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Hollywood Heroes, Real Life Cowards

So, we were all supposed to sit up, take note and express our admiration and appreciation for the courageous stands taken by the “artists” that make up Hollywood in “speaking out” against George Bush, the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism? We were supposed to think Natalie Maines was a heroine when she slammed our president from across the waters? We were supposed to take heed and admire Tim Robbins when he railed against “the chill wind” he sees blowing across the U.S.? We were supposed to find inspiration in the brave “stands” taken by Alec Baldwin, Jeannine Garafolo, Susan Sarandon, Barbra Streisand, Rosie O’Donnell and co., against the Evil John Ashcroft and the PATRIOT Act.

So, we’re all to believe that the Intellectual Giants who populate Hollywood and comprise the American music industry are true lovers of artistic freedom and free speech?

Try telling that to Dutch Director Theo Van Gogh. Well, actually, it’s too late. It’s too late because he was shot by yet another fine example of what fundamentalist Islam is giving the world. Oh, and after he was blown off his bicycle by the gunfire of the Moroccan-Dutch Islamic psychopath, Van Gogh had his throat slit, was stabbed and then, just for good measure, his attacker tacked a five-page screed to Van Gogh’s chest using a large carving knife. The mini-manifesto so thoughtfully attached to Mr. Van Gogh’s lifeless body was filled with the usual vitriol from our Muslim pals, you know, “America will be punished,” “the blood of the infidels will flow in rivers,” “the screams of pain will blah, blah” and so forth. Not a particularly original bunch of writers, these Islamic fundamentalists.

Well, a couple of weeks later there are no “screams of pain” here in the U.S. In fact, it’s pretty quiet. Especially in Hollywood. Hmmm.

One has to wonder:  Where are the courageous minions of the entertainment industry? When is Leonardo DiCaprio going to decry the brutal slaying of Van Gogh, whose Capital Offense was to make a 10-minute film which commented on the Dark Ages state of existence for Muslim women? When is Rosie O’Donnell going to condemn Van Gogh’s murder? Is Alec Baldwin preparing a speech condemning the lack of respect for artistic freedom on the part of fundamentalist Islam shown to us by Van Gogh’s slaying?

It doesn’t look likely. Rosie, Alec, Leonardo, Susan & Tim, Natalie, Jeannine, Barbra and the other Brave Defenders of Artistic Freedom are silent. They may play heroes on screen, and they may act like heroes during their concerts, but when the bullets start flying and the knives start slashing—even 5,000 miles from Hollywood—they prove themselves to be cowards. Unvarnished cowards.

This was an easy one too. Van Gogh wasn’t an American. Van Gogh wasn’t a Bush administration lackey, an American soldier, or a lover of things American. Heck, he probably wasn’t a big fan of our president. But he was an artist, and as the grand nephew of the famed painter who bore the same last name, one could easily argue that he was something of a poster child for artists the world over and their artistic freedom. But still, Hollywood remains silent.

Maybe they’re afraid some Islamic crackpot will paint a target on some actor’s back. Maybe they think Van Gogh got what he deserved because he failed to “show tolerance” to Muslim culture. Maybe they didn’t like Van Gogh’s films. Maybe—though they all claim to be True Artists and Students of the Arts—they didn’t even know who Van Gogh was. Or maybe they just don’t care.

But far more likely they’re not just cowards, but they’re so consumed by their hatred of George Bush and of the America he and the 60 million plus Americans who voted for him that they cannot bring themselves to condemn Van Gogh’s murderer, because doing so would align them with Bush and put them into the “terrorists are evil” camp.

So in three years, when they come out from under the blankets and start campaigning for Hilary Clinton, and when they start railing against whoever dares to run as the Republican nominee, remember their disgraceful silence when one of their own was attacked. Remember their utter failure to answer the challenge when their precious artistic freedom was assaulted. Remember them as the cowards and hypocrites they’ve shown themselves to be.

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