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Should offensive dialogue be removed to satisfy political correctness?

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>Another thought I have on this matter is that any of the PC attempts to make older movies "innoffensive" are all in vain because there's really no way NOT to offend anyone. For instance, and in THIS case, you could go back and excise all dialouge that you feel might offend someone of a certain race, creed or color, but in doing so, you insult the INTELLIGENCE of someone else. Like most of us here in these forums.

 

Yeah, well, to tell ya the truth here Sepia, I felt MY "intelligence was insulted" EVERY freakin' TIME time I saw Crawford's KNEES buckling at the mere SIGHT of MELVIN DOUGLAS in this lame ROMANTIC COMEDY!!!!

 

LOL

 

Uh huh...and in COMPARISON, that little "Japs are sneaky" line that Joan speaks is utter GENIUS!!!

 

**** here

 

And soooooo. MY POINT ladies and gems ONCE AGAIN is that to make THIS lousy flick some kinda "cause celebre" or "Exhibit One" about "how bad political correctness is", IS a freakin' JOKE!!!

 

(...get it NOW, folks???!!!)

 

Oh, and to quote ANOTHER old dead(white) guy here..."History tends to repeat itself, the first as tragedy, the second as farce"-Karl Marx

 

(...who OTHER than HIS lame philosophy about Economics, sometimes said some rather interesting and insightful things...though of course I must admit, when it comes to the idea of "Intellectual thought", the dour Mr. Marx had NOTHIN' on Charlton HESTON!!!!)

 

ROFL

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Jun 14, 2013 3:38 PM

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While the term "****" may have contributed to the edit of the line, I can also believe that the line was abridged simply because it dated the film to the few months after Pearl Harbor.

 

By the middle of the war or the end of the war, the "sneak = ****" meme was probably replaced with different descriptions or comparisons. Or ones that may have been much more timely.

 

And if the edit was done towards the end of the war -- or afterwards, it may have been done to end any lingering anti-Japanese sentiment being directed toward Japanese Americans more than out of the term being offensive.

 

"****" was just too prevalent during the war for people to think they could remove all such references on that basis alone. It was common for newscasters to even use that term -- and I don't mean only Walter Winchell.

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>And if the edit was done towards the end of the war -- or afterwards, it may have been done to end any lingering anti-Japanese sentiment being directed toward Japanese Americans more than out of the term being offensive.

 

Actually very insightful here, Kyle. Yes, the term "****" is presently MOSTLY only an epithet in the American idiom.

 

You see, I'm "into" motorcycles, specifically British machines, and thus I will occasionally pick up a British publication about this subject at the newsstands. And, contained within some of these British published magazines is the occasional reference to a "**** Bike", which because of what you mentioned above is a term you would NEVER read an American motojournalist writing in some article he's written(they will write "Japanese motorcycle", OH, the humanity!!!!. ;) ) BUT in the UK, this term hasn't the same bad "connotation" as it presently does here in the Good ol' U.S. of A.

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>And, contained within some of these British published magazines is the occasional reference to a "**** Bike",

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JA_Prestwich_Industries

 

*JA Prestwich Industries, was an English engineering company named after founder John Alfred Prestwich, which produced cinematographic equipment, internal combustion engines (for which the company was generally abbreviated to "J.A.P."), and other examples of precision engineering.*

--------------------------------------

*J. A. Prestwich, an engineer, founded the company in 1895, when he was in his early twenties, initially behind his father's house at 1 Lansdowne Road, Tottenham.*

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Yes, yes, Fred. I know of Mr. Prestwich's fine English V-Twin motorcycle engines of the past....and yep, it was rather clever of you to post this. ;)

 

However of course, when I quoted those British motojournalists writing about Japanese motorcycles, I wrote "**** Bike", NOT "****(-powered) Bike".

 

(...the difference of course is that Mr. Prestwich's company's name was based upon his initials, and not a truncation of the word "Japanese")

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Yes, I see on Google that it is a modern abbreviation for Japanese Bikes (motorcycles), like Brit Bikes and Euro Cycles.

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For those who remember the artist Milton Caniff only for his Steve Canyon and Terry and the Pirates comic strips, here's a contribution he made to a 1942 "Pocket Guide to China" handbook that was given to all servicemen stationed in the Pacific Theater during the first two years of the war. It was later reprinted on the Sunday funnies pages. You have to wonder what the Korean War version might have looked like. ;)

 

I should add, however, that this cartoon "instructional" was removed from the 1944 edition of the handbook, so at least somebody in command came to his senses.

 

spotajapv.jpg

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We must remember, in the heyday of Jim Crow in the South and the red-lining of neighborhoods in the North, prejudice _was_ being "politically correct" back then, they just called it, "we have to be careful."

 

Political correctness is bandied about so much as maligning, we make it political football rather than discuss the policies and the historical context. I think the line was best left in the movie; but I also think Molly has to do diligence and look up the precise reference for context and give a little history for us.

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I was watching THE PROUD AND PROFANE on Netflix tonight. At one point in this movie, Thelma Ritter goes up to a wounded soldier and makes light of his bandaged face. She says that he must have had a close shave this morning. To which he says, 'yeah, from a **** barber.' This line of dialogue has obviously not been edited out. I wonder if TCM has ever broadcast this...?

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I can't specifically recall if I've heard any of the **** terms during TCM movies but I think I have, several times.

 

I think the copies of films that are cut are films that run on regular film channels, maybe AMC, maybe even TBS or TNT and many other channels.

 

Of course, TCM occasionally gets a rental print that has been cut in some way, but I'm reasonably sure that TCM didn't specifically order a print that was cut.

 

I think sometimes films are cut by a TV station or network, without the knowledge of the film's distributor.

 

For eample, one time TCM aired the 2nd Tarzan film, the one that had the nude swimming scene, and Mr. Osborne even introduced the film and mentioned the nude scene. Then when the film ran, the nude scene was completely missing.

 

In one showing of The Lady From Shanghai, the fun house mirror sequence had been cut out. I was shocked. I figured it was cut out by someone who wanted to keep it and maybe use it in a documentary or student film. And of course, without telling the distributor.

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>Political correctness is bandied about so much as maligning, we make it political football rather than discuss the policies and the historical context. I think the line was best left in the movie; but I also think Molly has to do diligence and look up the precise reference for context and give a little history for us.

 

WELL stated Char, well stated....especially the part I took the liberty to place in bold letters. The "damning" of "political correctness" does seem to be the "clarion call" from one "political football team" in particular....which I've always found somewhat "interesting", as it seems to be that many "team members" OF that particular "team" are often as guilty as anyone else in practicing this "strategy" on the "gridiron" of life...especially when it's THEIR "mascot" that's being "tackled" on the "sidelines".

 

I also believe these sorts of discussions about the cutting of certain now-considered offensive parts in the films of the past, in this case a completely irrelevant offhanded remark made by a character in a less than memorable movie, most often will reveal the depth of almost paranoiac levels of fear in some instances that some people hold and who will often resort to the "classic" but many times easily proved irrelevant "Slippery Slope" argument.

 

In other words, these sorts of issues should almost ALWAYS be discussed and considered on a case-by-case basis and seldom if ever in absolutes...which has been MY point in this thread from the very beginning.

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That's interesting about "Free, *blonde, *and 21". In all my years I think I've heard that particular expression used maybe once or twice in the outside world, whereas I've heard "Free, *white *and 21" many scores of times, and I probably heard *"That's white of you" *close to a hundred times a year back in my mid-1950's childhood days in Washington, DC.



I'm with you, Andy ... I'm 84 and I've NEVER heard "free, blonde and 21." Not till tonight, here.

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One of Andrew Pilcher's continuing works touched on Political Correctness and he wrote in his blog of its appearance in his work:

"I'm not complaining about Political Correctness - that's just the Politically Correct term for what used to be called politeness, as used by people who think being polite is an assault on their own personal liberty.

 

"I'm talking about its opposite - people who get offended because they think they can get advantage out of it. Or even worse, people who get offended on behalf of other people, but don't seem to know why and just follow some sort of mindless herd instinct."

 

I share this attitude greatly as I tend to dismiss people who wish to cleanse works in hope to avoid offending others. I pay attention only to those who are truly offended on their own behalf.

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A puchline without a setup has got to be REALLY good.

 

 

You got me thinking. My husband was often called on to speak at dinners, and after he died I found a piece of paper with a list of punchlines on it. No jokes, just the punchlines. Without the internet I would have gone mad with curiosity. I found several of them. One day I'll make a study of punchlines.

 

Okay, you said "punchline" ... be it on your own head ...

 

One punchline that's a surefire killer is one I came across on a record by Myron Cohen. I told this at a dinner at the home of a rabbi friend, where we were the only non-Jews. They nearly fell down. One guy actually did fall off his chair, another one was stuffing his napkin in his mouth, his eyes streaming. It took five minutes for them to settle down.

 

Myron's story: A rabbi, a cantor and a sexton were getting the temple ready for Friday night services when a beam of light came through the window and struck the altar, creating a wonderful sense of the presence of God in the heart of the rabbi. He suddenly prostrated himself on the floor before the altar and said, "My God, I am as nothing before you!"

 

The cantor, who had been preparing the music, looked up and saw the same beam flooding the altar, went down on his face and said, "My God, I am as nothing before you!"

 

The little sexton, who had been sweeping up in the far corner, saw the beam of light and prostrated himself also, saying "My God, I am as nothing before you!"

 

And the rabbi nudged the cantor and said, "Look what says he's nothing ..."

 

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}I can't specifically recall if I've heard any of the **** terms during TCM movies but I think I have, several times.

Oh, I'm sure TCM didn't deliberately cut the line. The copy of the film they were able to obtain was already edited. There are other examples, but Joel McCrea tells a prying neighbor kid, " I'm a ****!" when he's asked what he's doing with binoculars (something like that) in The More the Merrier. I'm not aware of any instance when TCM has edited a movie's content.

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"A punchline without a setup has got to be REALLY good"

 

 

It CAN be done...

 

 

Comic Brian Soffel, on a televised celebratory party for the movie *Punchline* , did a whole routine where he only said the punchlines to about 30 different jokes. I found myself rolling on the floor, as I recognized many of them and the jokes they were attached to rolled into my head after hearing them. As a stand-up, I never cared much for Soffel, but I thought this routine was genius.

 

 

John Byner, who's show "Bizzare" appeared on Showtime in the early '80's, had a regular feature in which he played the patriarch of a family which consisted of him, the Irish father, his Polish wife, his Jewish daughter, her Mexican boyfriend, and his Italian son. Each would take turns telling jokes that skewered each others ethniticity. That is, until someone told an IRISH joke, then he'd put a stop to it.

 

 

Although I'm of Polish descent, I don't let anyone who calls me a "Polack" bother me, because I'm aware that: 1. They're probably too ignorant to know any better, or...2. They're doing so just to rattle me, and they don't deserve to get what they want.

 

 

And besides...I consider myself an AMERICAN above anything else.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Well, I don't know about Sepia here finance, but MANY people over the years have called ME "an acquired taste" when they wanted to be somewhat forgiving in their description!

 

(...and I think YOU know what I MEAN here, dontcha ol' buddy!!!) ;)

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There are other examples, but Joel McCrea tells a prying neighbor kid, " I'm a ****!" when he's asked what he's doing with binoculars (something like that) in The More the Merrier. I'm not aware of any instance when TCM has edited a movie's content.

 

 

That was in what I consider the only weak part of my favorite movie, where Stash Clements, playing a kid, is saying he doesn't know whether to join the Boy Scouts. He was so obviously NOT a kid that it turned me off even when I first saw it. I always fast-forward through that part because it makes me cringe, it's so silly. (I forgave the director because it was obviously necessary to the plot to have somebody rat on McCrea to the authorities.) The "****" part didn't surprise me, as I lived through World War II as a teen and it was common enough to hear the expression. It was actually considered patriotic. There were songs that used it, poems, cartoons.

 

It wasn't until I lived in Japan that I even knew about the internment on the west coast, or that the term "****" was something they hated. When I lived in Tokyo, a neighbor from Hawaii told her little boy, while I was visiting, not to worry about kids saying he was a ****, but to respond that he was a Japanese-American. She was very casual about it, but it was clear that it was an issue.

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> {quote:title=Dargo2 wrote:}{quote}

>

> I also believe these sorts of discussions about the cutting of certain now-considered offensive parts in the films of the past, in this case a completely irrelevant offhanded remark made by a character in a less than memorable movie, most often will reveal the depth of almost paranoiac levels of fear in some instances that some people hold and who will often resort to the "classic" but many times easily proved irrelevant "Slippery Slope" argument.

>

> In other words, these sorts of issues should almost ALWAYS be discussed and considered on a case-by-case basis and seldom if ever in absolutes...which has been MY point in this thread from the very beginning.

Dargo, baby, believe me, I'm not "out to get you" today. I just seem to be reading posts of yours' that I don't agree with.

I do not agree that this matter should be addressed on a "case by case" basis. If we started doing that, there'd be an ocean of "grey" area, and endless discussions, possibly arguments, as to which lines are offensive and should be deleted, and which ones are not.And who's going to be the arbitor ?

 

To me, it's very simple. To reiterate what I and others here have stated, to delete or otherwise alter any material in a movie made in former times is to change a little piece of history. We are all smart enough to recognize it as just that - something from history, something from the past - and therefore it's just not necessary to change it.

 

I do not belong to any ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, or religious minority,- so cannot comment on how people who do feel when they see scenes in old films that insult their people. Probably they have many different responses, as they are, obviously, all individuals as well as people belonging to a "minority group"

However, I am female. And I see and hear dismissive and insulting dialogue and actions against women all the time in old movies. Just as an example, there are many old films in which the men talk of "giving her a slap to keep her in line". Sometimes this dialogue is uttered by a supposedly sympathetic male character. I won't give any more examples, because that would make this post about 10 pages long.

My point is, I don't get upset about this kind of thing, because I know the movie was made years before I was born, that was the prevailing attitude towards women then, and there's not much point in my getting all up in arms about it now. I take it for what it is, a completely unconscious example of the general attitude towards women in those days, and I get on with watching the movie.

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If we can amend or abolish laws from the past that were codified why can't we ( as a society) change

or eliminate words from a film to reflect a more enlightened present? Is Art more sacred than the laws by which we are governed? Silent movies get new film scores (Phillip Glass) so isn't that also altering the artistic vision of the original work?

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>Dargo, baby, believe me, I'm not "out to get you" today. I just seem to be reading posts of yours' that I don't agree with.

 

Don't worry MissW. I'm not getting the impression you're "out to get" me here today.

 

(...but If you WERE, then you can CERTAINLY expect as little resistance as possible here!!! groucho.gif )

 

LOL

 

But yes, in answer to your rebuttal here, you and the others in this thread who have agreed with your opinion have made some good points. It's just that I feel sometimes AND in some instances "molehills can be made into mountains" in defense of some opinions. And I've felt that in THIS specific case, AND using this rather forgettable movie as an example is doing exactly this.

 

(...trust me, I'm usually the last one who'd ever be "overly considerate" of other people's feelings...as you might have surmised after all this time) ;)

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Okay, so many points to make, and on so many posts.

 

>mw wrote: To me, it's very simple. To reiterate what I and others here have stated, to delete or otherwise alter any material in a movie made in former times is to change a little piece of history. We are all smart enough to recognize it as just that - something from history, something from the past - and therefore it's just not necessary to change it.

Totally agree. But there is something I have come to realize about these movies of the past. They do provide us with a history about us as a people, maybe in the most basic and informative way of all. They give us the social history and climate of their times. This is very important, for even if it is a Hollywood version snapshot of life in the US in the 1930s or 1940s or any decade, they give us the prevailing attitudes, daily life and how newsworthy events formed their philosophies, screwball comedies notwithstanding.

 

I recognize their existence in movies is subjective, but I also know that these were prevailing attitudes, otherwise the movie wouldn't get its message across. My long-winded explanation that dialogue matters.

 

>Dothery wrote: That was in what I consider the only weak part of my favorite movie, where Stash Clements, playing a kid, is saying he doesn't know whether to join the Boy Scouts. He was so obviously NOT a kid that it turned me off even when I first saw it. I always fast-forward through that part because it makes me cringe, it's so silly. (I forgave the director because it was obviously necessary to the plot to have somebody rat on McCrea to the authorities.)

Well, I thought Morton came off as a reasonable 14 year old. And while I didn't live in the 40s, I know we still welcome new scouts into the BSA until 17 to strive for badges.

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> {quote:title=Mr.Froy wrote:}{quote}I bet if RG3's surgery turns out to be successful, the Washington

> Honkies are going to have a great year

I've always thought that the easiest escape route for the Redskins would be just to change their name to the ******. They wouldn't even have to change the cadence of their fight song, and since every **** I've known felt pride in his heritage, the new name would accepted by everyone except for a few tradition-minded folks such as myself.

 

rednecks-cap.jpg

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