There is nothing new under the sun?

Really? Whoever said that* hasn’t seen the latest to come out of Hollywood.

I can’t say that I cared about either entertainers or pianos when I was growing up; I was mostly into whatever my parents chose for evening tv. Having been out of my parents’ house for ages now, I not only don’t watch tv, I seldom go to movies, and I certainly have never given Liberace a second thought.

So, I really don’t care about the new movie about him. I would not likely have wasted any time at all watching it, even if the actors weren’t no-names, which they now are in my book.

But, while other institutions, like the military and universities and large corporations have had to implement a governmental policy that their composition reflect that of society (can you tell I grew up during the 60s?), Hollywood (specifically the film industry, but also the entertainment industry in general) has pretty much gone its own way. Until recently, when it became popular to pay attention to what the celebrities were saying. Now, thanks to the crowing of actors of every stripe (most abysmally bad at their chosen professions), society has adopted a policy of reflecting Hollywood’s values. If there was ever a more blatant example of the tail wagging the dog, I cannot, at the moment, think of it.

Consequently, the irony of the film studios refusing to distribute this movie in the USA about a ho-hum piano player because the movie portrays a lifestyle that really is not palatable to the 97% of us that might buy tickets, is, as the title of this commentary suggests, something that really is new.

What is also new is that internet technology provides a lot more entertainment than Hollywood ever did. Oh, Hollywood has always been very good at cranking out movies, as a one-time movie theater projectionist (back in the days of carbon rods and changing reels), I saw more than my fair share of pure, unadulterated crap. Far more than my fair share. But, if you wanted the movie experience, you were at the mercy of what the local theater was showing. And, growing up in the Midwest, there was precious little else available.

Of course, now, you can have a “tv” screen in your living room that your neighbors can easily watch from across the street, and the programming is beyond comprehension. A sign of the times: “How do you know when you have enough channels? When you can’t find anything to watch.” Har-dee-har-har-har. The joke may be on John and Jane Doe; but they are not spending their dollars on Hollywood entertainment, they are spending it elsewhere. They have options, and they are taking full advantage of them.

I used to know people who went to the movies “all the time”; for a few, it was a weekly ritual. I don’t know anybody now who goes to the theater without first going on line to see what’s playing and where and what the ticket price is. When I do see a movie, it is at a $3 theater, and it is a movie I have researched; sometimes for hours. As to my home video library, I have such titles as “The Way” and “For Greater Glory” and “Taking Chance” (none of those were produced and distributed by a major Hollywood studio).

As far as I’m concerned, most of the film coming out of Hollywood should have stayed on the cutting room floor.

* Ecclesiastes 1:9

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