Monday, August 25, 2008

They Fired the Dreamers

I was watching an old Henry Fonda movie from 1942, or so. The plot is that he is a professor who announces that he is going to quote Vanzetti, of Sacco and Vanzetti fame. There is a great uproar, because the university is under pressure by the trustees to get rid of communists, or they won't get a new football stadium.

It ends that Fonda gives the lecture to a crowded auditorium, speaks out for academic freedom, university independence and freedom of speech, then reads the quote. He wins over everyone with his Enlightenment ideals, even the football players and the right wing trustee, and there is a parade with him hoisted onto the football players shoulders. And his wife comes back.

Oh, don't the commies who obviously wrote that script wish it were so. How'd that work out for them 10 years later, trying to explain the Bill of Rights to the House on Un-American Activities?

Ironically, later that day I watched a 9-11 truth video, with a besieged truther, standing on a corner in New York, trying to explain the difference between patriotism and blind nationalism to a group of foul-mouthed New Yorkers, who clearly were as amenable to learning as Joe McCarthy was.

And the quote from Vanzetti?

"If it had not been for this thing, I might have lived out my life, talking at street corners to scorning men."

I think he nailed it.

4 comments:

Nader Enthusiast said...

I just loved those old movies in which right beats might like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Of course they bear no resemblance to real life. Like in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the bad Senator confesses to his deeds and the Senators actually attend sessions. It was a Frank Capra movie and they called his movies Capracorn because they were corny, but nearly always made you feel good about humans. What was the name of the movie you referenced?

Anonymous said...

It was called "The Male Animal"

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can give me tips again. I can't get into my account because it won't take my email address. It insists that I have a google account, which I don't.
Thanks for the info on stopping the screening of comments.

Nader Enthusiast said...

hmmm. I don't know anything about the google account business. What exactly are you trying to change? I am pretty much a novice so I might not be able to help. Google bought blogger and maybe that is why they want an account. Thank YOU for changing the comment thing.