Archive - Feb 2011

February 17th

Cut To The Quick By Fish

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Memo to John Nolte: KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO.

As jaded as I am by Big Hollywood these days, the one consistent - well, I hesitate to use the word "bright spot" for obvious reasons, but you know what I mean - is John Nolte. Victoria Jackson hasn't written anything since October, and the parade of washed-up D-listers complaining that their conservative beliefs are keeping them from getting work have all dried up. But John Nolte is a true believer, and the only guy really sticking to Big Hollywood's hilarious remit.

That remit, of course, is to find outlier examples of "Hollywood"'s hatred of conservatives and America, and write long-winded screeds about how THIS is what THEY ALWAYS do. Ninety percent of the time, this involves something John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, or Whoopi Goldberg said, but really, any time anyone in the entertainment industry is mean to conservatives, like when Christina Aguilera deliberately dishonored Real America by botching one line of the National Anthem, John Nolte is there.

And now he's firmly nibbling the asses of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, because these two Hollywood elite liberals hate the country that gave them their freedom! No, wait, they're British. It's worse. They're EVANGELICAL ATHEISTS. Cue lightning, thunder, and organ music.

You see, Pegg and Frost, who are nerds, have written a movie called Paul, in which a couple of SF nerds take a cross-country road trip with a stoner alien named, like the movie, "Paul". And accompanying them is Kristin Wiig, who plays a hardcore Creationist Bible Belt Christian. Now, the existence of extraterrestrial life bends a lot of religious beliefs over the kitchen table, theologically speaking, but none more so than good old-fashioned young earth creationism. Creationist meets alien, comedy ensues. John Nolte reads about it, doesn't see the movie, MORE comedy ensues. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Really guys? Southerners and Christians? Needless to say, I expected something a little more creative and original than some lazy, cliched Kevin Smith-style of satire with about as much edge as a tuna sandwich. Below is a review round-up for what’s looking like a left-wing, atheist polemic disguised as escapist comedy so that Pegg and Frost can get their bigotry on and line us up for a series of sucker-punch cheap shots. Unlike Monty Python, present-day “satirists” are too ignorant and mean-spirited to mock us with the kind of intelligence and affection we can appreciate, so it’s unlikely we’re looking forward to a couple hours of laughing at ourselves here."

Now, then John Nolte talks "Monty Python", "satire", and "laughing at ourselves", he's talking about Life of Brian. A gentle satire that the John Noltes of 1979 certainly didn't see with affection. They didn't even see it. They banned it, picketed it, and tried to prosecute under blasphemy laws. They mounted crusades against its insults to Christianity based only on what they'd read about it. Which is exactly what John Nolte does with "Paul".

And if Paul's got the edge of a tuna sandwich (and by the way, nice job of searching your desk for an appropriate metaphor there, John), then why is it cutting so deeply? Why the need for a followup article a week later, calling out Pegg for his "obvious contempt and intolerance for those who don’t conform to his disbelief system"?

Nolte's official excuse is that he's warning off his Bible Belt creationist readers, lest they spend ten of the dollars they earn toiling away at honest work like taking tickets at the Answers In Genesis museum, on a sci-fi comedy that will insult their ridiculous worldview. But is that really necessary? All the evidence a creationist would need to realize that "Paul" isn't for them is readily available in trailers, in the plot synopsis, in the previous works of the people involved. How could creationists, of all people, dismiss a collection of facts so obvious that even a moron could recognize what they mean?

Oh, wait. Never mind. Nolte's audience are also idiots. And that's not just name-calling. Look at what "HMMurdock" says within the first half-dozen posts:

"Hollywood says that the existence of aliens proves the Judeo-Christian God doesn't exist. Meanwhile, there is no proof that aliens exist."

Um, no, dipshit. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, not "Hollywood", say that the existence of aliens WOULD disprove at least some aspects of literal Biblical Judeo-Christian doctrine. Just because their movie has an alien in it doesn't mean the movie is claiming proof of extraterrestrial, pot-smoking, Seth Rogen-sounding life. I realize your confusion probably stems from your heartfelt belief that the Kirk Cameron "Left Behind" movies are documentaries, but that's not Simon Pegg's fault.

Hell, you could even argue that, by showing a creationist who experiences proof that her worldview is wrong and then changes her worldview as a result, "Paul" is actually less insulting to creationists than real life is. Ken Ham would just add an extra room to his Noah's Ark theme park and put two aliens on the boat.