The Wednesday Pop Culture Rant marvels at the distance the wealthy will travel to pretend to do something without actually doing it. The latest involves glamping, the positively ridiculous phenomena of heading into the woods to enjoy the amenities of a five-star “tent.” If you are that concerned about the china and thread counts, The Rant has just the place for you: it’s called The Four Seasons. Please go there and leave nature alone. Only the privileged can discover a way to rough it and leave a bigger carbon footprint than they do at home. I think they finished the turn-down service in your luxury yurt; go enjoy some artisanal cheese and maybe an artisanal bear will come polish off the leftovers and accomplish some deft redecorating. The Rant doubts you’ll be getting back that cleaning deposit.
To Rant: Maggie Gyllenhaal recently revealed that she was deemed too old, at age 37, to play the love interest of a 55 year-old male actor. Hollywood remains a very egalitarian place as long as you’re an old white dude1. The Rant doesn’t offer anything startlingly new here; after all, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant always played opposite much younger female leads. It makes Jimmy’s obsession with Kim Novak all the creepier in Vertigo2.
But for The Rant the real disappointment is behind the camera, where there remains a dearth of female directors and other film professionals. Even when women triumph, as Ana DuVernay did with Selma, they receive snubs from the Oscars and other awards. In an enormous survey of the 2,000 largest grossing films over the last 20 years, only 22% of the crews were comprised of women, and a pitiful 5% had female directors.
America loves to talk about opportunity without actually offering any. Amy Poehler noted in a recent Fast Company interview that men constantly ask her where her children are when she attends meetings, as if they are left to wander out in a field when she is not there. No one would ever ask a man that.
Hollywood hardly has a corner on this hypocrisy. When people demand religious freedom, they mean as long as it doesn’t deviate from what they believe. Corporations want their subsidies (welfare), while demonizing food stamp recipients. Tea Party candidates cry for the repeal of the ACA while dreaming of the platinum health-care they will receive free of charge when elected to congress.
The Rant has noticed our Selfie Culture extends well beyond Instagram. You are free to live any way you choose, but do The Rant a favor and stop pretending you’re embracing anyone but yourself.