Monday, September 25, 2006

This Film is not yet Rated

"This Film is not yet Rated" might be the most patriotic thing I've seen since George Clooney's staggering "Good Night and Good Luck." It's a riviting, well-researched account of the MPAA guidelines, which aren't required for films, but have become a "facist" monopoly between extreme lobbyists (fine, Republicans if you must know) and studio heads.

The system is completely arbitrary. There is no rubric, no explanation (film director Kirby Dick goes through a rater's garbage to get a glimpse of one of the review sheets) and the raters are kept secret, just like the CIA, so that "they won't be influenced by outsiders." Dick finds that the members are not "the average parent," but a crusty group of pushovers who maintain close connections or are those in charge of 95 percent of Hollywood. Indie films don't stand a chance.

After hiring a Private Investigator (who looks like a soccer mom...I would never suspect her!), Dick reveals the names of the board members and the appeals members, which includes two members of the clergy (!!!). A civil liberties attorney points out that this is indeed fascists and worse than the government, because at least we have the Constitution to keep the government in check.

In my ideal world, there are a few things that every consumer of media should see so that they are aware of what they are exposed to. I was infuriated that a small group of psychotic, special-interest power-mongers have been determining what I've been exposed to for decades. It's a perfect example of an issue that needs to be resolved, but probably won't get touched by any politician unless we make some noise. Seriously people, from every angle, the current system is whacked.

Unrelated: I've been Gawked.

Speaking of political activism, I'm now blogging my way to freedom for Unity08. Juicy.