I’ve been coming across the words “liberal guilt” often lately. My first encounter was via Salon.com’s film critic Andrew O’Hehir’s more or less tongue-in-cheek Liberal Guilt Awards (or Guilties). In this scenario, “Hollywood congratulates itself for its general condition of progressive enlightenment and lectures the rest of us from its newfound position of half-baked moral seriousness.” Website Link
Next was Steve Lopez’s March 12 column in the Los Angels Times, in which he discusses the furor around Crash. “I’m guessing,” he wrote, “as others have, that some Oscar voters were assuaging liberal guilt over the safety of their own isolation when they feted ‘Crash’ for ‘tackling’ that old devil racism.” This is, of course, similar to what L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan wrote about the Academy’s decision to award the Best Picture Oscar to Crash instead of Brokeback Mountain.