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Pray This Does Not Happen On Tuesday 5 November 2013!!!


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*And do you really think it was purely coincidental that Atlanta staged a three day lovefest for the Old Confederacy to coincide with the premiere? Please.*

 

My point exactly, Andy. ATLANTA staged the lovefest. NOT MGM. And certainly not the movie!

 

Yes, but MGM staged the movie that was the *basis* for the lovefest. Do you think that lovefest would've occurred if the movie had been presented from the Northern point of view, or if it had portrayed slavery as it actually was?

 

Look, propaganda only works when the people you're trying to influence don't know all the facts. You use it to try to influence them with YOUR version of "the truth". Doesn't actually need to be true, and often isn't.

 

But by the time this movie came out, we all KNEW the truth. I don't think too many people, if any at all, came out of a viewing of GWTW thinking, "Gee. Maybe the South WAS right!"

 

Are you kidding? Have you ever read any of the textbooks of 1939 and what they had to say about slavery and Reconstruction? I'm not just talking about Southern textbooks, either. They were almost completely told from the point of view that the Civil War was a "tragedy" that was largely brought about by northern abolitionists, and followed by a reign of black and carpetbagger-run terror and corruption.

 

Do you think those textbooks had no influence on the millions of people who read them? And do you really think that Southerners, in particular, had even a clue as to what slavery was really like? If they did, they sure never expressed it in public - - - - in public it was "We always treated 'our' slaves well" and "They were better off on the plantation than they would have been in Africa", as if slavery had been some sort of act of Christian benevolence.

 

Even today, there is residual resentment towards how the Civil War turned out. There are still nitwits who "proudly" display the rebel flag. I consider it to be akin to flying a NAZI flag. But nonetheless, as far as the MOVIE goes, it's the CHARACTERS in both book and movie who "glorify" the Old South, NOT the movie itself, nor the studio.

 

I guess I'm not getting the distinction you're making between the characters and the movie itself. What is a movie without its characters?

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I think a lot of the celebratory attitude toward the Confederacy can

be traced back to Margaret Mitchell, who grew up in Georgia and was

exposed to the Lost Cause mythology of the post-war south. The

Confederates were gracious gentlemen trying to preserve a beloved

way of life. Whatever. Like most Hollywood movies that deal with history,

you can't take GWTW very seriously as factual history, though it is

fairly entertaining as a movie. By the second or third time the words

courageous Cavaliers appears on the screen, it's pretty easy to get

the point.

 

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November. Kaabbooooommmmm.

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It doesn't take much more than a quick glance at Wiki to find these paragraphs:

 

*While "the South" exists as a geographical region of the United States, it is also said to exist as "a place of the imagination" of writers.[44] An image of "the South" was fixed in Mitchell's imagination when at six years old her mother took her on a buggy tour through ruined plantations and "Sherman's sentinels",[45] the brick and stone chimneys that remained after William Tecumseh Sherman's "March and torch" through Georgia.[46] Mitchell would later recall what her mother had said to her:*

 

*She talked about the world those people had lived in, such a secure world, and how it had exploded beneath them. And she told me that my world was going to explode under me, someday, and God help me if I didn't have some weapon to meet the new world.[45]*

 

*From an imagination cultivated in her youth, Margaret Mitchell's defensive weapon would become her writing.[45]*

 

*Mitchell said she heard Civil War stories from her relatives when she was growing up:*

 

*On Sunday afternoons when we went calling on the older generation of relatives, those who had been active in the Sixties, I sat on the bony knees of veterans and the fat slippery laps of great aunts and heard them talk.[47]*

 

*On summer vacations, she visited her maternal great-aunts, Mary Ellen ("Mamie") Fitzgerald and Sarah ("Sis") Fitzgerald, who still lived at her great-grandparents' plantation home in Jonesboro.[48] Mamie had been twenty-one years old and Sis was thirteen when the Civil War began.[49]....*

 

*Perhaps the most enduring legacy of Gone with the Wind is that people worldwide would incorrectly think it was the true story of the Old South and how it was changed by the American Civil War and Reconstruction. The film version of the novel "amplified this effect".[150] Scholars of the period have written in recent years about the negative effects the novel has had on race relations by its resurrection of Lost Cause mythology.[151]*

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>There are still nitwits who "proudly" display the rebel flag. I consider it to be akin to flying a NAZI flag.

 

General Patton Revered General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

 

General Dwight Eisenhower kept a picture of The Great

General Robert E. Lee on his wall.

 

My Uncle served under Patton's 3rd Army and the Confederate Battle

Flag was there when the Nazis were defeated.

 

Submarines and Battleships were once named after Great Confederate Generals.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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>We always treated 'our' slaves well" and "They were better off on the plantation than they would have been in Africa", as if slavery had been some sort of act of Christian benevolence.

 

There were Northern newspapers at that time that agreed with your

comment one hundred percent.

 

Remember the black chiefs of Africa who enjoyed handsome profits

enslaving their fellow Africans who had no thought of Christ at all.

 

Always isn't clever.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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*Do you think those textbooks had no influence on the millions of people who read them? And do you really think that Southerners, in particular, had even a clue as to what slavery was really like? If they did, they sure never expressed it in public - - - - in public it was "We always treated 'our' slaves well" and "They were better off on the plantation than they would have been in Africa", as if slavery had been some sort of act of Christian benevolence.*

 

There were Northern newspapers at that time that agreed with your

comment one hundred percent.

 

Sure, and so did some Copperhead politicians. I've never tried to claim that the North as a whole was particularly enlightened.

 

Remember the black chiefs of Africa who enjoyed handsome profits

enslaving their fellow Africans who had no thought of Christ at all.

 

No question about that, as has been repeatedly brought out in the Henry Louis Gates documentary series that's been showing for the past few weeks on PBS.

 

But that indisputable point was scarcely any consolation to the slaves. If you were captured and sold into slavery by a white person, would you feel any better than if you'd been captured and sold by an African or an Asian? I doubt it.

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No question about that, as has been repeatedly brought out in the Henry Louis Gates documentary series that's been showing for the past few weeks on PBS.

 

I watched it the other night and was surprised that fact was

admitted as an indisputable fact.

 

Refreshing.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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*No question about that, as has been repeatedly brought out in the Henry Louis Gates documentary series that's been showing for the past few weeks on PBS.*

 

I watched it the other night and was surprised that fact was

admitted as an indisputable fact.

 

Refreshing.

 

Glad to see you caught that PBS show, but it's been quite a while since any serious historian, including Henry Louis Gates, has tried to minimize the existence of native African slave brokers.

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I'm sure many people who lived in the south at the same time as

Mitchell heard similar stories and imbibed the Lost Cause mythology.

Faulkner was her contemporary and he likely heard many of the

things she did. So it is Mitchell herself who is responsible for the

rose-colored view of the Confederacy that appears in the movie.

And of course Georgia in the 1930s was still a segregated society,

so it's not surprising that the African-American actors were treated

the way they were.

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To all the examples you cite, my reaction is: And. . . .?

 

What is your point? Does the fact that Eisenhower and Patton admired Lee negate the fact that he was a traitor who broke the oath he took to defend the United States and the Constitution when he became a Lieutenant in the United States Army? Am I as an obedient Northerner, even though I am a Westerner, supposed to blindly accept their morality? No doubt Lee and others of his faithless kind, who received his training at taxpayer expense, rationalized his actions by claiming the institution he swore allegiance to broke with him first---as if a gentleman allows the actions of others determine whether he lives up to his word!

 

What is your point? Assuming that some Northern papers did defend slavery, how does that invalidate the Union cause? Did some Southern papers' opposition to slavery and Secession invalidate the Southern cause? Needless to say, those that did were quickly burnt, and the editors beaten or shot.

 

And. . . ? So the sale of Africans into slavery by other Africans is supposed to be some sort of justification of the practice? Are Christians supposed to look to pagans for the moral basis of their actions?

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I'm sure many people who lived in the south at the same time as

Mitchell heard similar stories and imbibed the Lost Cause mythology.

Faulkner was her contemporary and he likely heard many of the

things she did. So it is Mitchell herself who is responsible for the

rose-colored view of the Confederacy that appears in the movie.

 

No, neither Margaret Mitchell nor MGM was solely responsible for the sentimentalized view of slavery that was prevalent in the South of 1939. But Mitchell wrote the book and MGM made the movie. Without the Nazi movement, the Nuremberg defendants wouldn't have likely opened concentration camps and started WW2 on their own, either. Does that mean that they should have received some sort of a "I was only following the zeitgeist" pass?

 

William Faulkner was also a product of his times, and at one unfortunate moment in the late 1950's he proclaimed that he'd give his life to defend Mississippi against the U.S. Army. And yet somehow he managed to write a book ( Intruder in the Dust ) that portrayed the leading African American character (Lucas Beauchamp, played by Juano Hernandez in the movie) as a fully developed human being, and MGM somehow managed to keep that portrayal intact during the film version. Writers don't have to be captives of their region's mythology in order to depict life as it really is.

 

And of course Georgia in the 1930s was still a segregated society,

so it's not surprising that the African-American actors were treated

the way they were.

 

Your point there being what?

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In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower received a letter from a New Rochelle, N.Y., dentist who questioned why a portrait of Robert E. Lee was on the President?s office wall.

 

President Eisenhower responded several days later, pointing out some of the Confederate General?s attributes and explaining why he held him in such high esteem.

 

The letters follow:

 

August 1, 1960

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

"At the Republican Convention I heard you mention that you have the pictures of four (4) great Americans in your office, and that included in these is a picture of Robert E. Lee.

 

I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.

 

The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being hailed as one of our heroes.

 

Will you please tell me just why you hold him in such high esteem?"

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Leon W. Scott, DDS

New Rochelle, NY

 

 

August 9, 1960

 

Dear Dr. Scott:

 

Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of Secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.

 

General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

 

From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee?s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation?s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.

 

Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

PS. It was Lincoln who shut down newspapers and unlawfully suspended the writ of habeas corpus for thousands of citizens.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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> I guess I'm not getting the distinction you're making between the characters and the movie itself. What is a movie without its characters?

 

Let's try another tack.

 

Would you say, for sake of argument, that the movie ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT "glorifies" the German point of view about WWI?

 

Well, in the beginning, the CHARACTERS in the movie do. It all was in the SCRIPT. I don't think it was the intent of the movie's producers, screenwriters or cast to glorify Germany's stance in the war.

 

But when it comes to war, it seems the only stance we care about is OURS. We tend to bend towards the belief fed by our own propaganda. That our "enemies" are inherently evil, and fully believe in the "cause" that they kill OUR soldiers for. When the truth is that THEIR soldiers are as pure in their intent as OUR soldiers were. Most soldiers in any war would rather be anywhere else, and often don't really know what all the fighting is about. That all of them, German, Japanese and American soldiers are merely pawns in their governments idealogical folly is shaded by some rallying cry of patriotism gives them the feeling of some bigger picture being forwarded and defended.

 

In the Civil War, how many of the rebel soldiers fighting and dying on the battlefields do you think actually owned any slaves? Most likely it was mostly officers, government officials and most anyone else who would never pick up a musket or charge into a battle who were the slaveowners. The crux of the fighting was done by sharecroppers and other farmers who were dirt poor and really had nothing to gain and not much to lose otherwise. Like most wars.

 

As far as Ike hanging a picture of Robert E. Lee goes, Lee was a brilliant military tactician. As Ike was a military man, respect for Lee's abilities doesn't neccessarily translate a belief in his cause. Remember, there was a lot of respect given to George Patton by his enemies. In that form, two of my uncles, who were WWII vets, had a lot of respect for Germany's soldiers sense of discipline and determination. They disliked them as enemies to be sure. But they felt it incumbent on them to give a nod towards their dedication.

 

Sepiatone

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Like I said the POV of GWTW is that of the rich white land owners.

 

It doesn't show how the everyday working white man and woman lived or the black slaves.

 

To me for a movie to be considered one of the greatest ever, it needed a more balanced perspective. e.g. a scene where rebel fighting men are complaining about why they are dying to allow the rich land owners to continue to exploit people. But I assume the book never brings up that type of POV.

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Yes, a very well reasoned and thoughtful letter. And exactly what I would expect from as refined and dignified a man as Eisenhower was. And I completely understand his position. I do not, however, agree. Lee and others swore to uphold and defend the Constitution and the Republic from its enemies. Taking up arms against them does not constitute defense.

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In the Civil War, how many of the rebel soldiers fighting and dying on the battlefields do you think actually owned any slaves? Most likely it was mostly officers, government officials and most anyone else who would never pick up a musket or charge into a battle who were the slaveowners. The crux of the fighting was done by sharecroppers and other farmers who were dirt poor and really had nothing to gain and not much to lose otherwise. Like most wars.

 

And yet the descendants of those non-slaveowners were often the fiercest defenders of the orthodox southern view of slavery and its aftermath. They didn't have to own slaves to defend the institution and despise the slaves much more than the slaves' owners. The fact remains that GWTW depicted plantation live in a benevolent (and false) light.

 

As for Lee, Eisenhower also maintained a warm relationship with Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov long after the US-Soviet alliance had been transformed into that of bitter adversaries. As you note, military leaders often have a professional respect for their enemy counterparts that I suspect is based on a reading of their underlying character. Even though objectively Lee was a traitor, I can't really be too surprised that Eisenhower might see him in a broader picture.

 

BTW if you want an example of what Hollywood can do with a war movie when it tries to get "inside" the enemy soldier, there's Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima, the counterpart to Flags of Our Fathers. Back-to-back, you can't find a better pair of American-made war films.

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>To me for a movie to be considered one of the greatest ever, it needed a more balanced perspective. e.g. a scene where rebel fighting men are complaining about why they are dying to allow the rich land owners to continue to exploit people. But I assume the book never brings up that type of POV.

 

If you want to see that type of film, see THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

 

All kinds of different films were made and audiences decided which ones they wanted to see.

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I fail to see the point you're making here.

 

Of course I understand that all different kind of movies are made. DUH!

 

That has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. My point AGAIN is that many people consider GWTW to be the greatest movie Hollywood ever made, while I feel GWTW is just a good film for the multiple reasons I have already given.

 

I couldn't care less what audiences decided to see or not see (which is just another irrelevant point but par for the course). UNLESS your point was that the more people like a film the better it must be (which is just nonsense).

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Nov 10, 2013 5:20 PM

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>My point AGAIN is that many people consider GWTW to be the greatest movie Hollywood ever made,

 

Some people think CITIZEN KANE is the best movie every made, but that doesn't mean they all want to inherit a silver mine, build up a chain of newspapers, mistreat their wife, and boss everyone around.

 

Hey, it's just a movie. :)

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No, Margaret Mitchell was not personally responsible for the soft focus view of the Confederacy that appears in GWTW. She was simply regur-

gitating the Lost Cause nonsense that she and a lot of southerners were exposed to while growing up. I should have made it clearer that the book was where that view came from and it was not something added by Hollywood.

 

Perhaps Faulkner had a more ambivalent relation to the Lost Cause idea, and was able to distance himself from it more than someone like Mitchell. It would be hard to paint a portrait of a worse family than the Snopses, who were white.

 

My only point about Georgia in the 1930s was that it was still a segregated society, and that there was this strange juxtaposition of

old slavery and modern segregation during the GWTW premiere.

 

In a back-handed way, you do have to hand it to the southern planters,

getting the average person to fight and support a war whose purpose was to preserve that peculiar institution that they got little advantage from.

 

 

Say what one will about the African part of the slave trade, at least

they likely didn't hypocritically blather on about all men being created

equal and liberty like the Founding Slaveocrats did.

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Another meaningless reply. You really have NO clue what I have been talking about related to this thread. NO clue at all.

 

Of course GWTW is just a movie. I just feel it is just a good movie, while many others feel it is one of the best movies of all time.

 

I don't think it is even one of the top 5 movies of 1939. Just my opinion OK!

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No, Margaret Mitchell was not personally responsible for the soft focus view of the Confederacy that appears in GWTW. She was simply regur-

gitating the Lost Cause nonsense that she and a lot of southerners were exposed to while growing up. I should have made it clearer that the book was where that view came from and it was not something added by Hollywood.

 

Okay, I'd agree with that, though the movie popularized the message of the benevolent plantation to a degree than even the bestselling book never could have.

 

In a back-handed way, you do have to hand it to the southern planters,

getting the average person to fight and support a war whose purpose was to preserve that peculiar institution that they got little advantage from.

 

Well, when you're the fire hydrant of the underdog, you still need to think there's someone who's beneath you. In this case it was the slaves who filled that role for the non-slaveholding whites of the South. The plantation owners weren't the first ruling class able to find a clueless set of allies, and they were hardly the last; it's game that gets played over and over, with only the identities of the scapegoats being changed.

 

Say what one will about the African part of the slave trade, at least they likely didn't hypocritically blather on about all men being created equal and liberty like the Founding Slaveocrats did.

 

Not that we know of, but I'm sure they probably found some other high-minded justification for their actions. There's always a "reason".

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>Okay, I'd agree with that, though the movie popularized the message of the benevolent plantation to a degree than even the bestselling book never could have.

 

Actually, the slaves were well fed and their nutritional intake might

surprise you.

 

Most slaves worked a work schedule common to everyone in the

South. Most, like white workers, were off on Sunday and either off

all day or half day on Saturdays.

 

Most overseers on large plantations were African Americans.

 

Plain Folk of the Old South by Frank Lawrence Owsley is

an excellent read and gives one another perspective about

the poor white Southerner who fought for the South.

 

Jake in the Heartland

 

Edited by: JakeHolman on Nov 10, 2013 7:42 PM

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