Sunday, February 04, 2007

Resolution to and Last Planned Update on "Wrong in So Many Ways"

In light of the controversy surrounding the Dakota Fanning "rape-and-plenty-of-other-bad-stuff" movie, Hounddog, which was filmed in North Carolina, Republican State Senator of that state, Phil Berger of Rockingham County, wants "to review scripts before issuing tax credits for films made in North Carolina.... [He] thinks the public has a right to see scripts before the state gives tax credits to films. There are already certain controls on film tax credits.
Sen. Berger is currently drafting the initiative."

People on both sides of the political and moral aisle are crying foul over this proposal, mostly under the banners of "it's a constitutional violation" or "too much government involvement in art," etc.

I, for one, think those arguments are pitifully pathetic (or vice versa). The Constitution of the United States protects our rights, not the abuse of those same rights. Plus, art does not possess immunity to penalties for unlawfulness and indecency. When did we begin to accept that absurd notion?

Also, the government does not have the right to get involved with "art" when the artists are using tax credits--the government's money--MY MONEY--to create this trash? You have got to be pulling my leg.

However, having said all that, I do think there are a few reasons why this is not a good, sufficient, or efficient idea:

a.) It would hurt North Carolina’s film industry and economy without solving the problem. If one lone state steps up with a law like this, the filmmakers move on to South Carolina, Virginia or one of the other forty-seven states, along with other countries, rather than sitting and waiting to see if their script is acceptable and whether or not they'll get a tax credit. When you consider the fact that some moviemakers know that their material is filthy, you realize that they wouldn’t even come near North Carolina. So, essentially, North Carolina “cleanses” itself, loses money from the entertainment industry, and doesn’t protect any more children, really, or the society in general.

b.) It potentially would leave art in the hands of the balance, or lack thereof, of power, rather than the hands of the people and the law. Unless strict definitions and requirements were in place, it would leave the decisions and judgments in the hands of serving politicians and/or judges. If one set of politicians can deny a tax credit to a movie like Hounddog, couldn't another set of politicians, on the opposite end of the spectrum, give EXTRA tax credit? Would conservatives try to punish movies with language or something? Would liberals encourage everything? This may be overreaching, but we’ve given the government enough power already, haven't we? Why more? Without firmly entrenched definitions of allowable and completely unacceptable material, I don't see this as a good idea.

c.) It would slow down the filmmaking process and add to the already overloaded bureaucracy. Protecting children is much more important than making movies faster, but, as you will see below, I think there are better solutions. Plus, the more bureaucracy, the less efficient it seems.

So, here's my five-point, multi-faceted solution to the problem at hand, with point number five obviously the most important:

1.) Stricter definition and stronger enforcement of child abuse laws.
It must be taken care to insure that children are not inconvenient “expenses” (victims) for the sake and in the pursuit of profit margins and agenda advancement in the entertainment industry.

2.) Stricter definition and stronger enforcement of child porn laws.
I think it is an egregious thing that a 12-year-old girl has to take off her panties for it to be considered child porn. Society should hold itself to a higher standard, especially in this day and age of pedophilia when we need to be protecting children, especially when we are discussing big-screen productions that could be widely distributed. Panties are porn. Body suits are porn.

3.) Internal controls within the entertainment industry.
“Artsy” people don’t want the government to get involved at all in these types of situations. Even some of those against this movie don’t want more government involvement. I tend to agree: government involvement usually turns sour in one way or another once power is granted, and it leaves different things, such as art, essentially at the mercy of who is currently in power. Therefore, you can even see child porn and abuse ENCOURAGED rather than prosecuted, if enough of a certain type of people got into power. Worst-case scenario? Certainly. But, even a lesser occurrence wouldn't be a good thing, obviously.
Many believe that the entertainment industry can handle this with internal controls and union regulations, etc. However, if Hollywood-ians and the like want to keep their house clean on their own without the government’s help, then they need to get serious and plug in the vacuum cleaner.

4.) Money message.
Money talks, and you, me, and everyone else shout over a loudspeaker to the entertainment industry. What are we saying? If agenda is the heart of the snake that is entertainment, then money is the head. Cut off the head, and the snake will die…

5.) Regeneration of our culture.
…But that is not enough. If you cut off the hands that do the evil, but the heart is still evil, the soul winds up in hell. That, suffice it to say, is not a desirable outcome. We need to change hearts and minds for Christ. We must defeat the erroneous ideas that maturing is synonymous with immorality; that the ever-earlier loss of innocence is acceptable; and that life is simply narcissistic and nihilistic.
We must do this by praying and acting on our prayers, for God helps those who have a live faith. (“Faith without works [actions] is dead.”)

Although this is my last planned update, I will still post if anything important pops up. The prayers and articles need to continue, in order that our efforts don't result in a "flash in the pan." We must burn to ash this detestable thing, not just burn the outer skin. We must realize, that ultimately, this is a small piece of the puzzle in which souls and societies are at stake, and that is not something we simply can fight for for a week or two. It's a lifetime's effort, and although this particular effort won't last that long, it is a piece that needs to be placed in a spot of victory, not defeat.
There are already other controversies which I could address, but I won't list here, for fear that I won't be able to speak to the issue more fully.

I plan on posting a recognition article thanking all those who joined me in blogging about this issue. Until then, though, I thank everyone for their prayers and efforts.

~Kingdom Advancer


Faultline USA said...

Excellent post and great suggestions. Especially #5!

Rubies&Sapphires said...


Before I heared about this film, I wrote an article on the way our civilization is becoming so uncivilized. I thought you might want to check it out at mine and my sister's blog. It deals with some of the issues you're confronting here.


Anonymous said...

Oh give it up already! You're talking about Hollywood...what do you expect???

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I deleted my first comment because it sounded a little bit harsh. But bottom line is leave it alone. Pray about it, yes, obsess over it, no.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thanks, Faultline.

STEVE, I'll try to check it out soon.

ANONYMOUS, what do I expect? I EXPECT my dog to return to its vomit; I EXPECT a rapist to rape; I EXPECT a murderer to murder; I EXPECT a liar to lie. But I do not ACCEPT these things and let them be. Do you?
Besides, the entertainment of a culture reflects and effects the direction of the culture as an entire entity. Therefore, I'm NOT just talking about Hollywood--I'm talking about America: should I "give that up already"?
And I'm not just talking about entertainment: I'm talking about souls and society (did you see point number five?), protecting children, punishing evil, and legislating. Should I give up on all those things too?

Have you given up on abortion and gay marriage, anonymous? Have you given up witnessing to people for Christ?


Here were my goals in my effort:

1.) Pray about it.
2.) Convince people of the wrongness of this movie and get them to pray about it.
3.) Convince a LOT of people of the wrongness of this movie and get them to pray about it.
4.) Be a reliable and complete source for conservative Christian analysis and updates.
Bottom line: make a difference.

I believe a difference was made.

As for obsessing: that perception comes with the territory of blogging, and you are confusing obsession with dedication and determination. My blog--and my internet time--was dedicated to this issue for two/three weeks. I don't have time to write about every issue, so I figured that the biggest clout could be carried through focusing on a particular issue. Plus, as long as the updates kept pouring in, I wanted to post about them. This one is the last that I have planned.

Also, read my points again, and which one of those should not be attempted and addressed long term? Protecting children? Punishing producers of child porn? Boycotting garbage entertainment? Regenerating our culture?

Obsession is a word that carries a lot of negative weight, but I don't think Christians are concerned ENOUGH with those issues. This is much, much bigger than "Hounddog," and that's the point I've been trying to get across.

Keith M. said...

Hey Kingdom Advancer, could you give me your email? I think you have my email from when I joined the Christmas Watch.

P.s I want to talk more about the HP thing (what was going on at Austin's blog)

SolaMeanie said...

I think you hit on perhaps the most irritating thing in this issue (well, aside from the immorality of this "art" itself), and that is the notion that I have to fund this garbage as a taxpayer.

I have to earn my living through hard work, so I expect artists to earn their living through hard work as well, if art is their chosen profession. They do not have a right to a taxpayer subsidy.

I have a hunch many of them would be happier on the left bank of the Seine River anyway.