EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece appears in the February 27, 2006, issue of National Review.
In Heinrich Mann’s novel Der Untertan, written just before the Great War, the central character, Diederich, is asked by Buck, “You do not know whom history will designate as the representative type of this era?”
”The Emperor,” says Diederich.
“No,” replies Buck. “The actor.”
And how. George Clooney’s triple Oscar nominations for acting, writing, and directing are said to be a significant moment in the life of the nation, and not just by George Clooney, though his effusions on his own “bravery” certainly set a high mark. “We jumped in on our own,” he said, discussing Good Night, and Good Luck with Entertainment Weekly. “And there was no reason to think it was going to get any easier. But people in Hollywood do seem to be getting more comfortable with making these sorts of movies now. People are becoming braver.”
Wow. He was brave enough to make a movie about Islam’s treatment of women? Oh, no, wait. That was the Dutch director Theo van Gogh: He had his throat cut and half-a-dozen bullets pumped into him by an enraged Muslim who left an explanatory note pinned to the dagger he stuck in his chest. At last year’s Oscars, the Hollywood crowd were too busy championing the “right to dissent” in the Bushitler tyranny to find room even to namecheck Mr. van Gogh in the montage of the deceased. Bad karma. Good night, and good luck.
No, Mr. Clooney was the fellow “brave” enough to make a movie about–cue drumroll as I open the envelope for Most Predictable Direction–the McCarthy era!
How about that? I don’t know about you but I was getting so sick of the sycophantic Joe McCarthy biopics churned out year in year out–Nathan Lane in McCarthy! The Musical was the final straw–that thank God someone finally had the “bravery” to exercise his “right to dissent.” I only hope George Clooney isn’t found dead in the street at the hands of some crazed nonagenarian HUAC member…