Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Was Immediately Suspicious...

I Was Immediately Suspicious...

of this new History Channel series The People Speak because it had Matt Damon (the archetypal multimillionaire socialist) in it. Now I see that Howard Zinn is behind it.
Zinn has spent a lifetime teaching college students about the evils of capitalism, the promise of Marxism, and his version of American history – a history that has, in his view, been kept from students. His controversial 1980-book The People’s History of the United States paints traditional American history as a fa├žade – one that has grotesquely immortalized flawed leaders and is based on principles that victimize the common man. In 2004, Zinn wrote a companion book entitled Voices Of A People’s History Of The United States, which includes speeches and writings from many of the people featured in The People’s History.
Somewhere along the way, I ran into a copy of Zinn's People's History, and started reading it. I only managed to get a few pages in before I put it down. The combination of obvious deception and bias identified it as not a serious history book at all. It was a polemical account--and so polemical that when I hear that some schools have assigned it as a history text, I have to assume that the goal is give students an example of how not to write history. The alternative is that many history professors are so filled with rage at the capitalist system that they aren't capable of recognizing garbage when they see it.

It is most unfortunate that only the left seems to still have the money and will to make movies. There is an audience out there for well-done films that promote traditional values--and when they come out, they are often big money makers: Death Wish, Dirty Harry, Passion of the Christ.

A producer recently asked to see my screenplay, The Laws of Men, about the Oberlin Rescue of 1858. I don't know if anything will come of it, but it looks to me like a film that could be made for under a million dollars (especially if we used a bunch of unknown actors), and would be attractive to a number of different segments, if properly marketed: black audiences; the costume drama crowd; evangelical Christians (perhaps even using the same techniques pioneered with Passion of the Christ). We might even drag in a few liberals interested in the slavery angle. Once watching the film, we might get some of them to rethink their positions on several current issues where the parallels are so strong that the film doesn't have to bang them over the head to make the point.

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