Ban Gone With the Wind?

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As fellow blogger Paul Zummo noted yesterday:

Once upon a time it took months and even years for the next level of absurdity to be realized. In modern America it only takes hours.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/professors-us-flag-symbolizes-racism-should-not-be-displayed-on-campus.html

Now the film critic for The New York Post wants to relegate Gone With the Wind to the museum:

Warner Bros. just stopped licensing another of pop culture’s most visible uses of the Confederate flag — toy replicas of the General Lee, an orange Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard’’ — as retailers like Amazon and Walmart have finally backed away from selling merchandise with that racist symbol.

That studio sent “Gone with the Wind’’ back into theaters for its 75th anniversary in partnership with its sister company Turner Classic Movies in 2014, but I have a feeling the movie’s days as a cash cow are numbered. It’s showing on July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of the museum’s salute to the 100th anniversary of Technicolor — and maybe that’s where this much-loved but undeniably racist artifact really belongs.

Go here to read the rest.

True confession time:  I have never thought much of the film personally, viewing it as a fairly standard Hollywood potboiler of the time, made epic by stars, Technicolor and a huge budget.  Perhaps part of my dislike of the film is that I know too much about the period and when it rings false as to the time it purports to represent, my teeth go on edge.  However, to ban it as some sort of avatar of the Confederacy is ludicrous.

 

The amusing part of this farce is that one of the major themes of the movie was how foolish it was for the South to fight a  war with the North.

This theme is underlined by the scene showing a crowd in Atlanta getting the casualty lists of the battle of Gettysburg.  The sorrow of the band director who has just learned that his son has been killed cries out from the screen as he has his band, largely made up of boys and old men, plays Dixie, and the camera pans in on a fife player who is weeping.

The portrayal of blacks of course in Gone With the Wind now strikes most Americans as offensive, but Hattie McDaniel’s portrayal of the strong willed Mammy won her an Oscar for best supporting actress in 1940.  At the time there were some protests of the film by blacks, but far more blacks came out to see the film and appreciated the humanity and strength that Hattie McDaniel gave to a character who could easily have come across as a mere stereotype.

 

If we are now going to be judging Art by the sensibilities of twenty-first century Leftists, we will have precious little Art left to us, along with precious little History.

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11 Comments

  1. The question regarding all this rush to judgment is; Is this really about offending some, or controlling most?

  2. The professional aggrieved class will continue until someone stands up to them and tells them to shut up and go away. Politicians are cowards at heart, especially Republicans, so don’t expect them to do it.

    There has long been a campaign against the Stars and Bars. At University of Mississippi home football games it was de rigeur to bring the Stars and Bars and wave it. UM was embarrassed by this so they replaced it with a blue block letter M in a red background with stars in the block M. Unive3rsity presidents are the very definition of cowards.

  3. . Mayor Giuliani and black youtuber Tommy Sotomayor may be the two major media voices smiling at this farce. Sotomayor goes too far in his immoderate feelings against his own people but his central point is very like Giuliani…ie 43 blacks were murdered in May in Baltimore by other blacks after the riot there and no one in the major media will be outraged about that nearly as much as about a lone white psycho killing 9 blacks. I call him psycho because his victims in no way matched who in the black community he was afraid of. Last week in Jersey City, a black woman was shot in the back by a stray bullet in the most dangerous neighborhood of JC and after she fell to the ground, she was robbed by passersby of her jewelry, phone, and medication. There has been no protest march in her honor because all involved were black. Had that happened to her by whites in a white neighborhood, JC would have become April’s Baltimore. Outrage in the US is furtively racial not really about blind justice regardless of color.

  4. What’s wrong with some people over there?.

    It’s just a flag that represents a time in history. If there is anything that’s going to perpetuate what it stands for, it’s banning it.

  5. Don, there is a lot wrong with us today. We have become hypersensitive over race. Criticism of Obumbler is labeled as racism by Obumbler supporters. Black on black crime is ignored but when a police officer defends himself against a black assailant, the media is all over it hyping it up for more than it is worth.

    Obumbler has done more to divide this country than anything since the Vietnam War. Blacks have not seen their standard of living rise and it is all someone else’s fault. Not the fault of poor blacks, not Obumbler’s fault, but everyone else’s.

    I love this country but I hate what is happening to it. Same with the Church. This is why I so often refer to those things that in the past that were clear cut and solid.

  6. All this banning and restricting seems to be coming quickly from the powerful, as if a concerted effort to do so, keeping racism on their front burner under the guise of protecting the offended. This seems to be a reaction to the dignity and compassion in evidence in Charleston, as if compassion should have been what was stirred up in other cities by activists. Shameful and ungracious.

  7. The movie showed racial harmony and humanity. The country was mostly harmonious until the agitators began to defeat the peace and harmony of Martin Luther King with violence and division.

  8. Can’t we still believe that all men are created equal in the image and likeness of God and live to love one another without finding offences that others who disbelieve are dictating? If not, there goes maturity and common sense.

  9. Mark Twain would be next–including the Disney movies of Mark Twain’s books.

    Now we can’t have any Southerner portrayed in a sympathetic light, even in a work of fiction.

    A free society does not do this.

    In all honesty, the most racists people I know are my Caucasian cousins who live in the North.

    These folks’ hypocrisy is shown clearly by their not attempting to end slavery in their own time. Have u ever heard a liberal whiner say one word about the sex slaves in Muslim countries? I haven’t.

  10. I have decided that most people use offense in the public realm as a weapon to get what they want. Taking offense makes one feel righteous, as the aggrieved, & powerful at the same time, as being a victim gains you sympathy.

    It is a very effective combination in todays world.

    I seem to be regularly pointing out to people that 1. In a free society, people have the right to offend you & 2. Just because someone chooses to be offended doesn’t mean that I agree to take responsibility for that offense.

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