HOLLYWOOD (RNS) The coastal elite may have no religion apart from liberalism, but they do have saints:
- Mr. Rogers
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Ira Glass
- Bill Maher
- Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Warren Buffett
- Steve Jobs
- Terry Gross
- Stephen Colbert
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
- Diane Rehm
- Rachel Maddow
- Jon Stewart
- Pete Seeger
- Bruce Springsteen
The newest member of the pantheon is Meryl Streep. The four-hundred-time Golden Globe winner entered sainthood on Sunday. Just look at how her flock adores her.
And what do saints do? Meryl wowed us all with her call-to-arms sermon (or as close to a sermon as the Coastal Elite will ever experience.) Here’s a quick breakdown:
Part One: The overwrought attempt to frame one’s flock as a moral and just minority:
You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press. But who are we? And, you know, what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places.
Part Two: Reaffirm shared values. For the coastal elite, it’s borderless globalism.
I was born and raised and created in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola [Davis] was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, and grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Italy. Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Ethiopia, raised in — no, in Ireland, I do believe. And she’s here nominated for playing a small town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania.
Part Three: Warn of the apocalypse.
Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
Part Four: Name the enemy. Well, not specifically but so that everyone understands.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
Part Five: But don’t leave people with only the negative. Give them something easy to do! (It certainly won’t destroy enemy, but it will make the flock feel better.)
This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists.
Part Six: Bring it all home. Drop the mic by citing another saint.
As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, “take your broken heart, make it into art.”