If Kevin Smith had any artistic courage his horror movie would have addressed the kind of fundamentalism that's responsible for honor killings. That would have irritated the kind of people who issue fatwas and death threats, so it didn't happen. Note: They're not Christian.

The Red State Teaser Trailer has dropped. If you haven’t been following its progress, you should watch it with this in mind:  Kevin Smith is more of a danger to toilets than Middle America’s Christians are to the nation.  He may want you to believe that all “Red States” are filled with Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps fans itching to torture teenagers (You know, that guy who ran for public office as a Blue State Democrat multiple times), but historically Kevin’s butt has been more of threat to the structural integrity of buildings than the stooges who inspired his latest movie:

“I broke a toilet. That’s how heavy I am,” said Smith. “I can’t take all the credit — that was an old toilet and a very waterlogged wall — but my size took that toilet down. I cannot cognitively reframe it and be like, ‘It wasn’t me — it was the toilet.’ It was definitely me. And that’s a wake-up call!”

Do you want to know what else was a wake up call for millions of Americans?  September 11th, 2001.  And since then there’s been a number of terrorist plots thwarted, all of which served as a reminder:  the real monsters out there aren’t fundamentalist Christians.  The real monsters are extremists of another faith, but Kevin Smith would rather not focus on them because:

  • He doesn’t want fatwas and death threats thrust upon him like the creators of South Park, gays, Jews, women, non-muslims, and…the actress from the Harry Potter flicks who dared to have a non-muslim boyfriend.
  • Liberal movie critics like Roger Ebert are more inclined to give rave reviews when a fellow liberal is going after crazy Christians and other “red state” stereotypes.  And Kevin needs a hit right about now.  Exhibit A: Cop Out.

A common refrain as of late is that Kevin is going back to his “indie roots” with Red State (i.e., a euphemism for “on the cheap because we had to”?).  However, it should be noted that a number of famous horror flicks that were made on shoestring budgets came from promising upstarts and artists who couldn’t get buy in from producers who fund Ben Stiller sell outs. In Red State’s case, the director in question is returning to his indie roots because box office performance (or underperformance) has brought him full circle.

What irks me about Kevin and his liberal friends—like Ben Affleck—is that they go out of their way to take shots at conservatives. The last time I checked, conservatives watched movies too. So why couldn’t Smith simply come up with a title that didn’t paint at least half of America as having an affinity for Fred Phelps’ mindset?

As mentioned, Kevin needs some critical acclaim.  He’s taking the Billie Joe Armstrong route, which is to douse his work in ideological pheromones that a number of critics won’t be able to resist. It may be a smart move in the short run, but the long term effects are rather damaging.  If Kevin wanted to do something outside the box he’d have made a horror flick that centered around the kind of guys with a thing for honor killings… but once again that would require him to have a shred of artistic courage.

Someone needs to look at the statistics to see how many people each blogger out there represents, because there are a lot of Americans who feel the same way I do about Kevin:

  • Smith is a witty writer who once inspired a generation of young filmmakers with Clerks and Chasing Amy.  He helped bring comics into the mainstream (which may be a bad thing if you’re a nerd’s nerd).
  • Somewhere along the line it was established that quick wit isn’t synonymous with directing talent…and Smith turned into a bit of a whiner who couldn’t see how he came across to anyone outside his own cultish fan base. Insulated by rabid fans who tune in to smodcasts and visit SModcastle, he’s oblivious to how he alienates those who generally like his work but didn’t drink the Kool Aid.
  • As any foundering Hollywood type from the 90’s does when fame wanes, he ups the liberalism ante to stop the slide or pick up traction with a new audience.  It seldom works.  Just ask Janeane Garofalo.

I remember the good old days, when Kevin’s pals played hockey on roofs to Soul Asylum… and the politics didn’t poison anyone’s perception of his work. I wish that feeling could be recaptured, but just as Kevin can’t unbreak a toilet seat, we can’t turn back time.

Here’s hoping Kevin one day dials back on the liberal pot shots and returns to what he’s good at. If he does, I’ll be sending my disposable income his way. Until then, I hope Red States give Red State a stink palm.

Kevin was inspired to write about "Red State" Christians who use chokers to torture teenagers. Too bad he wasn't inspired to write about Sharia Law followers who chop off heads in real life.

PS: I once met Jason Mewes in a Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Santa Monica when it first opened. He was a super nice guy. Snoogens.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

2 comments

  1. Your essay reminds me of the legion of Liberal performers who aligned themselves very seriously with the arrogant and ineffectual blowhard John Kerrey in the 2004 election, so intense was their hatred of George Bush.

    Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, etc. went whole-hog on Kerrey, to the point where I think of their association whenever I hear (non-political) tidbits about these artists.

    And as you say, why in the hell would a performer want to alienate half the population so intensely? Is it in the service of their art? Absolutely not, though they would say it is.

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