It’s Okay to Enjoy Hollywood: Pop Culture, Political Philosophy, and RENT

There are just some movies and tv shows that I really love. Objectively there is no reason for me to like them at all, they are campy (Teen Wolf), regularly espouse political views that I abhor (Law and Order: SVU), have zero regard for their own canon rules and timelines (Doctor Who) and if the same situation happened in real life I would not be cheering the “heroes” on, I would be telling them they were morons (RENT).

I’ve been what’s called a “RENThead” for years now. I own the movie, and the broadway recordings of all the songs, I made the trip to the Nederlander theater when I was in New York just to take a picture of the theater where it used to show, and I went to the off-Broadway production twice when it came to Phoenix.

In real life I would despise most of the main character’s in the play. They don’t take responsibility for their actions, they continuously make bad decisions, and they stomp all over everyone who has an actually understanding of economics.

Basically they’re liberals.

In the real world if someone led a revolution to refuse to pay their rent I would have mocked them without end (actually I did do that, the movement was Occupy) and if they said “But our friend is the landlord and he said we didn’t have to pay” I would say “tough shit, did you get that in writing?”

“No day, but today” is a touching sentiment, when you are aren’t logically pulling the context apart and realizing that Mimi is using the phrase (similarly to those that use the term ‘YOLO’) to justify her drug use and irresponsibility.

In real life the people telling a businessman that he’s evil for wanting to use his property in the manner that he wishes, telling him that he doesn’t have the right to expel homeless people from it in order to build a business.

Characters that believe in monogamy are seen as too stuffy, while characters who have no job and constantly cheat on their significant others are fun. People who become successful and try to help their friends become successful as well are seen as “sell-outs” and the entire premise has a very falsely positive view of the “bohemian” life, while it looks down on anyone who manages to actually make money and support themselves, because that’s too “mainstream” or whatever.

Basically it espouses all sorts of views that I should hate, and yet, somehow, I’m a fan. Even with all the crappy messages it sends, there is something about it that makes me enjoy watching. It has humor, good pacing, emotion, and conflict and I’m so emotionally involved while I’m watching I don’t think about the political implications of what I’m watching.

I guess my point is that you aren’t always going to like the same things in reality that you like in art.

I know that my enjoyment of the The Dark Knight and Man of Steel were enhanced by the underlying philosophies, but you don’t necessarily need to agree with everything that underpins the movie in order to enjoy it. If it’s well-written and the plot is plausible (or even not so plausible, like Olympus Has Fallen), it’s okay to turn your brain off a little and stop worrying about what such and such actor said in support of Obama or whether they did a PSA about how guns are evil.

tl;dr:

Basically, a good movie/play/etc. is a good movie/play/etc. and when they are bad, they are bad. Sometimes that has to do with the political message and sometimes it’s just because the writing sucks and sometimes it’s because the movie focused so much on it’s political message (Al Gore and PETA’s wet dream, After Earth, anyone?) that it forgot to have good writing or a plausible plot…or just didn’t think it was important.

It’s not wrong to enjoy a well written movie that’s based on stupid political views.

Basically just stop telling people what parts of pop culture we are allowed to like and stop worrying. Conservatives are just getting our sea legs back, so we are naturally going to have some false starts when it comes to producing good, inherently conservative films, but calm down and look at the messages of some of the recent blockbusters (Man of Steel) and recent flops (that Matt Damon movie on Frakking or After Earth) in the world of movies.

Our message already wins and conservatives didn’t even have to produce it.

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Sorry, practically everyone I know has already done this rant, but I had to get my 2 cents in…

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