Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

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lennygoran
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Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:53 am

This article caught my attention-actually I had already been thinking about another controversy--the removal of the Columbus statue at Columbus Circle-a place Sue and I seem to get to on nearly every NYC adventure. Gotta admit I'm not sure where to draw the line. Regards, Len


Memphis Theater Cancels ‘Gone With the Wind’ Screening

By ANDREW R. CHOW AUG. 27, 2017

A Memphis movie theater’s announcement that it will discontinue its annual screening of “Gone With the Wind” over concerns that the film is insensitive has prompted a heated discussion online.



https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/27/movi ... ctionfront

jbuck919
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:18 am

GWTW is one of the great movies of all time and with good reason. It does not cover over any aspect of slavery as it really existed, and is entirely realistic in its portrayal of the morally necessary and brutally real burning of Atlanta. Similarly, does anyone wish undone the achievement of Columbus, surely the greatest victory of blind discovery of all time? Yes, there ensued a genocide which he initiated, but it could have been halted by the action of others, starting with the Pope of the time. Somewhere, this anti-memorialization has to stop. What is next? Taking down the Washington Monument because he owned slaves?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by jserraglio » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:30 am

Why must folks bring up genocide at such inconvenient times, like whenever we want to bask in our cultural heritage?

According to Thomas E. Ricks, when FDR reproached Churchill for the way England was treating India, Churchill shot back (I paraphrase):
Yes, Mr. President, you are quite right to point out that we have a problem with Indians. That's largely because we did not kill all of ours.
__________________________________________________

New York Times OP-ED
George Washington, Slave Catcher
By Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Feb. 16, 2015

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/opin ... ml?mcubz=1

Amid the car and mattress sales that serve as markers for Presidents’ Day, Black History Month reminds Americans to focus on our common history. In 1926, the African-American historian Carter G. Woodson introduced Negro History Week as a commemoration built around the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Now February serves as a point of collision between presidential celebration and marginalized black history.

While Lincoln’s role in ending slavery is understood to have been more nuanced than his reputation as the great emancipator would suggest, it has taken longer for us to replace stories about cherry trees and false teeth with narratives about George Washington’s slaveholding.

When he was 11 years old, Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father’s estate. He continued to acquire slaves — some through the death of family members and others through direct purchase. Washington’s cache of enslaved people peaked in 1759 when he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis. His new wife brought more than 80 slaves to the estate at Mount Vernon. On the eve of the American Revolution, nearly 150 souls were counted as part of the property there.

In 1789, Washington became the first president of the United States, a planter president who used and sanctioned black slavery. Washington needed slave labor to maintain his wealth, his lifestyle and his reputation. As he aged, Washington flirted with attempts to extricate himself from the murderous institution — “to get quit of Negroes,” as he famously wrote in 1778. But he never did.
Washington and his agents pursued [Ona] Judge for three years, dispatching friends, officials and relatives to find and recapture her. Twelve weeks before his death, Washington was still actively pursuing her, but with the help of close allies, Judge managed to elude his slave-catching grasp.
During the president’s two terms in office, the Washingtons relocated first to New York and then to Philadelphia. Although slavery had steadily declined in the North, the Washingtons decided that they could not live without it. Once settled in Philadelphia, Washington encountered his first roadblock to slave ownership in the region — Pennsylvania’s Gradual Abolition Act of 1780.

The act began dismantling slavery, eventually releasing people from bondage after their 28th birthdays. Under the law, any slave who entered Pennsylvania with an owner and lived in the state for longer than six months would be set free automatically. This presented a problem for the new president.

Washington developed a canny strategy that would protect his property and allow him to avoid public scrutiny. Every six months, the president’s slaves would travel back to Mount Vernon or would journey with Mrs. Washington outside the boundaries of the state. In essence, the Washingtons reset the clock. The president was secretive when writing to his personal secretary Tobias Lear in 1791: “I request that these Sentiments and this advise may be known to none but yourself & Mrs. Washington.”

The president went on to support policies that would protect slave owners who had invested money in black lives. In 1793, Washington signed the first fugitive slave law, which allowed fugitives to be seized in any state, tried and returned to their owners. Anyone who harbored or assisted a fugitive faced a $500 penalty and possible imprisonment.

Washington almost made it through his two terms in office without a major incident involving his slave ownership. On a spring evening in May of 1796, though, Ona Judge, the Washingtons’ 22-year-old slave woman, slipped away from the president’s house in Philadelphia. At 15, she had joined the Washingtons on their tour of Northern living. She was among a small cohort of nine slaves who lived with the president and his family in Philadelphia. Judge was Martha Washington’s first attendant; she took care of Mrs. Washington’s personal needs.

What prompted Judge’s decision to bolt was Martha Washington’s plan to give Judge away as a wedding gift to her granddaughter. Judge fled Philadelphia for Portsmouth, N.H., a city with 360 free black people, and virtually no slaves. Within a few months of her arrival, Judge married Jack Staines, a free black sailor, with whom she had three children. Judge and her offspring were vulnerable to slave catchers. They lived as free people, but legally belonged to Martha Washington.

Washington and his agents pursued Judge for three years, dispatching friends, officials and relatives to find and recapture her. Twelve weeks before his death, Washington was still actively pursuing her, but with the help of close allies, Judge managed to elude his slave-catching grasp.

George Washington died on Dec. 14, 1799. At the time of his death, 318 enslaved people lived at Mount Vernon and fewer than half of them belonged to the former president. Washington’s will called for the emancipation of his slaves following the death of his wife. He completed in death what he had been unwilling to do while living, an act made easier because he had no biological children expecting an inheritance. Martha Washington lived until 1802 and upon her death all of her human property went to her inheritors. She emancipated none of her slaves.

When asked by a reporter if she had regrets about leaving the Washingtons, Judge responded, “No, I am free, and have, I trust, been made a child of God by the means.” Ona Judge died on Feb. 25, 1848. She has earned a salute during the month of February.

Correction: February 20, 2015. An Op-Ed article on Monday referred imprecisely to Martha Washington’s handling of George Washington’s slaves after his death in 1799. While she did not emancipate her own slaves, as the essay noted, in 1801 she freed all of his slaves, as he had requested.

lennygoran
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:33 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:18 am
Somewhere, this anti-memorialization has to stop. What is next? Taking down the Washington Monument because he owned slaves?
Your question is exactly the one I have-I just don't know how to answer it. One thing I thought of. Gone With the Wind involves private enterprise where as Columbus Circle is on public property-I don't even know if this matters. What about street names like Columbus Ave, a street Sue and I use constantly. Regards, Len

I suppose there so much more out there on what they are considering for renaming:
" Just this week, Bronx Community College announced that busts of Lee and Jackson are will be removed from the Hall of Fame For Great Americans on its campus, a move that was championed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, lawmakers (including Cuomo and Reps. Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries) have pushed the U.S. Army to rename two streets at Fort Hamilton that are currently named for Lee and Jackson; the Army has stated it has no plans to do so. "

https://ny.curbed.com/2017/8/17/1616211 ... nts-review

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by david johnson » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:10 am

Leave the statues and movies alone. It will not stop there unless we stop it now.

lennygoran
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:37 am

david johnson wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:10 am
Leave the statues and movies alone. It will not stop there unless we stop it now.
This comment made me think about the opera we see in a few weeks-Puccini's La fanciulla del West--there are those who say the stereotype of a drunken Indian should be removed from the opera and there have been productions that do this. Ironically we'll be seeing this at the TWC JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER'S ROSE THEATER right by Columbus Circle where the Columbus statue controversy is going on. Regards, Len

John F
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by John F » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:19 am

There are far more important causes celebres than an annual showing of "Gone with the Wind" in one city. Nowadays, anybody can see the movie at home whenever they like; and some, including me, who have never seen it at all, nor care to. I trust the owners of the Orpheum Theatre know their community well enough to have weighed the pros and cons carefully before making a decision they knew would be controversial and, incidentally, would also cost them at the box. Leave it to them.

jbuck919 says, "GWTW is one of the great movies of all time." Many agree, but I ask, compared with what? My list of the great movies of all time, if I were to make it (I don't care enough about movies to bother), would include films by Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut, Sayajit Ray, Akiro Kurasawa, Sergei Eisenstein, and any number of others; among Americans, perhaps Elia Kazan for starters. Compared with these, the three directors and numerous writers who got "Gone with the Wind" made are small change.

As for Columbus, he's gotten all those monuments and city names under false pretenses. "America," named for the navigator Amerigo (Americus) Vespucci - more false pretenses - was repeatedly discovered before 1492, by Asiatic migrants more than 15,000 years ago and by Vikings half a millennium before Columbus. He never set foot in North America; Leif Erikson did. So if it's called anything, by rights it should be Erikson Circle.

People change the names of places, geographical features, landmarks, etc. all the time, for reasons they consider valid, whatever the rest of the world may think. It was a while before I realized that Mumbai is the same as Bombay, a name that lives on nonetheless in other contexts - you can't buy Mumbai gin. The capital city of China has had 18 names during its 3000 years' existence, according to Wikipedia. Most of the nations of Africa and several in Asia changed their names on achieving post-colonial independence. We've really no choice but to get used to it.
John Francis

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:46 am

Oddly enough, the last time the possibility of Washington DC becoming a state came around, the favorite name by resident choice for this almost entirely black city was New Columbia, irrespective of it being completely illogical or that there was a planned community only slightly north where I lived for many years called Columbia.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:15 am

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:19 am
I trust the owners of the Orpheum Theatre know their community well enough to have weighed the pros and cons carefully before making a decision they knew would be controversial and, incidentally, would also cost them at the box. Leave it to them...People change the names of places, geographical features, landmarks, etc. all the time, for reasons they consider valid, whatever the rest of the world may think...We've really no choice but to get used to it.
John I like your message-I guess I'll have to get used to reaching Westchester County via the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge--the replacement for the Governor Malcolm Wilson–Tappan Zee Bridge, known as the Tappan Zee Bridge--at least it's easier for me to spell it-I always get that spelling wrong. :) I just hope whoever decides on the Columbus Statue can properly measure between the needs of the Italian community and those who feel Columbus represents brutal treatment of indigenous communities. Then there's the Columbus Day Parade and if Columbus Day should be a national holiday to think about. Regards, Len

Belle
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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:11 pm

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:19 am
There are far more important causes celebres than an annual showing of "Gone with the Wind" in one city. Nowadays, anybody can see the movie at home whenever they like; and some, including me, who have never seen it at all, nor care to. I trust the owners of the Orpheum Theatre know their community well enough to have weighed the pros and cons carefully before making a decision they knew would be controversial and, incidentally, would also cost them at the box. Leave it to them.

jbuck919 says, "GWTW is one of the great movies of all time." Many agree, but I ask, compared with what? My list of the great movies of all time, if I were to make it (I don't care enough about movies to bother), would include films by Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut, Sayajit Ray, Akiro Kurasawa, Sergei Eisenstein, and any number of others; among Americans, perhaps Elia Kazan for starters. Compared with these, the three directors and numerous writers who got "Gone with the Wind" made are small change.

As for Columbus, he's gotten all those monuments and city names under false pretenses. "America," named for the navigator Amerigo (Americus) Vespucci - more false pretenses - was repeatedly discovered before 1492, by Asiatic migrants more than 15,000 years ago and by Vikings half a millennium before Columbus. He never set foot in North America; Leif Erikson did. So if it's called anything, by rights it should be Erikson Circle.

People change the names of places, geographical features, landmarks, etc. all the time, for reasons they consider valid, whatever the rest of the world may think. It was a while before I realized that Mumbai is the same as Bombay, a name that lives on nonetheless in other contexts - you can't buy Mumbai gin. The capital city of China has had 18 names during its 3000 years' existence, according to Wikipedia. Most of the nations of Africa and several in Asia changed their names on achieving post-colonial independence. We've really no choice but to get used to it.
But you are living in a 'post-colonial' USA yourselves where the original European arrivals still prevail after successfully building your nation. In those countries you mention the interlopers were thrown out and after that the names were changed. You have much to celebrate in your wonderful country, including Columbus. I don't see Columbia University changing its name any time soon. And many of these decisions would have been made by governments or leaders, not some unelected rabble whose main purpose in life seems to be to demonstrate grievance, create violence and disruption.

The pioneering achievements of those people who crossed your huge country to establish towns in the west and on the coast and the building of the railroad are ASTONISHING achievements. The loss of life, the courage and the hardship endured by people who had their lives and those of their families to lose but everything to gain constantly amazes me. Europeans and Scandinavians came in numbers to your country, not because they thought the world owed them a living but because they knew they could escape the depredations of their own countries and build something new for their families. That came at a risk and a cost.A And some of it was motivated by the search for gold. The more things change the more they stay the same!!

No history is perfect; people are not perfect. They are capable of bullying, exploitation, cruelty and violence. About 100 years ago the Russian people tried to change all that by convincing the people that they had the best interests at heart (as any tyranny does). Pulling down statues, defacing moments - that is the work of the Taliban.

And I'm dismayed about the comments on "GWTW" - an archetype of the 'golden age of Hollywood' and the leading exemplar of the 'classical Hollywood narrative cinema'. After D.W. Griffith effectively established the vocabulary of film with "Birth of a Nation" it was brought to its apogee in 1939 in "GWTW" - which also included the use of brilliant Technicolor. Though the slaves in the film were treated somewhat paternalistically, they were mostly part of the family and family values were front and centre in that film. There's no simplistic judgment to be made about cultural artefacts on the basis of some modern political correctness, any more than can be said about racism in "Othello". Our heritage and culture are impoverished by such ideas, but I suspect that's the aim of those who are doing it.

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:19 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:11 pm
After D.W. Griffith effectively established the vocabulary of film with "Birth of a Nation" it was brought to its apogee in 1939 in "GWTW" - which also included the use of brilliant Technicolor.
Belle from what I've seen Birth of a Nation is much more controversial than GWTW. Regards, Len

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/vide ... son-south/

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:34 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:19 pm
Belle wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:11 pm
After D.W. Griffith effectively established the vocabulary of film with "Birth of a Nation" it was brought to its apogee in 1939 in "GWTW" - which also included the use of brilliant Technicolor.
Belle from what I've seen Birth of a Nation is much more controversial than GWTW. Regards, Len

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/vide ... son-south/
Len, I was speaking in purely technical terms about film grammar. Griffith was an exceptional director who understood such things as cross-cutting, cause and effect, visual-spacial elements of film, ellipsis; that and more is developed in that film. Other silent directors (even in Australia) had pioneered some of those things, but Griffith codified them and put them all together in one film.

The narrative itself doesn't interest me, only the techniques.

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:38 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:34 pm
Len, I was speaking in purely technical terms about film grammar.
Belle thanks-yes he's considered a master in that regard. Regards, Len

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by John F » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:24 pm

I knew I was going to stir things up. I meant to. :D
Belle wrote:But you are living in a 'post-colonial' USA yourselves where the original European arrivals still prevail after successfully building your nation. In those countries you mention the interlopers were thrown out and after that the names were changed.
Actually, a great many Native American names of our states, cities, rivers, mountains, etc. have never been changed, though the Native Americans themselves were defeated in their long wars to expel the colonists. The original names mean nothing to us and sometimes sound comical, but never mind. :)
Belle wrote:And I'm dismayed about the comments on "GWTW" - an archetype of the 'golden age of Hollywood' and the leading exemplar of the 'classical Hollywood narrative cinema'.
For me, the so-called "golden age of Hollywood" is just tinsel, compared with the achievements of the directors I named and others I could name. The "grammar" of film-making is no better a measure of artistic quality than the grammar of English or tonal harmony; all can be turned to exalted or trivial use. Technicolor? Give me a break! Long after "The Wizard of Oz," Fellini and Bergman continued to film in black & white, and movies such as "8½" and "Wild Strawberries" make most of Hollywood's products look childish, not excluding "Gone With the Wind." It's the difference between high art and mere entertainment.
lennygoran wrote:Then there's the Columbus Day Parade...
Which Italian-Americans have appropriated to celebrate not their Americanness but their Italianness. Despite the fact that Columbus's voyages were financed by Spain and he was the only Italian on board the three Spanish ships of his first voyage, two of them with Spanish captains. But Italian-Americans don't want to hear this kind of thing. :)
John Francis

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:58 pm

I have to disagree about the 'golden age' of Hollywood, which went from the mid 30's up to the early 50's when the cartels were broken up. Donald Ogden Stewart, Ben Hecht, William Inge, Clifford Odets, Philip Barry, Arthur Miller, Sinclair Lewis, Bud Schulberg and Aldous Huxley are amongst the estimable names who wrote screenplays for these and later films. Not to mention the musical contributions of Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, the Gershwins, Kern, Porter etc.- just to name a few. These were talented individuals at the height of their powers as were many of the choreographers, set designers and directors who came from Broadway (George Cukor, to name but one of very many). The producers in 'the golden years' knew how to spot talent and they used it often to create excellent films; certainly the Freed Unit musicals at MGM - the most notable ones - have remained peerless. If you don't think Fred Astaire was amongst the very greatest dancers of the 20th century then we will never agree on anything!! And Billy Wilder was a remarkable European emigre of phenomenal talent, as were many expatriate directors, composers and writers. Their films had a sophistication and wit which, when combined with the direction of someone like Ernst Lubitsch, was for very grown up people!! And black and white films were LESS expensive than Technicolor so that's why there were so many of them, plus the art-house affect for certain films.

And Hitchcock made two unchallenged masterpieces, "Vertigo" and "Psycho". So, there are some extraordinary films which have been made as 'entertainment' and which are appreciated today for their technical, acting and production virtuosity. Beautiful chamber/ensemble pieces for film include "Marty", "Come Back Little Sheba" and "The Country Girl". Unforgettable. Anything but tinsel.

There were rubbish films then as there are now, but there are also wonderful films and they aren't art-house like the directors you mention (most of whom I wouldn't walk next door to see). Many of those art-house film makers also admired the classical Hollywood narrative film. Vittorio de Sica was an outstanding talent in the Italian neo-realism tradition and his "Bicycle Thieves" is one of the greatest films of all time, IMO. That and "Umberto D". De Sica also made frothy Italian comedies in the US screwball tradition.

"Gone With the Wind" was also meant to reflect the status and prestige of the Selznick Studios. I love this line from Rhett to Scarlatt.."you remind me of the thief; he's not sorry he stole the money but he's very sorry he's going to jail".

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Re: Gone With Wind Columbus Statue

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:40 am

John F wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:24 pm
But Italian-Americans don't want to hear this kind of thing. :)

Yes this is probably very true-but with regard to what you said:

"I trust the owners of the Orpheum Theatre know their community well enough to have weighed the pros and cons carefully before making a decision they knew would be controversial and, incidentally, would also cost them at the box. Leave it to them..."

it seems to me the question remains of who will hear the pros and cons and what community will they listen to.

WNET's Metrofocus had a debate on this just a day or two ago. Regards, Len

http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2017 ... ue-debate/

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