And You Will Be Gone with the Wind
The essay has two backstories based on two famous movies and, more importantly, two famous events in our country’s life. The fighting over evolution a century ago and the Civil War a century and a half ago. This essay is written in the literary style of Yogi Berra and O. Henry. Berra said, “It’s deja vu all over again.” O. Henry often penned his writings with an unexpected twist at the end of his stories. Having set the scene for my readers, let’s begin with the movie Inherit the Wind.
The movie dealt with Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Darwin denied the notion that species appeared ex nihilo. Species evolved over time from previous species. That theory ran counter to the conservative mindset of Protestants, especially in the South. John Scopes was a teacher in Dayton, TN. He violated the Butler Act, which prohibited teaching any creation theory other than the biblical story found in the Bible.
The Scopes Monkey Trial started on July 10, 1925. Clarence Darrow was Scopes’ defense attorney, and William Jennings Bryan was the prosecutor. Darrow was one of the great lawyers of the time. As for Bryan, he was a true believer in the Bible instead of science. In one of his famous speeches, he said, “...it is better to trust in the Rock of Ages, than to know the age of the rocks; it is better for one to know that he is close to the Heavenly Father, than to know how far the stars in the heavens are apart.”
This scene from the movie sets the tone for the trial.
We are moving now to the other film, Gone With the Wind. It was based on Margaret Mitchell’s novel, published in 1936. She was born into a white wealthy Georgia family, and her grandfather fought for the Confederacy. Mitchell wrote about the Civil War and how that affected her characters during the dying days of the Confederacy. Slavery wasn’t addressed even though it provided the basis for the wealth of the white privileged class in the South.
The movie grossed the most money at the box office than any movie when adjusted for inflation. According to Guinness World Records, Gone With the Wind grossed $3.44 billion at the box office. One would wonder what blacks would have thought of the movie since they couldn’t go to movies, especially in the South in the late 30s. This photo is of the theater in Memphis, TN.
This is one of the closing scenes of the film.
Hope for the good old days have gone with the wind.
Thus, endeth also the movie section of this essay of Inherit the Wind and Gone with the Wind. This section of the article had its genesis as I watched the news on TV. To paraphrase Captain Renault in the movie Casablanca, “I was shocked.”
Dominion Voting Systems filed a 200-page filing in a defamation case claiming Fox News lied on the air about the stolen election. Interestingly, Jacqui Heinrich, a Fox reporter, initially wrote about her fact check that “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
That comment by Heinrich didn’t go over well with Tucker Carlson, who texted Sean Hannity, “Please get her fired. Seriously. What the f---? I’m actually shocked. It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”
Dominion’s filing in court against Fox News has a litany of emails and tweets about Fox News knowing that the election wasn’t stolen. However, unless they get behind Trump, even though they knew he lost the election, it would hurt their ratings and cause their followers to go to Newsmax.
Fox News is inheriting the wind from their viewers, which will cost them revenue unless they lie. The parallel with Inherit the Wind is obvious. Darrow had scientists who couldn’t testify in court about the truth about evolution.
Enter Gone with the Wind. Sidney Powell sent Fox News an email proving that the election was stolen from Trump. This is part of the email. “Who am I? And how do I know all of this?... I’ve had the strangest dreams since I was a little girl....I was internally decapitated, and yet, I live....The Wind tells me I’m a ghost, but I don’t believe it.” Powell also claims that her source can also “time-travel in a semi-conscious state.”
Powell wants to go back to the good ol’ days with Donald the Dumb as an autocrat. A white supremacist at a rally in Charlottesville, VA, drove his car into a crowd, killing one and injuring several dozen others.
Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.” After the mob attacked the Capitol, Trump waited three hours before finally telling the mob, “Stand back and stand by.”
The good ol’ day have gone with the wind, hopefully.