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Why Doesn't Hollywood Entertain Our Troops?


princessananka
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Comedian Tom Arnold was interviewed by cable talk host Bill Oreilly recently about Arnold's recent trip to entertain the troops in Iraq. Arnold said our men and women in uniform are desperate for live entertainment from back here in America. Yet, there's almost no one from here going over to Iraq or Afghanistan to entertain the troops. Arnold says that it's a big mark against you in Hollywood if you're seen as patriotic because this would suggest you support both the war and President Bush.

 

Remember World War II when Bob Hope led a caravan of big name stars--like Betty Grable, Betty Hutton, Kay Francis, etc.--overseas? Bette Davis worked night and day to create the Hollywood canteen for our military people. During the korean war, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield and many others joined Bob Hope in troop entertainment.

 

This isn't a popular war but still, you would think our entertainers would make a quick visit overseas to let our troops know we're thinking about them! Angelina Jolie travels all over the world for the UN but she won't step foot in Iraq or Afghanistan. Wouldn't it be marvelous if Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn joined forces to go over seas as a singing duo, with a backup chorus made up of Susan Sarandon , Johnny Depp and Woody Harrelson?

 

What do you think?

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Your singing duo and backup chorus sound truly horrifying :)

 

I know country singer Toby Keith has gone over. I'm not sure if Gary Sinise has gone over, but he has provided a lot of services for the troops. Since we can now call professional wrestlers "entertainers," then for the past few years World Wrestling Entertainment has provided shows for the troops. I believe some sports figures have also gone over.

 

But you're correct ... there is a dearth of support from the Hollywood community. We miss Bob Hope.

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Don't lump everyone together. Bush critics Robin Williams, Al Franken, Drew Carey, and Henry Rollins have all performed in Iraq, and John Mellencamp has played at Walter Reed and the Center for the Intrepid.

 

Another reason for the lack of entertainment besides opposition to the war is that this is an all-volunteer military, while the Bob Hope shows were put on for draftees. People really don't care anymore unless they have a relative serving. I've lived my entire life in military neighborhoods. People from both sides of the aisle talk big about how they're so thankful for all that the volunteers are doing for us, but trust me, the service people don't buy it for a second.

 

Off my political (or anti-political) soapbox.

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I am not sure where Tom Arnold is getting his info. The USO and Wayne Newton (who took over when Bob Hope was no longer able to travel) have been putting together the USO tours and working tirelessly overseas to entertain the troops.

 

Newton recently had to take some time off due to a heart condition but he expects to back in Iraq in the New Year.

 

Everyone from Jay Leno to Toby Keith to Beyonce and more have been to Iraq under the banner of the USO.

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I have relatives stationed in the mideast and Europe who enjoy these shows very much, and who would be surprised to hear that "almost no one" is entertaining the troops. There can't be enough of this sort of thing, but to say people in Hollywood aren't trying is wrong. They don't get enough credit for doing this, and there are always self-aggrandizing celebs like Tom Arnold who only talk about their own contributions.

 

"Celebrities Entertain Troops in Mideast" AP story

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectID=13&articleID=071221_1_A9_pbbyS61362

 

<"Williams, Armstrong and company have already performed in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and will perform in Kyrgyzstan and Europe before returning home.

 

Wayne Newton, head of talent recruitment for the USO, says the USO has had trouble recruiting entertainers for trips overseas. But John Hanson, USO spokesman, said that wasn't the case, noting the all-star cast now on tour. He said there have been 52 USO tours in 2007 that performed more than 300 shows.

 

"We don't want people to think there aren't people willing to come out here. There are," Hanson said, noting that entertainers must commit 10 days to two weeks for each tour.">

 

Celebrity Guests visit with troops at FOB loyalty Stars & Stripes

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=41481&archive=true

 

Among the many, many celebrities who have entertained and visited the troops in the mideast: Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, members of the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears, Chuck Norris, Al Franken, Kid Rock, Lewis Black, Miss USA. Carrie Underwood is scheduled to go out there.

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No doubt there are lots of names to name but America will remember, for decades, the eagerness with which most of today?s celebrities stood against their own. From Hollywood we get only films that show America and its soldiers in the worst light, but nowhere to be seen is the modern day equivalent of ?The Mortal Storm?. Where are the portrayals of what it means to grow up in the dungeon that is called Islamic ?society?? What does it mean to be female or gay in the Islamic world? Even a dunce could make a script out of that, but from Hollywood we get nothing. At its best Hollywood has always been a propaganda industry, so spare us any such protests. Hollywood has spoken: sometimes no answer is an answer, and we will remember.

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From Hollywood we get only films that show America and its soldiers in the worst light, but nowhere to be seen is the modern day equivalent of ?The Mortal Storm?.

 

THE MORTAL STORM??? I doubt that many people in the modern Western world, including the U.S., need to be told that they probably wouldn't want to live in an Arab culture, which certainly wasn't the case in 1940, when right-wing isolationists and media outlets they controlled tried to suppress and downplay the crimes and atrocities being perpetrated in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Spain, occupied Europe, and Japanese-dominated Far East in order to keep the U.S. out of World War II and thwart Franklin Roosevelt's obvious desire to aid an increasingly desperate Great Britain.

 

And as for "showing America and its soldiers in the worst light," it's our very freedom to do exactly that that shows our society in its best light, since most Muslim cultures would not permit that, or any other, kind of overt dissent.

 

When will your kind learn that this was a nation founded on the very concept of free dissent; that the Founding Fathers and all those ordinary people you like to think of in the bland, blind and rather ignorant abstract as "patriots" were determined to carve out a society divorced from the monarchic absolutism and despotism of the British Crown -- or die trying.

 

Criminy.

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I really don't think the US should be talking to the Islamic world (via movies) about their treatment of certain groups of people, espcially since half of the US itself still treats that group as if they are not wanted in society. Sorry, I'm done with my rant and that is all. Because if you make a movie about the subject, half of the US will just continue complain that it's "anti-american trash".

 

Message was edited by: Nicki82

 

Message was edited by: Nicki82

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CineSage Jr.: "And as for "showing America and its soldiers in the worst light," it's our very freedom to do exactly that that shows our society in its best light, since most Muslim cultures would not permit that, or any other, kind of overt dissent.

 

"When will your kind learn that this was a nation founded on the very concept of free dissent; ...."

 

I have no problem with dissent in and of itself. If anything I applaud it. Hell, this post is dissentious and dissonant. Dissent is one thing, but the lockstep of Hollywood is something entirely different. The very nature of the present cultural conflict simply begs for even one decent treatment of the nature of the enemy. Yes, enemy. The material is so rich and inviting, but we get next to nothing from the creative types. It would make mega-bucks at the box office but they won?t touch it. Instead we get a parade of lackluster films (mostly flops, to the credit of the American moviegoer) that attempt to paint America?s warts as America herself. As I allude: the silence is deafening and speaks in a language that nobody can misunderstand.

 

Lest there be any doubt about what I?m saying: basic Islamic culture is terminally subhuman, or all-too-human if you prefer, and that message should be trumpeted from the highest minaret in every land, especially from Hollywood.

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I suppose these are the types of discussions that will break out at family gatherings all over the counrty this coming week so I shouldn't be surprised to see one take place in here. Somewhere this past week I heard someone say "It ain't "The Holidays" until an argument breaks out among the relatives."

 

It seems from what others have posted that there are many celebrities who have made trips to the war areas with the purpose of bringing "home" to the troops serving overseas. Is it enough? No. But there is never "enough". If they re-located the Grammys and the Oscars to the Green Zone next year, it still wouldn't be enough.

 

Yet no one has been asked to do more. There is no War Biond drive going on - which was one of the major ways "Hollywood" participated in homefront activities during WWII. There is no rationing or recycling program being conducted at home. There is no mandatory blackout program on the Coasts. The Civil Defense program has not been reinstated. And there are no induction letters arriving in mailboxes every week. There is no request for any gesture of involvement or sacrifice by the citizens of the country in support of the war.

 

The Nation has been asked to go about its business as if there is no war occurring. So, if Hollywood keeps churning out films that appeal to fourteen year-old boys, that is all they have been asked to do. The entertainment industry's involvement in past conflicts came about at the behest and involvement of the Federal Government. That isn't happening today. So I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a lack of patiotism - or lack of support of the men and women stationed overseas - on the part of the entertainment community. That judgement doesn't seem fair in light of the absence of any recruitment of the citizenship and/or industry to become personally or professionally involved in the war effort.

 

But it does elevates those that have made the personal sacrifice to visit the troops some of the few truly noble figures during this conflict. And for that they should be praised. And thanked.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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I have no problem with dissent in and of itself. If anything I applaud it. Hell, this post is dissentious and dissonant. Dissent is one thing, but the lockstep of Hollywood is something entirely different. The very nature of the present cultural conflict simply begs for even one decent treatment of the nature of the enemy. Yes, enemy. The material is so rich and inviting, but we get next to nothing from the creative types. It would make mega-bucks at the box office but they won?t touch it. Instead we get a parade of lackluster films (mostly flops, to the credit of the American moviegoer) that attempt to paint America?s warts as America herself. As I allude: the silence is deafening and speaks in a language that nobody can misunderstand.

 

The "enemy," in so far as there is one, isn't Arabs, or Iranians or Muslims, but the religious extremists among them -- a tiny minority. In that, they are no more an enemy than the home-grown religious extremists in American and European society, and by "extremists," I'm not referring to Muslims.

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Sorry Princess, but I'm not buying your premise. Hollywood types do venture overseas to entertain, but they do it for the troops, not for the publicity it brings them when they do. Only the Tom Arnold's who blow their mouths off seem to get the attention (and look who he complains to!)

 

My son has served the last four years in the Air Force, and what he'd most like is: 1. The USAF keep it's promise of pay upgrades for his devotion to duty and, 2. Our elected officials in Washington treat the rank and file military with the respect due them.

 

Tom Arnold is no expert on global affairs, military needs, or let's be honest--Hollywood types. He is none of the above.

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>Remember World War II when Bob Hope led a caravan of big name stars--like Betty Grable, Betty Hutton, Kay Francis, etc.--overseas? Bette Davis worked night and day to create the Hollywood canteen for our military people. During the korean war, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield and many others joined Bob Hope in troop entertainment.

 

There are no Betty Grables, Bob Hopes, Betty Huttons or Marilyn Monroes anymore.

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princessdanka wrote:

 

"...Remember World War II when Bob Hope led a caravan of big name stars--like Betty Grable, Betty Hutton, Kay Francis, etc.--overseas? Bette Davis worked night and day to create the Hollywood canteen for our military people. During the korean war, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Jayne Mansfield and many others joined Bob Hope in troop entertainment..."

 

Yes, but during that era (which, as you stated, was a World War), several actors actually served, and James Stewart was an officer, who retired later as a Brigadier General. Screenwriters, directors, animators worked on military decoy "props", training films, and propagrandist cartoons. Almost everyone in Tinseltown rolled up a sleeve- can't compare that to the Clooney/Pitt/Roberts era.

 

Heck- Serling, Asner, Spelling, Hackman, Belafonte, Curtis, Garner, Van Dyke, Marvin all went to school or studied drama on the G.I. Bill.

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"Why doesn't Hollywood entertain our troops?"

 

Because the war is unpopular and stars want to be associated with popular issues. Remember in the beginning, journalists were 'embedded' and some celebrities went overseas??? Let's just bring all our men and women home from this "war." Let the Iraqis kill each other. Simplistic? Probably. Oh, this is a movie message board, no?

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I think it's great that someone like Lewis Black goes over. Black is a severe Bush critic but he still supports the guys and gals in uniform. I'm a rabid Republican but I think Black is an extremely funny comic and social commentator. One of the few stand-up guys who's humor is above his belt! Way to go Lewis for going "over there!"

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