Censoring Great Art: Foolish and Fascistic

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Hysteria over symbols of the Confederacy and the South has now reached the level of insanity. Apple banned images of the Dixie flag in Civil War computer games, for instance.  Meanwhile, many books, games and videos about World War II still use the swastika. Does this mean the Confederacy is now deemed worse than the genocidal Nazis? Worst of all, film critic Lou Lumenick has suggested that GONE WITH THE WIND be placed “on the shelf” and shown only at museums. Yes, it’s dubious and misleading as a work of history but it remains a spectacular artistic achievement and the top grossing movie of all time, adjusted for inflation. Anyone who cares about film must see it. Or should we also shun masterpieces like OLIVER TWIST and MERCHANT OF VENICE because of their anti-Semitic elements? To try to censor great and lasting art because it raises questions or causes discomfort counts as both foolish and fascistic.

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  1. Sean Flynn  •  Jul 8, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Censorship of art is stupid. it doesn’t work, for one thing.

    Censoring the Confederate Flag from a Civil War video game is nuts. incredible!

    Censoring (or banning) such great, but racially insensitive, movies like Gone With The Wind or The Birth of a Nation is dangerous. Who gets to make the call of what to ban, or what not to ban?

    Censoring the Confederate Flag from government property is absolutely sensible and the correct action. It should have never been introduced in the 1950s-1960s by southern states, who were more protesting racial integration than they were honoring the treason of a century earlier.

  2. Art L.  •  Jul 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Yes,great art can be flawed; if only Michael himself wasn’t so emotional and biased on the subject.

    The other day a caller was disagreeing about some ” Southern Heritage” issue and then tossed in a comment that music from the ’60’s was better than music of more recent decades. MM, who seems to have defined his whole life as reaction to the excesses of the ’60’s, made a knee-jerk comment that Beyoncé (who is black and from the South) had talent. What an opportunistic Trump-like move by MM!! It seems that MM likes Beyoncé’s talent — except when he doesn’t.

    I’m referring to a snarky comment Michael made the day after Bruno Marrs performed in the Super Bowl, that Bruno had “real talent” compared to recent previous perfomers — namely Beyoncé & the year before, Madonna. Now Beyoncé’s music isn’t that memorable,but she does have some singing and dancing talent; what Michael resented was the risque nature of Beyoncé’s performance in sexy attire, not quite appropriate for family viewing.

    I know a cultural conservative who was watching Madonna’s Superbowl performance with a pen & notebook in hand, ready to call the network over anything objectionable. She admitted that except for the flipping of the finger by one of the dancers, Madonna was downright wholesome, even ending the performance with the song “Like A Prayer”. Madonna’s memorable catalog of songs and her trailblazing artistic choreography towers above anything Bruno Marrs has done; but because Madonna pushes the envelope about gay rights and exhibits some poor taste sometimes, MM can’t admit that she has produced great art.

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