The politicians of certain Southern states have struck a nerve that has caused the imperators of popular culture to muster their legions and send a message to the upstarts in Georgia, Alabama, and other places for their affront to the golden calf known as “choice.”
The heartbeat laws have been the proverbial stick poked into the lion’s cage, and the lion, or in this case, the mouse has roared back. The CEO of the Disney company isn’t sure his company will be able to do business in the state of Georgia anymore if the law there actually goes into effect, without being stamped out by some lower court ruling. We don’t have to get into the hypocrisy of this stance, other than to wonder why the same company has no qualms shooting its live action Mulan film in China — a place where religious people are imprisoned, abortions are government-mandated and the only “choice” the everyday people have is to obey the government or obey the government.
There are many more instances of rank hypocrisy to find, but you can play the home version of that game yourself. What Disney and many A-list stars have shown with their outrage over laws protecting innocent human life is just how large the gulf is that now exists between the producers of popular culture and so many on the other side of the chasm who ingest it.
It’s not new. My dad had to reconcile the cold hard facts that his favorite movie star John Wayne had been married and divorced multiple times. But the Duke never paraded his marital failures like badges of honor, as so many do today. And though it is also true that the “good old days” were just about as much of a Wild West show when it came to marital infidelity as they are today, there was a kind of cultural insulation intact that kept the more sordid details about the lives of celebrities tamped down.
The advent of new technology, combined with the sexual and social revolutions of the 1960s, have eroded that protective insulation, and now every type of activity frowned upon or downright prohibited in Scripture and the Magisterium are usually the top six headlines on TMZ. The instant information electronic high now fuels a voracious social network gossip highway speed rail that moves a lot faster than the proposed train going through the San Joaquin Valley is ever apt to achieve. To believe we can go back to sleep and not be influenced by the popular culture at large is inoperable.
Sadly, celebrities handing their celebrity over to social causes can be a force of good as well. Can you imagine two more opposite celebrities from the past as Marlon Brando and Charlton Heston? I can, but I’d have to work at it. Yet both of these very different celebrities from very different points of view came together at some of the most important Civil Rights marches in the 1960s. There is no such common ground in the maelstrom that is the abortion question now.
The equal and opposite reaction of the pro-abortion industry and all its fellow travelers within the popular culture world seems to have drawn a line, if not in the sand, then maybe in the movie ticket line. Their take-no-prisoners stance leaves little room for polite discussion. But what is the alternative? Do we keep our mouths shut and keep buying movie tickets and theme park passes and pretend all is well? The boycott that many celebrities and now major production companies are threatening may seem abstract…unless you are somebody who is currently making a good living in the film production industry that is blossoming in places like Georgia. So, we shouldn’t talk lightly about the “B” word — boycott — lightly. We are talking about peoples’ livelihoods.
Still, the viable alternative options for those of us who want to be heard, who do not want to go quietly into the movie ticket line for the next Star Wars movie, are becoming increasingly limited.
It doesn’t help that so many celebrities express such rank hostility toward the most innocent of persons. As the Disney Death Star prepares for the final assault on the rebel planet known as Netflix (another outpost that has also declared cultural war on those heartbeat states) and it further expands and secures its economic borders for more control of the entertainment universe, maybe it’s time to think about such things.
How long should we think about it? A heartbeat.