Politics and Prose: Glenn Frankel- High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist & The Making of a Classic

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Source: Politics and Prose 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I don’t have much to offer about the movie High Noon, as least the original one from 1952. I did however see a movie with the same title from the Lifetime Network (of all places) in I believe 2009. But that is not what this piece is about. (Thank God!) Not a good movie and not trying to cure anyone’s insomnia by talking about the second High Noon movie. Not a good movie and not even very believable.

What I’m knowledgeable about and have read about and seen some documentaries about, is The Hollywood Blacklist from the 1940s and 1950s. Where workers out in the Hollywood industry who actually were Socialists and in some cases even Communists and even supported Communist Russia back then (known as the Soviet Union) but weren’t criminals and didn’t even have official relationships with the Soviet Government in Russia. They were simply on trial for their far-left political beliefs by crooked politicians in Congress who were simply trying to take advantage of the Red Scare and the start of the Cold War between America and Europe, against Russia and their allies in the East.

Hollywood professionals like writer Dalton Trumbo which there was a good movie made about him that came out in 2015 simply called Trumbo, were hauled in front of Congress at the so-called House Un-American Activities Committee simply because of their political beliefs. Not for any laws that they might have broken. But because they were Socialists and Communists who didn’t like the American liberal democratic form of government and instead wanted a socialist or communist state to replace our liberal democratic federal form of government.

The House Un-American Activities Committee, was exactly that which was Un-American. The idea that people could be hauled in front of Congress at first in the House and then later in the early 1950s to the Senate Investigation Committee chaired by Senator Joe McCarthy simply because of their politics and political beliefs and not for anything that they even may have done, is simply Un-American. So what if Dalton Trumbo was not just on the Far-Left in America, but was also a Communist! He was never going to have any political power in America, nor did he ever want any. And the Communist Party was never going to have any political power in America simply because they’re Communists and are illiberal. And oppose most of the liberal democratic values that most Americans love, like free speech and free elections, property rights, right to privacy, just to name a few.

Whether you’re a Communist on the furthest Left in American political or a Christian-Theocrat or Nationalistic-Tribalist on the furthest right in American politics, you have a right to believe what you believe. And express your beliefs in public and try to make the case for what you believe in public. Which is as American as our melting post and individualism. Which is what the so-called Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s which is what this nationalistic anti-communist movement opposed and tried to eliminate from American life.

Politics and Prose: Glenn Frankel- High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist & The Making of a Classic

 

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Canan Dian: Christopher Buckley Discusses Christopher Hitchens Life and Mortality

Chris Hitchens & Chris Buckley
Chris Hitchens & Chris Buckley

Source: Canan Dian: Christopher Buckley Discusses Christopher Hitchens Life and Mortality

What I like most about Christopher Hitchens is why he never would have made a very successful politician. Because he had this big habit of always saying what he thought and what he knew. And he didn’t give a damn what others thought about it. His consistency for the most part and the on exception to that being how his national security and foreign policy views changed after 9/11, I believe are unparalleled. He wasn’t just an ant-Christian, or anti-Christian-Right radical on the Far-Left, but he was a true Atheist. He didn’t bash the Christian-Right for their positions on homosexuality, women’s place in the world, censorship, while he defended Muslims for believing that women and gays should be second-class citizens. He critiqued and attacked religious extremism wherever he saw it.

Politically, I’m not sure I have ever had much in common with Chris Hitchens. I’ve never been a Democratic Socialist, or a Neoconservative. I don’t know of many other people who’ve gone from one end to the other politically like that. But I’ve always respected his consistency especially with his Atheism. He’s someone who if he was alive today would be treated like a bigot by the New-Left in America, similar to how Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, are now treated. As being anti-Muslim and anti-Middle Eastern and so-forth. He was anti-Muslim, but he was also anti-Christian and anti every other religion. He saw religion as a dangerous force in the world and with his new neoconservative leanings and perhaps would have if he could had religion outlawed in America. Not sure about that, but he was a true militant Atheist.

I believe political and current affairs writers should be judged on their ability to learn, grasp and to be consistent. Do they say and write things that add up and where you could at least make a good case for their beliefs. Or do they just write for their team and over hype all the positive things about their side, while underplaying the low points of their side. And are they consistent, or do they contradict themselves. Do they bash religion, while only concentrating on one type of religion, or are they a true Atheist who doesn’t like religion in general. And will critique negative aspects of religion wherever they see it. Do they bash big government on one side, while praising it on another, but without calling it big government. Chris Hitchens, meets at least all of my standards as a great current affairs writer. Because he was someone who learned, who understood facts and made his arguments based on them. And adapted when he was wrong and because of these things and many others he’s still missed today and will be for a long time.