The non-existent past
0 comment Saturday, May 10, 2014 |
In an earlier blog post I wrote about how Hollywood began pushing the politically correct agenda after the middle of the last century. The propaganda really was stepped up around that time, but in looking through some of the images from older movies and magazines, it's obvious that it was already there in incipient form, and just intensified as the 20th century moved along.
The 'forbidden love' storyline was a popular one back in the silent film era. For example, in the above film.
The same theme of 'forbidden love' is found in the movie The Bitter Tea of General Yen, and just as in the above movie, a European-descended actor plays an Asian man. In Broken Blossoms, Richard Barthelmess played the Chinese man, and in 'The Bitter Tea of General Yen', the title character was played by a Swedish actor, Nils Asther.

Notice the somewhat lurid nature of the poster.
Another film, 'The Pagan' has another European-descended actor, Ramon Novarro, (born in Mexico, but European in appearance) playing a mixed-race Polynesian/White man. In this case, though, the love interest is another half White/half Polynesian character. This movie, like Broken Blossoms, also has a villainous White male character, but in The Pagan, the White villain is also Christian. So you get two for the price of one.
The Pagan is also about the conflict between the idealized 'carefree' culture of the Polynesians and the corrupt ways of Whites. Of course the romanticized Eden of pagan Polynesia is the winner. So the Rousseauian 'noble savage' image was current in the 1920s just as it is now.
Jump ahead a few decades, to 1957, and we have this movie.

The poster mentions the 'forbidden love' storyline, and the movie has lots of that; all the main characters carry on 'forbidden' affairs. Marlon Brando's character, as well as Red Buttons' and James Garner's characters all marry Japanese girls. And Brando's spurned (White) fiancee takes up with a Japanese kabuki actor -- with the oddly-cast Ricardo Montalban playing the actor. He looks particularly unconvincing as a Japanese man; his features are all wrong. His nose is too prominent, and his facial structure just does not look Japanese. But of course race is merely a social construct, isn't it?
By the time Sayonara was released, the multicultural PC propaganda was shifting into high gear. Since then, even in the last few years, it's increased to the point of being ubiquitous and more intense, more insistent, and more open. It's as though they don't even feel the need to disguise it or soft-pedal it. It's blatant and heavy-handed.
But when we stop and consider just how long these ideas have been promoted, it impresses on us just how firmly embedded some of these ideas are in our society.
I continue to try to discover why so many of our people have absorbed these messages like sponges. It seems there is some kind of deep-seated need to idealize others. Most of us, left and right, feel disillusioned with the world we live in, and many people believe that there was some kind of golden age, before we became civlized, in which everybody lived like happy children in a lush Eden, where nobody had to toil or struggle. Everybody just enjoyed life and lived spontaneously and freely. There is some kind of utopian longing for a simple and childlike world. The left in particular idealizes the primitive and even what we would (in non-PC fashion) call the 'savage' way.
I've been accused at times of idealizing the past, and perhaps to some extent I do, but in no way do I claim that any era was perfect or idyllic, as many true utopians do. I can see the past with its flaws, warts and all, and weigh that against the good. On balance there was more good than bad. But those who idealize exotic cultures and peoples, and eras which are only dimly known by today's people, are idealizing something that they have only the slightest knowledge of, or perhaps idealizing something strictly of their own invention.
The myth of the golden age of noble savagery seems to be cherished by many Western White people, even some on the far right, however, they idealize the pre-civilized era in Europe.
Perhaps some of the pull towards mingling with the idealized ''others'' is a misguided attempt to return to some mythical paradise where there is no complicated civilization and above all, no Christianity to say 'Thou shalt not.'
The real truth is that this Edenic 'golden age' everybody seems to long for was a time when life was 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.' And this is what our future is to be if we succumb to the urge to try to return to "noble" savagery.

Labels: , , , ,