One of the things that conservatives often complain about is liberal entertainers. It's an issue for many conservatives that both academia and the entertainment industry, the two greatest sources of genius in our society, are overwhelming liberal. They have to get around the fact that the best and the brightest among us support nasty things like a social safety net for the poor and the right of Howard Stern to make an enormous ass of himself on the public airways. How do they do it? "Shut up and sing" has become a popular refrain, making the claim that talent and intelligence/political knowledge don't necessarily, or even usually, go together. They're right, to a degree. I don't find Ben Affleck's endorsement of Kerry nearly as convincing as his endorsement of Nivia for Men as the best facial cream for the smarmy metro sexual in all of us. Performers are just that, performers. Much of the time they show great skill in bringing someone else's words or musical notation to life, but that doesn't mean that their own words are of the same value as their delivery.
What about the writers and directors though? These are the guys who are thinking up and creating the great works of art. Even if we recognize that taking our voting advice from the dude who realized (the French term for directed, don't ever say I didn't teach you nothing) Surviving Christmas might not be the best of plans, there are geniuses out there and the majority of them are supporting Kerry. Their voices are harder to ignore. Why does brilliance so often go hand and hand with liberalism? Well part of it has to do with the fact that in order to create a work of genius you have to bend, if not break, the rules of the game. Liberals, well true liberals at least, don't cotton much to rules. Conservatives cling to them like they were parachutes at 30,000 feet. You need to be daring and take chances. Jesus doesn't want you to take chances. He just wants you to believe in him.
Of course the conservatives don't see it that way. They believe that creative people are liberals because they live insulated lives. Hollywood just doesn't understand what blue collar people want. That's ridiculous. The truth of the matter is that if Hollywood was out of step with America at large then there wouldn't be more people going to the movies than voting for President. There are. While there are certainly segments of the population immune from the corrupting touch of the liberal entertainment industry that's because those segments are out of touch with reality. Fundamentalists want boring stories with uninteresting stupid characters. They want sadistic films about Jesus in a language nobody speaks. They want the exact same book over and over again with minor changes. That's fine. For them.
Of course I don't REALLY care what the conservatives think about Hollywood, except that they often paint the areas where the entertainers live with the same broad brush. Broadway is overwhelming liberal (not to mention FU-ROO-TEA) so it's no surprise that New York is liberal too. Say what? Even in a city like LA where one could argue that entertainment is the main industry the majority of people do not work in the entertainment industry. In New York that claim is even less true. The main business of New York is, well, business. Banking and stock trading and corporate management, oh my. While it's easy to claim that New York is dyed blue because of silly playwrites in Park Avenue apartments that misses the truth, which is that most New York liberals are blue or white collar workers living an average lifestyle. Many of them are black or Puerto Rican. New York's liberalism comes from its diversity not its insulation. It comes from running into people of different colors and backgrounds in the subway and realizing that not only are they not SO different but they're not really different at all. It comes from being surrounded by gay people and quickly coming to understand that they are not going to try to fuck you up the ass against your will. They may talk to you about parades (gays love a parade, let's just admit it and move on) or fashion, but the non-consensual ass-fucking? Not so much.
And it's true that the rich liberals vote for higher taxes because they can afford it. (I fully understand why taxes are such a big issue. As someone who isn't rich I cringe at the chunk of change taken from my wallet from sales tax here, let alone income or FICA. Heck as someone who is not particularly attracted to women who dress provocatively and who, by all evidence, will have to hire a professional if he wants to be touched by a chick, I need every cent I can get. Hookers who look like Caroline Dhavernas aren't cheap, and since most of my current fantasies involve a day of skiing more than an hour of sex I'd need to save up enough for the bulk rate. What I'm saying here is Middle America, I feel your pain.) It's also true that rich conservatives vote against social services because they don't need them. Which is a more defensible position? "Everyone should sacrifice because I can afford to do it" or "We shouldn't help those in need because I am not one of them." That's for you to decide.
I'm sick and tired of New York being called elitist. It's the opposite. You will not find a more open city, a city where even the rich walk on the sidewalk and ride the subway (sometimes) and where they at LEAST chat with their blue collar doormen while waiting for the elevator. Small towns in Oklahoma where the closest thing they have to an intellectual is a guy who took a correspondence course are isolated and out of touch with America. New York is right at the heart of it.