King of the Gobbits, Paul Holmes and Hollywood don’t give a shit: actors are people too

You know there’s one very good reason why New Zealand standards of living will never match Australia. His name is Paul Holmes.

He is the new poison dwarf in the Gobbit story. If this is an example of what the PD actually cares about then he is, indeed, a shallow little wanker.

“Man, I’m angry. Angry that a group of gullible actors have allowed themselves to be used by some bolshy left-wing filth from Australia who may or may not simply want to get The Hobbit filmed over there.”

So Australian unionists like Simon Whipp are “bolshy left-wing filth” are they Paul? Well the strength and success of the Australian union movement is actually one reason why Australian wages are higher, there’s better superannuation for “Aussie filth” and working conditions are not like some of the third-world standards that Kiwi workers have to put up with.

But, wait a minute: what the fuck would you know about the working conditions for ordinary Kiwis – in the film industry or anywhere else? Oh, that’s right, fuck all!

You have a very privileged life, well-paid, well-watered, well-fed and able to do pretty much whatever you fucking please. You got that way because you are a willing mouthspeak for vested interests and a political water-boy for the National Party.

I also think I’ve found the “smoking gun” — there is a conspiracy to break Actors’ Equity in New Zealand and destroy the film industry unions who keep demanding a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work…as partial proof I offer this:

Hollywood writers and actors are notorious for decrying money, wealth, profit, as corrupters of art, integrity, and morality. But let them see a wealthy producer, and suddenly they too want wealth–the producer’s wealth.

You will have to take the jump to find the source of this quote.

What New Zealand needs if it is going to really become a wealthy nation with good health care and good jobs for all Kiwis is less Paul Holmes and more Robyn Malcolm. She is the under-siege hero of this drama.

“I have been in this industry for 20 ears and I remember what it was like to be a baby coming out of drama school – you are unbelievably powerless.” [Robyn Malcolm, SST]

Cheers Robyn. Thanks. Before we pursue conspiracy to wreck the entertainment unions line of inquiry, a question for Mr Holmes:

Why are you so far up the arse of Hollywood studios we can only see the soles of your expensive, hand-made Italian slip-ons?

Is it because you know that your luxury lifestyle depends on you being a loyal lickspittle and toady little Gobbit; willing to shaft your fellow Kiwis and sacrifice your principles trouser fabric on the altar of global capital and self-interest. You get your 20 pieces of silver no matter what, so you are willing to heap scorn on hard-working Kiwi actors and defend the greed of a Hollywood studio.

“This is so obviously the wrong time to take on Warner Bros. Wrong time, wrong people, wrong place…what the whole disasterous affair shows is the unbelievable ego and rank selfishness of actors.”

No, Mr Holmes, it shows your own unbelievable ego and rank selfishness.

Unions have every right to fight for their members’ interests and the film industry is no different. There is a long history of struggle against Hollywood by actors and film-workers. It is no different today.

That’s why it’s important not to fall for the rhetoric of Holmes and those like him who are crowing about the wonderful Sir Peter and his acolytes as if they are somehow gods to be worshiped [as opposed to horsewhipped] and not angered. Jackson is filthy rich too – because he makes his films with cheap labour.

This is the tried and true – indeed the only noble – way that Hollywood studios do business and thus is it so.

The sense of panic among actors, writers, directors and below-the-liners is palpable in Hollywood right now, matched only by the angst of agents whose phones aren’t ringing, and out-of-town journalists struggling to write “strike scare” stories. Strange, isn’t it, that the only Hollywood types without any visible flop sweat from the de facto shutdown of production are the network and studio moguls — because they are the puppeteers pulling everybody else’s strings.  [A macro assault on Hollywood unions]

It’s also no secret that Hollywood is in trouble – rising costs are part of the issue – but it is not the fault of one tiny actors’ union in the Pacific; it is long-term decline. Hollywood, like any industrial centre of production, feels the pinch of recession. In that sense, Hollywood is not different from Detroit and the car industry. The financial crisis has put the squeeze on the studios too.

While Holmes feels good about himself and smug in his union and Aussie bashing ignorance, the real issue is not wages – a fraction of production costs – but government subsidies and financing – the studios won’t make movies without “incentives”.

So, it’s no surprise, that Holmes manages to sneak this in in the second last par, after huffing and puffing at the straw house of  the Kiwi actors’ union and “the Australian filth they have teamed up with”.

Holmes the ideologue comes home to roost:

“And if it all has simply been a brilliant game by Warner Bros to garner greater tax breaks, they have played it brilliantly.

There would be no shame in the government increasing the tax breaks. Other countries, after all, offer more than we do. And other countries are desperate to get these movies. Just as we’re desperate to keep them.”

So why Mr Holmes, if this is at least as plausible an explanation of the production problems associated with The Hobbit, why didn’t you weigh in to the filthy Hollywood studio bosses and their ignorant Kiwi mates (Jackson et al)?

Why didn’t you expend the anger and emotional energy you put into vilifying the unions and into racist diatribes against Australians into flailing the greedy studio bosses who have taken the New Zealand public for a ride to get their way and screw more taxpayer money out of us and into their (and Jackson’s) already full pockets.

Why? Coz you’re a dickhead, that’s why.

It really wouldn’t have been all that difficult for a gifted journalist such as yourself to do a little holmeswork would it?

Surely you could have actually done a little research and come up with some material to support your “brilliant game” conjecture. And that would have been honest, because you know that it is the real story of the dispute over this film being made here. You could easily have checked the backstory:

The delay has also been caused by all the ongoing problems at MGM, and just this week Lionsgate put forth a merger recommendation which Carl Icahn backs. That would obviously affect the pending Spyglass deal  — and add more drama to any major production going forward. (Meanwhile, while MGM goes through all of its tumult, Mary Parent is expectedly in the process of leaving the studio, which she has run for almost three years.)

And the financial questions surrounding The Hobbit still remain: How much of the $500 million bill is Warner Bros footing? And who will eventually pony up for MGM’s part. MGM owns international distribution rights. Another delay in all of this has been the negotiation with Jackson. He co-wrote the script and was always a producer, but he only came on board recently to replace Guillermo del Toro as director. []

Well you see; to follow this line would have involved Holmesy in an attack on that “filth” Sir Peter Jackson for delaying his own film over an unseemly squabble about how much of the pie he would get to eat himself.

And that wouldn’t do: it would have ruined Holmesy’s chances of getting to visit Jackson’s fantasy castle for a feast and maybe some jousting.

I’ve also been able to unearth another interesting document on the web, one that seems like the blueprint that Jackson, the studio and Holmes might be following in their attacks on Robyn Malcolm, Jennifer Ward-Lealand and the Kiwi actors’ union.

This piece is from a blog called Capitalism Magazine and it outlines a strategy for breaking the film industry unions…does the plot thicken? I give you this long excerpt because you wouldn’t believe me if I just told you about it.

How to defeat the Hollywood unions – Ron Pisaturo

The key to defeating the unions is to identify and denounce the corrupt moral code the unions preach relentlessly to rationalize their coercive acts. It is the unions’ preaching of this code, and their consistent claim that they are the side of principle, that persuades actors and writers to bear personal hardship and maintain “solidarity” with the collective. If producers take the firm stand that they–not the unions–are the moral, principled side, then union solidarity will crumble.

The Hollywood unions are nothing more than legalized extortion rings–that try to take over the creative production of others. Union persecution of non-union actors and writers does not stop when a strike begins. When the unions go on strike, they don’t merely refuse to work; they use the threat of force to prevent others from working.

There is no cap on how much profit a productive individual has the moral right to earn and to keep. The recognition of this fact is the virtue of greed. Yes, greed is a virtue–the virtue of pursuing one’s happiness to the fullest. In contrast, the unions’ attack on producers for making more money is plain envy.

Actors, of all people, should acknowledge what philosopher Ayn Rand calls “the virtue of selfishness.” Is it altruism to perform before a camera? Do actors act in order to help the poor, or to help their fellow actors? Altruism may be a secondary, misguided motivation for some, but the primary motivation is–and should be–personal, selfish joy.

The real conflict in the Hollywood strikes is not over money, but morality. If film and television producers, along with freedom-loving writers and actors, want to defend their rights and beat the unions once and for all, selfishness is the virtue they must proclaim and appeal to.

Is this Sir Porkpie’s playbook? He’s been around Hollywood and the studios long enough to absorb this ideology and he’s totally dependent on the studio system for his fortune. It’s just economic rationalism.

In the twisted moral code that these folk play by greed is good, but not envy. That’s just fucked that is.

I am standing with Robyn Malcolm on this and the union.

7 Responses to King of the Gobbits, Paul Holmes and Hollywood don’t give a shit: actors are people too

  1. Pdogge says:

    This is perhaps OT but somehow it came into my mind, perhaps a stray memory of my over drinking days I guess and my preponderance then to act out a lot and offer inappropriate utterances to the world. It was enlightening to learn when I stopped that a depressive mindset accompanies ethanol consumption even when one stops and of course I did not know then that depressed people are always angry and interestingly sad…sometimes masked by the ability to be hail fellow blah blah. It was a long time ago now but I am pleased to be away from the angry verbal diarrhea and free of the addiction. Clearly there are some in our world who have yet to learn of the phenomenon of the dry drunk….comes with all of the shit that drinking brings. Now why am I sharing this, FIIK actually but good post EM

  2. Pdogge says:

    aand just in case…NOT about you bro

  3. phoenix says:

    Did robyn tell the other union members what she wanted to ‘chat’ about? did she not think that a boycott was not a good idea and did she suggest as much to mr whipp? did they warn other members, the techies etc that a boycott was going to be issued? If you had 500 million invested on a movie, would you risk it in a place where a stop-work order could occur and hold up proceedings and cost more money? did robyn not say on tv that mr jackson was a wonderful employer and treated her and other members very well? didn’t they get paid very well? isn’t it illegal to have collective agreements here and mr PJ didn’t want to start a precedent? Why are Lucy Lawless and Keshia Castle-Hughes quiet on these issues but very vocal about enviromental ones? why weren’t Spartacus, Boy and other movie sets not boycotted or targeted, why aren’t there any complaints from former LOTR employees, Is Warner Bros a business or a Charity? do businesses exist to make money so the cycles continue or do they pay everyone equally until theres no money left to make more movies? If it’s Warners money, shouldn’t they decide how to spend it? would you be annoyed if someone told you how to spend and apportion your money??? Is jealously, greed and wanting something for nothing as long as someone else puts up the money and takes the risk, alive and well in NZ???? questions questions….and many many more to come…poor Mr PJ, you just want to roll your sleeve up, shoot the movie and move on…I feel for you, all the best and thanks for your contribution to this country…I’m not a movie buff or one to take sides, but the Union crowd seem to have gone about it the wrong way, and no-one has acknowledge that…wheres mr whimp…oops, whipp?

    [EM: Phoenix, some interesting questions you pose. I hope you get some answers. My views are clear. I support Robyn Malcolm and the union on this issue.]

  4. […] King of the Gobbits, Paul Holmes and Hollywood don’t give a shit: actors are people too […]

  5. […] (There’s a good review of media coverage on the Hobbit in RNZ’s Mediawatch.  And if you think I’m harsh on Holmes – there’s this.) […]

  6. Cnr Joe says:

    gorgeous piece mrM

  7. […] the locket of myrrh he was bequeathed by the Saurons at every occasion. I had reason to crown Holmes ‘King of the Gobbits’ in October last […]

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