Monday 13 July 2015

Banning 'Gone with the Wind'

Mark Steyn is always worth reading. Here he writes about attempts in the USA to ban Gone With The Wind following the massacre in Charleston. Hitler also banned the book, even though it was Eva Braun's favourite.
Someone rang the police to complain about Confederate flags and Nazi helmets being sold at a flea market in Wallingford, Connecticut at the weekend, but the police said this market was on private property and permitted under the constitutional right to free speech.

I am angry on behalf of the Southerners. I think all intelligent people who think about the U.S. Civil War have to back the South. Even if a legal case can be made out for Lincoln there is no moral case for a war that cost 600,000 lives fought to keep a part of the country in the Union which wanted badly to leave. 

There is a strong prejudice against Southerners in the rest of the USA. This attitude is exemplified by an American who told me, 
I hate Southerners because I hate racists.
I replied that I hated racism but I didn't hate racists. 
I hate racists
 he said firmly and afterwards I realised it was he who was the racist. 


  1. Intelligent people can reach all sorts of conclusions on controversial matters that happen to be different than yours. Your encounter with the American does not prove he's a racist, although his rhetorical skills are far from sound.

    "There is a strong prejudice against Southerners in the rest of the USA." Maybe that is because a vocal strain of Southerners (not all) are always railing against snobbish immoral Northerners who aren't manly because they don't walk around armed to the teeth or cheer for the state putting people to death. It is clear that you have no actual experience of the American South. An erudite (some might say even effete or elitist) person such as yourself could be made to feel very uncomfortable there.

    1. I could not agree with you more that intelligent fair-minded people can have almost all opinions. Generally I am very impatient indeed with the suggestion that certain opinions indicate lack of intelligence. But thinking the North was right to make war on the South is one of the very rare exceptions to my rule. As for Southerners I have known many and liked them especially charming Southern women with very right-wing politics.

      You are wrong to imagine Southerners are rustic hicks though – many are extremely polished people. This is the prejudice I am talking about.

    2. Elitist is a compliment, erudite another. I don't like effete so much
      (of a person) affected, overrefined, and ineffectual.

    3. Webster is worse:

      a : having lost character, vitality, or strength
      b : marked by weakness or decadence
      c : soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence
      : effeminate 1 <a good-humored, effete boy brought up by maiden aunts — Herman Wouk

  2. I think it was you that lied when you said you hated racists.

  3. The surreal discourse of the last 8 year in America has permeated your blog Paul; pity. Every day I have to remind myself that the absence of reason creates monsters and what I see and read is just that. I am including an example of a crowd lost in a sea of incoherence: There are so many names for everything that this self made crowd doesn't like; their constant whining is numbing and no longer has any meaning.