Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Frankly, my dear . . '

Rhett Butler still doesn't give a damn, which is why women can't resist him, as I explain in my latest column for The American Spectator:
While those around him scrupulously obey the superficial social conventions of the age, Rhett scoffs at his own disrepute and brashly invites scandal, as when he shocks Atlanta society by bidding $150 for the honor of dancing with the recently widowed Scarlett. And while Ashley is torn by doubt, Rhett is the embodiment of decisive certainty.
He has a way with the ladies, but Rhett is indisputably a man's man. When his blunt skepticism toward the South's prospects in the impending war enrages the touchy pride of his hosts in the drawing room at Twelve Oaks, Rhett is insulted by young Charles Hamilton, but declines the challenge. "I apologize again for all my shortcomings," Rhett says as he excuses himself. The hot-tempered Hamilton imputes this to cowardice -- "He refused to fight!" -- only to be informed by Ashley that Butler is a notoriously deadly duelist, "one of the best shots in the country."
In an agrarian antebellum society obsessed with the noble ideals of ancient chivalry, Rhett's attitudes are shockingly modern. He is a calculating capitalist, shamelessly professing his pursuit of self-interest. When Scarlett reproaches him for doubting the Confederate cause, Butler memorably retorts, "I believe in Rhett Butler. He's the only cause I know." . . .
Read the whole scandalous thing, which doesn't shy away from the accusations of raaaaacism that plague Gone With The Wind today -- the 70th anniversary of the film's premiere in my native Atlanta.

Turner Classic Movies will show GWTW tonight at 8 p.m. ET. (You can read Washington Times film critic Gary Arnold's discussion of the TCM broadcast and the new 70th Anniversary Collector's DVD version.) Most media will either ignore this anniversary or else view it through a politically correct prism. ABC News airhead Ashley Hall managed to get Australian film-studies professor Deb Verhoeven to share this slice of feminist idiocy:
"Some people see the film and see an independent woman's struggle and her ultimate resilience and another person sitting next to them will see a terrible story about sexual subjugation."
Although you need subjugating badly, Professor Verhoeven. That's what's wrong with you. You should be subjugated, and often, and by someone who knows how.

Rhett Butler's offenses to feminism are extreme -- and extremely ironic, considering that he was created by a quite modern career woman, Margaret Mitchell, who remains the best-selling female writer of all time. It's easy to imagine Rhett laughing at feminist accusations of misogyny, just as he would laugh at the accusation of racism.

Fear and Self-Loathing
Coincidentally enough, I had a long phone conversation yesterday with Juliette "Baldilocks" Ochieng, the Luo-American blogger who asked her white readers why they were so afraid of being labelled "racist," and was surprised by the response:
I knew that there was fear out there, but I didn't comprehend the breadth of it.
As I told Juliette, there are both practical and emotional motives for this widespread fear. Practically, in the age of affirmative action and equal-opportunity employment law, the mere suspicion of "racism" can be a career-killer for anyone with ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder. Look at how Larry Summers' academic career was destroyed after he offended the feminists at Harvard, and then try to imagine what would have happened if he had similarly offended the racial grievance-mongers.

Vicious race hustlers who plague America's universities are a major reason an absurd flinch-reaction to the "racist" label is so commonplace among our educated elite. Just ask Sergio Gor what it was like when left-wingers at George Washington University perpetrated an anti-Muslim hate hoax against the campus chapter of Young America's Foundation. Or ask YAF's Jason Mattera about the reaction to his "whites-only scholarship" protest at Roger Williams University.

The cringing fearfulness Shelby Steele describes in his book White Guilt has to be "carefully taught" -- to borrow with obvious irony the famous lyrics from South Pacific -- and our educational system now teaches white guilt as fanatically as Nazi schools taught Aryan superiority in the 1930s.

Acknowledgement of racial guilt is now de rigueur among white bien-pensants who, if we may continue this impromptu French lesson, are required to prove themselves amis des noirs if they wish to preserve their amour propre.

Terrorized by the very real risk of denunciation and ostracism if they dispute the regnant racial orthodoxy, whites internalize this politically correct fear. As is often the case when fear is hidden in the heart, however, they seek to resolve the inevitable cognitive dissonance by projecting their inner angst onto scapegoats.

Whited Sepulchres
In recent years I've noticed that those who most relentlessly charge others with racism are white people who, by pointing the accusing finger, seek to make a public display of their own colorblind virtue:
Not only am I not a racist, but I am such an enlightened and courageous crusader against racism as to be able to detect the hidden hate of my fellow whites and to expose and fearlessly denounce it. Admire me!
To these self-righteous hypocrites, we may be tempted to reply with the two most famous words of Rahm Emanuel (hint: the second word is "you"), but instead we should remind them what Jesus said of their predecessors:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
"Whited sepulchres," indeed. They tithe the mint and cumin of racial self-righteousness, and when they make a proselyte, he is "twofold more the child of hell." (Sharmuta and Killgore Trout come to mind here.) They react with predictable fury toward anyone who calls them out for their pharisaical fraudulence, as the ugly reality of their dishonest hypocrisy contradicts the virtuous reputation they covet.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools
Read the whole thing, as the bloggers say. And then please read the rest of my American Spectator column about Rhett Butler, who knew how to make the most of a bad reputation.

Speaking of making the most of such things, I once more wish to thank readers who have already hit the tip jar to help send me to Pasadena for Alabama's Jan. 7 national championship game. (Howdy, Texas A&M fans. Go Aggies!) Remember, we need to average $70 a day for the next three weeks to do this, so that perhaps I can pay chivalrous respect to Baldilocks (and also Little Miss Attila) in person.

Update: (Smitty) Geller 'lanch!


  1. Stacy:

    I really liked your AS article. I've been following the debate recently between Goldstein and Patterico (I'm a long-time reader of PW), and I think that lost in the ridiculous presumptions about racism is the fact that you are a writer with a rare ability to turn a phrase. Usually (and I know this is a gross generalization) news reporters such as yourself set the facts of the story ahead of the need to present it with precision, let alone elegance.

  2. WOW- what a wonderful critique of GWTW and Rhett Butler. What an example of manliness for today, especially with all of the girlie men in our faces.

  3. Your quote:

    "And while Ashley is torn by doubt, Rhett is the embodiment of decisive certainty."

    This, IMHO, is "sin" that cannot be forgiven by the leftists. Certainty. Conviction. Belief that stands strong against attack. Leftists abhor the absolute. Everything is to be transient and ever-changing, according to their whims of the day.

    Which is why leftists hate religion, especially Christianity, because it claims to be absolute truth. There is no "gray" with Jesus' words. He called 'em as He saw 'em and made loads of people angry because He didn't stay in His place as a nice carpenter's son.

    We live in the crazy world of uncertainty, manufactured and sold by so-called "progressives" who want nothing more than to control everyone with their craziness. Someone like Rhett Butler would have a few choice words for them and I adore it when our modern-day "Rhetts" respond. (Like you.)

    I fell in love with my husband because of his confidence in his own abilities. He knows what he's good at and not afraid to say it. I find that enormously refreshing. Quite unlike the many emasculated men I found in the 80's and 90's who couldn't seem to decide on a restaurant if their life depended upon it. This is a whole other topic, but part of what radical feminism did was not only punish men like Rhett Butler, they tried to brainwash women into thinking they really didn't want a man but say, a "girlfriend" in a man's body. (I've said on more than one occasion to single women: "Ladies, if you want the company of a girlfriend, find a girlfriend. Men are not girlfriends.")

    I also have a bit of Rhett Butler in me. I don't accept the premise that because I am white, I am automatically a racist. I don't waste time arguing about it with people who have a self-loathing complex. I know who I am and that I have a short time on this planet. I say we make the most out of using our skills and talents for giving to others while benefiting from them ourselves. And I sure as hell ain't going to head over to the "losing side" because I feel sorry for them. They made their stupid choices. Now they can reap their stupid benefits.

  4. "Although you need subjugating badly, Professor Verhoeven. That's what's wrong with you. You should be subjugated, and often, and by someone who knows how."

    Hey, even the kissing of Dr. Deb would take a lot more liquor than I currently like to drink. To properly subjugate such a man-hater? There not enough drunk left in my liquor cabinet.

    Just give the 'little' 'lady' what she wants. You can go first~!

  5. ConantheCimmerian said...

    As an Aggie, I appreciate the shout to us Ags.

    I am just confused though, why the love?

    Thanks for an answer.

    Hullabaloo Canek Canek!

    And thanks for standing up for southron culture in spite of the calls of you might be a racist if...

    By the way, I am a father of four working on number five.

  6. I am just confused though, why the love?

    1. Who is Alabama's opponent in the BCS game? 2. Who hates the Horns worse than an Aggie?
    3. Bear Bryant once coached at A&M.
    4. Sull Ross!

  7. Nicely put, Stacy. Raaaacism has been yelled out way too much by the left and some "professed" righties. To me, those who yell the loudest usually have some insecurities about themselves that they are afraid of facing. It's such a sad state of affairs today that people are so afraid of offending people, that they would rather tip-toe around and appease rather than tell it like it is.

    Thanks for not mincing words.

  8. Comment by Jeff G. on 12/15 @ 10:21 am #

    Re: RSM’s bit, linked by serr8d above: that politically correct fear, once internalized, is theirs. And you can express it intentionally without ever meaning to verbalize it.

  9. Unlike Rhett, I would have just shot the sum'bitch.

    I'm finding that some lessons are simply more pointed than others.

  10. ConantheCimmerian said...

    @ RS McCain Tues Dec 15, 09:27:00

    Yes there are some compelling ties there. A Sul Ross mention too (whom, I was informed by a liberal arts prof, was a genecidal maniac, by golly! Ahh, gotta love the leftism).

    As it is said by Aggies on Saturdays in the fall, "My two favorite teams are the Texas Aggies and whoever is playing T.U." (Note, it is T.U. (established 1883) and not U.T.

    Texas A&M (established 1876) is THE university of Texas.

    Excellent article for the Amer. Spec. by the way.

    I will be firmly behind the Tide for the championship. Roll Tide roll.

    They call Steely Dan the Deacon Blues, call me Crimson Tide.

  11. Not only am I not a racist, but I am such an enlightened and courageous crusader against racism as to be able to detect the hidden hate of my fellow whites and to expose and fearlessly denounce it. Admire me!

    That is exactly as I see it, too. It is also called "posing and posturing" and "moral exhibitionism," i.e. Look how enlightened I am!

  12. In the context of racism and Rhett Butler, we cannot skip Rhett's opinion of Prissy (Butterfly McQueen): She's the one person whose respect I want.

  13. Can we please have more and more accusations of raaacist! Tons of them? Until it is mocked out of meaning?

    Juliette thinks we need to speak out. I say, until the race-mongers cede the power they derive from the disingenuous charges, they alone have the power to stop the madness.

  14. Well, R.S., thanks for clearing up why ladies love a fictional character played by Clark Gable, why Jesus wants only liberals to avoid being holier-than-thou, and why we shouldn't bother trying to avoid offending other people. I've learned a lot about your philosophy today.