A Scene from Green Book

I recently watched Green Book which was pleasant, humorous, and generally good. I was astounded by Viggo Mortesen’s performance, as I had not seen him explore the boundaries of acting as creatively as he did here. My focus is not on him so much as it on a particular scene in the movie wherein Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, is caught in a suggested sexual relation with another man. The potential historical inaccuracy of this scene may be interpreted as good or evil depending on the views of the Hollywood agenda and the Catholic Church, respectively. Either entity will consider the scene as worthy or undignified of depiction depending on the intent of the agenda and its effects. 

Hollywood’s agenda is compatible with the principle of equality. If seen in light of Hollywood’s push for homosexual equality, the movie scene may be praised for its inclusion by the LBGT+ advocates. Indeed, we live in a country where equality is ipso facto good. Thus, although Shirley’s biography makes no mention of explicit sexual relations, Hollywood jumped on board about the implication that Shirley might have had a sodomistic caricature. Of course, we do not know whether Shirley was actually homosexual, or if he was only perceived as such due to the stereotypes in the 1960’s? Whatever the case, the scene fits the bill for the homosexual agenda insofar as equality is considered. 

Hollywood’s agenda lends itself to Hollywood’s power. It may be said that such a depiction of the musician is historically inaccurate, as it is reported that the homosexual caricature is false. But, why would Hollywood care about this inaccuracy when it rings in the money, right? Would not the homosexual community be fond of the agenda as well? After all, the scene lasted less than a minute, so how bad could it really be? It may be worrying that even the mere suggestiveness, despite whether it is certain or not, is itself enough to be beneficial to us somehow. Ought we to accept that the acceptance of this agenda is somehow to our benefit? The answer will differ depending on the perspectives at hand. 

Tolerance is one of Hollywood’s highest ‘virtues.’ Hollywood would have us avoid the question of acceptance as an ‘ought.’ For, indeed, Tony Lip shrugs off Shirley’s behavior as if accepting means an ‘eh, do what you want’ attitude. Shrugging has become a ‘virtuous action.’ Hollywood’s post-modern hero is falsely virtuous in order to contend their inaccuracy. We may not say that the movie is moral insofar as we are to mimic Lip’s shrugging, but we are invited to consider Lip as heroic insofar as he acts in this way. This particular ‘virtuosity’ is not the kind found in true Christianity, and in its perspective, Hollywood’s agenda for homosexual equality excludes whole virtue. 

Tolerance is not itself evil, but it can become evil when it is considered the highest good for human flourishing. In fact, tolerance becomes evil when it is itself including evil. The true Christian perspective would consider the homosexual agenda evil, if not for its false premises, then for its ambition to neglect historical accuracy. Of course, the agenda could easily stay historically accurate if it wanted. The true Christian perspective would then have to move away from the inaccuracy to instead talk about the false premises that it reports underlie the homosexual ideology. The discussion of its false premises, if indeed it has any, is for another time, as it is not entirely relevant to the scene review at hand. Nevertheless, to consider the inaccuracy, its effects, and the false premises of the ideology is to fall under the lens of the traditional Christian view of virtuosity and good art. 

Depending on the perspective one brings in watching Green Book, its historical inaccuracy may be praised or condemned based on the views of the homosexual ideology and/or the Christian (namely Catholic) principles of virtue, respectively. The difference of perspectives between the two sides lends itself to the issues arising in historical cinema between accuracy and agendas. Ought one to be sacrificed over the other in particular cases? Why or why not? This is the question at hand. 

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