Re: Hollywood Ten as Villains

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 1997 10:40 PM

This is part of a series of mine which in turn are my contribution to a thread which elicited numerous responses over the course of one month.  I began the thread when I supplied the link to a page of the Los Angeles Times website when that newspaper ran an op-ed titled "The Hollywood Ten Were Villains, Not Victims," by Michael S. Berliner, Ph.D.  That article can -- as of March 20, 1999 -- can be read online at http://www.aynrand.org/medialink/HUAC.html.  Please realize that this link supercedes those mentioned in the original posts.

Frank M. Miller <frnklin@mindspring.com> wrote in article
<frnklin-1811971854190001@user-37kbt3c.dialup.mindspring.c om>…
> In article <347213A3.56AE@aol.com>, MuseMalade <musemalade@aol.com> wrote:
>
> =David P. Hayes wrote:
>
> => Mightn't it be that martyrdom was itself an attempt at furthering their
> => ideology once maryrdom became the preferred means of expressing themselves
> => after employment was denied them?
>
> Can anyone explain this to me? Is Mr. Hayes saying that they chose to go
> to jail for contempt of congressor to broke when they couldn't find
> jobsor to write under pseudonyms or through fronts. This sentence just
> doesn't make any sense to me.

The martyrdom I was referring to was not the jail terms. I'm talking about what came later: the mythologizing of the "bravery" and "commitment" to an ideal that others say warrant the granting of respect and admiration to the Hollywood Ten.

Please refer to the Michael Berliner article linked to one of my previous posts. Its subtitle and much of the text deal with the way history has switched the heroes and villains.

--David Hayes

Re: Hollywood Ten as Villains - The Martyr Question

From: David P. Hayes
Date: 1997/11/19
Newsgroup: rec.arts.movies.past-films

Christopher Lampton <clampton@erols.com> wrote in article
<64qun5$nq3$1@winter.news.erols.com>…
> … The Hollywood Ten are still saints, in my estimation, even if
> they were martyred for the wrong cause.

AND Frank M. Miller <frnklin@mindspring.com> wrote in article <01bcf4b6$9992ef20$914f2299@whatever>… beginning with a quote from me:
> => Mightn't it be that martyrdom was itself an attempt at furthering their
> => ideology once maryrdom became the preferred means of expressing
> themselves
> => after employment was denied them?
>
> Can anyone explain this to me?  Is Mr. Hayes saying that they chose to go
> to jail for contempt of congressor to broke when they couldn't find
> jobsor to write under pseudonyms or through fronts.  This sentence just
> doesn't make any sense to me.

Proponents of ideas sometimes do choose to go to jail rather than appear defeated, and do so specifically to gain a favorable reputation for themselves or their cause.  Abolitionist John Brown never expressed regret for his campaign of destruction and used his execution as a rallying event for supporters.  (Quite contrary to his desires, more peaceful abolitionist such as Abraham Lincoln declared that they applauded his stand but deplored his method).  In this decade, an anti-abortion advocate who killed an abortion- doctor (the killer was named Paul Hill, as I recall) made the same type of announcement about being willing to die for his belief.  (He so closely followed Brown's path that I've wondered whether he deliberately sought to copy Brown's success.)

Is it so surprising that someone might sunder years of his life to acquire lasting renown?  Do you remember the speech James Cagney makes to Pat O'Brien near the end of "Angels With Dirty Faces"?  That's what Cagney's character said he wanted.

I'm sorry that this explanation was left out of yesterday's post on this subject.  I erred in my editing.

----
David Hayes

 

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