Why I Support Spike Lee’s #Oscarsmustfall Campaign

This is an excellent campaign and one I shall definitely support once I’ve managed to discover who this Lee gentleman actually is. According to some rumours, he was one of the Rhodes scholars who recently campaigned in Oxford to have an old statue removed because every time they walked past its eyes seemed to be following them in a really racist way. Others insist that, no, Spike Lee was once the recipient of an Academy Award himself. But I can find no record of this: I’ve looked up the Oscars in the likely categories – “gaffer”, “best boy”, “key grip”, “dolly”, etc – but there’s definitely no Spike Lee mentioned.

Did he perhaps once go under the pseudonym Bruce? There’s a Bruce Lee on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The problem here is that this particular Lee seems to have died some years ago, didn’t look very black, and also – it would appear –  was likeable, amazingly talented and made movies that everyone wanted to watch. So I don’t think it can be the same person.

Anyway, as a great believer in social justice I totally support this campaign by this man who may or may not be the son of Spiderman creator Stan Lee, or someone with a similar surname. But I just don’t think it goes far enough.

Lee believes that Oscars should be apportioned on a socially just basis and he’s absolutely right: look at the wonderful social justice work that was achieved by all those subprime mortgages made available to marginalised communities thanks to Barney Frank’s affordable housing laws. Imagine the transforming effect similar legislation would have on Hollywood.

For example, every week could be 12 Years A Slave week. That is, not just occasionally but throughout the entire year our cinemas could be filled with powerful, worthy movies – see also Beloved; The Color Purple; etc – designed to help white people feel more terrible about themselves. It could be the black make-work equivalent of the Hoover Dam and it might well generate large sums of box office to be handed to worthy causes like #blacklivesmatter. Even white racists would turn up in droves to see these movies – secure in the knowledge that wherever they sat in the auditorium there wouldn’t be a single black person anywhere nearby because, for some reason, black people don’t really go in for these liberal-breastbeating-auto-torture fests. Not enough car chases and gats, possibly.

Once the ethnic quota system has been introduced, we can then start broaching the more fundamental problem with the Academy Awards. They are, and always have been, quite outrageously elitist.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Eddie Redmayne, the Oscars and Why Eton Is a Four-Letter Word

There are many reasons to celebrate Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar last night – from his charming and refreshingly brief acceptance speech to the fact that the award didn’t go to Benedict “This is what a feminist looks like” Cumberbatch – is the wailing and consternation and gnashing of teeth it will cause among the chippy anti-public-school brigade, people who hate Eton (Redmayne’s alma mater) especially.

[US readers please note: when we say ‘public school’ in Britain, we are referring to ‘private schools’, not what you would call ‘public schools’ which we call ‘state schools’. Oh and we don’t know what you mean by ‘cilantro’ either. We call it ‘coriander’. Capisce?]

Eton College (Wikimedia)

As Redmayne’s fellow Old Etonian (OEs, as they are known), Damian Lewis, once quipped: “Eton is a four-letter word.” And he’s absolutely right, for a lot of people it is. They see the penguin uniforms (black tail coats; waistcoats; stiff white collars) and they see the products (which currently include the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Mayor of London and the second in line to the throne, Prince William) and they’re filled with uncontrollable jealousy and rage and hatred which they try to dignify by couching it as an honest aversion to “elitism” and “unearned privilege” and “a sense of entitlement”.

True, Old Etonians can be irritating, as for example Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby reminded us recently with his lame-arsed attacks on capitalism and his feeble handwringing response to ISIS’s murder of those unfortunate Coptic Christians.

But if you’re going to blame an Eton education for Justin Welby (and David Cameron, Earl Spencer, the Hon Sir Jonathan Porritt, Oliver Letwin, etc) then how do you explain John Prescott, Dale Vince, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Jeffrey Dahmer – not one of whom, so far as I’m aware, is entitled to wear the black and turquoise striped OE tie?


No, the real reason people hate Eton is that its products are so spectacularly successful. In the world of acting, for example, besides Redmayne and Lewis, they include Tom Hiddleston, Harry Lloyd, Dominic West and Hugh “House” Laurie. And the reason they’ve succeeded – against the odds: the entertainment industry, like most industries these days is riddled with anti-‘elitist’ prejudice – is because they have benefited from the kind of classic, rigorous, old school, liberal arts education which the left has sought for so long to destroy.

Sure it probably helps having high cheek-bones, good breeding, and a natural affinity with the Queen’s English. But there are lots of boys from poorer backgrounds on bursaries at Eton too and these go on to perform at least as well in the outside world as the scions of the English upper classes.

Former student Tom Hiddleston (Reuters)

That’s because among the life skills Eton continues unapologetically to instill in its boys, in return for its annual fees (circa £30,000 pa) are: self-discipline; independence of mind (despite its traditionalist air, Eton is run more like a libertarian experiment: there are no official bed times, for example, and you do your homework when you want to do rather than when you are told to do); impeccable manners; extreme competitiveness; well-roundedness (they don’t care what you do, whether it’s beagling, DJ-ing, calligraphy, gaming, rowing, or drama, just so long as you cultivate interests beyond the school curriculum); humility (yes, really: most Etonians I’ve met are hugely grateful for the privilege of their education, which they are encouraged to repay through schemes like the one where they ‘mentor’ state school pupils); wit (banter, is, of course, very important and on a very high level at Eton); and the ability to mask the immense ambition most of them have with that quality known as “Etonian charm.”

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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