Gone With The Hot Air

PeterUK
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#1 Gone With The Hot Air

Postby PeterUK » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:01 pm

There was a report in yesterday's Guardian of a theatre in Memphis withdrawing a showing of Gone With The Wind from its summer movie series after 33 straight years of showing it because of the objections of people offended by its romanticising of slavery. This is the kind of PC nonsense that irritates the hell out of me. Comparable to the word nigger having to be removed from Mark Twain's books before they could be accepted in schools. Sensible people view or read widely acclaimed works of art with an understanding that they are of their period and can deepen our insight into those periods. It is not for us to alter or ban them simply because they offend the precious, entitled, humourless sensibilities of noise-making pressure groups. Goodness me, it's enough to turn one into a Trump supporter (well, okay, not quite that...)

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/a ... h-the-wind

Joachim

#2 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby Joachim » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:09 pm

PeterUK wrote:There was a report in yesterday's Guardian of a theatre in Memphis withdrawing a showing of Gone With The Wind from its summer movie series after 33 straight years of showing it because of the objections of people offended by its romanticising of slavery. This is the kind of PC nonsense that irritates the hell out of me. Comparable to the word nigger having to be removed from Mark Twain's books before they could be accepted in schools. Sensible people view or read widely acclaimed works of art with an understanding that they are of their period and can deepen our insight into those periods. It is not for us to alter or ban them simply because they offend the precious, entitled, humourless sensibilities of noise-making pressure groups. Goodness me, it's enough to turn one into a Trump supporter (well, okay, not quite that...)

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/a ... h-the-wind

But this situation is not dissimilar to what is happening with historical monuments. For decades monuments did not bother anybody and now they need to go? Why? People who do not remember the past may not have the future. Obama was touted as "transformational President". And my question was: transformational into what? America may need certain changes, certain corrections but not "transformers" (transformators?). Many people, I would dare to say majority feels this way. Hence, a backlash in the form of Trump (pendulum swung too far, I think).

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#3 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby PeterUK » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:23 pm

Joachim wrote:But this situation is not dissimilar to what is happening with historical monuments.

In the case of the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Charlottesville, I think the decision to remove it was a mistake. It doesn't commemorate slavery, it commemorates a great American. Not only was Lee arguably the best general on either side in the Civil War but he was also widely recognised by his contemporaries to be of noble and magnanimous character. After the war he spoke out in favour of reconciliation. But the PC movement is not famous for its appreciation of nuances or subtleties, and people are so determined to appease it lest they be considered racists, so the statue of the wicked slavery supporter has to go. I see that other Robert E. Lee statues are also now slated for removal. It's a shame IMO.

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#4 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby Brooklyn Bridge » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:14 am

I have no objections to commemorating Robert E. Lee and other Confederate traitors, as long as monuments are erected to every black man who was lynched from 1870 to 1960. Schools should be named for Medgar Evers, Cheney, Goodman, Schwerner, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson Carol Denise McNair -- children who were kiilled in the Birmingham Church Bombing.

Did I mention Dylan Roof? What about renaming some schools after his victims?

One great idea might be to erect statues of anonymous men in pointy hoods, or put up gas-fired crosses, in Dixie town squares.

Oh, and "Gone with the Wind". Great movie. The burning of Atlanta and all that. Frankly, I don't give a damn, but why don't we also show Mississippi Burning?

If were' going to commemorate "heritage and culture", let's really do it. Let's go all the way.

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#5 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby fountainhall » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:27 am

PeterUK wrote:In the case of the Robert E. Lee Memorial in Charlottesville, I think the decision to remove it was a mistake. It doesn't commemorate slavery, it commemorates a great American

You absolutely cannot divorce the two. That statue may commemorate a decent man but it is impossible not to attach to it the system he fought so hard to uphold - the dreadful, horrendous, hideous system of slavery. How can anyone look back into the past and not condemn utterly the monstrosity that hauled innocent men, women and children from their homes, families and countries simply so that slave owners could be further enriched through cheap labour - labour that was often whipped, raped, beaten and killed for little or no reason?

If I were an African American, I would find it difficult to see that every day. I fully accept there are decent people in every brutal regime. To commemorate him, if that is what the city or state wants, put him in a Museum alongside explanations as to why he is so celebrated and - as importantly - the hideousness of the system he fought to maintain. The younger generation need to grow up with a balanced view of history - not some of the one-sided garbage I was taught as historical fact when I was growing up.

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#6 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:39 am

Brooklyn Bridge wrote:If were' going to commemorate "heritage and culture", let's really do it. Let's go all the way.

How about a statue of John Wilkes Booth? Shouldn't he be on the list?

Actually, what some may not know is when war broke out, Abraham Lincoln offered Robert E. Lee to be the general for the Union army. Obviously Lee turned down the offer and became the general for the Confederacy.

George McClellan became general of the Union army, but he was not exactly a Norman Schwarzkopf. He eventually was replaced with Ulysses Grant.

The Confederacy claimed their reason for the revolt was to preserve states rights. My opinion - bullshit. They were afraid that Lincoln would end slavery and their way of life. Also, they were opposed to the idea that slavery would be prohibited in any new states.

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Bob
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#7 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:22 am

If the Guardian's story is correct, what happened here was a private theater owner elected not to show a movie so as not to offend some members of his community. No governmental action happened here, simply the choice of a private business owner. Rather than being offended by the theater owner's decision, I'd defend his right to make that choice for his/her own reasons.

As for the confederate statues and symbols, I respectfully suggest that a fair number of people do not fully appreciate how those pervasive symbols remain significantly offensive to millions of Americans. I'd never suggest erasing or hiding history but perhaps it's time to relegate those symbols to museums and remove them from the public squares where they've been used to continue the subliminal message to millions of Americans that they remain second-class citizens.

As for glorifying or praising Robert E. Lee, I won't join that crowd. He may have been a gentleman in some respects and he may even have been a very good military general; however, as believed by very sizable percentage of the US population, Lee and other leaders of the Confederacy also committed treason that led to the deaths of over half a million people. As to the things he said (voluntarily or involuntarily) after that slaughter was realized, his "niceness" was a bit too late for my applause.

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#8 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby PeterUK » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:46 am

fountainhall wrote:You absolutely cannot divorce the two.


As you know, we had a Civil War of our own in England. Statues of leading figures on both sides are still dotted around the country. There is a famous one of Charles I (complete with horse - and head) in Whitehall, at the heart of government. Nobody, as far as I know, considers it an affront, an unacceptable symbol of absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings. Perhaps that is because we have had an extra 200 years to get over our civil war. On the other hand, there is a statue of Winston Churchill, erected in Parliament Square in the 1970s, which quite often gets defaced. The more recent the history, the more controversial the statues are likely to be.

Your point (and that of Bob) about putting the statues of highly controversial figures inside museums is a fair one and worth thinking about. I won't inflame board opinion any further with my thoughts about Robert E. Lee.

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#9 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby fountainhall » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:59 am

PeterUK wrote:As you know, we had a Civil War of our own in England. Statues of leading figures on both sides are still dotted around the country

And I have no problem with that. Lots of countries have had civil wars. What makes the one in the US different is the cause. No one can disguise the fact that it was over slavery, the forced removal of humans from lands far away, the buying and selling of humans, the horrible abuses most then suffered and the vast profits gained as a result. I cannot accept that anyone fighting for such a cause is worthy of public remembrance in a public space.

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#10 Re: Gone With The Hot Air

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:22 pm

Bob wrote:those pervasive symbols remain significantly offensive to millions of Americans.

Probably appreciated about as much as Russian peasants would appreciate statues of Stalin.


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