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by Lionel Swift Sunday, Mar. 30, 2003 at 9:12 AM

Commentary above the myopic Hollywood anti-war movement and suggestions for defanging it.


By Lionel Swift

March 28, 2003

This week, actor Martin Sheen attended an anti-war rally in downtown Los Angeles with the word "Peace" duct-taped over his mouth. Like many other Hollywood stars, Sheen is convinced that his views are being silenced in flagrant violation of his first amendment rights. So the cacophony of Hollywood condemnation of the war goes on, albeit with no discernible recognition that their words are, indeed, being heard. The actual problem is not auditory, however. The real problem is much more basic -- few agree with them. And such a reaction is anathema in a town replete with narcissists who desperately need an audience for their very sustenance, both material and emotional.

Hubris such as that exhibited by Mike Farrell has little corollary in the non-thespian class. “Hear me! Heed me! My opinion matters!” he intones while never admitting he means, “More than yours!” Farrell implies that his bully pulpit would go to waste if he didn’t speak out. But Joe Average does not have such a bully pulpit. He’s too busy trying to sustain his family with the products that have paid for Farrell’s pulpit. Perhaps, at the very least, Farrell could reinvoke his left-leaning weltanschauung and propose one of its favorite cure-alls -- a new tax. In true Rob Reiner fashion, an opinion tax levied against the Dixie Chicks alone could affect a transfer of wealth sufficient for Joe Average to buy some radio or TV time to convey the view of an average hard-working American who still holds old-fashioned American values above those of Europe and the United Nations. Like Muslims who fail to denounce Islamic terror, however, Joe’s silent majority has failed to make itself heard above the din and it just might take some social engineering to do the trick.

As a means to balance the federal budget, an opinion tax restricted to Hollywood celebs surely sounds great in theory (auditing Madonna’s mind might finally reveal some true virgin territory), but gauging whether Streisand, Clooney, Lange, Sarandon or Garofalo might qualify for some form of cerebral depreciation might require a department larger than Homeland Security. And, for those who so highly favor taxation, a truly scary epidemic of self-importance might break out if bragging rights were to be attached to those who pay the most.

Better yet, Farrell could propose another leftie stalwart -- only retroactively. Retroactive abortion is pure 21st century, cutting-edge medicine and most appropriate for those who constantly complain about the state of things. Surely, the entire world would be better off without another unintelligible mumble from Penn or another “house-negro” rant from Belafonte. If the right to choose is so important to the Hollywood elite, surely it should be imparted to those who have suffered enough. According to the latest polls and the embarrassing ratings for this year’s Academy Awards, Hollywood contains the leading candidates for this breakthrough procedure.

However, if retroactive abortion were to deprive the world of Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, perhaps a less revisionist procedure would be in order. A procedure designed exclusively for the hopelessly sick. A procedure designed primarily for reasons of mercy. And, who better to administer the procedure than someone who, likewise, once experienced tremendous overexposure, but has been rotting away out of the public eye ever since -- Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Even a compassionate conservative couldn’t disagree.

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