Apart from journalism, there’s no profession as self-congratulatory as entertainment. I can’t even turn on the TV without stumbling on some awards show.
Of course, part of what our actors, directors, musicians, etc. congratulate themselves on is taking a hard, honest look at the world around them, bravely risking the displeasure of the comfortable bourgeoise.
So it’s with no small amount of amusement that I read this about 2012, the new movie by Roland Emmerich where damn near everything we recognize is shown getting wiped out. Well, not everything after all:
He razed Rio de Janeiro; Rome; California; Washington, D.C.; Tibet; Las Vegas; Yellowstone National Park; and more but decided against destroying Islamic symbols. “My co-writer, Harald” Kloser, “said, ‘I’m not writing this to get a fatwa on my head,’ ” Mr. Emmerich said. “We have Jesus falling apart in all kinds of forms. The Vatican falls on people’s heads, and we can do that because we’re a free, Western society, but if there would be, like, Mecca destroyed, there would be an outrage. And so you don’t do it. At the end of the thing it’s entertainment.”
Perhaps Mr. Emmerich and Mr. Kloser are a little more courageous than the above quote suggests. It may, after all, take a special kind of bravery to show how cowardly you are.