I had originally intended to spend today’s bandwidth talking about secular arguments on gay marriage, but something else captured my attention – something breathtakingly stupid. It seems Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein and actress Meryl Streep are planning a movie taking aim (use of metaphor deliberate) at the NRA. Excerpt:
Movie producer Harvey Weinstein announced for the first time on Howard Stern’s radio show that he is making a full feature drama to try to destroy the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Stern asked Mr. Weinstein on Wednesday whether he owned a gun. The Hollywood heavyweight replied that he did not and never would. “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it,” the producer said. “I think the NRA is a disaster area.”
Mr. Weinstein then revealed his secret project about the gun rights group. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.”
If you’ll allow me to make a prediction, Mr. Weinstein (and even if you won’t) I will make one, and also an observation:
- The NRA will be just fine, in fact they may gain members because of you, and
- You’re an idiot.
In the first place, political movies never go down well, whether they are Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth or the right-of-center American Carol. The American movie-going public wants to be entertained, not to be lectured or harangued – yr. obdt. included. These kinds of movies attract pathetically low audiences made up almost exclusively of viewers who already agree with the political statements being made in the film.
In the second place, the NRA is nothing like the silly caricature Mr. Weinstein seems to have in mind. (Full disclosure: Mrs. Animal and myself are both Life Members of the NRA.) The NRA is not a sinister organization run by a cabal of masterminds; it is, honestly and in every sense of the word, a true grass-roots organization boasting more than four million dues-paying members. The NRA’s officers and Board are elected by their members, and the organizations by-laws and organization priorities are likewise decided by the members.
How many other civil-rights organizations can make that claim?
So, the NRA is powerful because its members give it the power. Through memberships starting at $35 a year, they empower the NRA to act on their behalf, not only to provide training, insurance and a host of services but also to protect their Second Amendment rights in Washington and the several state capitols, because they believe it’s the right thing to do.
So, this film, assuming it gets made, will amount to naught. But it’s worth examining Mr. Weinstein’s credits as a producer, which include violent, gun-filled films like Django Unchained and Grindhouse. Weinstein is a hypocrite of the worst sort.
And, incidentally, this won’t be his first act of cinematographic futility. Does anyone remember 2009’s Capitalism – A Love Story?