WASHINGTON. It’s often said you should “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” The Hollywood entertainment industry, like the Democratic Party itself, finds they’re the dog vigorously wagged by its tail. And that tail is in the powerful, whipsaw grip of the masters of identity politics.
The fires of identity politics
The recent race riots – the outward, muscular expression of identity politics – has required the political and cultural elites to bend a knee in deference to Black Lives Matter and the Mussolini-like black shirts of ANTIFA.
An essential part of that deference requires sending large swaths of history down the memory hole; whether it be statues of Confederate generals, navigator Christopher Columbus, or Declaration of Independence writer Thomas Jefferson.
Down the memory hole
You may recall how the fictional Winston Smith of George Orwell’s “1984” sent material inconvenient in Big Brother’s utopia down “a large oblong slit protected by wire grating… they were nicknamed memory holes.”
Why the need for memory holes?
Because, as Orwell observed, revising history is easy, but erasing all memory of the past is a massive endeavor.
“This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date.”
A civilization gone with the wind… and Gunga Din too
Standing in for Big Brother, streaming service HBO Max recently announced they had pulled the classic 1939 picture “Gone with the Wind” from its film library. According to HBO, the story’s racist…
“… depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.”
In that spirit, during the recent Turner Movie Classics (TMC) presentation of 1939’s “Gunga Din,” directed by George Stevens, host Ben Mankiewicz began by bending a knee of sorts.
In his introduction to the film, Mankiewicz fan-splained to his viewers,
“These movies that dealt with British colonialism left no ambiguity about British colonialism. The British were good and those fighting for freedom were terrorists… But if we’re going to appreciate these movies, you know, you accept that. And you can talk about it, but you have to, ah, account for that and in some ways let it go.”
The thuggees of multiculturalism
The maligned “terrorists” of the film “fighting for freedom” were called the Thuggee (where the word “thug” is derived). In 1812, this cult of Kali worshipers expressed their devotion to the god of death, time, and doomsday by strangling travelers along the dusty roads of northern India; robbing them of their meager belongings before burying the victims.
But the date 1812 only denotes the year British authorities first noticed the cult’s atrocities following the death of Lieutenant John Maunsell of the 23rd Native Infantry of the Bengal Army. Thuggee’s murdering practices no doubt stretched back well into the past.
The year of Maunsell’s death, an estimated 30,000 perished in the strangle-grip of the Thuggee. Some historians estimate the cult murdered as many as two million innocent travelers in devotion to their bloodthirsty god. The vast majority of these victims, of course, were Indian.
But British imperial might all but wiped the murderous cult from the face of the Earth by 1839. And the adventure film “Gunga Din,” to quote TMC’s Ben Mankiewicz, leaves “no ambiguity about British colonialism” regarding the justice of its war against the forces of a backward and deadly primitivism.
In fact, the same year “Gunga Din” hit the theaters, imperial Britain declared war on a nation claiming the right to rule the world based on the purity of her people’s blood. A bloodline they claimed harkened back to prehistoric giants of the ice world Thule. The bloodline of a superior “Arian race.”
Five years later, Nazi Germany’s occult leader died by his own hand, surrounded by Britain and her allies. Imperial Britain destroyed another backward, primitive, and murderous cult – saving the world in the process.
A trap of their own making
But TMC’s Ben Mankiewicz won’t tell you that. He can’t. Because he’s a prisoner of cancel culture’s memory-hole leftists. And it’s wonderful to see. The elite, left-leaning culture warriors thought they controlled the hotheaded, perpetually perturbed masses. That these knuckle-dragging souls hung on every woke tweet and speech delivered at award ceremonies from the Grammys to the Oscars. Hollywood’s elite thought they rode safely inside their wagons while the great unwashed pulled like harnessed draft animals.
But identity politics, especially its more toxic racial manifestation, turned the tables, strapping bridals on the muzzles of these elite clothes horses.
Memory-hole leftists, like movie critics with film, would like to tell us how to interpret the flickering images of the past. But like the characters in “Gone with the Wind,” their “enlightened” paternalism to those they consider inferior is nothing less than brutish condescension.
The wizards of obliteration
With “Gone with the Wind” now safely out of the way, can 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz” be far behind? Isn’t the film’s comical depiction of diminutive munchkins an insensitive representation of negative stereotypes? Then there’s its heavily judgmental portrayal of a green, Wicken-practicing spellbinder as “wicked.” Isn’t the film’s depiction of the broom-riding female’s alternative religion Western-centric?
And what of that old, very white, male wizard? He exploitatively sends an underage schoolgirl from Kansas on a dangerous mission sure to end her life and those of her handicapped companions – a tin man without a heart, a scarecrow without a brain, and a lion without courage. Aren’t they victims of the imperial wizard’s white privilege?
Hollywood’s film libraries possess reel after reel of morally flawed celluloid content worthy of dropping down Big Brother’s memory hole – and into the fiery pit of revisionism.
So, why is the Hollywood left so sour that under the rubric of identity politics, day by day and almost minute by minute the past is brought up to date?
Top Image: Poster for the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind.”