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Thursday, March 8, 2012

6% of the Package

The last three or four days have been a blur. Suffice it to say, my little howl kicked up a lot of internet activity, much due to the "man bites dog" nature of the whole thing, but an even greater measure attributable to the profound sorrow Andrew's passing has engendered on the political blogosphere, left and right.

Though he was beloved and respected by conservatives, I think the true measure of his integrity and generous, irrepressibly charming and feckless spirit is evidenced by the vast number of "I-didn't-agree-with-him-but" posts I've read on all but the most vile Left Wing sites.

The overwhelming majority of the responses I've received have been positive--a huge, collective embrace that I never expected, the memory of which, I'll always cherish. You folks really helped me through a dark moment.

Meanwhile, there has been an all-but-complete absence of haters.

While this has been encouraging, it's also been a source of anxiety analogous to those tense moments when the drumming suddenly stops, and the jungle goes very...



Everyone knows what happens then: The twitchy guy in the unit--usually a dude with a nickname like "Shakes" or "Motormouth," loses his nerve, suddenly bolts up from his foxhole and, white-knuckling his rifle, the cords standing out on his neck, shrieks, "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, GODDAMNIT! COME ON OUT, YA YELLA BASTIDS! SHOW YASELVES AND FIGHT!"

That scene usually concludes with the crack of a sniper-rifle.

Final score: Shakes - 0; Darwin - 1.

The winner? The audience. Because Shakes was a pain in the ass, a complainer, a braggart, and he was always writing checks the rest of the boys in the unit had to cash.

Fuckin Shakes... poor, dumb, date-stamped Shakes.

Anyhow, I had my Shakes-moment the other night. Fear writhing in my belly, unable to take the silence any longer, I went on Twitter and started kicking the wasp-nest.

Luckily, before I made too gigantic an ass of myself, a grizzled Sergeant tweeped the equivalent of "Get back in the hole, Shakes. That's no way for a soldier to conduct himself!" (I can't reproduce his tweet here; alas, I didn't screen-cap it in time but, whoever you are, thanks.)

And so I just chilled and did the usual stuff I do on Twitter, which is reaching out and having silly conversations 140 characters at a time with people I've never met, usually about pop-culture, film, and random stuff.

We were in the middle of a running stream over our favorite John Hughes movies, when the first hater popped in, calling me a "fucktard" and a "nationalist." I got my jollies RTing him Breitbart-style, though I should add that, as both, a patriot and a card-carrying fucktard, I could hardly quibble with his assessment of me.

Plus, I remembered how unutterably boring politics are, and how futile it is to argue issues. Plus, I'm not terribly good at it.

We moved on to the music in Hughes films and a number of other subjects when another tweet popped up, its tone a good deal less judgmental than the first:

Now this, as Monty Python might say, was something completely different. What do I do with that? RT it? I tweeped back:

But something still nagged at my gut. This guy was slapping a political label on me for doing something that had nothing to do with politics. Oppression and bullying are just plan wrong, no matter what side of the ideological fence they come from. 

So I added in a DM:

Which led to the following exchange:

This was followed by the folowing public tweep:

So there. 

There it is.

"6% of the package, and we agree on most of that stuff, too."

That takes the differences between your average Liberal and your average Conservative down to the range of the difference between human and chimp DNA. 

And when I say "average," I mean, like, 90% of us.

As for the other 10%, they're just assholes.

Yes, politics are important. Yes, there are some folks whose beliefs and opinions are downright stupid and toxic. Yes, if you believe in liberty, you must fight for it. 

I'm not advocating a let's-just-get-along-and-keep-it-civil-at-all-costs (which, apparently, to many Liberals, is synonymous for "shut the fuck up"), and I certainly don't think it's a good idea to seek "compromise" as if it's some kind of Holy Grail; there is no acceptable "compromise" for instance, between liberty and oppression, only a slippery, increasingly steep slope from the former to the latter, and a torturous, incomprehensibly arduous and mortally dangerous climb from the latter to the former.

All I'm saying is that it doesn't hurt, every once in a while, to give a passing nod to the humanity of one's ideological opponents; to at least attempt to talk with rather than at one another--something, by the way, no one did with more style, honesty and aplomb than Andrew Breitbart.

On roller-blades, no less.

One last quick note:

A number of individuals have asked me if I'm going to "encourage" other Hollywood conservatives to step out into the light. 

I am in a unique position. I came to the party very late in life, and the decades I spent toiling in "real" business rather than "show" business (or, more accurately, show "business," as most of the entertainment executives I've met wouldn't survive five minutes working in the corporate world) enabled me to develop a very broad entrepreneurial skill-set.

I also have worked hard over the last year building my company, Bxx.

So, unlike my peers, I not only have alternative means by which I can make a living, but a place to land after the dust settles from this brouhaha and the Hollywood jobs dry up (and they will, of that I am fully confident--the mean kids are just biding their time at the moment. Then I'll be labelled "difficult" and pfft).

So, to all my brothers and sisters in the business, hang tight. It'll only get safer as more of us break cover.

And when your time comes, and you can follow me without depriving your children, I will not welcome you into the sunlight asking "What took you so long?" but "So soon? Are you sure?"

God bless all of you.


  1. Welcome out of the conservative closet. Already signed up for your new media film as well as most of my family. My 20 year old thinks it's a "super cool" concept and is sharing it with his friends. We will go out of our way to support conservatives in Hollywood.

  2. Good yo have you on our side. As a public school teacher I kinda sorta know what you're going through. Luckily I have wonderful liberal colleagues who put up with my hateful right wing nonsense, but it wasn't always that way. My first year teaching was during the 2000 election. I had some nasty confrontations. The thing is, however, I didn't think it was all that nasty since I had worked construction for a decade where people throw stuff at your head when they're pissed.

    Anyway, the point is you eventually settle in with your liberal colleagues and they figure out you don't bite. Of course Hollywierd might be different but I can't wait imagine it being any worse than education.


  3. Thanks man, didn't know who you were a week ago but I'm glad you decided to come out of the closet. Conservative thinkers speaking up in Hollywood is about as common as consentual prison sex, and probably twice as painful. Just wanted to say I appreciate it.

  4. Appreciate your sentiment and words as well. AB I loved like brother and never met him. I did though, understand what he brought to the table and what we lost when he checked out. The fact you did pop your head out of the "fox hole" was a testament to AB in the most grandiose of terms. Kudos to you. I am a fan and a follower of yours now, likewise I am equally unwilling any longer to remain under the proverbial rock.

  5. Yeah, I also work in education and have long had to out up with my colleagues' snide--and wholly inaccurate--assessments of what I hunk about the whole 42.

    And why can't I edit my iPhone's autocorrect?!

  6. Outstanding point. Disagree with the bad ideas; but remember that doesn't always make them bad people.

  7. Great post, Daniel. Welcome to the fold, glad to have you in the foxhole. God bless...

  8. You're just hitting your stride Daniel. Full speed ahead!

  9. I've worked in education and in Hollywood-- I guess I'm just a masciochist. Now I'm just a low-profile blogger, but I see the bias every day. Just knowing you're here speaking out gives me hope that we can change the biases that live so strongly in the artistic community.

  10. Standing up for what you believe in is tough if you're one pony in a herd of bison competing for the same pasture grass. The beauty of it all, is that you can navigate on your own and they're pack animals.

    The whole experience of shouting "I am who I am" gives you clarity of mind and you become a warrior like Andrew instinctively, who never gave a crap what anyone thought or said about him.

  11. Funny how you can totally love someone (Andrew Breitbart for instance) without ever meeting them. I thought about that for a while and it struck me thats how the progressives like Piven and Alinsky get their followers. Something in their message strikes a chord with certain people and no amount of arguing can shake their belief in these people.

    It's how you shape and own the message. Yes, words are more powerful than even nuclear bombs.

  12. You're a very humane, understanding fellow, Mr. Knauf. I hope that the time comes soon when more people in arts & entertainment can come "into the sunlight."

  13. Daniel, that was a great post. I myself have done that, had a liberal pop in to throw a bomb at me, get a conversation started, then part friends.

    One guy who actually writes for ESPN and I got into the other morning, going back and forth on some issues, then started talking sports, etc. Really cool guy. Sent me a link where he wrote something for ESPN about the Knicks.

    My morning rant on twitter today had to do with the fact many Liberals are taught it's OK to throw rhetorical 'bombs' at those hate-filled Conservatives over there. They are actually projecting their own hate onto you. That's why Bill Maher can call Sarah Palin a c*nt and get a pass from the 'tolerant Left; because supposedly SHE'S the one that's full of hate and he's not.

    Never take it personally because most of these people aren't evil, they are just very emotional and misguided. 10% are just aholes, but make sure first before you write them off.

  14. You're dead on right. 90% of people may disagree on some items, but we agree on many more and therefore choose to move on. It is the 10% pissing everyone off and getting the TV time.

    I can't tell you enough how much respect I have for you for being open and honest about how you feel. I'm lucky that I moved my family to Texas and work in an environment where (for now) my political leanings don't impact my livelyhood.

    It's also sad that so many people see bits of our eruptions and then think that is all that defines us.

    Best to you and if you ever need someone to vent with or talk geek with, hit me on twitter. @Tots4Masses

  15. Daniel, you're right about the "labels". I work a union job and when I challenge the usual talking points I'm called a "right-wing nationalist", "brain-dead", etc. And those are the "nice" comments:) Keep up the good work.

  16. Hang in there Shakes!
    It will get easier with time and you'll get more comfortable being public about it. There will never be another Breitbart but you've inspired more than you know - Knauf style!