Sunday, July 15, 2007

War Doco not Hispanic enough

Moviemaker adds scenes under pressure

I've been following this back and forth over Ken Burn's new WWII documentary between Ken and some (not all) Hispanic groups who were upset that their contributions weren't included. After hearing their complaints, Ken gave in and offered to add shorts that would be spread throughout the series, but they wanted more. He took the offer back and they put together protest groups and put up websites labeling him a racist. Now, it looks like he is giving in again. See Ken Burns and the Old Soldiers Who Wouldn't Fade Away on Does anyone have the heart to tell him it still won't be enough?

Yes, it is unfortunate that he didn't include their contribution, but his artistic vision isn't required to keep up with a census report. And yes he is famous, but that doesn't mean he has to change his vision to suit others. He's a storyteller and he isn't obligated to check with the local ethnic chamber of commerce before he tells his story. It would have probably been a better story with that added nuance (I would have liked to see it), but it is his story and the writer and lover of the 1st Amendment in me is angry that it has become some group's PC victim of the moment. This is not a government film, isn't government sponsored or held up as the beginning and end of absolutely everything that happened. That's like suggesting that Burn's Civil War documentary is the "official record" of the Civil War and included every perspective.

Also, let's not suggest that because its PBS its kind of like the government in that it serves the public. If you actually watched PBS, you would know the station is very focused on individual artistic impressions, popular and unpopular, and that is why people like it. If groups can continue to bully their vision onto someone else's canvas, what can we say is really a genuine work of art? If it's forced on the artist, what's the point? If Ken only wanted to cover the experience of red-headed, fat women in the state of Kansas during the Great Depression, that is his right. If PBS thinks it will sell, they'll pay for it and if people want to see it, they'll watch.

As a black woman, I know it hurts to not have your contribution to an important event included, but it isn't an excuse to hijack someone else's artistic vision. You can't make a creator change her painting, book, play or documentary because you know many people will see or read it and you want them to see or read about you. I'm not saying they have no right to voice their complaints, especially considering it will likely be watched by millions. I'm just saying maybe they should stop demanding other people tell their story and transfer all that energy into telling it themselves. With the Internet and the Independent film industry, it is possible to tell myriads of stories that couldn't be told before without studio backing and millions of dollars.


"Honor killings" in Britain no longer to be played down because of political correctness

A RACIAL equality group has branded as 'obvious' calls to by-pass political correctness in investigating so-called 'honour killings'. The comments come in response to those made by MP for Bromley and Chislehurst Bob Neill last Wednesday.

So-called honour killings are when a member of a racial group kills a family member to preserve their 'honour' if they fall in love with someone from a different racial group. Mr Neill quizzed the outgoing Attorney General Lord Goldsmith over whether he thought that honour killings should be a top priority for police. The senior lawyer said that he was concerned that police were not "robust" enough in tackling the crime.

It is believed that police are re-examining around 2,000 deaths and murders between 1996 and 2006 on the basis that they may have been honour killings. Speaking afterwards Mr Neill said: "All homicide, whatever the motive, should have the same priority. The very idea that there is anything honourable about these crimes is based on a flawed ideology that has no place in our society."

Director of Bromley's Racial Equality Council, Ali Jafarey, said: "That's obvious. It's just common sense. Who would agree with such behaviour? The Tories are becoming a bit obsessed with political correctness."

Borough Commander of Bromley police, Charles Griggs, said: "The tragic killing of Banaz Mahmod has demonstrated the need for a robust approach in the way we investigate violence within the home. However, murder is murder wherever it occurs and I can promise you that our approach, whilst respecting people's beliefs and cultures, will be firm, thorough and fair."

Mr Neill added: "Lives may have been lost as a result of political correctness and I really hope that the police take a lead from Lord Goldsmith and that the new national strategy begins to redress the current problems. "I also welcome Lord Goldsmith's admission that such "honour killings" are particularly bad as young women must be able to rely on family support. That is a fundamental belief in any just society."


Australian Leftist leader condemns politically correct indoctrination

LABOR leader Kevin Rudd has warned against excessive political correctness following reports young children are being taught to sing sorry to the Stolen Generation of Aborigines in NSW schools. Sorry Song by Kerry Fletcher was written in 1998 for Sorry Day and has been included in the ABC Song Book, distributed to NSW primary schools.

The words of the controversial song include: "If we can say sorry to the people from this land, sing, sing loud, break through the silence, sing across this land. "They Cry, they cry, their children were stolen, they still wonder why.''

Hamish East, the father of an eight-year-old boy who sang the song at a school in Kiama on the NSW south coast, has protested over what he called a political stunt which had confused his son, The Daily Telegraph reported today. Mr East, a Kiama councillor, said controversial political issues should not "be forced down the throats of our children''.

Mr Rudd said today people must be wary about the issue. "I think we're starting to look at too much political correctness on those sorts of questions,'' Mr Rudd said. "We've got to watch out for political correctness going mad.'' Mr Rudd said children should be educated about the facts of Australia's history, including respecting indigenous culture, but left to make up their own minds about what's right and wrong. "Our young kids just need to be introduced to facts in our history and facts in our society and then later on as they move through high school they can start making up their own minds about what's right and what's wrong.''



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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