Frum leaves AEI

Today, the American Enterprise Institute let go of David Frum.  Frum’s explanation:

I have been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute since 2003. At lunch today, AEI President Arthur Brooks and I came to a termination of that relationship.

It sounds like Brooks was the Bob Sugar to Frum’s Jerry Maguire:

New Moon, Old fashioned?

Conservatives complaining about the left-leaning bias of movies and TV shows is nothing new – and with each shrill criticism comes another round of shut-up-and-just-enjoy-the-movie eye rolling.  It turns out the whining comes from both sides of the aisle.

Campus Progress is none too fond of the #1 movie of last weekend; apparently the vampire flick New Moon is rife with disturbing hidden messages. For instance, a conversation about whether werewolves are born as werewolves or whether they choose to become werewolves is decried in light of the lack of gay relationships in the movie.  On top of this is what the author calls:

“[A] disturbingly explicit anti-premarital sex message which ends the movie… despite knowing the Mormon background of Meyer, I couldn’t believe that the director and screenwriter would have let the end credits roll without undertaking some sort of criticism of the ideas espoused by the main characters in the final scene.”

It sounds like these Mormon vampires are undead-set on pushing a social agenda.  Clearly, this movie about werewolves fighting vampires must be answered; and the best way to fight speech is, as always, with speech.  Maybe the folks who agree with Campus Progress can find some way to get a movie made which deals with alternative lifestyles, or one that puts promiscuous teenagers in a more positive light.

In support of Capitalism

There’s no way to protest capitalism like champagne in a penthouse.  That’s how the afterparty for the premiere of Michael Moore’s newest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story supposedly went down.

This stunt invites the typical criticism of Moore: that he’s a hypocrite enamored with the idea of himself as a Hollywood star.  He’s an easy target for ridicule from the right, and his methods are questionable, but that’s not why Moore fails as a filmmaker.  Moore’s shortcoming is in the types of movies he makes.

Ever see Canadian Bacon?  It’s a great movie about the military industrial complex hijacking the US government written and directed by Michael Moore.  There’s a strong anti-military undercurrent if you are looking for social commentary; if you aren’t, it’s just a funny movie that paints the picture of a country bought and sold by military contractors.

Could a similar movie have gotten Moore’s points across better than Bowling for Columbine or Sicko?  Probably – just as a novel is more memorable than a textbook.  Of course, that may not be Moore’s goal.  Perhaps he is trying to be the conscience of Hollywood – the compass which gives direction to other movies which hit the same themes.  In DC, the analogy might be to think tanks like the Heritage Foundation or Center for American Progress supplying research and ideas to political candidates.

Either way, come October 2, Michael Moore’s movie is coming to a theater near you.  I’m looking forward to it.  And the irony of decrying capitalism in a venue which costs $10 in admission will not likely be lost.