Stalinist Purge

I’ve said this before and here goes again, only I really mean it this time. Vague impressions to the contrary, Hollywood Elsewhere is not — and will henceforth not be permitted to be — a good hangin’ place for crude conservative wingnuts who also enjoy movies. I realize that my blunt and sometimes combative judgments and willy-nilly writing style have attracted this element, but starting today I am renewing my efforts to rid this site of belligerent conservative growlers and rage-spitters.
I don’t care how undemocratic this may sound to some. All I know is that the voices of tedious right-wing liturgy are done on this site.
A guy I know and respect wrote yesterday with the following: “I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog and comments every day, but the number of Republicans on your comments board is so depressing I can’t stand reading it anymore, so I’m afraid I’ll have to tune you out for the next 67 days. I agree with you wholeheartedly on your politics, but these rightwing wackjobs are killing me. I know for freedom of speech you can’t delete them, but I just can’t read it anymore. Good luck to us all. I’ll be back on November 5th.”
I wrote him back and said, “I know, I know…I hate these guys also.” And then something snapped. Or a light bulb went on or whatever. I like right-wing guys personally. I enjoy reading George Will and Robert Novak (whom I feel for right now). I used to admire the writings of William F. Buckley and those of other old-school conservative thinkers. I fell in love with Barry Goldwater when I saw Julie Anderson‘s Mr. Conservative. But today’s conservative nutters are sickening. I hate them like a wheat farmer hates locusts.
It’s not what you believe or feel as much as the electric-ascendant or mind- numbing expression of same that counts. It follows that right-wing jackboot views are the essence of tediousness, as any Fox News sufferer can tell you. They’ve become especially malignant in this, an historic election year. And dammit, I haven’t built this site into a respectable Hollywood column over the last four years to provide a forum for thuggish Barack Obama bashers and Sarah Palin back-rubbers.
Interesting, thoughtful, well-phrased opinions of any kind are eternally welcome here. But the uglies, mark my words, are getting the boot. They can call this the Night of the Long Knives if they want, but the house is being tented and the bugs will be killed.
I believe in beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul. I live for the highs of the mind — for the next nervy retort, impertinent crack, witty turn of phrase, turnaround idea or wicked joke. And I know — we all know — that blunt-gruff reactions and persistent ideological ranting works against the flow of such things.
To the extent that I am responsible for creating this climate, I profusely apologize and abase myself before God and the readership in hopes of forgiveness. I am trying to turn the tide, change the atmosphere, spray some air freshener around the room.
I will not permit the infinite array of reflections about life, movies and politics that could and should appear on Hollywood Elsewhere to be suppressed or pushed aside by the relentless hammerhead barking of a small cadre of ideological Mussolinis, tough guys, hardballers and friends of Bill O’Reilly.
I will not provide a forum for this or that Republican hooligan to spew acidic slash-and-burn, borderline-racist views such as Mgmax’s description of Barack Obama as “Spock Obama” and links to this or that National Review article by guys like Mark Steyn.

  • Edward

    You go Jeff…kick some right-wing a*hole ass! But I have to add that some of us on the left can be pretty strident and ugly too.

  • George Prager

    Whew!

  • George Prager

    If your serious about this, you should also get rid of D.Z.’s D.Z.rreah posts. They are worse than anything.

  • JustThisGuy

    Thank God.
    Oh, funny story, a minister in the town I went to college in grew up with Bill O’Reilly and told me that one of his favorite pass-times as a child was to go around to empty lots and gather as many dirt clods as he could get into a radio flyer, and then terrorize the local neighborhoods by literally flinging dirt at them. It just goes to show…

  • Richardson

    Wait, “Spock Obama” is racist?
    I’m all for banning people who don’t contribute. I’m just not sure “Spock Obama” is the best example of max’s under-the-radar racism.

  • Zac Bertschy

    Thank you so, so much. This is wonderful news.

  • dangovich

    I’ve never really understood the presence of right wingers here. Film seems to me to be a celebration of art, free expression and intellectual inquiry, three things to which the right is hostile. Witness VP candidate Palin, who wants creationism taught in schools. And then there’s the homophobia. Imagine the film, theater and TV worlds without gays and lesbians. It just strikes me as odd that you can claim to love film and art and yet support Bush et. al. If the right wingers held sway over the movie industry, this country’s great history of filmmaking would come to an abrupt end.

  • BrewsterMcGriff

    Great, so now the site is solely a place for the voices of crude liberal wingnuts, namely Mr. Wells himself.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully a left-leaning guy, but I have severe problems with you trying to hush the voices of anyone on this site who disagrees with the incontrovertible words and views of Big Brother Wells. Sometimes I don’t agree with someone else’s opinions about something. I’ll usually talk about it rationally with the opposing person because I understand that they hold to their opinion as strongly as I hold to mine. There’s a lot of beauty in understanding and respectable people who are different than you. A civil disagreement is often the right course of action, especially in fucking website talkbacks where any insecure dude can rant fearlessly into the face of a screen.

  • christian

    Now you can all jerk each other off.
    Wells you’re a total hypocrite.
    And none of you pleased with this are liberals.

  • D.Z.

    I got no problem with the righties on here, since they’re a lot worse elsewhere. Also, it’s hypocritical to be criticizing guys who embrace politicians and politics you don’t like, while simultaneously white-washing Novak and Buckley of their crimes to humanity.

  • Mr. Muckle

    I think I’ll unretire from commenting here. I don’t think the gruver has been nearly as gratuiously insulting as before I quit (not that I had anything to do with it). And I don’t see any reason at all why he should put up with idiot rightwing haters here, so bravo. And I have to give him credit for making me listen to Obama and give him a chance (otherwise, I didn’t know what I was going to do, not liking hillary and never that Arizona guy).
    Listening to Obama on Thursday night, never having seen him give a full speech, I watched especially for any sign of phoniness. And to my eyes there is not a molecule of phoniness in him. He’s as serious as a hurricane and sincere through and through. What a thrill.
    And then the next day McBain announces his VP selection. If that’s not total phoniness, there is no such thing. If that guy should win, I’m moving to Cuba.

  • christian

    Ironic after you pussed out with O’Reilly.
    No tough talk for him. Only for the nets.

  • FeydAway

    Sad. I used to enjoy reading this column even with the nutter left-wing opinions. It was part of your charm.
    At least you got the Stalinist part right. See you in another life.

  • MariaMaria

    Richardson,
    It “works” on 2 levels–a thinly veiled reference to Spook Obama. (Although to give MgMax credit, I don’t think he realizes that consciously.)
    I appreciate the safe haven, Jeff.
    I’ve just recently decided that I don’t have to force myself to watch Fox or listen to conservative radio just to be open-minded. I am partisan and that just means that I have deeply felt beliefs that I can articulate. I welcome discussion, but the discourse online is rarely on an intelligent level. It’s just mutual mud-slinging.
    Keep a sense of humor!

  • George Prager

    I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, or even a Libertarian or an Independent, in fact I have never voted, am not a citizen, I don’t even know who the candidates are, have never eaten in a restaurant or been a passenger in a car, I don’t have a driver’s license, I don’t know what THE GODFATHER is, have never read a post on HE before, in fact, I don’t own a computer, have never looked at the internet until today (and I doubt that I ever will ever again), but I think that your decision to silence the right wing voices on your site is ABSOLUTELY REPREHENSIBLE! Free speech is essential to a free society. I feel strongly about this, even though I have never lived in one.
    Good day, Mr. Wells.

  • John Cocktosten

    If you are implying that you are going to ban Mgmax, then that would be a mistake as per your own criteria. His comments more often than not indicate thoughtfulness, despite your (and my) disagreement with his politics. Everyone is capable of the occasional irrational, emotion-based post. You would probably have to ban yourself under your conditions.
    This is your private site; you can obviously do what you want. The first amendment does not apply here. But contrast makes ideas strong. Ban people who are here to advertise, whether ideology or a dating website. Don’t ban people who are thinking.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    You stand condemned by your own headline, Jeff.
    I’ve followed your movie blog (remember your movie blog?) for a decade, back to Reel.com or maybe even before that, and greatly enjoyed your cantankerously passionate take on recent and occasionally older movies. You were a movie lover in the best sense, then, and a movie warrior who had, occasionally, real influence, or at least a kind of nobility as a standard bearer in a fallen age.
    Sadly, when it comes to politics, there’s none of that nobility, just intolerance and not especially well-informed opinions of the moment and, clearly, a nasty personal strain of sexism. Those who cheer the Stalinist purge of the rightwingers today have obviously forgotten the most important lesson of Stalinist purges– sooner or later, you’re next. The beast never stops devouring its own.
    I wish you happiness with your echo chamber reflecting back at you the moronic received opinions and crude stereotypes of most of the internet today. As MDOC said the other day, “It’s amazing to see the knives coming out for Mgmax. The guy always brings facts, a level of civility, and the ability to be critical of his side to the proceedings. If you are going to go for his jugular you may have to step back and ask yourself if you are simply incapable of political discussion. Many are.”

  • BurmaShave

    You gotta do what you gotta do. It is a shame though. And Spock Obama really is not racist. I think everyone would agree Mgmax was one of the smartest guys on here, politics aside, and it will be a shame to lose him.

  • diesel

    if mgmax goes, I go. and I’m liberal, as if that term exists in sweden anylonger. but this bashing is not liberal.
    this hating has really put me off and I don’t pretend to be a fan of everything that d.z. writes. but at least he (and mgmax) keep this site vibrant and a forum for everyone.
    so they say that bush is responsible for the bad image of many americans but this is way worse. what the fuck has just happened to your country?

  • christian

    Mgmax, the concern trolls here who can’t take a differing opinion are not worth your time. Nor mine. Wells has the balls to say he hates the bitterness when all he does is spew invective and wallow in tabloid style gossip.
    He’s bigoted towards the world yet like a typical lib poser, weeps at Obama and kitten pix. In another life, he would be a perfect brownshirt. He started the downward spiral of discourse here himself. Many in town hate this guy because…he is hateful. And life is too short. Ciao.

  • christian

    “I think everyone would agree Mgmax was one of the smartest guys on here, politics aside, and it will be a shame to lose him. ”
    Burma Shave, you’re a total little fascist. The worst here.

  • George Prager

    Spock Obama is definitely a slur. To me, Sarah Palin is like an alien from another planet. I’ve only seen people like her on reality shows, or in the early morning Communications classes I took when I went to college in Ohio (they wore sorority sweatshirts to class). Millions can’t relate to her, but to Mgmax, Obama is the other. Or rather, Mgmax assumes that millions think that Obama is the other and Palin is the normal everyday American. And Mgmax is naive if he think that people of a certain political bent are just going to wake up one day and think “Hey, he may be a dipshit, but that Mark Steyn really has a point!”

  • qdpsteve

    Danger Will Robinson: new conservative commenter coming aboard…
    I admit that I was about to post an especially snarky response about Mr. Wells’ ‘delicate sensibilities’. However, fairness and decency demand that I praise the refreshing majority of openly liberal commenters here who are challenging Jeffrey’s heavyhanded tactics. IMHO, you are TRUE honorable liberals, as well as great advocates for your candidate, Mr. Obama.

  • Richardson

    “It “works” on 2 levels–a thinly veiled reference to Spook Obama.”
    Even accepting that it works on that level (which I don’t really see at all, and we both agree max didn’t mean), that’s only one level.
    I’m torn on the subject of max, because he’s so great in the movie conversations, but he shits all over the political conversations. Problem is, this is a *movie* blog, so ties goes to the movie-side, so I want him to stay.

  • Zac Bertschy

    I think the issue is that every posted item that has anything to do with politics or the election – especially anything that’s positive for Democrats, liberals or the Obama campaign – gets met with page-long conservative screeds attempting to spin it negatively or taking it apart using Republican talking points, usually tired memes we’ve all heard a million times. Rewording “liberals = bad, democrats = dumb, obama = bad” over and over again using increasingly flowery language and twisty Conservative logic gets really, really old after a while, MGMax might be tolerable and “rational” to some, but you can easily predict what his response will be to every single remotely political item. Not only that, but there can be no political discussion here at all without these long-winded conservative rants dominating the forum, making it increasingly frustrating for liberals to even bother with the comments section; to wit, none of us will ever change MGMax’s mind about anything, given his dedication to posting these Republican essays again and again and again. Arguing with him is pointless and futile, and I never learn anything new about the conservative viewpoint from reading his comments. It’s not that he’s “right” or his opinion is more valid, it’s just that he never stops repeating it, in increasingly lengthy ways, again and again. It’s frustrating, and so many of us simply don’t bother to read the comments at all anymore.
    Also, I should say this – complaining that the deafening roar of conservatives here being snubbed out is somehow fascist is absurd. You Republicans and “independent conservatives” alike have had control of the government for the last 8 years and it’s been a total disaster, and you wonder why people are tired of hearing what you have to say on political issues? That surprises me.

  • DarthCorleone

    I wish everyone could just get along.

  • NotImpressedYet

    What about people who were for Hillary in the primary? I say they should get the boot too!
    As a true blue democrat and firm Obama supporter, i have to say this is the douchebaggiest post Wells has put up in a long time. He’s going to feel mild embarrassment and try to forget this episode later on in life.

  • George Prager

    It’s interesting how the right has co-opted the terms “fascist” and “sexist” lately. It’s what the losing team does.

  • BurmaShave

    Yes spoiled, I am a total fascist for sticking up for someone I disagree with politically because I find them to be a smart and engaging commenter. It’s weird how you know these words without understanding them, and also some kind of miracle that you can write without reading. Unless you’re joking, in which case… sorry, bad day at work haha.

  • iamwhoiam

    Amen! It’s about freaking time. I was about to ditch this place myself, and i’m not even an American. The level oh right-wing hooliganism is mind blowing and i suspect it’ll only get worse from now until November 4th, as all those god-awful Sarah Palin supporters becomes more and more scared by the thought of a black, liberal and enlightened president in The White House.

  • 62Lincoln

    It’s his site, he can do with it as he pleases. Personally, I’d prefer his litmus test for expulsion be posters who can only respond to debate with character assassination instead of rational discourse. The world is full of personal attacks, why not argue ideas and positions, and leave the attacks to the low thread counters?

  • Richardson

    “I haven’t built this site into a respectable Hollywood column over the last four years”
    That’s true, Jeff, you haven’t, but that can hardly be blamed on them.

  • bmcintire

    “And dammit, I haven’t built this site into a respectable Hollywood column over the last four years to provide a forum for thuggish Barack Obama bashers and Sarah Palin back-rubbers.”
    Jeff, you’ve brought most of this on by repeatedly calling them mouth-breathers, sub-human, etc. Most folks call that bear-baiting. Maybe you should (seriously) consider starting a sister-site called Washington-Elsewhere. As irritating as some of the right and left bashing has become, most of the respondents give pretty good game when it comes to movies, and I’d hate to see those voices silenced.
    Of course, as far as the political dialogue (which has grown really sickening in the past months) is concerned, please keep in mind that the bipartisanship hilarity of Wonkette keeps it head and shoulders above the single-sided blogs and websites.

  • christian

    Zac, not everybody who disagrees with you is a conservative. That’s what you “enlightened” folk don’t get. True liberals stand up for free speech and discourse. And I’ve seen so-called libs like Wells and BS and Prager in action. So what if you don’t want to read a comment? Are you that insecure? Be a MAN you infant.

  • MathewM

    “I’ve never really understood the presence of right wingers here. Film seems to me to be a celebration of art, free expression and intellectual inquiry, three things to which the right is hostile.”
    Do you not see the contradiction in this?
    Drama is life. Life is conflict. If you only had people around here who think like you do then it would get pretty boring fast.
    I understand booting people for personal attacks but booting people because they pose an alternate viewpoint or try to defend off the status quo viewpoint (which is most definitely left leaning on HE) is basically hypocritical.
    Basically Jeff, if you’re going to post inflammatory political postings you should be understanding of the resulting discourse. Also be aware that this has been a problem since internet forums began. Most forums deal with it by restricting political debate completely. You’re not going to do that so I would take a breather and at least laugh off some of the silly comments like “Spock Obama” which I don’t really understand completely anyway.

  • Miss Daisy

    I applaud your decision. it is your blog after all. really, we all know how to stop reading a toxic post and move on to the next one.. bottom line is this is YOUR BLOG, we’re just visitors here … and you’re the one who puts time and effort into it .. there’s no law saying you have to let everyone post here, so the decision rests with you.

  • Jimmycrackcorn

    “A guy I know and respect wrote yesterday with the following: “I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog and comments every day, but the number of Republicans on your comments board is so depressing I can’t stand reading it anymore, so I’m afraid I’ll have to tune you out for the next 67 days.’.”
    With all due respect, whoever he is, your friend is a nitwit if he can’t just STOP READING when he gets to the end of your posts, before the reader comments begin. Problem solved!

  • christian

    Yes Burma Shave, you stood up so brave for Mgmax:
    “You gotta do what you gotta do. ”
    Way to put yourself on the line, hero.

  • MathewM

    “Jeff, you’ve brought most of this on by repeatedly calling them mouth-breathers, sub-human, etc. ”
    No shit. I’m addicted to reading Hollywood Elsewhere but I’m having a hard time liking Jeff Wells. What I don’t get is that he doesn’t understand why his own sexist, racist, bigoted remarks somehow get a pass while others don’t.

  • George Prager

    Let’s just say “if you break it, you bought it.”

  • christian

    I snuck the blacklist that Burma Shave and George Prager made up for others that need to go from HE:
    John Wayne
    John Ford
    Howard Hawks
    John Milluis
    Sam Peckinpah
    Clint Eastwood
    Bruce Willis
    Robert Duvall

  • MariaMaria

    Maybe you can weigh everyone first? (Joke, btw)
    Comment moderation is the middle ground, but it’s time consuming (and frustrating for the commenters.) Or, you can try a warning system.
    It’s your blog, Jeff, you get to make the choice and to suffer the consequences. And, I said, I welcome the safe haven. (Yeah, I know it’s not liberal. I defend your right to free speech; I just don’t want to hear it sometimes.)
    Richardson, the other level is the Spock comparison, a logical, saturnine, long-faced man.

  • BurmaShave

    spoiled you’re exactly the kind of dumb asshole that started this mess. Randomly attacking people on the boards for not being sufficiently whatever the fuck. How is you gotta do what you gotta do not anything but a shrug? But whatever, fuck this comments section. You just proved his point. I come here to read about film news. From here on, I say nothing.

  • NotImpressedYet

    I’m pretty sure Barack Obama would be absolutely disgusted by the some of the political rants Jeffrey Wells has posted on this blog. Can anyone disagree with that observation? Can YOU, Mr. Wells?
    Those rants are what gave birth to some of the more offensive pushback that we’ve seen over the past few months.

  • George Prager

    “MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • buster

    First, we know Wells can’t really ban anyone, with CinemaPhreak and supertaster returning over and over and over and over after being banned.
    Second, I will stop coming here if alternative viewpoints are not allowed unless they are spoken in hush tones while fellow liberals behave like animals… I agree we should not tolerate slurs against any candidate, but then the same should apply to the commenters, and many, many liberal commenters resort to epithet slinging when they get frustrated with the conservative commenters. Ban the conservative hatemongers, fine, but then do the same for the entirely obnoxious and hateful liberals. Just be consistent, damn it.
    Third, as others have pointed out, Wells, your own base and crude attacks on a woman (who was off your radar screen three days ago because she wasn’t talked bout on MSNBC) is more repulsive than anything I’ve read from the generally combative but INTELLIGENT (yes, intelligent) “conservatives” here. In fact, a lot of what I see here is not the regurgitation of repub party lines, but a challenge to us liberals to be more civil and more consistent with with our views (i.e. preaching tolerance and freedom of expression while practicing neither!). As a liberal myself, I tend to agree with that challenge.
    Sad day.

  • George Prager

    “I snuck the blacklist that Burma Shave and George Prager made up for others that need to go from HE:
    John Wayne
    John Ford
    Howard Hawks
    John Milluis
    Sam Peckinpah
    Clint Eastwood
    Bruce Willis
    Robert Duvall”
    And Jon Cryer!!!!! That motherfucking pinhead!! Out!!!!!!!

  • christian

    “From here on, I say nothing.”
    Good. Before you’re purged too.

  • Richardson

    “Richardson, the other level is the Spock comparison, a logical, saturnine, long-faced man.”
    Maybe I’m sheltered, but I’m completely unfamiliar with the racist stereotype that black people are logical, saturnine and long-faced, so I still don’t see how that’s racist.

  • Richardson

    BTW, as a liberal who often falls back on “freedom of speech”, i’m going to trot out the standard conservative argument for when they want to ban something and liberals cry “freedom of speech”:
    It’s called responsibility. You are free to say whatever you want, but you have to accept that what you say has consequences. In this case, you can say something, and Jeff can ban you from his site.

  • George Prager

    All Clint Eastwood has to do is move to Alaska, become Governor and then he’s instantly more qualified to be President than Obama, Palin, Biden and McCain combined.

  • BurmaShave

    yea yeah, first they came for spoiled and I said nothing because I was not spoiled. I know Duvall vaguely through friends here in Virginia. He’s a hardass but you need to stop thinking of yourself as a man like him. Or any of them. I’ll see you in the movie posts. You can have your doddering Pa and your hot librarian. In here, on the boards, you might even win.

  • MariaMaria

    R–It isn’t racist. I meant it can be read as slyly hidden racism, as I’ve seen it referred to on other sites, as well as a literal Spock comparison. (Although there was a good comment about what alien means.)
    Sorry, I was wondering why you needed me to explain Spock to you and you were wondering why I thought Spock was racist.

  • D.Z.

    Jeff: Take it from experience, but the only thing that happens when you get rid of people who add discussion and debate to boards like these is you get a dead site. Now, if you’re ok with users who only live to agree to agree, and who usually like making you look good by only saying positive things about your topics, thus making you crank out the same uninspired drivel in response, then go ahead. But it just ends up being more of an all-pleasing go-to place for people with no real opinions.
    And the irony is that the smaller traffic just means you’ll get less ads and more costs, since businesses are more willing to advertise with places where people actually congregate online. AICN tried some similar bs a few years ago with their talkbacks in an attempt to spam people’s e-mails, and their site ended up running like crap as a result.

  • DarthCorleone

    Yeah, I’m still a little unclear on the “Spock” thing, too.
    I’d probably vote for Mr. Spock if he were running a President, so it seems like a compliment to me.
    Or was it a Dr. Spock reference?

  • MariaMaria

    Or it could be a Spork reference. Maybe Mr. Obama is neither a fork nor a spoon.

  • George Prager

    “But your own philosophy more matches conservatism: fearful and bullying.”
    That’s worse that anything Wells said. “Sensible liberals” like spoiled need to get their asses kicked every once in a while. They grew up without ever being in a fistfight. Their mother’s picked out all their courses for them in high school.
    Fags.

  • qdpsteve

    MariaMaria and Buster, I think you’re both on the right track. Of course Jeffrey should not have to accept limitless abuse, trolls and spam on his site. But banning people seems quite the rash overreaction as well.
    Mr. Wells, FWIW I thought you might find useful the below link to a center-right news blogger, Patterico (real name: Patrick Frey), who’s had similar abuse and trolling problems. In a nutshell, Frey uses moderation to quite an extent, but makes it work for him in a convenient manner.
    http://patterico.com
    I’d e-mail him for a quick summary of his comment policy. As he gets more comments than HE does, I think it would work here. Plus Jeffrey, you could have the satisfaction of responding to truly abusive conservative posters, when they scream ‘why’d you ban me?!': “Well, I took my policy from Patterico’s Pontifications. He’s a conservative blogger, you know.”

  • broadstreetbully

    I don’t understand the cry for “free speech!” being bandied about by right-wing posters who feel that being “censored” on a forum talkback run by one man is somehow abridging their right to free expression. No one is saying you can’t express yourselves elsewhere, in other forums, or even on your own blogs.
    What you can’t do, or expect to do, is to force people to listen to you. If the man who runs the site doesn’t want to hear it, he doesn’t have to.
    That being said, I think it’s become quite obvious to anyone with even a remotely objective vibe and ethos to their being that the carnival-esque, often slightly sub-moronic, and contentiously shallow manner of many HE talkbacks starts with the way Wells carries himself in the first place. I agree with Wells politically on almost all, if not all, of his policy viewpoints, but I can’t stand him as a person, or as an intellectual being, and for that reason choose not to peruse the site very often. If he decides to ban those who disagree with him, I’ll choose not to come to this site at all anymore, based solely on a principle I live by.
    But I cannot expect him to live by that principle as well. So, right-wingers, quit whining and go somewhere else.

  • BurmaShave

    spoiled, no you’re not and no you don’t. But I yield to your ability to be everything, like some kind of hydra.

  • Richardson

    “AICN tried some similar bs a few years ago with their talkbacks in an attempt to spam people’s e-mails, and their site ended up running like crap as a result.”
    DZ – You’re about the only person in the world who doesn’t realize that AICN has always run like crap. That’s why it makes us laugh when you frequently refer to things which were randomly said in talkbacks as if they were true.

  • Richardson

    And, BTW, anybody who was posting here during the primaries knows that we don’t need conservatives to have huge stupid pointless political arguments. If you get rid of the conservatives, we’ll just split into two camps (“I want to like Obama but he’s screwing the pooch so far” vs. “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DON’T CRITICIZE OBAMA”).
    Way of the world. Sooner or later, things break down to us v. them.

  • NotImpressedYet

    “That being said, I think it’s become quite obvious to anyone with even a remotely objective vibe and ethos to their being that the carnival-esque, often slightly sub-moronic, and contentiously shallow manner of many HE talkbacks starts with the way Wells carries himself in the first place. I agree with Wells politically on almost all, if not all, of his policy viewpoints, but I can’t stand him as a person, or as an intellectual being”
    Perfectly said. Also, let me repeat a comment I made in a similar thread to this a couple weeks ago:
    Gruver’s political “musings” reminds me of a comment Jon Stewart made about MoveOn.org’s anniversary – “10 years of making even people who agree with you cringe.”

  • Richardson

    “I’d probably vote for Mr. Spock if he were running a President, so it seems like a compliment to me.”
    Darth: let’s not forget one of the classic conservative paradoxes – they make fun of “liberal parenting” which praises every child equally, but then believe that actually working hard and acheiving goals, going to the best college possible and succeeding there through determination and in spite of adversity is a negative

  • adorian

    Why is this even going on? This is not Lucianne.com, where only ultra-rightwing cowflop is allowed to be posted. What is the litmus test going to be to prove one is leftwing enough to post here?
    This site is supposed to be about movies.
    Why aren’t we talking about who’s going to be nominated for the Oscar? Let’s discuss which Fall movies will bomb out. Let’s discuss why The Women should never have been remade. (I recently saw it twice on AMC and it’s one of the truly great…I want to say perfect… ensemble films ever made. It did not need to be remade.)

  • RoyBattyReturns

    As I just told Wells via email (its the one marked “Dear Gutless Turd/Fascist Prick,” mate), if he wants to start banning people like Mgmax then he should just go ahead and shut down the blog. Instead, just post brown nosing comments to pump your ego.
    As many, many others have commented on, Wells set the tone for this blog. But instead of the macho persona he pretends to possess when challenging us to grade school dares, he reverts to his true thin skinned self when something gets too close to home for him.
    Contrary to what some have said, just because it’s “your” blog doesn’t mean you can run it anyway you want and expect to remain a respected member of the blogosphere.

  • Richardson

    “just because it’s “your” blog doesn’t mean you can run it anyway you want and expect to remain a respected member of the blogosphere.”
    There’s a flawed assumption there that you could correct if you just changed “remain” to “become”.

  • George Prager

    spoiled Author Profile Page says …
    George Prager, you’re a fucking idiot. Put up a photo of yourself sometime. So we can judge.
    Posted by spoiled Author Profile Page at August 30, 2008 1:44 PM
    And I’m the bully. Amazing!
    I agree with adorian.
    I think it’s time to discuss movies now.
    Although, the only movies I want to discuss at this time are the movies that are not yet on DVD.

  • christian

    Too bad Wells can’t read through the long posts of all those right wing trogs and sensible liberals offering condolences for his family — or even cash when Wells tapped his revolting audience. But that requires mature empathy.

  • Balthazar

    Ditto to what mgmax said.
    I was meaning to catch up on my dvdsavant backlog and some other sites, anyway.
    Later.

  • Movie Watcher

    This will go on for the next two months. After that, the talk will go back to movies. Until January, when Obama is sworn in.

  • Mark B

    “I’ve never really understood the presence of right wingers here. Film seems to me to be a celebration of art, free expression and intellectual inquiry, three things to which the right is hostile.”
    I lean to the right on most issues and to the left on a few. (I refuse to be a card-carrying member of any party.) I am DEEPLY involved in all three things you described, and in very hands-on ways.
    I wish people on both sides of the political fence would stop pigeon-holing each other. Yes, there are whackjobs at the far ends of both the liberal and conservative spectrum, but the majority of us are a bit more complex than that, thank heavens. Can somebody believe in creationism AND appreciate Stephen Sondheim? Can an individual be pro-life and thoroughly appreciate the films of Paul Thomas Anderson and Alejandro Gonz√°lez I√±√°rritu? I know it’s seem unlikely, but I can assure you it’s possible. I am that person, and that’s why I’ve read Jeff’s writings for over a decade.

  • Wonder17

    Anyone else unsettled by the image of a woman holding a semi-automatic weapon and having right-wing folks say, “This is exactly who we need?”
    Jeff, I think it’s great that you’re keeping the air clean. I’m sure if I wanted to read about conservatives who feel God should be a branch in the White House, I could find it, but not on this site.
    I mean, we’re here to talk about film, right?

  • thevisceral

    Prediction: All the wienies who say they’ll never read this site again will be back within a week.

  • RoyBattyReturns

    Richardson – well, I was being generous.

  • George Prager

    “Balthazar Author Profile Page says …
    Ditto to what mgmax said.
    I was meaning to catch up on my dvdsavant backlog and some other sites, anyway.
    Later.”
    Please don’t go, Balthazar! We really enjoy it when you cut and paste William Kristol columns. Those columns are awesome and we will miss your posting them.
    “Can an individual be pro-life and thoroughly appreciate the films of Paul Thomas Anderson and Alejandro Gonz√°lez I√±√°rritu? ”
    Now that’s the line of the year.

  • dangovich

    Can somebody believe in creationism AND appreciate Stephen Sondheim?

    First of all, I applaud your courage in admitting you believe in creationism.

    Secondly, do you believe Mr. Sondheim, whose music gave you pleasure, should be able to marry the person he loves, regardless if that person is a man or a woman? Because I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of creationists would not extend him that right.

  • JapAdapters

    Remember when you came here (or wherever) to read Wells, before readers became posters, and began thinking of themselves as characters?
    And, please people, get a grasp on what freedom of speech means. You have the right to express any opinion, but that opinion doesn’t have to be respected, only your right to express it. If you talk about how fat a man’s wife is freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from being kicked out of his house. People saying Wells judges the posters by different standards than he does him self … well, no shit! IT’S HIS FUCKING SITE.

  • messiahcomplexio

    Disable the comments section when you do your political ranting. Leave them up only for movie related topics.
    It sort of sucks though if you go on a diatribe, invite comments and then say, well, but not from these people.
    By the way, why are there so many political posts anyway? I get it if you want to fire off a political missile every once in a while, but it’s almost become daily here. Your creating a political website and then getting angry when political people show up.
    Get this back to a 90% movie site and the problem will solve itself.

  • George Prager

    “Can somebody believe in creationism AND appreciate Stephen Sondheim? ”
    Yes, absolutely. Both are long-winded crap.

  • Drexler

    I’ve been a reader here for a while who never especially wanting to comment, but who mostly enjoyed reading other peoples commentary and back and forth nonetheless.
    Today I just wanted to post that you are in the right, and I can’t wait to see the results.
    Message Boards, Forums, are not anything like any other form of communication. Anonymous attention seekers posting willy-nilly trying to be outrageous makes a place smell like cat piss.
    There is a big difference between a constructive contrary opinion that is well written and adds to the value of the site and one that is way out of bounds and makes the whole place smell bad.
    As the proprietor of the establishment this is your decision, your prerogative, of what goes and what doesn’t. And that adds to the flavor of the thing. Like a club owner who picks the bands, or a chef that makes the menu.
    Two Thumbs Up.

  • broadstreetbully

    I agree completely, Drexler. Well said, the entire post. Although this section brings up the crux of what I’ve been saying:
    “There is a big difference between a constructive contrary opinion that is well written and adds to the value of the site and one that is way out of bounds and makes the whole place smell bad.”
    The subsequent argument then becomes: who decides what is and is not a well-written, constructive contrary opinion? Obviously, Wells does in this instance, and my simple point has been that I don’t think Wells really can decide what is constructive and well-written because he’s the one who started the whole thing off on that tone.
    It’s all well and dandy for Wells to ban and censor opinions he doesn’t agree with, but to pretend as if it’s because those opinons are not constructed thoughtfully is disingenuous, that’s all.

  • d manhattan

    Jeff, I think you are just wrong on this. You can’t undo what happened. You just gotta ride it out. Or at least that’s what you should have done.
    You started bringing more and more politics into the site as the campaign heated up. And since the McCain/Republican/Rovian campaign have started paying much more attention to blogging and commenters lately – apparently supplying them with endless amounts of twisted logic and detailed talking points (do they copy & paste, is it done by volunteers in data centres, by paid assistants?) – this is what you get. Just how it works, in a democracy, on the internet, post-Rove, 2008.
    You opened up for this, with your impassioned and off handed remarks on politics, not always very civil. And you appeared on O’Reilly. So now you will have to live with this. At least for a while. ..It will blow over…
    If you get into blogging about politics these days, it’s a tough battle with these Rovian storm troopers swarming any place. But that’s just how it is, for now.
    I like the “Stalinist purge” title though. Seems like a fitting acknowledgement that you know it’s not entirely ethical or fair. It also conveys a bit of that poetic recklessness that you are indeed entitled to. ;)
    Either way, I will still continue to come back to this site, for it is a delight.

  • buster

    It’s not a amtter of what Wells *can* do, but what he *should* do.
    I think people ae overreacting, he seems to just want to get rid of the more disruptive dissenters, but then I would say there are lot of obnoxious, inane lefties here too, some of whom have posted in this thread close to a dozen times.
    If he truly believes the things he says about cleansing of the soul, well I’m not sure how that’s accomplished by surrounding oneself with a bunch of people who only reinforce preconceptions and prejudices.
    If, on the other hand, Wells does want to surround himself with people like Wonder17, who appears to equate any kind of disagreement with extremism (which there is very little of here, actually), then god help him (and me find a new online haunt). As much I disagree with them, I’d rather spend time with well-spoken and intellectual conservatives than half the bitchy and ball-less talkbackers here who call themselves liberals.

  • Lumiere

    Why do I have a feeling this entry will end up on Drudge and/or Limbaugh? Of course, that would help Wells’ advertising go through the roof. (rubs chins)

  • va

    Why isn’t it possible for me to like Burma, Mgmx, DZ I remember him posting under his real name before people started killing him in these posts), Walter, and the other reasonably sensible posters? I do not always agree with what’s written, but I enjoy reading their posts – even DZ’s cut-and-paste jobs. Even then, DZ is not slamming Mgmx or another poster in his comments, but rather the subject of the cut-and-pasted line – which is why I sometimes scroll through some of the crap posted on the political threads until I see DZ…..I think the person who e-mailed Jeff is the crude, intolerant person trolling this site. I would rather he stay away until Nov 5, not Mgmx, or Burma, or Walter, or Balthazar……

  • http://livingincinema.com Craig Kennedy

    The blog belongs to Wells so it’s not a freedom of speech issue. At H-E, speech is as free as he says it is. Those of us who don’t like it know what we can do with it.
    Having said that, this is a regrettable call on Jeff’s part. I’m a liberal who is not afraid of the opinions of the other side, disagree with them as I might. This is a decision that flies in the face of the intelligent, enlightened, culturally with-it ideals you claim to stand for Wells and it furthers my belief you wear liberalism like an expensive leather jacket, to be put on and taken off as the style pleases you.
    I agree with Mgmax rougly 5% of the time and usually only when it comes to the subject of movies, but he’s always articulate, usually polite and frequently thought-provoking as hell. Getting rid of him makes H-E less of a place I want to hang out.
    Your first mistake was going political in a movie blog. I know it’s your prerogative, but your facile, MSNBC grasp of politics simply opened H-E up to the liberal baiting you despise.
    I’m not one of those people who promises never to come back every month or two…hell perhaps this comment will get me banned, hard to say since there are no Rules of the Pool posted on the wall…but H-E is falling further and further down my list of first-check blogs.
    It’s your joint and you can keep it how you want, those are just my opinions. Good luck to you.
    P.S. Spoiled, I only skimmed a few of your comments here so forgive me if I’m misconstruing what you’ve said, but you’re an asshole.

  • Howlingman

    Count me among those who think this is a bad idea. I don’t agree with everyone, or everything posted on HE, but that’s part of the fun. Know thine enemy, Jeff; it’s the only way to win. If you really feel strongly about it, just dispense with the feedback forum and be done with it.

  • George Prager

    Gerald McRaney? OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SpinDozer

    Gruver:
    Is it out of the question to install a kill switch so that individual readers can decide who they find offensive and no longer wish to hear from?
    ‘Ignore This Poster’

  • Mark B

    “Secondly, do you believe Mr. Sondheim, whose music gave you pleasure, should be able to marry the person he loves, regardless if that person is a man or a woman? Because I think it’s fair to say the vast majority of creationists would not extend him that right.”
    To answer your question, I wouldn’t presume that the government has any place preventing him from marrying whom he chooses (which I’m assuming would be man considering he came out of the closet a number of years ago).

  • Doug Pratt

    how about that guy who wants intelligence tests for voter registration. You definitely have to dump him.

  • Gaydos

    spoiled: since Sam Peckinpah isn’t here to defend himself, let me quote him and I hope you will see your post that tagged him as right wing is completely stupid.
    On the Nixon gang: “Killer apes, straight out of the caves, walking around with death in their eyes.”
    The coda that he put at the end of “Pat Garrett” equated the corrupt govt-biz cabal in New Mexico to the Watergate-era Nixon gang. (Don’t know why the studio felt they had to remove that!?!??!)
    Get the politics of your dead directors correct, please.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I had sort of taken myself out of the site last week…(in my final post I eloquently said “so long, suckers!”)…. part of my reason for leaving was increasingly tiresome college coffee house-type spats about politics, part of it was general disaffection, and part of it was my way of protesting the fact that Wells refuses to update his banner photo with one that more accurately reflects his true age, (between 65 and 1000… I’m still haunted by Jeffrey’s creepy visage looking back at me on the “O’Reilly Factor”)…
    I feel as though I have to comment on this purge thing though… Really, Jeffrey?
    I’m a “right-wing nut bar” (though not nearly as right-wing as many of you would like to think) and I would be terribly disappointed if there was a purge of liberal / left-wing posters from a sight that I enjoyed… For as kooky as D.Z. is I can’t imagine this place without him…. he’s such a long-timer it actually gave me comfort to see one of long-winded screeds…
    And hate me all you want, (I’m a snarky asshole), but how can anyone rejoice in the exiting of Mgmax? Are you so insecure in your own political beliefs that you can’t stand the mere presence of someone who is on the other side of the debate, despite his obvious intelligence and knowledge of film?
    Since many of us are splitting, what say we have an HE get-together next weekend? Who’s up? I’m serious… How about Friday night (Sept. 5) around 7:00 at the Pig n Whistle… (you’d better be there, D.Z.) Someone else should post this invite as I’m sure this one will get nuked as soon as the old guy read it…
    As for the rest of you, have fun in your Wellsian echo chamber….
    and remember – No Dissent Allowed!
    Seacrest out!

  • D.Z.

    Walt: I’ll be coming out of a dental check-up, so I doubt I’ll be in the mood to go anywhere. Thanks, anyway, though.

  • broadstreetbully

    Furthering the Peckinpah convo, I’m pretty sure John Ford was also no right-winger. I believe I remember a story about him standing up to C. B. DeMille during the HUAC-McCarthy debacle, and, to my mind, anyone who makes “The Grapes of Wrath” at the very least can’t be totally right-wing.

  • Richardson

    I think the right-wing claims Ford because he made movies with John Wayne and was pro-military during WWII. I certainly haven’t seen anything else to lend credence to the claim.

  • Richardson

    to all the right-wingers — if you’re going to get banned, why not go out by insulting Jeff? Come on, Walter, you could’ve gotten way worse than that.
    If the banning is pre-determined anyway, you might as well have fun and earn it.

  • Richardson

    “but how can anyone rejoice in the exiting of Mgmax?”
    Well, in terms of political conversations, he adds nothing except obfuscation and always dodges simple questions with attacks on random Democrats [much like you mock DZ for, actually].
    For instance, the question was posed, “Do you think sarah Palin, in and of herself, is ready to be president? Just talking about her, not in relation to others.” And his answer is “Well, if she’s not ready because she’s a one-term governor, then what about Clinton? Jimmy Carter? She’s more ready than John Edwards!”
    That’s not intelligent discourse. It’s just intelligently worded bullshit dodging.

  • http://livingincinema.com Craig Kennedy

    I will meet you any time, anywhere Walter, if you’re interested. I’m not afraid of your delusional right wing ways. (that was a little joke in case I have to explain myself. people are so goddamn sensitive around here)

  • Mark G.

    I’m as liberal as one can be (but I’m European, so it doesn’t count), and I can’t stand those mudslinging rightwingers, but I disagree with this new policy!
    Who’s next to be banned?
    Hilary backers?
    Fat Jabbas?
    Loud Hispanics?
    Once you start something like this you open a can of worms…

  • spoiled

    Now you can all jerk each other off.
    Wells you’re a total hypocrite.
    And none of you pleased with this are liberals.

  • spoiled

    Ironic after you pussed out with O’Reilly.
    No tough talk for him. Only for the nets.

  • siamesecat

    “I think the right-wing claims Ford because he made movies with John Wayne and was pro-military during WWII. I certainly haven’t seen anything else to lend credence to the claim.”
    Ford’s politics shifted to the right as he got older. He was very hawkish on Vietnam, and by the end of his life his politics were similar to Wayne’s.

  • Mgmax

    You stand condemned by your own headline, Jeff.

    I’ve followed your movie blog (remember your movie blog?) for a decade, back to Reel.com or maybe even before that, and greatly enjoyed your cantankerously passionate take on recent and occasionally older movies. You were a movie lover in the best sense, then, and a movie warrior who had, occasionally, real influence, or at least a kind of nobility as a standard bearer in a fallen age.

    Sadly, when it comes to politics, there’s none of that nobility, just intolerance and not especially well-informed opinions of the moment and, clearly, a nasty personal strain of sexism. Those who cheer the Stalinist purge of the rightwingers today have obviously forgotten the most important lesson of Stalinist purges– sooner or later, you’re next. The beast never stops devouring its own.

    I wish you happiness with your echo chamber reflecting back at you the moronic received opinions and crude stereotypes of most of the internet today. As MDOC said the other day, “It’s amazing to see the knives coming out for Mgmax. The guy always brings facts, a level of civility, and the ability to be critical of his side to the proceedings. If you are going to go for his jugular you may have to step back and ask yourself if you are simply incapable of political discussion. Many are.”

  • JD

    Bad karma is flying in every direction here. You guys (and yes, that includes you, Jeff) all need to watch I Heart Huckabee’s — painful (and brilliant) as it sometimes is — and accept that we’re all part of the same blanket, man. Either that or stop watching cable news and get over this pety, bad political sportsmanship. By the way Jeff, if you stopped posting all these tedious items about the election you’d have no trouble getting rid of 90% of the “wingnuts” (or whatever you’re calling them these days).

  • spoiled

    Mgmax, the concern trolls here who can’t take a differing opinion are not worth your time. Nor mine. Wells has the balls to say he hates the bitterness when all he does is spew invective and wallow in tabloid style gossip.

    He’s bigoted towards the world yet like a typical lib poser, weeps at Obama and kitten pix. In another life, he would be a perfect brownshirt. He started the downward spiral of discourse here himself. Many in town hate this guy because…he is hateful. And life is too short. Ciao.

  • spoiled

    “I think everyone would agree Mgmax was one of the smartest guys on here, politics aside, and it will be a shame to lose him. ”

    Burma Shave, you’re a total little fascist. The worst here.

  • jimjonesiii

    i miss that conservative poster from New York, the fascist- super stud- black guy whose name eludes me now.

  • Richardson

    NYC something, right? Yeah, where is he?

  • spoiled

    Zac, not everybody who disagrees with you is a conservative. That’s what you “enlightened” folk don’t get. True liberals stand up for free speech and discourse. And I’ve seen so-called libs like Wells and BS and Prager in action. So what if you don’t want to read a comment? Are you that insecure? Be a MAN you infant.

  • spoiled

    Yes Burma Shave, you stood up so brave for Mgmax:
    “You gotta do what you gotta do. ”
    Way to put yourself on the line, hero.

  • http://livingincinema.com Craig Kennedy

    I’m afraid to say his name….he might appear like Rumplestiltskin…but NYC Busybody

  • http://livingincinema.com Craig Kennedy

    For the record, he was banned almost a year ago.

  • spoiled

    I snuck the blacklist that Burma Shave and George Prager made up for others that need to go from HE:

    John Wayne
    John Ford
    Howard Hawks
    John Milluis
    Sam Peckinpah
    Clint Eastwood
    Bruce Willis
    Robert Duvall

  • spoiled

    “From here on, I say nothing.”

    Good. Before you’re purged too.

  • Richardson

    So? Plenty of people have been banned and come back under different names. It’s easy. Anybody who’s ever made one too many jokes at Jeff’s expense, or who mocked him during Valentine’s Day for taking his girlfriend to a live reenactment of some of cinema’s most violent scenes, got banned…

  • SpinDozer
  • http://livingincinema.com Craig Kennedy

    Ok, maybe the larva in his abdomen finally hatched and burst out his stomach before skittering across the floor to go lay eggs elsewhere.

  • broadstreetbully

    Ah, well-cited SpinDozer. I didn’t know this about Ford.

  • C-PhreekIII

    As I just told Wells via email (its the one marked “Dear Gutless Turd/Fascist Prick,” mate), if he wants to start banning people like Mgmax then he should just go ahead and shut down the blog. Instead, just post brown nosing comments to pump your ego.

    As many, many others have commented on, Wells set the tone for this blog. But instead of the macho persona he pretends to possess when challenging us to grade school dares, he reverts to his true thin skinned self when something gets too close to home for him.

    Contrary to what some have said, just because it’s “your” blog doesn’t mean you can run it anyway you want and expect to remain a respected member of the blogosphere.

  • spoiled

    Too bad Wells can’t read through the long posts of all those right wing trogs and sensible liberals offering condolences for his family — or even cash when Wells tapped his revolting audience. But that requires mature empathy.

  • C-PhreekIII

    Richardson – well, I was being generous.

  • http://livingincinema.com cjKennedy

    The blog belongs to Wells so it’s not a freedom of speech issue. At H-E, speech is as free as he says it is. Those of us who don’t like it know what we can do with it.

    Having said that, this is a regrettable call on Jeff’s part. I’m a liberal who is not afraid of the opinions of the other side, disagree with them as I might. This is a decision that flies in the face of the intelligent, enlightened, culturally with-it ideals you claim to stand for Wells and it furthers my belief you wear liberalism like an expensive leather jacket, to be put on and taken off as the style pleases you.

    I agree with Mgmax rougly 5% of the time and usually only when it comes to the subject of movies, but he’s always articulate, usually polite and frequently thought-provoking as hell. Getting rid of him makes H-E less of a place I want to hang out.

    Your first mistake was going political in a movie blog. I know it’s your prerogative, but your facile, MSNBC grasp of politics simply opened H-E up to the liberal baiting you despise.

    I’m not one of those people who promises never to come back every month or two…hell perhaps this comment will get me banned, hard to say since there are no Rules of the Pool posted on the wall…but H-E is falling further and further down my list of first-check blogs.

    It’s your joint and you can keep it how you want, those are just my opinions. Good luck to you.

    P.S. Spoiled, I only skimmed a few of your comments here so forgive me if I’m misconstruing what you’ve said, but you’re an asshole.

  • http://livingincinema.com cjKennedy

    I will meet you any time, anywhere Walter, if you’re interested. I’m not afraid of your delusional right wing ways. (that was a little joke in case I have to explain myself. people are so goddamn sensitive around here)

  • http://livingincinema.com cjKennedy

    I’m afraid to say his name….he might appear like Rumplestiltskin…but NYC Busybody

  • http://livingincinema.com cjKennedy

    For the record, he was banned almost a year ago.

  • http://livingincinema.com cjKennedy

    Ok, maybe the larva in his abdomen finally hatched and burst out his stomach before skittering across the floor to go lay eggs elsewhere.

  • quintus arrius

    I believe in beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul. I live for the highs of the mind — for the next nervy retort, impertinent crack, witty turn of phrase, turnaround idea or wicked joke.
    Jesus Christ, Jeff, you must be the least self-aware person in Los Angeles. If you believe in all those things you sure aren’t practicing them, man. What you believe in is making crabby sexist rants about a woman you never heard of a day ago. Or giving Bill O’Rielly more material to show how intolerant and basically scared liberals are of opinions two degrees off their own. You’re an embarassment to your own side with this mean drunk picking fights act, and the idea that any of it represents a quest for peace and light is hi fucking larious.
    Oh, and the first political thread of the new Stalinist era is boring as shit.

  • http://www.lytrules.com Luke Y. Thompson

    Please don’t ban MGMax. I disagree with him often, yet he’s always been respectful to me in disagreement. That is the kind of conservative engagement I think is useful, even if I (or you) never convince him.
    I would not confuse him with right-wing trolls who appeared after the O’Reilly thing. If someone is a rude asshole, fine, ban ‘em. But if they only mock your candidates while being respectful to you, I’d say cut some slack.
    Your blog, your rules. But that’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.lytrules.com Luke Y. Thompson

    PS Walter, I’d be down for an HE commenters get-together, even with a rightie like yourself!
    lytrules-at-gmail dot com

  • frankbooth

    If I were going to object on principle, I should and would have done it when Christian and MCM got banned. Any chance of letting either of those guys come back?
    Anyway, I think Mgmax is safe. The way I’m reading Wells, he means the honest-to-God trolls, the Steph96 and EOTW types who seldom comment about movies and show up just to be assholes. They add nothing, and won’t be missed by me.
    Mgmax is at least film-literate, funny, and smart (and slick and slippery). I notice his absence when he’s gone.
    Which is not to say that the dirty Victor Buono bastard doesn’t piss me off at times.

  • http://www.lytrules.com LYT

    Please don’t ban MGMax. I disagree with him often, yet he’s always been respectful to me in disagreement. That is the kind of conservative engagement I think is useful, even if I (or you) never convince him.

    I would not confuse him with right-wing trolls who appeared after the O’Reilly thing. If someone is a rude asshole, fine, ban ‘em. But if they only mock your candidates while being respectful to you, I’d say cut some slack.

    Your blog, your rules. But that’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.lytrules.com LYT

    PS Walter, I’d be down for an HE commenters get-together, even with a rightie like yourself!

    lytrules-at-gmail dot com

  • Rich S.

    It’s sad, really. This blog used to be lots of fun. Jeffrey used to actually care about movies, and his blog was strongest when he reflected on his years in the movie business. But then he had to live and die by the talkbacks, and his movie stuff doesn’t attract nearly as many posts as his political stuff. The problem is that the political stuff almost always degenerates into sixth grade “did not, did too!” nonsense.
    As a result, I resolved long ago to stop posting on the political threads. Then, as they became more and more frequent, I just plain stopped reading them. I guess Jeffrey is fairly skilled at kicking off a flame war, but this stuff gets really boring, really fast.
    I also essentially stopped reading this site for Jeffrey’s observations, but continued to enjoy the back-and-forth with the other posters, especially during the infrequent times we were given the opportunity to discuss movies.
    Now that the political posts outnumber the movie/entertainment posts by a considerable margin, my visits have become more infrequent. And now that Jeffrey has decided to turn this blog into a complete ego stroke by banning dissenting opinion, I imagine my visits will become even moreso.
    It’s been a long time coming, but Jeffrey Wells now resembles nothing so much as Lenny Bruce standing alone in the middle of a stage, reading his trial transcripts and exhorting the audience to find the “comedy” in it. It really is a shame.

  • King’s Thursday

    Jeff, I also had been visiting this site daily since your reel.com days to read about movies. I agree with Rich S. and the person above who suggested a washington-elsewhere site that I visit less often since it no longer seems to be a first-rate movie site but a seventh-rate political one. It’s your own fault. I’m sure your advertisers will be happy to read that after the purge I no longer will be reading or visiting. Good bye.

  • Mgmax, le Corbeau

    Well, I appreciate the many kind words from many people who understand how excruciatingly dull this site will be as a one-sided affair. If Wells at all had a sense of self-humor and vision for this site, my counter-offer to his intention to sorta-ban me would be that he put my face up top next to his and make me co-poster with him, but obviously he’s too caught up in his own anger to remotely see why that would be infinitely smarter than smothering the free flow of views here.
    But the fact is I, like more than a few in this thread, had already resolved to break off participating here but was too easily distracted while working at my desk to stick to that resolve. I won’t rehash the reasons for that resolve, they’re in many posts in this thread, but the crudely political tone, the talkbacks full of people who mistake insult for argument, and now most of all Wells’ revelation of his profoundly illiberal attitudes, the Che movie he imagines in his head as he takes his political opponents out and whacks them, make this a place I most certainly would not want to be. That he paints this ideological bloodbath in terms of “beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul” is simply a sign of how far off the bend he’s gone. Yes, it is his site and he can do as he pleases. And so may every reader and participant, when they just don’t find it of value any more.
    I wish my fellow commenters, of every political stripe, all the best, and who knows what movie site I may run into you on.

  • Kevin of Elmhurst

    You misunderstand the “Spock/Barack” conflation if you think it’s racially motivated. Barack doesn’t look like Spock any more than Biden looks like Leslie Nielsen. That’s not it.
    No, the key point of similarity between Spock and Barack is their fans: Trekkies and Obamanites. Both groups idolize a Leader who redefines their social inadequacy as calm, benign superiority; a Leader who represents a Utopian future in which they, finally, will not be marginalized as functionally autistic. It’s a beautiful dream — one reason I’ve always been a Spock fan — and one that everyone, whether Liberal or Conservative, should praise and support. I understand you mean well, but your mockery of the Spock/Barack Ideal is a bit offensive.

  • Mgmax

    Well, I appreciate the many kind words from many people who understand how excruciatingly dull this site will be as a one-sided affair. If Wells at all had a sense of self-humor and vision for this site, my counter-offer to his intention to sorta-ban me would be that he put my face up top next to his and make me co-poster with him, but obviously he’s too caught up in his own anger to remotely see why that would be infinitely smarter than smothering the free flow of views here.

    But the fact is I, like more than a few in this thread, had already resolved to break off participating here but was too easily distracted while working at my desk to stick to that resolve. I won’t rehash the reasons for that resolve, they’re in many posts in this thread, but the crudely political tone, the talkbacks full of people who mistake insult for argument, and now most of all Wells’ revelation of his profoundly illiberal attitudes, the Che movie he imagines in his head as he takes his political opponents out and whacks them, make this a place I most certainly would not want to be. That he paints this ideological bloodbath in terms of “beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul” is simply a sign of how far off the bend he’s gone. Yes, it is his site and he can do as he pleases. And so may every reader and participant, when they just don’t find it of value any more.

    I wish my fellow commenters, of every political stripe, all the best, and who knows what movie site I may run into you on.

  • http://gameoverthinker.com MovieBob

    Jeff…
    You’ve, of course, got every right in the world to do this. It’s you’re blog, but it’s still wrong – or at least severely uncool. Banning honest-to-goodness trolls is one thing, but the notion of skewing it along lines of political opinion? Bad mojo. And I say that as someone who counts calling into Fox News to call James Dobson a defacto Nazi (it got out over the broadcast) as a noteworthy personal accomplishment.
    I feel sad watching what’s becoming of American liberals. They’re about to win dominant control of Congress and are either going to get a Democrat president who agrees with them or a Republican president who will compromise with them. They’ve WON, with the only question being “how BIG did we win?”, but they’re acting like it’s the Charge of the Light Brigade. Guys, don’t you remember how INSANE conservatives got during the Clinton years… and what kind of men that insanity allowed to come to power in their ranks… and what those men have done? Is that what you want for your side?

  • Christian

    It’s nice to see some of that liberal open-mindedness we’ve heard so much about. What to do when you can’t win an argument? Just shut down debate and retreat to your echo chamber where your incorrect views will be forever reinforced. How pathetic.

  • Stickwick Stapers

    Mr. Wells has provided an invaluable lesson here by demonstrating why free speech is such a rare and precious thing. Everyone wants free speech for himself, but the really difficult part is to want it for someone else — especially someone you despise.
    This is a privately-run blog, so there’s no point in crying “censorship!” But one hopes that the sort of people like Mr. Wells and his acolytes, who cannot tolerate opinions they find objectionable, and who find solace in the silencing of opposing voices, never get their hands on the levers of power.
    Speaking as the grand-daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, the title of this post is depressingly accurate.

  • JohnD765

    Now we see how much the Constitution really means to true liberals. If the 2nd can be ignored or changed to suit, why not the 1st?
    So, the new definition:
    Freedom of Speech – The right to present your views and speak you’re mind (so long as liberals agree with you….otherwise you’re not allowed to express said views until they conform with Big Brother).
    I particularly love the title of the post: ‘Stalinist’ sounds just about right.
    Old Uncle Joe must be smiling in Hell right about now.

  • George Prager

    This is why I’m not sorry to see Mgmax go:
    Mgmax Author Profile Page says …
    Here’s the adult version. The world runs on oil and that isn’t going to change any time soon, and anyone who gets all high and mighty about it and doesn’t live in an unheated hut is a hypocrite. Oil wealth has facilitated some nasty pathologies in the middle east which kill Jews on a regular basis, Muslims on an even more regular basis, and us on an occasional basis. During the Cold War we favored some of those pathologies, now we’re trying to break that habit and get some portion of that society into civilized modernity. As a result of that we need a base in the middle east and we’re going to keep one for decades to come, and no president is going to pull that base out and constrain his/her own options. Those bases need to be serviced by military contractors, who get blamed for everything, often justly, often absurdly, by people who don’t get the contradiction between their suspicion of government contractors in one area and their advocacy of government control of other parts of life, such as health care. In other words, hope you enjoy the Brown & Root water during your Hillarycare hospital stay.
    And yes, that was more fun than the work I should be doing this Sunday afternoon.
    Posted by Mgmax Author Profile Page at March 9, 2008 3:08 PM
    Later!

  • George Prager

    Shorter christian: Why can’t everybody be as open-minded and saintly as me?
    P.S. Rielle Hunter is a lying conniving bitch!
    P.S. SKIDOO!!!!!

  • frankbooth

    Obama IS a bit Spockish. Cool, calm, logical, smart…all that boring elitist stuff.
    As someone who finds the Trek utopian future dull as dirt, I have no choice but to vote for McCain. I much prefer Mad Max/A Boy and His Dog/Blade Runner/The Road.
    Bring on the cannibals. Bring on the end of America. Bring on McCain!

  • John Whorfin

    Er, isn’t the Spock gag about the size of Obama’s ears? Just sayin’.

  • quintus arrius

    George Prager, I can sure see why you’d be offended by the other side making a compelling realistic case. Fuck that shit, let’s gag ‘em!

  • George Prager

    Not a compelling case at all, just the masturbatory fantasy of a chicken hawk muthafucka!!!!!

  • Richardson

    I disagree. I think it’s a reasonably compelling fiction. But it’s too narrow-viewed to qualify as “realistic”.

  • sonofdy

    What an act of outright cowardise. Shamefull in the extreme. Childish and completely dumb. I guess that you simply couldn’t handle the truth. We have seen the obama try to use the law to silence critics, and in one case even had one arrested. Now we see his slaves refuse to allow free speach as well. Thats for confirming my vote against obama the budding tyrant.

  • sonofdy

    And before some low life here calls me a chickenhawk, BTW the most cowardly attack ever since it requires nothing of you, I am in my 14 year in the army and you should shut you pathetic worthless mouth till you’ve signed up coward.

  • buster

    Jeff Wells and “George Prager” deserve each other. Jesus what a sniveling little twit.

  • PerfectTommy

    So, anyway, looking forward to seeing Burn After Reading. Looks like a return to The Big Lobowski kind of silliness. I love No Country, but I love the Coen’s comic mode as well.

  • http://www.lytrules.com Luke Y. Thompson

    George — so Mgmax is cynical. Is that really a banning offense?
    I agree with him that we will probably not break our oil addiction any time soon. As long as neither of us is an asshole about it who personally attacks Jeff, I see no problem in expressing that opinion.

  • nuhnyuh_beezwax

    So much for liberalism’s “champion of free speech, compassion, tolerance, understanding of other people’s views, etc.” You libtards seem to embrace every tyrannical dictator’s dogma (as long as it’s heavily socialistic, communist, radical Islamic, etc.) … but you can’t take conservatism??? Here’s a tip — for “beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul”, as you so stated… all this “caring” Hollywood libtard has to do, is seek therapy to work on the most telling two words he put in his little “Stalinist” article… those words being “I hate.” LOL, and good luck with that!!!

  • Josh

    Typical Liberal. Cant deal with reality so ban them all who disagree!
    Hilarious
    What you gonna blame whem Obama loses? Racism or rednecks?

  • http://www.lytrules.com LYT

    George — so Mgmax is cynical. Is that really a banning offense?

    I agree with him that we will probably not break our oil addiction any time soon. As long as neither of us is an asshole about it who personally attacks Jeff, I see no problem in expressing that opinion.

  • George Prager

    Shorter Mgmax: The military industrial complex buttfucked me last night. It was ecstasy.

  • theoldpath

    It seems to me that the folks who claim to be the all inclusive, feel your pain, caring, and filled with compassion just can not deal with folks who might have a different take on events than theirs. After all, if everyone could just really understand all of the facts, if they could just see things clearly, if they could just have their minds enlightened they would obviously see things from a liberal point of view.
    I welcome liberal views concerning US and world events; however, I myself will continue to actaully examine the facts and come to my own conclusions. When that conclusion agrees with the accepted liberal views (which it rarely does) I can accept that. When that conclusion agrees with the conservative views (which it often does) you should be big enough to accept that.
    Thanks for the bait. You may be a closet conservative in the making. Come on out, the water is fine.

  • George Prager

    theoldpath flatters himself. This is true of most people who claim to “actaully examine the facts and come to my own conclusions.” For example, the MSM WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE that the Mets beat the Brewers 4-2 yesterday. I was skeptical about the outcome until I examined the box score which proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the Mets scored for runs and the Brewers scored two. Only an intelligent person who actaully examines the facts and comes to their own conclusions would find that this is so.

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  • boboxi

    as you so stated… all this “caring” Hollywood libtard has to do, is seek therapy to work on the most telling two words he put in his little “Stalinist” article… those words being “I hate.” LOL, and good luck with that!!!
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    I had a put up a couple of very droll comments but they were “accidentally” erased by Jeff. I’m sure that my saying that if the grain monks ever got together with the 1.85 fascists they could make Jeff feel sufficiently oppressed to write his own “Darkness At Noon.”

  • Lindsay

    We cannot afford to ignore the fact that people ugly at heart will never be able to produce beautiful thoughts. It’s good that you’ve finally decided to put your foot on the ground and stop this nonsense. I was getting pretty tired myself, honestly.

  • Kumara

    I don’t have an LLM degree, but I believe this should be punishable. It’s OK to have freedom of speech, but come on, you don’t have to say every stupid thing that comes to mind. Some of us might remain traumatized after reading your thoughts.

  • Lisha

    I would know better than anyone what it means to have to deal with narrow-minded people. Working in the outsourcing human resources field has taught me a lot about patience. Some of us simply can’t understand that their opinions might be wrong.