Of Gone with the Wind and 'peak leftism'

Just when you think the anti-Southern hysteria sweeping the nation can't get any worse, it does.

New York Post:

If the Confederate flag is finally going to be consigned to museums as an ugly symbol of racism, what about the beloved film offering the most iconic glimpse of that flag in American culture?

I’m talking, of course, about “Gone with the Wind,’’ which won a then-record eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1939, and still ranks as the all-time North American box-office champ with $1.6 billion worth of tickets sold here when adjusted for inflation.

True, “Gone with the Wind’’ isn’t as blatantly and virulently racist as D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,’’ which was considered one of the greatest American movies as late as the early 1960s, but is now rarely screened, even in museums.

The more subtle racism of “Gone with the Wind’’ is in some ways more insidious, going to great lengths to enshrine the myth that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery — an institution the film unabashedly romanticizes.

When I reviewed the graphically honest “12 Years a Slave’’ in 2013, I noted, “It will be impossible to ever look at ‘Gone with the Wind’ the same way.’’

[...]

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.

A CNN anchor actually asked whether or not the Jefferson Memorial should come down.  While we're at it, might as well take down the Lincoln Memorial because Mary Todd's family owned slaves.  Of course, we should dynamite the Washington Monument pronto.

Where will it end ? NRO's Kevin Williamson argues we've now enter "peak leftism":

For the Left, it feels like time is running out. So it isn’t sufficient that same-sex marriages be legalized; bakers and florists must be locked in prison if they decline to participate in a gay couple’s ceremony. It isn’t sufficient that those wishing to undergo sex-change surgery be permitted to go their own way; the public must pay for it, and if Bruce Jenner is still “Bruce” to you, you must be driven from polite society. It isn’t enough that the Left dominate the media and pop culture; any attempt to compete with it must be criminalized in the name of “getting big money out of politics.” Not the New York Times’s money, or Hollywood’s money, or the CEO of Goldman Sachs’s money — just the wrong sort of people’s money. Every major Democratic presidential candidate and every Democratic senator is on record supporting the repeal of the First Amendment’s free-speech protections — i.e., carving the heart out of the Bill of Rights — to clear the way for putting all public debate under political discipline.

Like it or not, you will be shackled to hope and change.

The hysterical shrieking about the fictitious rape epidemic on college campuses, the attempts to fan the unhappy events in Ferguson and Baltimore into a national racial conflagration, the silly and shallow “inequality” talk — these are signs of progressivism in decadence.

[...]

What’s going to happen between now and November 8 of next year will be a political campaign on one side of the aisle only. On the other side, it’s going to be something between a temper tantrum and a panic attack. That’s excellent news if you’re Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, or Carly Fiorina. It’s less good news if you live in Baltimore or Philadelphia.

I'm not as sure as Kevin that we've reached some kind of watershed.  One of the goals of all this shrieking is to intimidate ordinary Americans into making them think the way they're supposed to.  Polls on cultural issues suggest that it's working to some degree, as is the constant harping about "income inequality" and other issues the left will run on in 2016.  Forget their weakness and incompetence on foreign policy – it will be a non-issue for the most part in the election.  If Hillary – or any other Democrat – can touch the resentments many people have toward the rich, the election will be about leveling, not economic growth.

I sincerely hope Williamson is right.  He's pegged the desperation of the left in all this, and it very well may be that 2016 will be a hinge election.  But I'm loath to get my hopes up after watching liberalism's "riot of conceits" dominate the culture for 40 years.

Just when you think the anti-Southern hysteria sweeping the nation can't get any worse, it does.

New York Post:

If the Confederate flag is finally going to be consigned to museums as an ugly symbol of racism, what about the beloved film offering the most iconic glimpse of that flag in American culture?

I’m talking, of course, about “Gone with the Wind,’’ which won a then-record eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture of 1939, and still ranks as the all-time North American box-office champ with $1.6 billion worth of tickets sold here when adjusted for inflation.

True, “Gone with the Wind’’ isn’t as blatantly and virulently racist as D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,’’ which was considered one of the greatest American movies as late as the early 1960s, but is now rarely screened, even in museums.

The more subtle racism of “Gone with the Wind’’ is in some ways more insidious, going to great lengths to enshrine the myth that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery — an institution the film unabashedly romanticizes.

When I reviewed the graphically honest “12 Years a Slave’’ in 2013, I noted, “It will be impossible to ever look at ‘Gone with the Wind’ the same way.’’

[...]

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.

A CNN anchor actually asked whether or not the Jefferson Memorial should come down.  While we're at it, might as well take down the Lincoln Memorial because Mary Todd's family owned slaves.  Of course, we should dynamite the Washington Monument pronto.

Where will it end ? NRO's Kevin Williamson argues we've now enter "peak leftism":

For the Left, it feels like time is running out. So it isn’t sufficient that same-sex marriages be legalized; bakers and florists must be locked in prison if they decline to participate in a gay couple’s ceremony. It isn’t sufficient that those wishing to undergo sex-change surgery be permitted to go their own way; the public must pay for it, and if Bruce Jenner is still “Bruce” to you, you must be driven from polite society. It isn’t enough that the Left dominate the media and pop culture; any attempt to compete with it must be criminalized in the name of “getting big money out of politics.” Not the New York Times’s money, or Hollywood’s money, or the CEO of Goldman Sachs’s money — just the wrong sort of people’s money. Every major Democratic presidential candidate and every Democratic senator is on record supporting the repeal of the First Amendment’s free-speech protections — i.e., carving the heart out of the Bill of Rights — to clear the way for putting all public debate under political discipline.

Like it or not, you will be shackled to hope and change.

The hysterical shrieking about the fictitious rape epidemic on college campuses, the attempts to fan the unhappy events in Ferguson and Baltimore into a national racial conflagration, the silly and shallow “inequality” talk — these are signs of progressivism in decadence.

[...]

What’s going to happen between now and November 8 of next year will be a political campaign on one side of the aisle only. On the other side, it’s going to be something between a temper tantrum and a panic attack. That’s excellent news if you’re Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, or Carly Fiorina. It’s less good news if you live in Baltimore or Philadelphia.

I'm not as sure as Kevin that we've reached some kind of watershed.  One of the goals of all this shrieking is to intimidate ordinary Americans into making them think the way they're supposed to.  Polls on cultural issues suggest that it's working to some degree, as is the constant harping about "income inequality" and other issues the left will run on in 2016.  Forget their weakness and incompetence on foreign policy – it will be a non-issue for the most part in the election.  If Hillary – or any other Democrat – can touch the resentments many people have toward the rich, the election will be about leveling, not economic growth.

I sincerely hope Williamson is right.  He's pegged the desperation of the left in all this, and it very well may be that 2016 will be a hinge election.  But I'm loath to get my hopes up after watching liberalism's "riot of conceits" dominate the culture for 40 years.