If the left sees every war as Vietnam, then for show business, every moral crusade is the blacklist of the 1950s. Which is why it’s not all that surprising to see Nathan Lane starring in a play about Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter. Mark Steyn’s entire article about the play is well worth reading, but these two paragraphs really sum it all up:
By way of comparison, let me offer the example of my old friend Diana Mosley, who died recently at the age of 93, a victim of the Paris heatwave. In the Thirties, Diana got the hots for Fascism and Nazism: Hitler came to her wedding, she thought he had exquisite table manners, etc. When war broke out, the Government in Britain had her jailed as a possible security threat. After the war, she began a lifelong exile in France. She didn’t kill anyone, she didn’t take up arms against her country, but she never quite sufficiently regretted her youthful support for a totalitarian philosophy that proved to be genocidal. Although she was witty, charming and a biographer of distinction, it would be impossible to imagine a play about Diana Mosley in which her enthusiasm for Nazism was not placed squarely at the centre.Like Diana, Dalton Trumbo didn’t kill anyone or take up arms against his country. Like Diana, he went to jail and paid a price for being merely a youthful supporter of a totalitarian philosophy that proved to be genocidal. Though the play won’t tell you the answer to that famous question – “Are you now or have you ever…?” – the answer is: yes, he was. The more interesting question is: How do you feel about getting one of the great moral questions of the century wrong?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for a play to answer that question anytime soon!
But do read the whole thing, as they say.