent to the psychoanalysis bandwagon and was careful to keep him in the fold. "Gentile proselytes," notes John Murray Cuddihy, "could shore up [Freud's] self-doubt that psychoanalysis might not be, as its adherents claimed, a "science" at all ... but a social-cultural movement of Diaspora Jews." [CUDDIHY, p. 77] Without non-Jews in the psychoanalytic fold, Freud and his Jewish associates ran the profound risk -- with the emphasis on the likes of penis envy, the Oedipal Complex, strange sexual obsessions, the Death Wish, the focus on neurosis and anxiety, and all the rest of it -- of being mercilessly ridiculed and humiliated as merely participants in a bizarre Jewish cult, evidence, for anti-Jewish critics, of Jewish degradation.

Freud, in a letter to fellow Jewish psychoanalyst, Karl Abraham, wrote: "You are closer to my intellectual constitution because of racial kinship while he [Jung] as a Christian and pastor's son finds his way to me only against great inner resistances. His association with us is very valuable for that. I nearly said that it was only by his appearance on the scene that psychoanalysis escaped the danger of becoming a Jewish national affair." [CUDDIHY p. 77] Later, in another letter to Abraham, Freud added: "Our Aryan comrades are really completely indispensable to us, otherwise psychoanalysis would succumb to anti-Semitism." [CUDDIHY, p. 82] There are those who even suggest that Sabina Spielrin, a Jewish woman (and, as one journalist put it, "a compulsive masturbator") who was Jung's patient and lover, was a "'honey trap' offered by Freud ... to keep Jung in the analytic movement." [KELLAWAY, K., p. 10]

Freud was a contemporary in Vienna of Theodore Herzl, the acknowledged "founder" of Zionism and modern state of Israel. "Freud had a high regard for Theodore Herzl and was closely acquainted with him." [MEITLIS, J., p. 21] Herzl, remarks Cuddihy, believed that non-Jews are found "in two and only two varieties, namely ... overt and covert anti-Semites. Any wide reading in Freud puts it beyond doubt that he shared this conviction." [CUDDIHY, p. 78] "Freud "always gave a generous contribution" to the Zionist youth organization Hechaluz [the Pioneers] and in 1936 finally "openly aligned himself with the Zionist cause." [BERKELEY, p. 235, p. 191] "Zionism," Freud wrote in a private letter in 1930, "awakened my strongest sympathies, which are still faithfully attached to it today." [GAY, p. 123] "We are all of the same blood," Freud once told Jewish friend Jacob Meitlis. "Basically, all are anti-Semites. They are everywhere. Frequently it is latent and hidden, but it is there." [MEITLIS, p. 20]


Understandably, eventually Freud and Jung began having serious disagreements. Jung, attributing many of the Jews' psychological problems to their own particular sense of rootlessness, decided that Freud's special Jewish hang-ups couldn't be generalized and universalized onto everybody elseís' psyche too. Said Jung:

"The Jewish problem is a regular complex, a festering wound...
Are we really to believe that a tribe which has wandered throughout history for several thousand years as 'God's
Chosen People' was not put up to such an idea by some quite special psychological peculiarity? If no difference exists, how do we recognize Jews at all? ... All branches of humanity unite in one stem -- yes, but what is a stem without separate
branches? Why this ridiculous touchiness when anybody dares to say anything about the psychological differences between Jews and Christians?" [HANNAH, p. 224-225]

Among Jung's earliest rebellions against his mentor was to challenge Freud's theory that children have incestuous desires for their opposite gender parents. And what, one wonders, of traditional Jewish obsessive concern with the prestige and pedigrees of their respective genealogical lineages (called "yicchus") in association with Freud's claim that all people reject their parents (Freud's were not well off) and imagine them to be "members of an aristocratic and/or royal family"? [RICE, p. 239]

Jewish author Frederic Grunfeld dismisses Jung's disenchantment with the Jewish base of Freudianism thusly:

"Freud was accused, not only by fools but even by C. G. Jung, of purveying 'Jewish psychology.'" [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 21]

Jung eventually defected from Freud and his Jewish circle, and became influential in the field of psychology in his own right. And what did this defection signify to Freud? "By the time Jung withdrew from Freud and others in the psychoanalytic community," says Stephen Martin, "the accusation [against Jung] of anti-Semitism spread with alarming rapidity." [MAIDENBAUM, p. 5] Even in 1991, a Jewish student applying for a postdoctoral grant from Hebrew University to train in Zurich as a Jungian psychoanalyst was told "that Jung was an anti-Semite at best and was in fact quite possibly a Nazi sympathizer if not an active party member." [MAIDENBAUM, Introduction]



Re(8): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 13, 2003 at 05:43:45 PM by Mitchell Levine

The same problem here as Hollywood indeed: that you're discussing subjects your uniquely inferior intellect is totally incapable of comprehending, leading you to spout hilariously idiotic, schizotypal inanities. That's what makes you the entertaining, unintentionally hysterical laughingstock you are.

Not everyone agrees with your assessment of Jung's antisemitism, which isn't surprising as most people, unlike you, aren't demented, execrable mongoloids that defile the Earth with their very existence; for example, British poet Martin Seymour Smith who said: "Jung's concept of psychic historicism led him to respond to his social environment by comparing an apparently rootless people like the Jews to "women," although he was neither antisemitic nor Nazi." His protege Martin Buber said: "Jung was certainly antisemitic, but at that time all Europe was antisemitic. The Jews were considered to be Christ-killers."

Your exposition of the relationship between the two psychologists is shallow and stupidly focussed on issues that were paramount to neither. Because you are psychotically obsessed with Jews, and live with no sense of purpose other than slandering and attacking them, along with everyone else that's intellectually superior to you; i.e. everyone else, you're incapable of perceiving any other dimension to the story.

Jung broke with Freud because he had his own ideas, which Freud, being Freud, dogmatically rejected. Seymour-Smith notes that "Jung's own commerically successful system used all the Freudian notions, while placing them in a metaphysical Grimm Brothers setting." Freud's key ideas: the existence of the Unconscious, resistance, the tri-partite model of the psyche, libido as psychic energy, etc. were revolutionary, and because of that took some time to catch on.

Jung formulated his own ideas and wanted to express them in a less rigid context. He postulated the existence of a universal level to the Unconscious that responded to the Ego's need to undergo a process of self-development. Freud believed that Ego was permanently fixed by the time of childhood.

Those two ideas are incompatible, and Freud wouldn't consider deviating from his own system, so Jung left and founded Analytic Psychology. Neither Psychoanalysis or Analytic Psychology have been validated by research, so most academic psychologists aren't interested in either.

Modern psychology uses the conceptual framework both created, as opposed to the specific details and claims of their theories, and considers itself to have a debt to both because of it. Very few research psychologists believe that either of their orthodox systems are rigorously valid. That eventually happens to most innovators. Luckily, because you're an incompetent dickfor considered worthless scum by even your fellow evil, racist douchebags, you don't have to worry about it: you'll be forgotten long before God takes pity on a long-suffering world cursed by your sickmaking presence, and mercifully sends you back to the dust of the cowshit from which you came for all eternity, as you so richly deserve.

Re(9): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 14, 2003 at 00:35:19 AM by mg

Complete bullshit from Levine, as usual.
You're such a pompous, arrogant blowhard. I'm sorry, you're not even "entertaining." You're endlessly predictable and an ADL goon.

The point is quite simple, which you obfuscate: Jung was accused of antisemitism, even a Nazi, and is still accused of that today.

As always, you ignore the evidence I post and spray skunk odor into the airs.

"Antisemitism" "paramount to neither?" I beg your pardon. Freud defined ALL non-Jews as being "anti-semitic" to some degree, and it informs his science.
Even Freud noted that without non-Jewish Jung, psychoanalysis would have been the provenance of Jewish kooks.

Jung defined Jews with a particular collective psychology, distinct from non-Jews.

You are a good example of it: neurosis. Inability to face facts. Obsession with Jewishness.

Re(10): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 14, 2003 at 03:29:24 PM by Mitchell Levine

More hilarious stupidity from the Clown Prince of antisemitic bigotry - Scumbag Jenks!

Notice how the Evil Scumbag of FIRM tries to disguise his substandard intellect by character assasination here - as if the ADL would ever care enough about a lightweight, obvious moron like him and his laugh riot of a website to pay anyone to "discredit" him.

All anyone would have to do to discredit him is give out his URL. Instead of hiring anyone to deal with him, they would simply publicize him as the best antidote imaginable to antisemitism by his unintentionally hysterical example as a self-parody for public ridicule.

Refusing to accept his unique intellectual limitations, he charges into an area completely outside his depth, psychology. The careful reader, if they get past the rollicking mental picture of this incompetent mega-idiot "discussing" Freud and Jung, will note that I didn't avoid his claims at all - I merely stated that not everyone agreed with them, and gave counterexamples. Of course, he simply neglected to parse that, but that's to be expected as it would require the ability to logically reason, from which Scumbag Jenks is permanently restricted by his debilitating maladaptive personality disorder.

Jung was of the opinion that all spiritual faiths, Judaism included, were rooted in the Collective Unconscious, and, later in life, made more tolerant remarks, as in Answer to Job and his thoughts on the meaning of the Old Testament in Alchemy and the Unconscious. Although he never specifically recanted his earlier statements, or his support for Nazi eugenics, he did express more benine ones. That he defined Jews in terms of a complex is standard for him, because Analytical Psychology was a complex-based psychology that defined all sociological groups in terms of them. For example, during the mid-30's, he warned that an unconscious element of Beserker aggression was arising from the objective psyche in danger of taking over the Aryan ego.

Considering the fact that Freud was an atheist, who considered religion a form of neurosis, as he discussed in Future of an Illusion, and a Jew living in Weimar-era Vienna during the upswing to genocidal fascism, it's not surprising that he would feel that way. That was hardly neurosis. There was a REAL antisemitic other looking to break down his door, and in fact actually did during a Gestapo raid in the early 40's. There was nothing paranoid about it, except in the deranged mind of antisemite Jenks

Jung didn't break with Freud over Jewishness or anything of the like, he did so because he wanted to form his own school of thought.

"Neurosis. Inability to face facts. Obsession with Jewishness?" Sounds a like a textbook example of the Jungian concept of "projection" coming from you, dickhead.

Re(8): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:46:47 AM by mg

Whoops. This Jung info I posted in the wrong spot and is here out of context. I also posted it after Levine's comment about Jung, elsewhere in this thread.

Re(6): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:34:40 PM by James Jaeger

Hey, what's wrong with myths. Hollywood is built upon them.

James Jaeger

Re(7): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:37:04 PM by Mitchell Levine

According to Jung, so is all human consciousness.

Re(8): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:45:35 AM by mg

As a service to the world community, since Levine won't look up anything about Jung. Same theme as Hollywood:


In the early days of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was actually relieved to count Carl Gustav Jung -- a non-Jew -- as an adherent to the psychoanalysis bandwagon and was careful to keep him in the fold. "Gentile proselytes," notes John Murray Cuddihy, "could shore up [Freud's] self-doubt that psychoanalysis might not be, as its adherents claimed, a "science" at all ... but a social-cultural movement of Diaspora Jews." [CUDDIHY, p. 77] Without non-Jews in the psychoanalytic fold, Freud and his Jewish associates ran the profound risk -- with the emphasis on the likes of penis envy, the Oedipal Complex, strange sexual obsessions, the Death Wish, the focus on neurosis and anxiety, and all the rest of it -- of being mercilessly ridiculed and humiliated as merely participants in a bizarre Jewish cult, evidence, for anti-Jewish critics, of Jewish degradation.

Freud, in a letter to fellow Jewish psychoanalyst, Karl Abraham, wrote: "You are closer to my intellectual constitution because of racial kinship while he [Jung] as a Christian and pastor's son finds his way to me only against great inner resistances. His association with us is very valuable for that. I nearly said that it was only by his appearance on the scene that psychoanalysis escaped the danger of becoming a Jewish national affair." [CUDDIHY p. 77] Later, in another letter to Abraham, Freud added: "Our Aryan comrades are really completely indispensable to us, otherwise psychoanalysis would succumb to anti-Semitism." [CUDDIHY, p. 82] There are those who even suggest that Sabina Spielrin, a Jewish woman (and, as one journalist put it, "a compulsive masturbator") who was Jung's patient and lover, was a "'honey trap' offered by Freud ... to keep Jung in the analytic movement." [KELLAWAY, K., p. 10]

Freud was a contemporary in Vienna of Theodore Herzl, the acknowledged "founder" of Zionism and modern state of Israel. "Freud had a high regard for Theodore Herzl and was closely acquainted with him." [MEITLIS, J., p. 21] Herzl, remarks Cuddihy, believed that non-Jews are found "in two and only two varieties, namely ... overt and covert anti-Semites. Any wide reading in Freud puts it beyond doubt that he shared this conviction." [CUDDIHY, p. 78] "Freud "always gave a generous contribution" to the Zionist youth organization Hechaluz [the Pioneers] and in 1936 finally "openly aligned himself with the Zionist cause." [BERKELEY, p. 235, p. 191] "Zionism," Freud wrote in a private letter in 1930, "awakened my strongest sympathies, which are still faithfully attached to it today." [GAY, p. 123] "We are all of the same blood," Freud once told Jewish friend Jacob Meitlis. "Basically, all are anti-Semites. They are everywhere. Frequently it is latent and hidden, but it is there." [MEITLIS, p. 20]


Understandably, eventually Freud and Jung began having serious disagreements. Jung, attributing many of the Jews' psychological problems to their own particular sense of rootlessness, decided that Freud's special Jewish hang-ups couldn't be generalized and universalized onto everybody elseís' psyche too. Said Jung:

"The Jewish problem is a regular complex, a festering wound...
Are we really to believe that a tribe which has wandered throughout history for several thousand years as 'God's
Chosen People' was not put up to such an idea by some quite special psychological peculiarity? If no difference exists, how do we recognize Jews at all? ... All branches of humanity unite in one stem -- yes, but what is a stem without separate
branches? Why this ridiculous touchiness when anybody dares to say anything about the psychological differences between Jews and Christians?" [HANNAH, p. 224-225]

Among Jung's earliest rebellions against his mentor was to challenge Freud's theory that children have incestuous desires for their opposite gender parents. And what, one wonders, of traditional Jewish obsessive concern with the prestige and pedigrees of their respective genealogical lineages (called "yicchus") in association with Freud's claim that all people reject their parents (Freud's were not well off) and imagine them to be "members of an aristocratic and/or royal family"? [RICE, p. 239]

Jewish author Frederic Grunfeld dismisses Jung's disenchantment with the Jewish base of Freudianism thusly:

"Freud was accused, not only by fools but even by C. G. Jung, of purveying 'Jewish psychology.'" [GRUNFELD, F., 1996, p. 21]

Jung eventually defected from Freud and his Jewish circle, and became influential in the field of psychology in his own right. And what did this defection signify to Freud? "By the time Jung withdrew from Freud and others in the psychoanalytic community," says Stephen Martin, "the accusation [against Jung] of anti-Semitism spread with alarming rapidity." [MAIDENBAUM, p. 5] Even in 1991, a Jewish student applying for a postdoctoral grant from Hebrew University to train in Zurich as a Jungian psychoanalyst was told "that Jung was an anti-Semite at best and was in fact quite possibly a Nazi sympathizer if not an active party member." [MAIDENBAUM, Introduction]


Re(8): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 11, 2003 at 11:28:39 AM by mg

Jung, as you ought to know, like half the non-Jewish population in history, has been declared an "antisemite" by some in the Jewish Lobby. His main crime was that he broke with Freud's clique of Jewish psychoanalysts/weird-ohs. Jung, a German, has since been accused by some in the Jewish Thought Control crowd of being a closet Nazi. Literally.

Such is the width of the net against people who dare to critique Jewry.

Read also what Jung said about Jews. Levine, you won't like it.

Re(9): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 13, 2003 at 10:01:22 PM by Mitchell Levine

The reason why people think that Jung was a proto-Nazi was that he openly supported the early Nazi party and personally condoned their eugenic programme, as well as Mengele's "experimentation," as is thoroughly documented in many recent biographical sources, for example, The Aryan Christ

However, he later sincerely denounced the Nazis, and spoke out against the culture of fascist hatred that had arisen in Europe. He also sincerely praised Jewish strength and rational achievement later after the establishment of Analytical Psychology in works like Answer to Job, and in his writings on the Kabbalah.

C.J. had a tendency to bend with the times, and lived a life of vast luxury from beginning to end. Nonetheless, he was a seminal thinker and great psychologist. Although his conceptual system owes a major philosophical debt to Freud, he had more insight into human nature than maybe any scientist ever, and that includes Lacan and Freud.

Re(10): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 14, 2003 at 00:38:15 AM by mg

As I have stated: There are plenty of Jews who consider him an "antisemite" to this day. Some consider him a closet "Nazi."

In Freud's time, Jews spread the word that he was an "antisemite."

All the evidence I have produced, which you insist, as always, upon ignoring.

Re(8): Multi-Cultural Society
Posted on September 10, 2003 at 11:54:44 PM by James Jaeger

Well I guess we can all go home now.

James