Chamblee54

Free Speech

Posted in History, Music, Politics by chamblee54 on December 22, 2013

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Free speech is much talked about. PG has long maintained that you can say anything in America, but no one will pay attention. One of the videos embedded today is John Waters rambling on about free speech. While he listened to this, PG was downloading picture files from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. These pictures are included today. Before long, a little lesson in free speech came into play.

The pictures were from the World Premiere of “Song of the South.” Here is the story, copied from a previously published Chamblee54 feature

In 1946, “Song Of The South” had it’s premiere at the Fox Theater. SOTS is a controversial item these days. It was based on the Uncle Remus stories, which were written down by Joel Chandler Harris. For those who don’t know, these stories were told by the rural black people that Mr. Harris knew when he was growing up near Eatonton GA. As Wikipedia tells the tale “Controversy surrounding his southern plantation themes, narrative structure, collection of African-American folklore, use of dialect, and Uncle Remus character, however, has denigrated the significance of Harris’ work”. In other words, Brer Rabbit is not politically correct.

The reviews at IMDB tell a different tale. To them, SOTS is a happy children’s movie. The Disney company seems to wish it would go away and be forgotten. Copies are tough to come by these days. PG would say to see it for yourself and make up your own mind, but Disney won’t let you. (The movie is available for viewing on youtube.)

The female lead in SOTS was Ruth Warrick. Miss Warrick was a versatile talent. Her first movie role was in “Citizen Kane”, as Kane’s first wife. She was in many movies, before moving to television. She was perhaps best known as Phoebe Tyler, in the soap opera “All My Children”. Wikipedia tells a story about her, that is ironic for the female lead of “Song Of The South”

“In July 2000, she refused to accept a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Arts Commission because she was offended by legislators’ decision to move the Confederate flag from the state Capitol dome to another spot on the grounds in response to a boycott of the state by flag opponents. A lifelong supporter of African-American rights, she felt the flag should be removed completely, and commented, “In my view, this was no compromise. It was a deliberate affront to the African-Americans, who see it as a sign of oppression and hate.”

Snopes weighed in on the SOTS controversy. Apparently, the suppression of the movie did take place. A different form of censorship takes place at Snopes. A popup ad for Oreck vacuum cleaners will not go away, and blocks key parts of the text from view.

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