Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Michael York, part deux

In my earlier post about actor Michael York, I said I'd just bought his memoir of making the fundamentalist Christian apocalytptic Omega Code movies. I wondered why he participated in them.

This was a failure of imagination on my part. I can't imagine helping the Crouch family, founders of Trinity Broadcasting Network, spew their hateful, bigotted, dysfunctional, antidemocratic, authoritarian mythologizing. But I'm not an actor.

Dispatches from Armageddon York did it, according to the book, because that's what he does for a living: act in movies. The movies come from all kinds of sources, and you never really know what's going to be great or terrible. York's been in more dogs than gems, and it sounds like the pay is the same either way.

York was probably attractive to the Trinity people because he's pretty straight: married 25 years (then) to the same woman and no drug or other classic Hollywood scandals to his name. He never hints in the book whether he himself has faith in Jesus Christ, though he had little in George W Bush. York simply comes across as quite a nice fellow. (Of course, this is from his point of view, but still.) And he's not a bad writer at all.

York shows us, probably inadvertently, little hypocrisies on the part of the religious extremists making the movie. I doubt he realized the significance of their gaudy wealth, religious media profiteering, or alcohol cultivation and consumption. These are small solaces, but I am being mean.

Despite his Oxford education, showy literacy, worldwide experience, and obvious intelligence, it would be churlish to expect York to consider the adverse social, political, and cultural consequences his collaboration with these angels of light would have. He's an actor, after all.

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