The Power of Hollywood

When working people who struggle to make ends meet identify with the imaginary sufferings of rich and pampered Hollywood starlets and rail against the mean elitist professors who also struggle to make ends meet but who dare not to appreciate the horrible problems faced by the valiant wrinkle-battling starlets, I have to acknowledge that Hollywood’s brainwashing is invincible. We can now stop wondering why the most disadvantaged keep voting for the Party of Millionaires. It happens because they saw on TV or in the movies how millionaires have problems, too.

P.S. When you feel like you have started to identify with people whose net worth exceeds yours by a few million bucks, it’s time to put down the tabloid and step away from the TV. They are messing with your head, buddy.

32 thoughts on “The Power of Hollywood”

  1. On the one hand, yeah, millionaires are people too, but on the other, who the fuck cares. I have nothing personal against the rich, but frankly, their suffering isn’t important, because they have money. Yes, I know money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does by security, which goes a long way towards ameliorating any little problems (like those naughty crows-feet — just get a botox injection and quit whining, you can afford it) they might encounter. And if something more serious occurs — like, say, the botox injection poisons her and she needs to be hospitalized — she can buy the best of care. So you know, cry me a river, rich Hollywood peeps.

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    1. I forgot to add: the way the fans of these folk act when their idol breaks a nail or some other disaster only points to a void in their own lives. People get mad when I tell them I don’t watch television, like I’m judging them. Well, I guess I am, if you can’t live without tv in your life and care more about some rich actor who doesn’t know you than your own friends and family. How many times have I heard “I can’t go to your party/wedding/funeral — my show is on that night!” (And ps: what, you people don’t have Tivo or dvrs or something? I don’t get it, it’s like we’ve gone back to 1975 and everyone has to be home at 9:00 or they’ll miss Mannix.)

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    1. Such people choose to be bamboozled and defend this right passionately. They are no victims. This serves a purpose for them : identify with a celebrity and you don’t have to notice how scrappy your life is or do anything to change it.

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  2. Party of Millionaires? Which party is that? The party of Soros, Pelosi, Kerry, John Edwards, Gore, Streisand, Steve Jobs, the Pritzkers, the Ford Foundation, the Tides Foundation, George Clooney, Sean Penn, Warren Buffett, etc, etc?

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      1. Clarrissa, one thing I don’t understand is this. You have experienced the former Soviet Union firsthand. You must be aware that European socialism is a disaster. You can’t be blind to the economic effects of Obama’s policies. Yet you have this affinity for the party of collectivism. From someone who has actually experienced what the collectivist mindset leads to, it’s very puzzling.

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        1. “Clarrissa, one thing I don’t understand is this. You have experienced the former Soviet Union firsthand. You must be aware that European socialism is a disaster. You can’t be blind to the economic effects of Obama’s policies. Yet you have this affinity for the party of collectivism.”

          – What party of collectivism??? I hate collectivism and I especially hate it how the Republicans want to impose collective worship, collective hatred of intelligence and collective priggishness.

          “You can’t be blind to the economic effects of Obama’s policies.”

          – I fail to see a single economic policy of his that wasn’t a direct continuation of Bush’s policies. Bush started bailouts, Obama continued. I condemn them both for that.

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  3. I agree with AYY. If one is talking about Hollywood, with rare intelligent exceptions like Clint Eastwood, one is talking about communists, socialists and far-left Democrats. It is important to distinguish between the nominal selectoratre and the real selectorate for each party and then the minimum majority coalition. The nominal electorate is of little interest to either Republicans or Democrats. Their focus is on the smaller segment of the real selectorate all of which is wealthy on both sides. The majority coalition, capable of pulling enough money from the real selectorate in both parties, is much smaller and consists of the truly wealthy and influential. All of these are multi-millionaires for both parties.

    The United States political system is a plutocracy funded and paid for by those they place in power and sustain in power. All the talk about rich versus poor is bullshit. The only issue is which among the rich will benefit most.

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  4. The GOP I wouldn’t claim is the “party of millionaires.” That is a stereotype the Democrats have been fond of using for many years, but it’s not true (most super-rich vote Democratic party in fact). Both parties are parties of rich special interests. In the case of the Democratic party, that is the labor unions, the trial lawyers, certain big business interests, and the environmental lobby (one will find that these are oftentimes major beneficiaries of the various government programs the Democrats push for that are supposedly done in the name of helping the poor). Other programs the Democrats do in the name of helping the poor are more to buy votes and to make people dependent on the government so as to increase their power and voting base.

    Among the GOP are the big business interests that do not like the policies the Democratic party wants, that would hurt their profits.

    Both parties have their regular folk, the people legitimately concerned about the issues, and not for special interests. In a sense, one could separate the elements of the Democratic party and Republican party who are legitimately for the people as opposed to being shills for the special interests, versus the elements who are for the special interests, and find you have two “parties,” one for the people, and one for the special interests.

    Regarding why many disadvantaged vote for the GOP, it can be numerous reasons, ranging from many are socially conservative and do not like the social liberalism of the Democratic party to many are just principled and do not believe in the government taxing one group to promise them a bunch of freebies. Many on the Left are oftentimes puzzled as to why if a politician offers a bunch of “free” stuff, that they claim will be paid for by taxing the wealthy more, many people are still against such a thing. Because not everyone in America has such an entitlement mindset.

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      1. Those tax cuts were for everybody. This was one of the main distortions of the Democratic party, that the Bush tax cuts were solely for the rich. The reality is that they were for everybody. All of the income tax brackets were reduced. The Child Tax Credit, which was set at $500 per child, was raised to $1000 per child. It is because of these various credits and very low tax rates that 50% of the population doesn’t pay federal income taxes. If you notice, after Obama won the election, the rhetoric subtly was changed from, “End the Bush tax cuts” as had been the norm for years, to “End the Bush tax cuts for the rich.”

        To a degree, even the higher-end tax cuts were for the middle-class, because many of the entities filing at the individual rate are small businesses, which were able to hire more people thanks to the tax cuts at the time. Raising the taxes would cause the inverse for any such small businesses, especially right now.

        In addition to hurting the economy more, the reasons the GOP is against ending the tax cuts is because they will not bring in enough revenue to fix the deficit problem the nation has and this administration has shown that it is not serious about working to control spending (something that IMO has really been rather amazing).

        Another issue is that the GOP has agreed to tax increases in the past with promises of spending cuts from the Democratic party, only to find out they were lied to. This happened to both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

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        1. “The Child Tax Credit, which was set at $500 per child, was raised to $1000 per child.”

          – What an absolute disgrace.

          “It is because of these various credits and very low tax rates that 50% of the population doesn’t pay federal income taxes.”

          – So you are saying that the GOP first created this very issue and now keeps complaining about it on every corner??? What a bunch of weird people.

          “Another issue is that the GOP has agreed to tax increases in the past with promises of spending cuts from the Democratic party, only to find out they were lied to. This happened to both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.”

          – This is all just verbiage if we remember what Bush did to Clinton’s budget surplus.

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      2. The reason the Child Tax Credit exists, I believe, is to incentivize people to have children, to keep the birthrate up, so as not to create the demographic problems that the various countries of Europe are facing right now.

        “So you are saying that the GOP first created this very issue and now keeps complaining about it on every corner??? What a bunch of weird people.”

        This is where you have to distinguish between the establishment GOP and the base of the Republican party. The base is fine with low taxes, but never has really been for tax credits that will remove people from the tax rolls when they add up, as they see it that everyone needs to pay something. However, for the establishment of the party to complain about it I agree is hypocritical.

        But the GOP is hilarious in this sense, prior to Obama they were a big-spending party. I was thinking to myself when Obama got elected, “The GOP is going to suddenly become fiscally conservative again.” And LIKE CLOCKWORK, they shifted overnight to being all about controlling spending 🙂 🙂

        Bush was a big-spending Republican and yes, he should not have spent like that. Clinton’s surplus was due a good deal to the Dot Com bubble and the policies he signed from the Republican Congress at the time, who switched to being big spenders themselves when Bush was elected.

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  5. //“The Child Tax Credit, which was set at $500 per child, was raised to $1000 per child.”
    – What an absolute disgrace.

    Why a disgrace? Does a family of 5 (3 kids) needs to survive on some normal level the same $ sum as a family of 3 (1 kid) or 2 (0 kids)? Imo, single mothers and in general parents, who raise their children, should get tax credit.

    Raising *normal* children is important to society’s survival. Statistically women get penalty for motherhood (smaller offered wages for the same work). It concerns even women without children, but mothers get it especially bad. On 8th March 2012 I read in one Israeli newspaper the findings of a new Israeli survey:

    Each child “contributes” -5% to mother’s wages and +2.7% to father’s wages. The same survey found that despite giving birth women don’t miss more work days than men AND still earn less! (The text is in Hebrew)

    Raising children is a must for society, hurts parents economically and is super hard on many levels. F.e. who stays with an ill child? Pay somebody else? Grandparents may not be available. If both parents work 9 to 5 and a child is frequently ill (as I have been, f.e. ill 4-5 times in a summer *seriously* because of catching infections from other kids) — it’s horribly hard and costy. This government child care R. talked about helping to pay for is till 1-2 (in Israel), so you must pay privately.

    Citizens subsidize wars, subsidized sending a man to a moon (which real benefits to people it brought, except “cool” aspect and Cold War aspect?), subsidize lots of stuff, but taking less taxes from parents (from money they managed to earn themselves, despite mothers not being the ideal in many a boss’s eyes) is disgrace. I don’t understand your pov.

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    1. “Why a disgrace? Does a family of 5 (3 kids) needs to survive on some normal level the same $ sum as a family of 3 (1 kid) or 2 (0 kids)? Imo, single mothers and in general parents, who raise their children, should get tax credit.”

      – It is their choice to have children. They do that for themselves and will reap many benefits, including financial, later on in life. I don’t understand why society should pay for reproductive choices of some of its members but not others. It was their decision to have 3 kids, so they should deal with it.

      “Raising children is a must for society, hurts parents economically and is super hard on many levels. ”

      – For which society? The planet is dying of overpopulation. As for parenthood being hard, it isn’t like people are not informed of that before deciding to procreate.

      “Grandparents may not be available. If both parents work 9 to 5 and a child is frequently ill (as I have been, f.e. ill 4-5 times in a summer *seriously* because of catching infections from other kids) — it’s horribly hard and costy. This government child care R. talked about helping to pay for is till 1-2 (in Israel), so you must pay privately.”

      – I’m sorry, but how is any of that my problem? I can list a gazillion issues of my own (the analyst is costing a fortune and I totally need expensive dental work, etc.). Who’s to say that somebody’s procreation is more important than my needs?

      “Citizens subsidize wars, subsidized sending a man to a moon (which real benefits to people it brought, except “cool” aspect and Cold War aspect?),”

      – That’s a disgrace, too.

      In the USSR, there was a special tax for childless people. That was an extremely offensive and often cruel thing. I come here and discover that there is a version of that here, too. Horrible!

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      1. //They do that for themselves and will reap many benefits, including financial, later on in life.

        In other posts we talked how most people nowadays are in old people homes and you said iirc that putting money in a bank is far better investment than caring for a child in hopes of future help.

        //For which society? The planet is dying of overpopulation.

        It may be true. But Europian countries inviting numerous immigrants, many of whom don’t become part of the new society, is because of lack of people, no? The current economies are growth economies, which is impossible to achieve without increase in population. Immigrants aren’t the magic solution for many reasons. First, let’s change how economy works and find a way to make it work without growth, then say children aren’t necessary.

        //the analyst is costing a fortune and I totally need expensive dental work, etc

        Parents have the same issues and more. You (you privately) and others in society benefit from others’ children because that’s how economy works. Currently, at least.

        Also *children* are people too and they need to eat. Eating and having minimal normal living conditions is more important than having an analyst.

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        1. I don’t know what European racism has to do with the subject we are discussing. I also find your dismissal of immigrants to be strange given that you and I are immigrants.

          If people cannot provide even minimal living conditions for their own children, they should maybe buy some condoms. I’m not asking anybody to pay for my analyst and I don’t understand why I need to pay for somebody else’s procreation choices.

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        2. Besides, we are talking about tax breaks. Income tax isn’t even paid by people who lack for food and shelter. These are middle classes. I think that my middle class whim to have an analyst is just as respectable as somebody else’s whim to have a 3rd child.

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  6. http://www.ehow.com/about_4793652_effects-low-population-growth-rates.html
    Economic Effects of Low Population Growth Rates

    //I don’t know what European racism has to do with the subject we are discussing.

    You talked of the behavior you saw in US towards not veiled women (yourself). Is European racism the only problem? Is it the main problem? What about immigrants themselves?

    // I also find your dismissal of immigrants to be strange given that you and I are immigrants.

    Most immigration to Israel from FSU included educated people, who in the beginning (before me) built this country and later (including me) help to strengthen it. It also (officially, at least) included only Jews who returned to Europian-kind country with culture very similar to their own. Can’t be compared with the culture of Egypt or Marocco f.e.

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    1. So are Scandinavian countries letting in educated FSU people? No, they are not.

      At the same time, every single European policy aimed at raising birth rates through huge financial stimuli failed completely. There is NO financial method to encourage people to procreate.

      What are we even discussing here?

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  7. //Income tax isn’t even paid by people who lack for food and shelter.

    What about minimum wage job? How much should you earn to start paying the tax?

    Even 1 child is extremely costy. Most people are very miserable without ability to build a family and have a child, unlike an analyst. It’s something very basic and if someone has a minimum wage job, s/he should be able to normally support a child. As far as I understand, it isn’t always so in practice.

    To say “Then don’t have even 1-2 kids” is the same as to say “Then don’t have sex” (a solution for lower classes in previous centuries, when they had to work long years to gather money to start a family).

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    1. //a “solution” for lower classes in previous centuries, when they had to work long years to gather money to start a family

      In some cases. I read somewhere about a RL couple, who worked as servants, and had to wait for 30+.

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    2. As has been repeated many times, in the US 50% of population do not pay income tax.

      With all due respect, el, it is not your place to decide what “most people” need for happiness. Haven’t I written enough about people trying to inflict their understanding of happiness on others?

      The connection between having sex and not having children you can’t support is also unclear to me. I have chosen not to have children while I couldn’t provide for them (on my own). Yet this didn’t prevent me from having a very rich personal life.

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      1. //in the US 50% of population do not pay income tax.

        I don’t live in US, so it escaped me and I asked clarification. If it’s really only middle class + , who can support those 2-3 children anyway, then it’s different.

        //With all due respect, el, it is not your place to decide what “most people” need for happiness

        I don’t decide it. I do know it in this specific case, judging by people’s choices.

        //The connection between having sex and not having children you can’t support is also unclear to me.

        I meant that for many (most?) people not having children ever in their lives is as bad (for some, worse) as not having sex ever in those lives.

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        1. “I don’t decide it. I do know it in this specific case, judging by people’s choices.”

          – And I know different. How will we decide who’s right?

          “I meant that for many (most?) people not having children ever in their lives is as bad (for some, worse) as not having sex ever in those lives.”

          – People like that will raise extremely miserable children. There is nothing scarier than a sexually unsatisfied parent. The physiological need doesn’t go anywhere. So they will feed their children to the devouring need. Yippee for those fortunate kids.

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        2. “I meant that for many (most?) people not having children ever in their lives is as bad (for some, worse) as not having sex ever in those lives.”

          – I need to leave this discussion right now because my mother tries to brainwash me with these exact same sentences, and I have a very visceral reaction to them. I can’t be hearing this both from her and on my own blog. It’s too much.

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  8. Yes, I’m aware of Manders’ technique. I tughoh hard about doing all those computations on the GPU myself, but there is a big difference between our samples.He only has lines for which to draw shadows, while I have polygons with arbitrary number of edges. For a line, no matter of the light’s position relative to it, the shadow always has the same shape. This is not so for a polygon, and depends both on the shape of the polygon and on the position of the light. One way to do this would be to draw the shadow volumes for each edge of the polygon, in the same way as Manders draws shadows for his lines, but depending on the level of detail of that polygon, this could result in a great number of Draw calls (order of tens), as opposed to a single Draw call for the whole object’s shadow, as it happens now. These add up, and may actually hurt performance more than benefit it.This is one area where DirectX10 geometry shaders would come in handy, as they could be used to generate the shadow’s geometry on the GPU, for any convex shape imaginable. But since XNA is DX9 only, for now I’ll have to stick to doing all this on the CPU.One other idea would be to move these computations on another thread, and use multi-threading, but this is dangerous territory as well.

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