Rightwing Film Geek

The Kazan haters

It’s unfortunately not on the Web site, but the December issue of The Atlantic has a postmortem on Elia Kazan from conservative writer Mark Steyn, in a bit of a reined-in writing persona compared to what he did at, e.g. the American Spectator. Steyn has an interesting take on a film (GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT) that I found pretty weak but Steyn makes me want to see it again. But most importantly, he states bluntly the principle behind supporting Kazan.

kazan.jpgBut the arts have little time for anti-Communists, especially premature anti-Communists, especially as premature as Kazan: he quit the party in 1936, after he’d refused to help it turn the Group Theatre into an actors’ collective …

But if we were to frame Kazan’s testimony to HUAC in terms of personal loyalty, what about his responsibility to, say, Vsevolod Meyerhold? When Kazan joined the Group, straight out of Yale, the company looked to the Russians for inspiration — not just to Stanislavsky, but also to his wayward disciple Meyerhold. The latter was a great mentor to the young Kazan and other Group members. This was a period, remember, when the Group frequently visited Russia; [Waiting For] Lefty, for example, was staged in Moscow. Meyerhold loved the older stylized forms — commedia dell’arte, pantomime — and refused to confine himself to Socialist Realism. So Stalin had him arrested and executed.

Think about that: murdered over a difference of opinion about a directing style. As ‘persecution’ goes, that’s a lot more thorough than forcing some screenwriter to work on a schlock network variety show under a false name.

And that really says it all about why I scorn the professional anti-McCarthyites, and why Kazan’s memory was honored by these rodents’ hate. Any comparison or parallel between McCarthyism, HUAC, loyalty oaths and the rest of it and the *ordinary way of doing business* in the Soviet Union is obscene. Anyone who’d make it has no sense of proportion or a sense of what a monstrous evil Communism was, and therefore thus how derivatively evil supporting it was.

November 24, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,



    Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow: These Socialist-supporting, Communist-committed, Marxist-Loving, Nontransparent-Cheating, False-Hope Preaching, Progressive-idiots want the U.S. Constitution Abolished, and/or at least heading in that direction. When Socialist-Dictators from 3rd-World countries praise your economic achievements, you better “MEASURE TWICE, and CUT ONCE” your understanding of your countries future.

    MSNBC is BAD for Business in the U.S.A.!

    This is not CANADA! This is not a “HATE” speech from a ‘Right-Wing Nut,’ or even a ‘Right-Winger,’ this is an opinion from an AMERICAN who doesn’t need to think but UNDERSTAND that there is hate everywhere, against anyone, at anytime, about anything, from everywhere (there are BUSH haters on the left & OBAMA haters on the right).

    Anyone who agrees with the reigning Administration must want to know WHEN to piss, WHO to kiss, WHEN to play, WHERE to work, and WHERE to lay (live). Anyone who agrees with the reigning Administration must have bought, what they couldn’t afford; have trespassed, where they didn’t live; have barrowed, what they couldn’t pay back; listened, to what they didn’t understand, and are now preaching, what they know nothing of.

    MSNBC, CNN, and the Obama Administration worry more about the well-being and opinions of Domestic/Islomic Terrorist then they do about the well-being and majority, that represent the AMERICAN PEOPLE. They must be more worried about the well-being of 20% of the country, then they are about the well-being of the majority, 80% of the country.

    You can blame (President) Clinton for pushing away our ECONOMY’S past , (President) Bush for ignoring our ECONOMY’s Present, and (President) Obama for throwing away our ECONOMY’s Future.

    If you can’t read or understand the Constitution, then get out of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, quickly!

    So we just passed a Health Care Law in order to know what is in it; written by a committee whose chairman says he didn’t understand it; passed by a congress that didn’t read it and exempts themselves from it; Signed by a hypocritical-president who is a smoker; from funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes; all to be overseen by a sergeon general who by military standards is obese; all to be financed by a country that is broke.


    OUR INDEPENDENCE IS THE “BIG F@#?EN DEAL!” (Thank You Mr. Biden)

    Comment by Sylentwolf | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. You have no concept of facts. Meyerhold was tourtured and executed in 1940 because Stalin’s secret police got a confession out of him that he had killed his wife. He recanted in a letter to Molotov, but to no avail. Stalin wasn’t just a killer, he was clever one. Whatever reason Stalin had for wanting Meyerhold dead, he wanted it to appear to the world that justice had been done, the wife killer had confessed, and the execution was justified. Don’t gloss over the facts to make them fit your viewpoint.

    BTW, read Dalton Trumbo’s letters, they’ll show you what a picnic prison was. After he got out, writing film scripts under pseudonyms was just one fun-filled adventure after another. If you want to worship at the altar of “Idiot” Kazan go ahead, I feel safer with Arthur Miller, Dalton Trumbo, and Ring Lardner Jr. As a matter of fact, Ring Sr. has a rather famous short story title that’s appropriate for you and Kazan, it’s called “Shut Up, he explained.”

    Comment by Native Baltimoron | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  3. I thought about deleting this but … no … why not just let this moronic comment stand as an indication that at least some liberals are still capable of defending Stalin or at least treating him with greater deference and respect than The Really Evil People like Elia Kazan.

    You, sir, are a piece of shit.

    Comment by vjmorton | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  4. And just for the record, I have no doubt that a US prison is not a picnic and nothing Mark Steyn or I said implied otherwise.

    I merely insist that there is a difference of kind, not just degree, between short prison terms, working in Europe or under a pseudonym on the one hand, and Stalinist reigns of terror on the other. I assume you don’t.

    Comment by vjmorton | December 2, 2010 | Reply

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