Friday, October 3, 2008

Loneliness of the Blue State Conservative, part 1

For a moment, when I was setting up this blog, I was heartened.

We're sorry; that name has already been taken. What? Someone has already staked a cyberclaim on the blogspot name Hollywood Conservative? A quick click confirmed this; someone had, indeed, created such a blog. But then with a stab of dismay I realized nothing had been posted there in years, a proverbial cobwebsite.

My mind swam instantly with a fiction writer's assortment of various scenarios from best to worse case: Nothing had been posted there for so long, perhaps the author was now busy on a higher profile and more important project; good for them! No, wait... they might have become terribly ill and could no longer write. Maybe someone had begun to drive around their neighborhood at night, slowly, in a car with no lights on. Or they were abducted by little green men, probably contractors with a strong labor union.

Or, in the worst of all explanations, they finally lost hope.

Losing all hope is something I'm personally fighting every single day as the Presidential election grows closer.

* * *

When I use the word Hollywood in the blog title, this should be construed in the broadest possible way, IE not a literal geographical reference, or even a reference merely to the filmmaking industry or surrounding culture. I put in the word "does" because its positive; it feels like such a hopeful word. Hollywood Does Conservative feels like there could just be a special, surprising truth... actual conservatives in the media in need of encouragement.

I've come to think of Hollywood as shorthand for the entire worm ouroboros biofeedback loop of media products, cultural landscape, and political opinion.

Be it known to all, I do not work in Hollywood The Place, and not even in the so-called Movie Industry per se, at least not in the way most people think of when you say "movie."

For twenty years I've worked successfully (but not without difficulties) as a freelancer in the world of corporate film and video production, usually in various art department-type roles. For most of those years the bulk of my work took place in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I am now semi-retired.

Like most conservatives in my industry, of necessity I remained, and remain, largely quiet about my beliefs. Oh, and it was the same story when I was a student at U.C. Berkeley, as well. (Talk about a glutton for punishment). I will be visiting these themes and memories not out of self-pity but the desire to share first-hand the way things really are.

Like many conservatives, I come from a fairly liberal background, and for years have lived at odds, in my case quietly, with a great number of people in my life.

Coming out of the conservative closet is risky but necessary business. But because not all conservatives hold precisely the same spectrum of beliefs, some explanation is always necessary. All too often, however, even before our mouths are open, the ears and minds of those around us are anything but. Why? Two reasons: (1) they "know what a conservative is", that is to say [pick at least one]: evil; fascists, racists, homophobes, etc.)", and more broadly; (2) a liberal stands on the high hallowed unshakable ground of moral superiority.

Beliefs are never so strong as when they are unreasonable, and one of the many ironies of the various forms and degrees of liberalism is that while its believers claim to stand for open-mindedness, we barely have time to open our mouths to calmly explain our world view than they are (pacifism notwithstanding) almost screaming and close to bashing us on the head. And if that isn't enough, their frequent anti-religious views often take on, dare I say, dogmatic fervor... with nary an eye-blink of irony.

No, I'm not advocating church and state be fused. No, I'm not a basher or a bigot. No, I'm certainly not a fascist. No, I'm not a hysterical ultra-extremist Christian or a close-minded so-called redneck, or... Where to begin? The battle is as wide as it is deep, and it's not an exaggeration to say I'm sick with concern about the country I love. Come to think of it, I'm not just worried about the USA, but Israel, too; you don't have to be Jewish to care deeply about the future of that country and its people.

It's a shame it's so difficult to share this concern with the people I love most. But I'm tired of not saying much of anything, so this is where the journey begins.

* * *

Talk to you soon.


Hapkido said...

Great first post! I know how you feel: I often leave politics out of family discussion. Fortunately, my friends are big on politics & that affords me a reasonable outlet.

I like the blog & you have a concise, enjoyable engagement to the reader. I definitely will be back to check this site out.

Good luck!

brenda cox giguere said...

Thanks so much, and glad you stopped by. My first few posts here are both long and dark, as befitting what's been happening lately. But hey- in my defense, it's not paranoia if they really ARE after you, right? ;)

Hang in there! Thanks again.