As David Lynch knows, there's nothing scarier than white picket fences, old-fashioned red fire engines and a grandfatherly figure hosing down a manicured green lawn. Hidden behind his innocuous vision of Americana lies an insidious layer of viciousness, perversity and oppression.
On the eve of mid-term elections, the opening of Lynch's 1986 classic "Blue Velvet" offers a vivid reminder of the rosy-hued mystique of the right-wing dream machine embodied in the type of campaign commercials that stake their reputation on anachronistic fantasies of idealized suburban and rural life that, as Lynch revealed, conceal far more sinister ideologies at work.
But Lynch is the exception, of course, not the rule. Despite the claims of conservative media, Hollywood is not always a liberal bastion. Where do all these airbrushed images of American wholesomeness, supposed racial harmony and gender equality, and flag-waving triumphalism come from? Mainstream movies, of course.
Taking off from Salon film critic Andrew O'Hehir's recent review of Randall Wallace's "Secretariat," I've gone one step further in this IFC News article, to suggest that Hollywood at its core is a bastion of conservative ideology, Christian orthodoxy and Glenn Beck-ian propaganda.