“Rhett, Rhett… Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?”
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
(the parting scene between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in the movie
Gone With the Wind)
I knew it was just a matter of time and I suppose the time is finally here.
I read yesterday morning that the movie Gone With The Wind is being pulled from Memphis theaters due to being “racially insensitive.”
Here is where I need to remember to watch my problem with my knees,
that kneejerkitis that often afflicts both of those pesky knees of mine because
I need to choose my thoughts here carefully.
When I was in high school during those heady days of the mid 70’s, I read for
one of my lit classes, J.D. Salinger’s 1951 book Catcher In the Rye.
I was an angst filled teen who longed for understanding so Salinger’s angst
filled tale seemed to be a good choice, right?
Well, not exactly.
Holden Caulfield was a messed up kid.
Spoiled, lost, and empty.
And there I was a lost young girl trying to connect with a lost young male character
in a quintessential tale of the lostness of adolescents.
Not a good combination really.
The language was off putting to me even back then,
as was the heavy black curtain which seemed to hang over me the reader…
heavy like a cloud of suffocating stale cigarette smoke, as
Holden himself seemed to be constantly drowning in the book under the weight
of his own heaviness.
Yet it was considered a classic…a troubled classic much like Holden himself.
In 1981, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book
in public schools in the United States
Talk about an internal struggle.
It was a book that was so controversial that it’s bad boy status catapulted
it to being one of the most sought after books of it’s time…
nothing like being told you can’t do, read, see or hear something
that spurs on that endless thirst to do just that…to do, read, see or hear
that which one has been told one can’t….
Catcher in the Rye is not a book I would now want to go back and read,
and perhaps it was a book that I should not have read back in high school.
I don’t like the storyline, I don’t like the graphicness, the lostness, the
angst ridden quest which never seems to find salvation….
I learned a long time ago in my Christian journey that surrounding myself with
that which is edifying is important.
It’s like being a recovering alcoholic and surrounding one’s self with a
room full of drunken sots.
A broken individual can only be strong for other broken individuals,
being strong alone, for just so long….
Which in this case mirrors my connection to the world.
If I continue to fill myself with that of the world, then I stay pretty much
in the world and a part of the world…a broken, lost, messed up, angry world.
It’s when I fill myself with those things of God’s glory and grace, and that alone,
is when I can finally be uplifted…
Yet the world, like a bottle of alcohol to that alcoholic,
keeps calling me back…’come back to being a part of the quagmire…watch the
“moralityless” shows promoting homosexuality, promiscuity, vulgar language,
lawlessness, brokeness… listen to the music that promotes gang violence,
sexual abuse of woman…’because misery is loving some company’
while no one is considering Salvation.
But all of that brokeness and lostness is not my point…
my point is back with Gone With The Wind.
When I was still teaching, I worked with probably the best Media Specialist
on the planet (Hi Phyllis)…
She started her career as a librarian…
but librarians were soon to be rocketed to the stratosphere with the advent of
technology within the schools…So what was the humble school book clerk
transitioned to being something akin to a superman or woman…the Media Specialist.
These are now the all knowing techie gurus in schools who still just so happen to
be the keepers of the books and periodicals.
Part of my friend’s job was to meet with the faculty ever so often in order to
share the latest list of banned books or books that were being challenged by
the outside…be it by parents, community members or whomever felt the need
or calling to challenge.
There would be an announced “hearing” where we the faculty and the community
would be invited to the said hearing forum where the banning arguments
were to be heard.
I never attended such hearings because I preferred laying low.
So I can’t speak first hand to the whole banning process.
But it was just all too much for the American loving freedom fighter in me who
would simply get really riled because the only thing I could picture in my mind
were the Nazi’s and their book burning bonfires.
A sure enough time when the lunatics were indeed running the asylum.
On the US list Mark Twain is a frequent guest.
As is the Bible.
As is George Orwell, Willian Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway…
with the list going on and on and on.
And yes, Gone With The Wind is also on the list.
It seems to me that we will allow current trending movies, television shows
and music to run happily amuck, promoting everything from sexual promiscuity
to violence against woman to disrespect to the glorification of gang violence…
But let us dare to perceive something in our past to be insensitive,
especially what we now consider to be racially insensitive….
Well our overtly culturally correct loving Nation is now the greatest group of
hypocrites since the Victorian aristocracy….
and yet no body seems to get it.
We have bigger fish to fry, like aiding those caught in the middle
of a raging catastrophe along the Gulf….
so therefore all this negative anger needs to be channeled toward helping and caring
for those in the greatest need…
yet everyone is too busy being selfish and too caught up in their own tunnel
vision to get it.
So like Rhett Butler, I want to say to the latest statue disputes,
Berkley protesters, Alt right and Antifa idiots among us…
as well as to the latest book or movie banning squads out there that
this growing madness over “insensitivity” is…well…
Frankly my dear, I just don’t give a damn.
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men,
but God knows your hearts.
For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Now I’ve heard it all. Gone with the Wind is a classic. I believe we have entered the black hole of tolerance.
“I learned a long time ago in my Christian journey that surrounding myself with that which is edifying is important.”
Amen! Some of us who have seen and experienced too much of the dark,must be very diligent about Philippians 4:8. I catch myself in that all the time.
True story, the first thing I did when I learned to read, was to read everything on my parent’s banned book list. CS Lewis was absolutely forbidden in our house, so I promptly read everything he wrote. Later I got a list of banned books at the library and it was like winning the lottery. I read all the classics,anything the least bit controversial. God can put one’s defiance and rebellion to good use sometimes. 🙂
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Can one shed a tear for the loss of great statues , history, and especially literature, and still not give a damn? In the end, being embraced by our savior is all that matters.
And yes- there is great sorrow in all of this madness.
The ironic thing in this manic race to remove and destroy all things historically past …
the left’s, the liberal’s and the progressive’s mindset which had always been that of art for art’s sake– freedom of expression as in artists depicting a Madonna made out of cow dung or imagery of perverse sexual acts which they touted and shout from the roof tops as art and creativity and expression but the twist now being is that those same groups are the very ones currently screaming “off with their heads!”
So my not giving a damn is to the stupidity that is raging over minutia as we are straining gnats while missing what really matters–
And that being The salvation found in Jesus Christ and our attending to our fellow human beings who are now earnest and dire need!
Thank you my friend of many hats for a kind observation 😇
Every time twenty dollars is spent on a book it is twenty dollars not spent on another book. I’m not sure who determines which books are purchased by libraries, but I do know if one does not like one that has been put on a shelf, it stays, no matter what trashy content is in it. And, of course, the more readers the more that author’s books are purchased. I tend to think there should be some local control on books purchased for public forum. For example, I have tried to find books for children on topics such as “honesty.” Not much luck, but when I check Amazon, I find lots of appealing books on the subject. On the other hand, the shelves are bursting with childrens’ books on witches or warlocks. I do know our public librarian has purchased every book I have asked her to purchase. I can’t image, however, that that many parents are running to request more books on witches and warlocks for their children to read.
Makes one think–I’d actually written about such in this post but as it was already lengthy enough I cut that part and will save it for another day..,
I’ll be glad to see it. And to get good scriptural nourishment to go with it. 😀
Julies, I’ve been hopping around today saying thanks for folks who visit me and leave tracks in the form of likes and comments. I thank you. You are a blogger’s delight with all your interaction. 😀
Oneta– I’m the one that must say thank you– your words and wisdom truly bless my soul!!!
Well said! You hit the nail right on the head. Words of wisdom. Thank you!
Crazy times to be sure!! Thank you for your kind words!
Whoops, I don’t know how I missed this! I think I clicked like thinking it was the there other one, oh I don’t know. Anyway, it’s a frustrating topic but you express well my thoughts about it too. There is so much to learn from the stories of our past, most especially in the ones that are a bit rough and insensitive as compared to how we live now. How sad for the next generation.
I agree totally Tricia—and if memory serves—there is no disservice or ill treatment to any of those who were the depicted slaves in this movie–no abuse, no mistreatment but rather they were treated more like family members.
The carpetbaggers and shanty men, who were white, were the real sinister ones, the bad men who attempted to molest / attack and rape the woman as it was one of the slaves who interceded to save the day.
The only poor treatment was when Scarlet slapped Prissy—but I would imagine Scarlet would have slapped any younger woman, white or black, in that particular scene of her total sense of frustration.
And also Hattie McDonald who played Mammy was the first African American woman to have won an Oscar for her performance in the movie.
Yes, all very true Julie!
I’m sad to hear they took that down. I’m not White and I lament this. For the record I only found out about this movie this past year and I absolutely loved it and watched it more than once. I thought it was insightful into the time and place of Antebellum America.
I think that this is another a case of context and time.
The movie was made in 1940. So now because we perceive ourselves to be a better and more wise a people, all what was is now considered bad, insensitive or wrong.
We cannot continue trying to look back through the lenses of today and expect to see everything as we think it should be…we call that history.
Plus the movie was not derogatory nor did it depict anyone poorly but maybe the carpetbaggers, the lone lost union soldier and shanty men (those men living in squalor after the war as there was very little left as far as employment or homes or crops) who were white and were opportunists and or reduced to living hand to mouth and took what they could—these were the men who were depicted in the movie to take advantage of (rape) the women…they were white and it was the “salves” who came to the rescue. So yes the movie depicts slavery which was indicative of the time but not the horrendous treatment of being beaten or treatment as was shown say in the movie Roots. We can’t erase that fact that slavery existed and that movies were made about that time period…and the fact that it is “historically accurate” should not be reason to simply erase it and dismiss it now as insensitive—
the movie is a classic.
I suppose we could say there was reason not to show the movie Moses as the Jews in the movie were slaves to Pharaoh. And that movie did depict the harsh treatment inflicted upon the enslaved Jews…but no one seems upset about Jewish slaves….
we seem to want to pick and choose what we consider in poor taste while ignoring the same elsewhere—again, it is us, the modern person who is the hypocrite….