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  1. #1

    John Q

    Following is a letter to the editor printed in yesterday's LA Times regarding the new film John Q. As exciting as the film industry can be at times, it is important for everyone to remember that it is still an industry like any other, be it for automobiles, clothing, or computer components. Southern California has always been the hub of this industry, providing a home base for the executives in charge as well as the "blue-collar" workers who actually get in the trenches to make the movies...until now. Actually, for the past 5 or so years, for various reasons including NAFTA, those above-the-line (executives, A and B actors, directors, producers) have gotten continually richer while the rest of us have scrapped by in an attempt to just stay alive. So while it may sound "exotic" for movies to "go out into the world" to shoot the shots that are needed, all too frequently it is for no other reason than to "save money" for the studios so that they can line their own pockets with the growing profits at the box office...at the expense of the American worker not to mention the "foreigner's" who are paid far less than they should be for the same hard work that we have been doing here for over 50 years. The workers in every country are being cheated by the suits. That's the background for the following letter:

    Los Angeles Times, Saturday, February 16, 2002 Section F, page 6
    Letters: Looking at Some Recent Movies and the Hypocrisy of ‘John Q’

    I recently had the opportunity to see an advance screening of the new Denzel Washington film, “John Q,” the story of a blue-collar family whose insurance won’t cover their son’s heart transplant. Not only did the film have more expository dialogue than the owner’s manual for the space shuttle, it was a slap in the face for any American without adequate health insurance, myself included.

    One of the lessons learned in becoming an adult is that life is full of hypocrisy. This is especially true in the entertainment industry. As a member of the human race and of the entertainment industry, I accept that. But this film and the filmmakers are so hypocritical, J. Edgar Hoover looks like a straight shooter in comparison. In truth, it would laughable if it were not so cruel.

    The film serves up a litany of facts and figures to drive home the point of how terrible the American health-care system is — a fact many of us know all too well. Without insurance in America, you cannot get the care you need. Without a full-time job, you are not eligible for complete coverage, and that’s if your employer even offers health insurance.

    The hypocrisy of all this is that the film was shot in Canada. Hey, caring filmmakers, how many men and women here in Southern California will not qualify for benefits this year because they were unable to work the required hours to be eligible? Did anyone on the set even think of this when the lead character complains he cannot get enough hours because so many jobs have gone to Mexico?

    As a person who works in the film industry and has not qualified for insurance for years, this was nothing more than adding salt to an open wound. An injury I am sure insurance doesn’t cover.

    Jesse Harper
    Los Angeles

  2. #2
    Thanks, stillakid. It's an interesting editorial. The movie looks about as interesting as tar paper, and I think it takes the worst elements of health care and aggrandizes them to the point of incredulity. Why can't movies just be subtle and nuanced and let the audience ask themselves questions after its over, rather than film makers using the film like a sledge hammer to throttle their overbearing point home?

  3. #3
    rollo,

    to answer your question, this film, John Q, is actually an advocate of socialist health care. to drive their point home, they portray corporations as evil to garner sympathy for their socialist adgenda.

    stillakid,

    have you asked yourself why health care is so expensive? because the government has artifically inflated the market with their medicare and medicade programs. in regards to making movies in canada, it's because the unions have unreasonable demands, same as the auto industry or any other that a union has co-opted.

    people want the government involved in every aspect of their lives, regulating everything, but then don't understand that those same regulations and intrusions drive up the cost of business and force companies to do business elsewhere. and lest we forget, companies exist to make a profit, not as an employment agency for the masses.

    it's not hyprocrital at all that this film was made in canada. this is completely consistent for the socialists who compose most of hollywood. they, like other socialists, are happy and willing to sacrifice their "brothers" for the advancement of their adgenda, which in this case is for the government to take over the industry of medical care. and the socialists who are in charge, never suffer or lack for anything. only the masses whom they claim to be fighting for live in poverty.
    Last edited by derek; 02-17-2002 at 07:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Originally posted by derek



    it's not hyprocrital at all that this film was made in canada. this is completely consistent for the socialists who compose most of hollywood. they, like other socialists, are happy and willing to sacrifice their "brothers" for the advancement of their adgenda, which is for the government to take over the industry of medical care. and the socialists who are in charge, never suffer or lack for anything. only the masses whom they claim to be fighting for live in poverty.
    I agree with you. The hypocrisy doesn't lie in the location of production, rather with those of the "elite" who produced a film that pretends to advocate a much more liberal agenda.

    From a business standpoint, it makes total sense in the short run for any industry to look for cheaper labor and cost of production. However, in the long run, those that make those decisions are slowly chipping away at the foundations of (this) society. The sociologists and politicians can argue about what those exact ramifications might be, but in the end, it is difficult to argue that any good can come of it.

    Simply put, countless thousands to millions of US workers lose their jobs and careers every year while corporations find foreigners willing to work for much less money than those jobs deserve. In general, the unions aren't making unreasonable demands on corporate America other than asking for a fair and reasonable wage along with safe working conditions. If the corporations are given the opportunity to find countries where those "excessive" (?!) demands aren't required, they'll go in a heartbeat. It's not fair for the workers in this country and is certainly isn't fair for those exploited outside of our borders.

    "John Q" isn't an indie picture. For "Hollywood" to produce such a thing (and outside of our borders, to boot!) is true hypocrisy to the nth degree.

  5. #5

    Whew!

    There should be a Manifesto alert at the start of this thread, man!! Seriously,though, to add a Canadian perspective to the global economy debate: We up here are losing a lot of jobs in other sectors south of our border(manufacturing being a biggie), and the influx of film industry buisiness is indicative of the fact that our economy is being reduced to a third world status by the aforementioned drive to make the whole planet into one big free trade zone with the EU and the US on top of a very large, stinking pile.(sorry) I guess what I'm trying to say is: don't worry, our system is failing too. There's a reason why it's cheap up here, and it's cause things are getting pretty lean on the whole.

    ABOUT THE FILM THOUGH- the trailer for this made want to demand a refund. It made me kind of dizzy, too. And has anyone seen the trailer for "dragonfly" with Kevin Costner? Holy smoke, how does the guy do it? Does anyone have any thoughts on that one? It should be tagged with a warning when it comes out, reading "WARNING: contains hokey,maudlin sentimentality- Do not see this with your girlfriend,doing so could cause involuntary admission to doghouse" It's happened to me, and a few of my friends. BEWARE!!
    Something about him reminds me of my older brother, Rex.

  6. #6

    JQ is just one more example....

    ....and probably the tip of the iceberg of what's to come with the mid-term elections due this year and the presidency up for grabs again in '04. The liberal elite-dominated entertainment industry are loaded for bear after suffering what, in their minds, was a bad call in the 2000 presidential and congressional election. You can be certain that they'll use every resource at their disposal - from the cumulative effect on a nation of sheep-brained housewives of one little negative aside each day made by one of the 'View' hostesses, to activist primetime fare like West Wing & whatever that new supreme court show is named, right up to thinly-veiled not-even-attempted-to-be-veiled liberal tomes like John Q. Pubic, the liberal media/entertainment machine is going to use every dirty trick they can imagine to influence popular opinion against conservatism and towards liberal/Democrat ideology.

    Sure, let's put the federal gub'ment in charge of healthcare. I mean, why not - it only represents about 1/6th of our economy. And after all, they've done such an outstanding job running the postal system, and of protecting the rights of endangered gnats (over those of private property owners), and of educating our kids in public schools (which may technically be operated at the local level but are completely beholden to federal mandates because they can't operate without federal funds/grants). While we're at it, let's be sure to allow the feds to continue confiscating major portions of our paychecks under the social security act, but then let them appoint a social security czar to invest the money into the american stock market.

    Sound ridiculous? Then you're out of touch with reality (or you just rely on mainstream media for your "news"), because this is agenda item A#1 for the Democrats and liberal elite. Better think real carefully about the implications of this one, y'all. First, you'd have one person with decision power to basically run (or ruin) the economy of the world. The amount of money the gub'ment would have available to invest in the stock market if it used our social security $ would be so large that it would make the federal government the majority stockholder in any company it wished to invest in. It would effectively nationalize (place under federal government control, via majority stockholder/board of directors voting) as many now-public companies as it wanted. Um, folks - that is also known as socialism. No, wait a moment. Since the decision maker(s) about how/where the social security $ would be invested would become super-powerful central gub'ment officials, I think it would more accurately be communism.

    This is not black helicopter, conspiracy theory bullcrap. This is serious-as-a-heart-attack real life truth. To make it happen, it would require a liberal (read as Democrat) presidency and congressional majority. Supreme court challenges would depend on what party was in the white house to select either conservative or liberal supreme court judicial replacements when Scalia retires in the near future, and any other unexpected high court judicial attrition.

    Let's see hollywood make an activist major motion picture showing the end of democracy as we now know it, using the topic I just described! Maybe it could star Alec Baldwin and Babs Streisand? Gee, weren't they supposed to move out of the USA if Bush was elected? Hmmmm?
    {{{r2dee2}}}
    {{{VT}}}
    _____________________________________
    "We have enough youth. We need a fountain of SMART!"

  7. #7
    hey SWAFMAN,

    you're correct, but these days i can't really tell the dems and republicans apart.

  8. #8
    originally posted by SWAFMAN


    Um, folks - that is also known as socialism. No, wait a moment. Since the decision maker(s) about how/where the social security $ would be invested would become super-powerful central gub'ment officials, I think it would more accurately be communism.
    Um, SWAFMAN - calm yourself - this is also known as CRAZY-TALK!!! What the hell are you folks in Central, PA up to anyway!!?? Are those loooong winter nights starting to take their toll?!

    Besides, Derek is right about Dems and Reps...they are different faces on the same coin. To phrase it in a Star Wars themed simile: The Republicans are the Evil Empire and the Democrats are the kinder, gentler Evil Empire! Starting to get it....

    BUT,SO HELP ME GOD!... IF you say the word "gub'ment" one more time I'll whip out my G.W. Bush action figure and whack its po' little head on the desk...again and again and again!!!
    Last edited by wampabreath; 02-18-2002 at 02:07 AM.
    [color=purple][i][b]"Don't let's ask for the moon...we have the stars!" -Now Voyager[/b][/i][/color]

  9. #9

    Wink lol !!!!

    How bout if I say "gub'ment"? I'm Canadian, so I'm entitled.
    (PS I'm not trying to rub'ya the wrong way)
    Something about him reminds me of my older brother, Rex.

  10. #10

    gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment

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    gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment
    gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment gub'ment
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Derek, I fully agree with you that republican/democrat labels are to a large extent a farce.

    Which is why I try to use the term liberal and not democrat to identify people who support ideals promoted by the radical liberal elite, or 'radical egalitarianist' to identify people who promote unfair policies that ensure equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity.

    I use the term conservative rather than republican to identify people who support the ideals of smaller federal g o v e r n m e n t and lesser central g o v e r n m e n t control over the lives of citizens, in order to give individuals more direct control and determination of their lives, the laws under which they live and the manner in which their hard-earned money is confiscated and said tax monies spent.

    I've seen too many so-called Republicans wrap themselves in the flag of true conservatism, only to have them end up voting for some new personal privacy-infringing law, or to spend our tax dollars to bailout some failed domestic corporation or industry or some foreign country's failed stock market where U.S. investments were at risk.

    Damn it - investing is supposed to entail risk. Nowadays there seems to be no more risk to investing. It's practically like the FDIC insures everyone's investments against loss. But I digress....

    No, the labels republican and democrat do not always identify true liberals or conservatives. But I do feel that it's pretty much exclusively within the Democrat party that we find the activist liberal element in the local, state and federal government. It's this element that works to incrementally move the U.S. toward a fatally flawed system of large, central government that confiscates wealth, pretends to know how best to use the money and redistribute it to uses deemed deserving - while pocketing a big cut for themselves to support their juggernaut gub'ment.

    It's a corrupt and failed ideology, extremely destructive to the Constitution, to those conservative value systems in our society which promote the responsibilities of the individual as a member of their community and society above hedonism, acceptence of personal responsibility for our actions or inaction, and to most positive models of the immediate family unit.

    You need look no further than the liberal-extremist-infested public education system to prove the bankruptcy of the radical liberal and egalitarian philosophy. By attempting to create equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, many public schools systems - hog-tied by shriekng militant-liberal teachers unions and forced to march in lockstep with federal mandates (based often on pure junk-science) to keep their federal monies rolling in - have created rules and testing criteria aimed more at protecting the feelings and self-esteem of the bottom one percent of students than towards ensuring a challenging, enriching, and preparatory education for those students motivated to excel. The result has been a criminally negligent wholesale failure to educate our public school children over the last 30 years.

    Okay, wampabreath, obviously you've struck a nerve with me. If you find any errors in what I've stated, please point them out.
    Some of the facts and information I've discussed can be backed up by research found in "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers, and "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" by Robert H. Bork, but everything I've written is based my own experiences and observations.
    {{{r2dee2}}}
    {{{VT}}}
    _____________________________________
    "We have enough youth. We need a fountain of SMART!"

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