Jonah is wondering why Hollywood types always imagine big businessmen knocking off their enemies, when this seems to happen so rarely (if ever) in real life.
I know I’ve blogged about this before, but a diligent search doesn’t turn up the post, so I’ll just repeat it.
Here’s my theory. Even ignoring the fact that a lot of Hollywood writers tend to be leftist, some of them may actually have personal reasons to hate “big business” and think it venal. For them, it often is.
First of all–they work in Hollywood, for those well-known paragons of probity and above-board accounting, television and film studios, and production companies. And horror stories about them abound. One could easily see why, if that was the only experience one had with the business world, one would have a pretty jaundiced view toward business and businessmen.
But there’s another part that is less obvious. People tend (rightly) to write what they know. And when screen writers are between screen-writing gigs, who do they work for?
Well, here’s a clue. What is one of the most common businesses to be depicted in television and movies? Think, for example, “Bewitched.” Or “Thirty Something.”
That’s right. Ad agencies. I haven’t done the research (it would be a good thesis project), but I’ll bet that television and film characters work at ad agencies vastly out of proportion to the number of people who do so in the real world.
After all, it’s a natural fit for a creative writer.
But it’s also (based on a lot of stories I’ve heard from people who have done it) one of the most vicious, back-stabbing industries in the nation, dominated by creative types rather than rational businessmen and good managers.
So, it only makes sense that if your only employment experience with business, big or otherwise, is working for the entertainment industry or the ad business, you’re not going to have much appreciation for how a real business, where you have to actually develop and manufacture things that people go out and willingly buy, and has to be run by people with a talent for business (not murder and skullduggery), actually works. It’s actually quite similar to the reason that life in the military is rarely depicted accurately. They have no real-life experience.