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By John Horvat II

 

The real problem is the moral model that Hollywood adopted long ago.

 

Entertainment should provide individuals and families with relief from the daily trials that all must face. That’s at least the way it should be. However, the words “family” and “entertainment” don’t often appear together anymore, especially in Hollywood. All the big studios have long produced films that are far from wholesome. A recent court case underscores just how far they have gone.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has just handed a victory to the three giant studios, Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. They have secured a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, a small Utah-based video-streaming business that provides family entertainment to clients.

The company’s crime? Stripping Hollywood movies of nudity, violence and profanity.

VidAngel is a company that custom filters objectionable material from movies and streams this sanitized version to homes at a cost of one dollar a day. Business is, unfortunately, booming for the family-owned business—there is so much to be filtered these days.

The giant film studios claim the VidAngel’s business model deprives them of revenue by undercutting and disrupting distribution networks. The company counters such claims by saying it merely works under the protection of the Family Movie Act, a 2005 law that specifically allows companies to stream lawfully obtained movies for home viewing with offensive content filtered out. Tiny VidAngel, like David against Goliath, has vowed to appeal the court decision. Nearly 30,000 donors have contributed to a legal defense fund. The company sees this latest effort as the last stand in a decades-long campaign to run the movie filter services out of business.

The business model argument used to secure the court victory sidesteps the real issues surrounding the controversy. The real problem is not the business model of VidAngel but the moral model long adopted by Hollywood.

 


DisneylandHollywood Could Clean Up Its Act

Hollywood could easily put VidAngel out of business by simply keeping nudity, profanity and violence out of its movies as it once did. Instead, business in the filter services is booming because Hollywood insists upon putting a constant stream of offensive material in their films.

The Hollywood model works on the assumption that it has no obligation to uplift moral standards in America or the world. It bears no responsibility for the behaviors it promotes and glorifies. Thus, when Hollywood films are targeted to appeal to base instincts, studios claim they only aim to stimulate, excite or make people laugh. When people start to imitate the nudity, profanity and violence they see on the screen, the studios deny any connection. All of this is done in the name of entertainment. It really isn’t entertainment but gratification.

The problem with gratifying base instincts is that they are never satisfied. The unruly passions always demand more, and Hollywood responds by lowering the standards yet further and pushing the envelope to levels once deemed unacceptable. That is why VidAngel is successful since many parents naturally want to take measures of self-defense against this immoral cultural offensive.

By denying its responsibility to uplift culture, Hollywood actively brings it down. It presents violent role models in which the distinction between good and evil are often confused. With its nudity and promiscuity, it glorifies a hypersexual culture. With its crass narratives, Hollywood has brought vulgarity to language, behavior and relationships.

But Hollywood has done much more than simply promote objectionable conduct. The effects of this “entertainment” would certainly be less if it were merely a pastime or fad. However, entertainment now permeates everything. It is to be found in university “safe spaces,” the evening news, national elections and religious sermons. Everything must be in some way entertaining, vulgar or funny. This “entertainment” obsession imposes itself upon the nation so that things no longer have consequences and nothing can be taken seriously anymore.

Worst of all, such “entertainment” separates individuals from the seriousness of those important life questions that explore the meaning and purpose of existence. In their place, modern “entertainment” fills the void with false content, artificial rules and trivial goals, which contributes to a spirit of unhappiness and depression that haunts all modern societies that relentlessly pursue material happiness.

There was a time when the Disney name was itself a filter against profanity, nudity and violence. It could be trusted to filter out harmful content. Now, Disney and others are unapologetically suing to preserve their right to continue producing films with objectionable content and prevent their filtering.

Entertainment needs to return to its roots of uplifting culture. Anything else is not culture and not entertainment. Why not call it what it is—dirt that the studios need to filter out.

 


 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 27, 2020

Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the g...

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January 27

 

Pray with great confidence, with confidence
based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God
and upon the promises of Jesus Christ.
God is a spring of living water
which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.

St. Louis de Montfort


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Angela Merici

Angela was much distressed when her sister suddenly died wit...

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St. Angela Merici

Angela de Merici was born in Desenzano, on the southwestern shore of beautiful Lake Garda, in northern Italy. Left an orphan at the age of ten with an older sister and a brother, they were taken in by an uncle living in the neighboring town of Salò.

Angela was much distressed when her sister suddenly died without the assistance of the last sacraments. At this time she had a vision, the first of many in her life, which set her mind at rest as to her sister’s salvation. In gratitude, she made a special consecration of herself to God, joined the Third Order of St. Francis and began to lead a life of great austerity.

After her uncle died when she was twenty, Angela moved back to Desenzano. Convinced of the need to instruct young girls in the Faith, she converted her home into a school. In a vision, she was shown that she would found a congregation for the instruction of young girls. Angela talked with fellow Franciscan tertiaries and friends who began to help her. Though petite in stature, Angela had looks, charm and leadership. Her school thrived and she was approached about starting a similar school in the larger city of Brescia where she came in contact with leading families whom she influenced with her great ideals.

In 1525 on a pilgrimage to Rome, Pope Clement VII, who had heard of her holiness, suggested she found a congregation of nursing sisters in Rome. But Angela who felt called elsewhere and shunned publicity, declined and returned to Brescia.

On November 25, 1535, with twelve other virgins, Angela Merici laid the foundations for her order for the teaching of young women, the first congregation of its kind in the Church. She placed her order under the protection of St. Ursula the patroness of medieval universities and popularly venerated as a leader of women. To this day her followers are known as the Ursulines.

Angela died only five years after establishing the Ursulines, and was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.

Photo by: Benoit Lhoest

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a con...

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Our Lady and the Three Dresses

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a convent. Day after day, they took their meals together, they went to chapel together, and they prayed and sang together.

One day, their priest-confessor advised them that, as a preparation for the feast of the purification of Mary, they should recite the whole Rosary every day for forty days. The three nuns obediently complied.

On the night before that holy feast day, the Heavenly Mother appeared to the three nuns as they gathered in the choir. To the first of these three sisters she handed a rich garment, embroidered with gold. Holy Mary thanked her and blessed her.

She then handed to the second nun a much simpler garment, and also thanked her. Noticing the difference in the two garments, the second sister asked, "Oh Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer garment?" Mary Most Holy lovingly replied, "Because she has clothed me more richly with her prayers than you have done."

Mary then approached the third nun with a canvas garment. Being an observant young lady, this sister at once asked pardon for the half-hearted way in which she had prayed her rosaries.

A full year had passed when all three fervently prepared for the same feast, each saying her Rosary with great devotion. On the evening preceding the festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and said to them: "Be prepared, for tomorrow you shall come to paradise."

The following morning dawned, full of promise. Each nun wondered if this would be her last day in this vale of tears. When evening came, would they retire to their modest cells once more, or did Holy Mary have something else in store for them?

The sisters related to their confessor what had occurred, and received communion in the morning. At the hour of compline (evening prayers) they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came to take them with her. Amid the songs of angels, one after the other sweetly expired.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a convent. Day after day, they took their meals together, they went to chapel together, and they prayed and sang together.

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