by Steve Finefrock, founder Hollywood Conservative Forum
Not everyone knew Ron Silver was sick. The death catches one by surprise, but not the accolades. From silly to sentimental, they range from Ben Stiller’s shallow memory of underage alcohol offering by Ron, to Lionel Chetwynd’s memorable phrase, noting that Silver was one of the few on the left who realized “the horrors of World War II were again alive and well in other garments.”
Add Roger ‘L’ Simon’s note that courage was Silver’s most important product, that Silver Lining the rare quality that makes the world of modernity possible. At least one quality of many, but a vital, nay catalytical ingredient.
Silver saw those garments as facades, Potemkin pretensions, wrapping evil in normalcy. Most of his Hollywood peers were, and are, blind to a fault. His essay fifteen months ago on “Fear” gives a clever treatment to what is serious fear, and what is irrational. Michael Barone’s accolade noted: “And I felt instinctively that he understood things—understood politics and, more important, understood public policy and the importance of standing up for civilization…”
Silver’s 2007 essay ended with these notable words:
Be reasonably afraid. Be very reasonably afraid. And act accordingly.
He may have ‘gotten’ the meaning in the classic Western on these moralities, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” and the meaning when Dirty Harry noted to a prissy political police commander, “Your gun’s out of its holster, Briggs – First time?” in another classic hated by Liberals, “Magnum Force.” Steven Bochco once insisted that “everything on TV is a cop show” and indeed that theme does often erupt in the most unusual places.
Silver was Dirty Harry on the podium at the 2004 GOP convention, and hated since as much as Eastwood was in the 70s for his trilogy about law and order versus burrocratic boneheads. The eye-opener of 9-11 made a lot of Briggs into Callahans. At least on national security. For many ‘9-11 democrats’ did not give up their socialist dreams and taxspendtaxspend prattle. Including Silver.
But ya take what ya can get, then work from there. They get their gun out for the first time regarding 9-11, then maybe they will see that other prattle is also degeneracy. Would Silver’s Lining have come to understand these other conservative truths?
Only the Shadow knows. But we do know this – most of HWD can no more ‘get’ it about Briggs v. Callahan than can Ben Stiller write something more fitting that being aided and abetted by Silver, to get illegal liquor. Most of HWD is still undeveloped, eternal adolescents [‘not quite adults’ according to producer Jane Hall], willing to yield no more than a thanks for liquor offerings to a teenager. Could Stiller not grasp anything more valuable in Silver’s lining of his life, than some purloined vodka?
The Ben Stiller Kumbaya Kaucus can see no evil in the new garments. Evil in Dick Cheney? Oh, ya betcha, feller! Evil in Michael Steele? Yep, fer shure!
Silver was a thin lining to a hopelessly hapless HWD. His passing is a loss, but one-thousandth the loss of three-legged conservatives this past twelve months, such as Milton Friedman, Tony Snow, Paul Harvey – and John Gordon, Otto Felix and Steve Leake. The last three: friends of my own loss, maybe not as close to me as Silver was to Chetwynd, et al, but loyal, three-legged conservatives eagerly awaiting the growth of the conservative ‘movement’ in HWD, but not here to see it blossoming in leaps and bounds. Two succumbed to cancer, a third to a yet-to-know reason for his sudden, startling early loss.
Upon my mother’s guest bath wall was always a poster, saying “Make new friends, keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.” Ron Silver was late to the party, appreciated indeed for finally and belatedly seeing the ‘light’ of the costume department dressing evil in pleasing cloth. Friedman, Snow, Harvey, Gordon, Felix and Leake were along for the ride long before the twin towers went into smoky ruin.
Let us welcome all the Silver recruits, no matter their motivation. In a ‘big tent’ all should have a seat. But the front-row seats are for the three-legged, ‘golden’ conservatives who were with the cause from many years hence, before the towers smoked and Brooklyn coughed on its showering shrapnel.
Who have known all along that evil was alive and well in other garments – some of them tailored and fitted and kept in atmospheric closets by the Hollywood elite. Silver-come-lately is welcome; the gold is for the old friends. Let us make new friends, and keep the old, and know where we find the gold. As the Nike ad once oft-declared, to proud citation by Rush, You don’t win silver, you lose gold.
Let us round up all the gold nuggets and dust and a few mother lodes, collect them into a Movement, and welcome the silver adherents whenever we find them. But the Important Mission is to UNIFY OURSELVES. Then, make our own culture, our way, with our talent. Is there another Silver in the closet? Might he agree to join a true three-legged conservative film or TV project?
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting – any ‘silver’ ally will become golden should he/she push the three-legged conservative HWD movement into cohesive adherence to a committed mission to MAKE OUR OWN CULTURE.
Make new friends – indeed.
Keep the old – FER DAMNED SURE.
And remember, which is gold, and which is silver. You can damned sure bet the freakin’ liberals believe that way… and act that way. Let us learn from them, as Patton declared: “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK.” Their book of rules gives no quarter. Nor should we. A Movement is well approaching a thousand eager participants, still a bit in the closet, but no longer needing doubt. Some are mere one-legged ‘Silver’ members, to be welcomed in the tent.
The question remains: Who sits on the front row in that tent?
copyright 2009 Steve Finefrock
Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called "A State of the Union"], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA's Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…