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From iSteve commenter Seth Largo, who gets what I was trying to say in my brief review of the movie Tully with Charlize Theron, which was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman:

Cody and Reitman are producing some of the most slyly conservative films in Hollywood. It’s a wonder they can make traditionalist themes so relevant to contemporary audiences.

Juno (have the baby, you won’t regret it)
Young Adult (not having a baby sucks; suburban life > urban striving)
Up in the Air (being alone sucks, get married)
Paradise (small-town Christian values really aren’t so bad after all)
Labor Day (fathers are really important)

Interview with Cody:

She comes across just as Steve has described her: a libertine id coupled to conservative wisdom.

By the way, Jason Reitman’s dad Ivan Reitman directed a bunch of right of center Bill Murray and Arnold Schwarzenegger comedies, such as Ghostbusters and Twins.

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  1. BenKenobi says:

    libertine id coupled to conservative wisdom

    All this time I thought that was just my vice paying tribute to virtue.

  2. getman says:

    It’s like going to the movies expecting to be entertained and then getting told that there’s a difference between biologically men and women and that counts as conservative.

    I say it’s very much current year.

    Ghostbusters on the other hand is good movie. Young Adult, I mean, okay now you said it I get it that it’s conservative and a movie star is in there, but really?! Watching it is like torture.

  3. Anonymous[296] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, it seems like you’re compelled to relieve your cognitive dissonance by convincing yourself that degenerate culture from Hollywood is somehow conservative.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
  4. Anonymous[296] • Disclaimer says:

    The unconventional greatness and conservatism of Ghostbusters and Twins.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    , @Isolee
  5. Anonymous[296] • Disclaimer says:

    If you think about it, Brokeback Mountain was also slyly conservative and traditionalist, depicting the superiority of rural and small town settings and male bonding.

    • LOL: Twinkie
    • Replies: @Twinkie
  6. Drive is my favorite conservative movie of the last decade. Much like the work of Diablo Cody, it is extremely subtle.

  7. Wilkey says:

    Not to forget that (spoiler alert) the bad guy in Juno is the 30 or 40-something would be father (played by Jason Bateman) who refuses to grow up.

  8. @Anonymous

    The Ghostbusters were implementing the Broken Windows Theory of criminologist James Q. Wilson (that would later be adopted by Giuliani Administration) to the Paranormal.

  9. Ivy says:

    OT, potential shift in media focus.

    Jimmy Kimmel sees the limited benefit of ongoing Trump-bashing, from as shown below. Combine that with those SNL cast moms telling their kids last night to ease off the political commentary and ask if that is noticing by advertisers, producers and various others. Could be a shift in opinions underway, whether due to real or perceived popularity of Nork peace, economic strength, Jerusalem embassy move (may be too soon to call that), Comey/FBI/DOJ problem publicity or take your pick of potential influences. See if Colbert, CNN, NYT or other outlets follow suit, as jockeying action will begin to heat up the closer we get to those November elections.

    DEADLINE: Having missed last year, this will actually be your first upfronts of the Trump Era. Having you been saving up a barrelful of barbs for the President and his ongoing big show?

    KIMMEL: Oh, wow. Yeah, you know, I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but I guess you’re right. Hopefully it’ll be the last upfront of the Trump era, too. So, I don’t know, I don’t know how much focus there will be on that. I think people have had an ass-full of Donald Trump, and I feel like the upfront is a time to look within and make fun of ourselves.

    DEADLINE: So, next week is a Trump-free zone for you?

    KIMMEL: Well, I can’t imagine that it will be entirely Trump free, but I’m not planning on that to be my focus. Already I’m seeing a lot of other things to point out, to make fun of. We’re getting all sorts of new terminology that doesn’t seem to last one year to the next. There are initials that I’m trying to decode. I always wonder if the people in the audience even know what some of these things are, so that’s something I want to get into.

  10. TheBoom says:
    @Planet Albany

    Reitman: “Considering how much this election has done against women”

    Same liberal tripe. It is easy to start assigning acceptable values to Hollywood types when they aren’t overwhelmingly hostile to anyone to the right of Elizabeth Warren. We have to guard against lowering the bar too much for what represents someone advocating traditional values.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  11. @Planet Albany

    According to Reitman, Cody studied the Ghostworld screenplay, then proceeded to write Juno in one month

    I am a fan of Ghostworld and Juno reminded me of that film. I was unaware that it was a direct inspiration for the script.

  12. Corn says:
    @Planet Albany

    Thanks for posting that. I see movies are often praised as overtly or covertly pro-life if the female lead doesn’t get an abortion, but more likely she kept the baby because that’s better storytelling. If she walked through the clinic doors movie would be over in 30 minutes.

    I’ve never seen Young Adult or Tully. I saw Juno in the theater when it came out back in ‘07 or ‘08 and enjoyed it. I’ve tried watching it on Tv a couple times since then and it doesn’t hold my attention. The dialogue seems way too hip, pretentious and try hard.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  13. artcon says:

    When you see her movies as liberal ones made by and for liberals and of liberal characters, you can appreciate the artistic skills, the nuances artfully put in.

    When you see her movies as conservative, I ask how can you not see them as complete vomit-inducing?

  14. Twinkie says:

    If you think about it, Brokeback Mountain was also slyly conservative and traditionalist, depicting the superiority of rural and small town settings and male bonding.

    I never saw it, but read what it was about. If all the homosexuality were taken out, would it be actually and earnestly be what you wrote sarcastically?

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Anonymous
  15. @Anonymous

    Saw this billboard on the Viacom Building this weekend in Times Square.

    Definite Weimar Vibes.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    , @BB753
  16. Isolee says:

    The view of environmental regulation in Ghostbusters is most definitely conservative (William Atherton’s EPA Officer is an arrogant, officious, power-abusing jerk, whose bureaucratic recalcitrance almost prevents Bill Murray & co from saving the city. Impossible to imagine a Hollywood film providing an equivalent today.)

    Re: Twins, Arnie’s character’s classical education and the acceptance of the massive role genetics plays in establishing potential, are conservative themes.

  17. Lot says:

    A large part of the movie shows an idyllic American West, and it all looks really majestic and dignified. And the characters are all good and moral Americans.

    Mostly is was just long and boring, conforming to the political goal then of showing gays as boring and non-threatening.

  18. Anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:

    You could read the original story, it’s short.

    As has been discussed here before short fiction is much better material for adaptation than novels, which are simply too long.

  19. Don’t know about Miss Cody’s writing, morals, or politics. But her pen name, maiden name Brook Busey, and married names Hunt and Maurio are quite anagrammatic:

    Bloody acid.
    Lo-acid body.
    A cool biddy.
    Did coal boy.

    Book buyers.
    Book by user.
    Your kebobs.
    Re: boobs– yuk.
    Our keys bob.
    Boy, us broke!

    Bunks bother you.
    Husky boner bout.
    Retook bushy bun.
    Oh, knobby uterus!
    Rot by bunkhouse.
    Thus, bourbon key.

    I bum our yearbooks.
    Yoko, more suburbia.
    You rim Euro kebobs.

    “Steve Sailer” does pretty well, too:

    Reveals ties.
    Vile teasers.
    Sieve alerts.
    Serves a Lite.
    Era’s evilest.
    Levies rates. (or Levies tares.)
    Easter veils.
    Release is TV.
    Reviles East.
    Elite’s saver.
    A servile set.
    Revise slate.
    Retie slaves.

  20. Juno (have the baby, you won’t regret it)

    Actually, in general, having a baby as a teen is probably one of the worst choices that anyone could make. When conservatives applauded Palin’s daughter for giving birth at 18, that was totally bizzare.

  21. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    In 1950 or 1960, and in a lot of the US even in 1970, an 18 year old who found herself in the family way had two options: get married before she was showing very much or put the kid up for adoption. Patti Smith and Joni Mitchell did that.

    Sure there were abortions, but even liberal Democrats thought that was pretty shitty. Rich girls could go to “unscrupulous” doctors and poor women to self styled female abortionists-it’s no secret a certain very successful swing era and lounge singer’s mother had been busted for doing abortions and it’s widely rumored his own daughter had to go to Red Krohn at 16 to have it done with. Middle class girls did not have that option.

    If she were good looking or fairly affluent, she could always marry some loser who would see it is being a once in a lifetime deal, if the sperm provider could not be brought to the altar with the proverbial 12-bore. But usually, it meant putting the infant up for adoption.

  22. From iSteve commenter Seth Largo, who gets what I was trying to say in my brief review …

    Sailer’s telling us to step up our game, y’all.

  23. Pericles says:

    Reitman: “Considering how much this election has done against women”

    Which raises the question, what exactly has this election done against women? Just curious. The big, obvious examples first, please.

  24. I didn’t get around to responding to the original post, which was a reply to me.

    It’s a kind of conservative Stockholm Syndrome. I think people on the right are so used to Hollywood being utterly toxic that a movie can push a whole host of leftist tropes and a progressive world view, but if it takes the traditional stance on one big issue, they swallow all the poison along with that spoonful of sugar.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @RadicalCenter
  25. Anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:

    Boomer cucks, maybe.

    Fortunately, boomer “conservatism” is finished, even though Steve and his commenters don’t seem to realize it.

    Ask, say, Tucker Carlson. He came up in that era of absurd college republicans (like Paul Ryan) who just wanted to jerk off William F. Buckley and talk about muh tax cuts. Well, I know a Dartmouth millennial who works as a writer for Tucker. I promise you Tucker is aware that anyone running his original goofy bowtie free market WFB-worship shtick would be laughed out of the room in today’s younger right-wing circles.

  26. el topo says:

    Something about pussy grabbing, I guess. And not allowing a woman to be president because sexism and Russia, or something.

  27. bomag says:

    We’d be better off if we encouraged our capable women to have kids first, then a career.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    , @njguy73
  28. el topo says:

    This is good news. Then again, there is always some new, mediocre, anodyne “conservative” personality being promoted by tptb, e.g. Tomi Lahren, Charlie Kirk.

  29. @Pericles

    I wondered the same thing when I read that.

    I suspect the answer is just that it is one of these knee-jerk left wing hot buttons. You know how lefties say “anti-woman”, “anti-science”, “anti-environment”, “anti-”etc. no matter how contrary to the facts the statement is. It’s just the lefty way of triggering their amygdalas to rally the zombie army.

    Anyhow, if you want to take it at face value, I suppose Trump (man) defeated Hillary (woman) so case closed bigot!

    Maybe the Access Hollywood tape, but to include that if they’re being fair (I know, I know) they have to include Hillary’s persecution of Bill’s sex predation victims.

    The bottom line is that a lot of the people saying “anti-woman” are themselves #MeToo cases waiting to happen*, so they hardly have genuine women’s interests at heart in the first place. Indeed, that’s probably why they virtue signal so much about it. It’s the lefty (and far more common) version of the oft-cited but rarely observed right wing anti-gay obsessive who is himself a closet case.

    *Current poster-boy: Eric Schneiderman.

    • Replies: @Difference maker
  30. Danindc says:

    The dialogue was awful. Embarrassing.

    • Replies: @Corn
  31. I love you Steve, but sometimes your attempts at esoteric readings of Hollywood can get pretty funny.

  32. @bomag

    Instead we send them to college, designed around the life goals and career span of men. The most fertile years for a woman are 18-24. A female lawyer following the regular college schedule will spend all of them in school, presumably aborting any accidental conceptions.

    • Replies: @Old fogey
  33. Thea says:

    In the current year, only two groups of people exist, white and people of color. So if blacks are POC along with Egyptians and now Greeks apparently, then Egyptians & Greek are black. QED.

    If you can’t follow this logic then you are ignorant.

  34. @Almost Missouri

    I have never thought of the Access Hollywood tape as anything other than women throwing themselves at him. People just have different experiences I guess

    Given what happens with the likes of Weinstein, the negative response to purported pussy grabbing is no doubt due to the shame people feel for letting themselves be taken advantage of on proverbial and literal casting couches

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  35. MarcB. says:

    The bar for what constitutes conservative is pretty low in the entertainment industry, so it’s easy to see a glimmer of hope in anything mildly contrary to post-modern leftism. A lot of this is just old fashioned liberalism that hasn’t gone whole-hog with New Left, and will occasionally call out it’s excesses. These folks have one foot in modernity and a few dangling toes in the era when being a liberal had more to do with outrageousness and anarchic behavior than a humorless tsk, tsk’er.

  36. Anonymous[204] • Disclaimer says:

    In a much less “sly” through significantly bizarre way, the current season anime favorite of Darling in the Franxx is one of the most thorough apologies/defenses for reactionary thought. It goes into effort to reject both biosingularity as well as mechanical singularity, specifically emphasizes the value of gender conventions(and takes the effort to add gay characters to explore that even their “pain” is still worth it), and couples a defense of primitivism with an argument against rationalism(emphasizing the Romantic ideology of human feeling). Its argument for essentialism relies significantly on the value of procreative sex(with other forms of procreation therefore lacking authenticity), which is something that is basically unheard of now.

    A lot of it depends on Taoist thought, which makes it inapplicable to the West, but its surprising that something like that can become this popular even in Japan.

  37. peterike says:

    OT: Peterike’s Law strikes again, and this time appears in its underwear. Asian women are a disaster for America.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  38. @Difference maker

    Right, it is about women throwing themselves at him. I was answering @Pericles‘s question as to what media people claim is “anti-woman” about Trump’s election. In the Big Media’s false retelling of everything, the Access Hollywood tape became an admission of Weinstein-ism. Or something. It’s kinda murky. Deliberately.

  39. Olorin says:

    I’m still waiting for the “conservative movie” that consists of credits then a 15-second still saying




    Cut to black.

  40. Corn says:

    Agree. Watching Juno in the theater in my late 20s the movie seemed quirky but good. I try watching it now and it just seems ridiculous.

  41. Ah, Sailer triple bankshot theory strikes again.

    This is the sister to your “libs want to take your guns to protect their kids, not because they want to gulag you for badthink!” Theory.

  42. 90% of the people in this thread have clearly not watched these movies.

    I will admit that the conservatism displayed in the films is small-c conservatism. But, to the doubters, I’d say that any team making consistently pro-family movies circa 2018 is worth watching.

  43. njguy73 says:

    We’d be better off if we encouraged our capable women to have kids first, then a career.

    Artificial wombs. Anyone know how far off we are from having those?

    Given the choice between that and flying cars, I’ll take the former any day of the week. If it means no more women getting pissed off about having to bear children, and no more movies like Tully, I’ll drive a Yugo for the rest of my life.

  44. @JohnnyWalker123

    I don’t think it’s “bizarre” to urge someone not to murder anyone, let alone her own child.

    That helpless little human being, an entity biologically distinct from all others including her mother, was blameless and deserved not to be killed by one of the people who caused her to come into existence.

  45. @Cloudbuster

    Sound analysis, Cloudbuster.

    A rare exception might be the very recent Bruce Willis movie “Death Wish.” That was pretty obvious and explicit in its support for the Second Amendment / self-defense rights even if we are not straining to find something non-left in Hollywood for a change.

  46. @Anonymous

    It’s not quite dead yet. I went to this at the Heritage Foundation the other week:

    Pretty embarrassing.

  47. J.Ross says: • Website

    Latitia Chai of Cornell dreams of crumpled-up twenties. If only patriarchal gatekeepers hadn’t passively discouraged her from studying engineering.
    I notice that this follows the same Curb Your Enthusiasm template as the NAACP golf dwaddler.
    Prof.: What would your mother say?
    Prof.: [Larry David Face]

  48. MEH 0910 says:

    OT: Margot Kidder, Actress Who Found Movie Stardom in ‘Superman,’ Dies at 69

    In the 1980s she was also linked romantically to Pierre Trudeau during his term as the Canadian prime minister from 1980 to 1984. (He had also served in that post from 1968 to 1979.)

    Ms. Kidder had a long history of involvement with the antinuclear movement and other liberal causes (she was arrested at the White House in 2011 while protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline). She was credited in John English’s biography of Trudeau, published in 2006, with influencing some of his political stands.

  49. BenKenobi says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Worse — Weimar crossed with Blade Runner.

  50. @Anonymous

    Ask, say, Tucker Carlson. He came up in that era of absurd college republicans (like Paul Ryan) who just wanted to jerk off William F. Buckley and talk about muh tax cuts.

    Because real conservatives just love the income tax. And the welfare state it pays for. And the identity politics that pays for.

    Unlike those frauds Barry Goldwater, Russell Kirk, and William Gladstone.

    Never trust anyone over thirty. Or who doesn’t sport a tattoo.

  51. Cody and Reitman are producing some of the most slyly conservative films in Hollywood. It’s a wonder they can make traditionalist themes so relevant to contemporary audiences.

    At the very least there is still a large market, across racial and economic lines, that wants to see a move that supports tradition and is not out to poke holes in tradition.

  52. Yngvar says:

    Trump said he didn’t care about the subject of abortion rights, one way or the other.
    The paradigmatic narrative is that one has to care loudly to be seen as pro-woman, as pro-human.

  53. Yngvar says:

    «Diablo Cody, Conservative»
    The kiss of career death.

  54. Old fogey says:

    I could not have said it better myself, Mr. Schmidt! Why is this not everyone’s point of view? I have a very smart daughter-in-law. She married my son in her early twenties, had two beautiful and healthy children, then started a career when the children entered school. She is now a successful banker.

  55. Well obviously Hollywood has to make some compromises, since only people on the far left are going to pay to see movies that are explicitly far-left. If the far left controlled Hollywood we wouldn’t just see a movie about black women contributing to the space race, we would see a movie about black women coming up with intersectionality theory. And instead of a movie about gay cowboys, Hollywood would come up with a movie about gay Antifa activists taking on evils nationalists and capitalists.

    Hollywood dominates the western film industry because it knows how to strike a profitable balance between what people want to watch and what people in the film industry want to produce. Also, unlike many European producers, Hollywood producers are rarely afraid to sacrifice realism or artistic elegance for appealing fantasy. Sometimes this means conservative subject matter coupled with liberal values and other times this means small c conservatives values in a movie with liberal subject matter.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  56. BB753 says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Where are the Child Protective Services when you really need them?

  57. dfordoom says: • Website
    @unpc downunder

    Hollywood dominates the western film industry because it knows how to strike a profitable balance between what people want to watch and what people in the film industry want to produce.

    Agreed. And Hollywood understands that if propaganda is to be effective it has to be done with some subtlety. If you want people to swallow poison it’s a good idea to sugar-coat it.

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