June 24, 2015

TIME TO BAN GONE WITH THE WIND? Well, that didn’t take long:

If it were left to me, I would take the flag down (for the reasons South Carolina governor Nikki Haley laid out Monday). But this kind of cheap moral preening is galling. Is it really too much for people to muster the moral imagination that the issue isn’t nearly as simple as that?

A November poll of South Carolinians found that 61 percent of blacks wanted it down. That means nearly four in ten blacks felt differently. Are they deluded? Are they the moral equivalent of self-loathing Jews, happy to live under a swastika?

It’s a sure bet that some of the white South Carolinians marching across that bridge and attending services at Emanuel AME Church also support keeping the flag. That doesn’t mean they’re right, but they surely aren’t the American SS of Jenkins’s imagination either.

Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got Gone With the Wind nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it’s the enemy of all that is decent and good.

“The Dignity of Charleston Flies in the Face of the Left’s Uninformed, Anti-South Bigotry,” Jonah Goldberg, writing for his L.A. Times column, which ran yesterday.

But what does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station just before the “GWTW’’ intermission?

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.

‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag,” Lou Lumenick, the New York Post, today.

Hey, MoMA is an interesting choice; considering the very problematic 1930s-era tribal politics of one of its founders; but in any case, will Warners heed Lumenick’s (tacit or otherwise) advice and ban Gone With the Wind on Blu-Ray?

Speaking of which, Mel Brooks has noted that there’s no way Blazing Saddles could be made in today with his fellow leftists in full-bore PC on steroids mode. Last year John Nolte of Big Hollywood received plenty of dismissive scorn from the left for advising his readers, “’Blazing Saddles’ Review: Buy a Copy Before the Left Burns Them All.”

Will that film be next for the full Fahrenheit 451 treatment?

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