Meryl Streep, Parallel Universe Edition (Part II)
[Note: If you have not read Part I of this post, I strongly recommend that you read it before reading Part II. Click here to read Part I.]
It’s time at last to defy the norms of time and space, and, in the name of full disclosure, reveal what Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes acceptance speech sounded like in a universe parallel to ours, a world which differs from our own only in that (a) Hillary Clinton won the presidential election, and (b) Meryl Streep has just enough integrity to speak truth to all power, rather than just that power her knee-jerk progressivism tells her she is supposed to dislike.
Here, first, by way of a sad reminder, is our universe’s Meryl Streep delivering her speech at the Golden Globe Awards:
And now here is the parallel world’s Meryl Streep accepting her lifetime achievement award at the 2017 parallel-Golden Globes:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Please sit down. Please sit down. Thank you. I love you all. You’ll have to forgive me. I lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend. And I lost [– simple past tense –] my mind sometime late last year. So I have to read.
Thank you, Hollywood foreign press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most undeservingly blessed segments of American society right now. Think about it: People making huge money and achieving great fame with barely a smidgeon of the talent that was expected from every journeyman B-movie actor sixty years ago; foreigners who enjoy the riches of this great nation while spitting on its institutions; and a bunch of glorified movie star groupies masquerading as journalists of the foreign press. But who are we? And, you know, what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people who, in saner times, were treated as social outcasts, or barely tolerated on the fringes of the community due to their usefulness as providers of amusement for their moral and intellectual betters in normal society.
I was born and raised and created in the public schools of New Jersey, which, like most public schools, happen to specialize in “creating” politically correct mediocrities with bad grammar. Viola [Davis] was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, and grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. That makes Viola, the two Sarahs, and myself four perfectly typical, unexceptionally American stereotypes, but for the sake of my lame argument, I’m going to pretend this very typicality bestows upon us some kind of outsider status, in the name of self-aggrandizement. Amy Adams was born in Italy. Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. “Where are their birth certificates?” you ask. Who cares? — since, unlike running for President of the United States, there is no nationality requirement for being an actress.
And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Ethiopia, raised in Ireland, I do believe. Her being of mixed race is my political justification for singling her out as “beautiful” at the expense of all the other actresses I just named, whose looks didn’t warrant a mention, since they are not of mixed race — although I do believe that mentioning sharecroppers in connection with Viola is enough to score brownie…er, I mean politically correct points with the Racial Sensitivity Police.
Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian — a cliché that provides me an opportunity to recall H.L. Mencken’s definition of “platitude”: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.
And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. In other words, he’s an actor.
Hollywood is crawling with pedophiles and other sexual deviants — remember when I joined you in giving a standing ovation to Roman Polanski, who said that what he does with twelve-year old girls is only what every man wishes he could do? If you kick ’em all out, who’s going to entertain and educate your children about love, gender, and morality? Parents? Churches? Pfft! What do they know? Traditions and moral rules are not the arts!
They gave me three seconds — also known as six minutes — to say this. An actor’s only job is to fake something well enough that people with real, more substantial lives may be mildly amused by us for a while before getting back to the more essential tasks of life: making things, thinking and loving, raising children, reading books, and wondering about God, freedom, and immortality. And there were many, many, many middling performances in even more middling movies this year that, if supplemented with lots of popcorn and Coke, were perhaps able to serve as passable diversions for moderately intelligent people, at least if they didn’t mind turning their brains off for two hours.
But there was one performance this year that stunned me. Well, okay, it wasn’t actually this year. In fact, it wasn’t last year either, anymore than Donald Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter was last year, although some temporally-challenged person in a parallel universe somewhere might be confused about the subtle distinction between 2016 and 2015. Anyway, this performance sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience smile cold-bloodedly at how the end may justify the means. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country told the father of one of the men who died during the Benghazi attack a bald-faced lie about the cause of his son’s death — a father she outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. Then there was the moment when, under questioning for her role in covering up the real sequence of events that caused four Americans to die brutal deaths after hours of encircling doom without a finger being lifted in Washington to help them, she answered with an exasperated “What difference, at this point, does it make?” What difference, in other words, does it make whether the deaths could have been prevented, whether the deaths were the product of a terrorist-arming State Department gun-running operation gone bad, or whether she was involved in a calculated cover-up involving a cockamamie story about an “offensive” YouTube video?
It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.
And this instinct to dismiss lives deemed not to be useful to the progressive grand design, to belittle death and suffering when these are considered necessary for the furtherance of one’s power lust, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Nihilistic self-seeking invites nihilistic self-seeking. Disdain for life incites disdain for life. When the powerful use their position to control others — such as through self-aggrandizing lies about their past accomplishments or bravery, public smears of women harmed by their predatory husbands, the eager promotion of mass abortion, mass disarmament of the citizenry, mass healthcare restrictions, mass indoctrination through public schools, and even “adults camps” to retrain everyone to work together for progressive goals — we all lose.
This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in demanding that today’s press actually start doing the job the founders envisioned, rather than serving as useful idiots and water-carriers for the socialist elite. Because we’re going to need brave seekers of truth going forward, since God knows our first female President-Elect has a personal vendetta against truth and freedom, and is a firm believer in using the press as a propaganda arm of the state.
One more thing. Once when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something — we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever — Tommy Lee Jones said to me, isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be a millionaire of very little consequence, when so many people do important work, changing lives and saving souls for little or no remuneration, while others of real human worth don’t even have the option of working through supper, because they have neither work nor money for supper? Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of handling so much money while pretending to empathize with the little people. We should all be very ashamed of the institutionalized hypocrisy we honor here tonight by giving ourselves awards so that the masses may envy us.
As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia — whose actual name escapes me at the moment so I’ll just refer to her by the name she probably hated most, after having her entire career reduced to that one silly character — said to me once, “Your friend is quite a mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything…or anyone.” Thank you.
And finally, here’s something pretty to look at, to help us cleanse our palate after too much time thinking about the stupidity that passes itself off as our civilization’s idea of beauty and talent.