Hello and Intro to New Followers
Bari Weiss’ Substack had a piece about Hollywood falling into a kind of blacklisting paranoia. I wrote a comment and that has driven a lot of folks here. So first off, welcome!
I thought I should probably introduce myself and give you a heads up about where I’m coming from and why I have a substack. I run a website called AwardsDaily which focuses on the Oscars. It’s my own business I’ve been running since 1999. I’m proud of this accomplishment. I am also a single mother with a 23 year-old daughter. I have two dogs and two cats and live alone in Burbank, California.
I wrote a little movie on Netflix called The Summer of the Shark for a documentary series called Voir. We don’t know if there will be a Season 2.
I was a prominent “blue check” Democrat from 2016 to 2020. The Tom Cotton debacle at the New York Times was really the beginning of my own political and ideological transformation. I could basically describe it as “losing my religion.” I became aware that the Left controlled a media empire that was no longer in the business of telling the truth, but telling A TRUTH, a version of the truth. When so few outlets will publish things they know will upset their subscriber base — Bari Weiss calls this “audience capture” - they can’t be trusted as objective outlets.
I had already been following the Never Trump conservatives in 2019 and I’d discovered, contrary to what my religion demanded, they were actual humans. They were kind and thoughtful. They just happened to be conservatives. I made friends with Joe Walsh, whom everyone on my side had decided was a racist. Not true. I was shocked at how little I knew about Conservatives and how ignorant I had been in simply following the group think of the Left. I began to wonder what else wasn’t true. Was Trump really a fascist? Was his movement about race and racism? I could not trust the media, or my side of the aisle, to tell me the truth. So I went looking for it on my own.
Once I did that, I humanized Trump World. And doing so, lost a huge amount of friends on the Left - especially those who had followed me because I was such a strident Hillary supporter. I also confused my family, and many of my closest friends who could not longer relate to me. It was the strangest year I’ve ever lived through, 2020. I came out of it with a much wider perspective on all of the dynamics that drive Left, Right and Center.
It has been rough, I’m not going to lie. It has been painful and lonely. but thankfully, there are many out there who are in the same position as me. Most recently, the essay “The Turn” describes it pretty well. I am now a registered independent and am far more worried about what is happening on the Left than I am what’s happening on the Right. I do know how controversial that is to say out loud. It is Twitter dunk bait. But it is, at least from my perspective, the truth. I care about film, art, journalism, science - and all of the things I care about most deeply are being destroyed by the Left.
In some ways, it’s like the end of 1984, when they take away from Winston Smith everything that matters to him - language, history, books and love — that is the same as putting a bullet through his brain. I understand that now more than I ever did.
The thing is, I don’t really draw the “Trump line.” I am sympathetic to the people who have reached for Trump because they don’t feel they have any other options. This, because the middle class has been hollowed out. This, because the Left has gone so utterly insane and so few people can stand up to them - that Trump does means he draws much more support than he otherwise would have.
I had a sick feeling in my stomach heading into the election as I watched so much unfiltered hatred and dehumanization coming from my side aimed at a group that really didn’t have much power. While it’s true that Trump voters are a wide array of people from every walk of society, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, his core support — MAGA — were the ones getting hit the hardest.
My pieces are often sympathetic to Trump World and for many people that is a bridge too far, hence this warning.
For many people, Trump is the greatest evil this planet has ever known, that he is a corrupt fascist monster who is readying his Brown Shirt army to attack our government. But in reality, that isn’t what Trump is. That is the version of Trump the establishment Left and the Never Trump Republicans and the media have invented. The truth is that Trump is really still the Apprentice guy. He’s much more of a stand-up comedian and gadfly than he is a fascist dictator. The Democrats have shown far more of an inclination towards fascism than Trump ever did. Again, I know it’s a controversial thing to think and to say. I don’t really spend a lot of time on Trump himself. I’m more interested in the populist right and anyone who feels like they need relief from the rising insanity on the Left.
I do not support Trump and I don’t think he should run in 2024 - but I also think there aren’t many people who have the fame and the chutzpah to stand up to the establishment Left. That is why he continues to resonate with people. I think we need better choices - but why is it those choices are so few and far between?
As for my own politics, they haven’t really changed. I consider myself of the Left. But the old Left — what we used to be before we morphed into a fundamentalist religion. I liked the free-thinking, controversial, subversive Left. Not the buttoned-up, puritanical, strident, and “good” Left. It’s just that I no longer have the frothing hatred for Trump World as others do.
Anyway, for new subscribers I wanted you to know this because it is a hard line people draw for themselves and it’s only fair I tell you mine.
Otherwise, thank you for subscribing, and welcome!
If you are interested in listening to my podcast memoir, which covers my time as an Oscar blogger, you can find that here.