American Culture: Shaken, Not Stirred, By Big Tech
Big Tech continues to infiltrate American media production as its woke corporate claws sink deeper into Hollywood, infecting beloved media franchises as they go.
Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Holdings Inc. is the latest move in this process and is a change that will accelerate the decline of American culture. Surprisingly, Amazon’s looming presence poses a threat that even members of the creative Hollywood elite are growing concerned about.
Americans have likely gotten used to Jeff Bezos’ expansionist empire gobbling up other enterprises (The Washington Post, Audible, and Twitch to name a few). But the purchase of the nearly 100-year-old film studio MGM and its intellectual property presents new opportunities for a coordinated redressing of beloved media franchises to fit a new cultural narrative.
Even writers deeply entrenched in Hollywood’s den of leftism are casting wary glances at this new purchase. Writing for The New York Times, John Logan, a scriptwriter for Gladiator and the James Bond film Skyfallamong others, fears an overactive Amazon and its profit-hungry focus groups might strip the world’s most famous spy of his martinis, penchant for violence, or English accent. “Corporate partners come and go, but James Bond endures,” writes Logan.
Logan’s fear of corporate oversight quashing the creative freedoms of artists however may be off target against the backdrop of contemporary American culture. His primary concern seems to be that big corporations, driven by profit, will insist on material that makes for good sequels, or else which can be diluted to be generally inoffensive. Logan should not fear the death of Bond’s famous martini “shaken, not stirred” if only because Amazon will want to continue to profit from product placements in Bond films solicited from vodka, gin, and vermouth companies.
It is far more likely that Amazon will insist on the very changes that Logan fears they will quash, because those changes promote the moral freefall today’s culture promotes. For instance, Logan discusses how he and director Sam Mendes planned a scene in Skyfall:
Now, the moment 007 first encounters his archnemesis is often the iconic moment in a Bond movie, the scene around which you build a lot of the narrative and cinematic rhythms. (Think about Bond first meeting Dr. No or Goldfinger or Blofeld, all classic scenes in the franchise.) Well, Sam and I boldly announced we wanted to do this pivotal scene as a homoerotic seduction.
At present, such things as a “homoerotic seduction” are no longer controversial in American culture, save the possible objection by the LGBT movement that this homoeroticism is coming from the film’s villain, rather than the hero.
Neither Big Tech nor Hollywood has shown hesitation to push the boundaries of socially acceptable content in film and television as of late. From the famously adult content of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Netflix’s placement of homosexual couples in children’s cartoons, and Amazon’s own hiring of an intimacy coordinator for their upcoming Lord of the Rings series on their Prime streaming service, Big Tech is heavily invested in pushing their own version of morality via the production of cultural content.
These cultural infiltrations by the deep-pocketed progressives of Silicon Valley and the tech industry writ large are what Keith Preston dubs “rainbow capitalism” in a recent piece for Chronicles. “This conjunction of what we used to call ‘big business’ and progressive politics has happened in large part because men like Bezos and Zuckerberg and a host of others recognize that their long-term interests are best served by the complete deracination and demoralization of the American people,” Preston writes.
Logan should not fear an end of his ability to write self-proclaimed “controversy” into beloved media franchises such as James Bond. After all, the next spy to take up the 007 codename is set to be a woman. Rather, as Preston alludes to, it is far more likely that Amazon and other large corporations will insist on what Logan believes to be controversial, precisely because the goal is to imbed such ideas so deeply in the American cultural psyche as to render them uncontroversial.
Virtually all cultural, demographic, generational, economic, political, and technological trends currently favor the left. Opinion polls, to the degree that these can be believed, indicate that public opinion is moving leftward on virtually every contentious social issue, particularly among young people. … The traditional media, cable networks, and social media combine to provide the cultural left with a propaganda apparatus that is nearly all-encompassing, and strengthened by the left’s domination of virtually all ‘ideas’ industries and professions, from education to advertising to law to human resources.
It is not the fear of poorly made sequels that should cause concern with Amazon’s acquisition of MGM or Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. It is the fact that this consolidation gives ever fewer men and women complete control over ever larger swaths of the American cultural landscape, and the power to terraform it to fit their preferred climate. They already possess the will to do so, and they continue to accumulate ever greater power to do the same.
The continued consolidation of America’s cultural industries under progressive billionaires should worry anyone who still clings to traditional values and God-given truths.
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