Elia Kazan Dead at 94

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by medea, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #1
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Loved his movies, but had no respect for the man. Sometimes life confronts you with hard choices and he took the one with no principles. I'll still continue to appreciate his genius in movie making. Hey, I love Sinatra's music and he was a low-life bum who liked to hit women. Artistic genius and humanity just don't always reside in the same human being.
     
  3. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

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    How insensitive of you

    You would think that in retrospect, with all the hypocricy in the witch-hunts against Communists exposed, that people like yourself would have gotten over it. Apparently not. Keep living in the past my friend and be sure to check that there are no Commies hiding under your bed tonight.
     
  4. medea thread starter macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #4
    Re: How insensitive of you

    Wether he was a communist or not is probably not Sayhey's problem, it's probably what Kazan did to other communists at the time to save his own butt, his apparent "friends."
     
  5. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

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    #5
    Communism was real and evil, and still is, though some seem to have forgotten and think of it as just a philosophy. If it were just a philosophy, there would be a lot fewer mass graves in Asia and Eastern Europe and there would have been no wall in Berlin.

    The Communist Party in the USA was funded in part by the Soviets.

    The Communist Party in the USA advocated the violent overthrow of the government elected by the American people.

    Some of the Red Scare was overdone. But the menace was real. And just as I am very careful about labeling people "draft dodgers" because I was fortunate enough to make it through my young adult years without a draft, I would like to be careful about demonizing those who rooted out communism in post-WWII America, and those who facilitated that effort.
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Re: Re: How insensitive of you

    medea, you are right. Whatever one thinks of communists the hysteria of the witch hunts of the late '40s and '50s was inexcusable. I knew people who lost their jobs and a couple who lost their adopted child because of the craziness of eveyone "looking under their bed" for communists. Their politics were a little too "red" for somebody's tastes. Kazan could have stood up to it. Instead he turned names over to the Committee of people who had done nothing illegal, and as a result saved his own career while ruining others. Not a very admirable thing to do in my book. Doesn't mean I can't appreciate the work he did.
     
  7. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

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    The witch hunt goes on....

    The people Elia Kazan named were known to the authorities of the time allready.

    Anyway, easy for you to point the finger and say that Elia Kazan did something wrong. Today you would be in the same position if John Ashcroft accused you of being a 'terrorist' because you took part in an anti-war rally sometime ago. If you had to make a decision between naming names or going to jail what would you do?
     
  8. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Re: The witch hunt goes on....

    Whether or not the authorities knew about peoples association with the Communist Party or any other left or progressive organizations that were on their list is irrelevent. It was not a illegal act to belong to any of those organizations and the Congressional committees actions against people who had every right to their views was outrageous.

    You are right Sol, that I've not been in Kazan's place. I have been in some of those rallies you write about and if the situation you describe every comes up I would hope to make a choice much different than Kazan's. I don't think his choice should be overlooked because all of us haven't been confronted with the same situation.
     
  9. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

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    #9
    Wearing Saddam T-Shirts not illegal either

    I find it naive to think that Kazan would have been a free man had he refused to comply with his investigators. In any case, the villains of this drama seem to have won since they succeeded in ridiculing and blackening the name of a talented artist. To those of us who can look beyond the witch-hunt Elia Kazan is someone we can look up to.

    As for the posibility of being in his shoes one day, be careful what you wish for...
     
  10. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Re: Wearing Saddam T-Shirts not illegal either

    Believe me I have no wish to be put in his shoes. If you asked me if I have any sympathy for those like Kazan who made the choice to name names in front of the Committee, then I would have to say I do. However, that sympathy does not engender respect for his action. Let's be clear, Kazan faced no prison time for refusing to name names. He could have easily refused to answer on the grounds of the fifth amendment. He faced the loss of his work because of the blacklist. Instead he helped the committee to destroy the careers of others. I agree with you about who the "real" villains are in this piece and as I have said I respect the talent of the man. It is unfortuate that he will always be remembered not only for his great work, but also for his terrible choice.

    Oh, and by the by, my bed is of the platform variety so I have to look in the closets for the lurking red menace. ;)
     
  11. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #11
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Thank you for all your achievements during your career! No matter what he did earlier in life we have a body of his work to enjoy. Like `The Skin of Our Teeth,'' "A Streetcar Named Desire,'' "Death of a Salesman,'' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' and "J.B.,'' for which Kazan himself won a Tony Award. Other stage credits included"Camino Real,'' "Sweet Bird of Youth'' and "Tea and Sympathy."
     
  12. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a

    taeclee99

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    #12
    The truth of the matter is that Kazan exposed Communists and this fact makes those on the Left hysterical. If Kazan had ratted out Nazi's instead of communists, he would have been universally lauded not chided.


    I
     
  13. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    gosh it's great to know that mccarthyism is alive and well and festering in the minds of those out to save the world( or at least themselves...) from evil.

    oil up the torches boys, there's a witch hunt tonite.

    and it's nice to know that his ruining of other's lives and careers is somehow justified because he made good movies.

    movies are so important, right? might as well say it's OK because he invented the "big mac".

    nice priorities.
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Re: The witch hunt goes on....

    i'd fight it in court. if my case made it that far...
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    Great artists are not always great human beings. Or as Joan Baez put it, "A savior's a nuisance to live with at home."
     
  16. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #16
    Ann Coulter?? Is that you???

    Seriously though, its nice to see that her inflammed rhetoric has been picked up by conservative America. NOT!

    This is the one trend I find so disturbing in conservative rhetoric right now. Many conservatives have gone past simply disagreeing with liberals. Now, they think that liberals are the devil incarnate and want to rape little children, turn our country over to communists, and rid the world of Christianity in any of its forms. Its not that liberals simply have a different opinion than you. Rather, your opinion is right, and liberals are evil people that hate America.

    This trend is disturbing simply because of the raw hatred it inspires in the masses that somehow manage to believe what Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and the rest are saying. Hatred is a very dangerous thing, especially when it is pointed at your fellow countryman.

    Taft
     
  17. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    I really don't like these kinds of statements. Communism is not evil, no matter what you assert as true. It is a philosophy and a system of government. It is nothing more.

    The mass graves you speak of are the result of corruption, arrogance and power. Mass executions have happened many times in the history of the world, most not under the eye of a communist regime. These executions are inspired by a desire for control and power or simple hatred, not by the communist doctrine.

    If you would like to debate the pros and cons of communism, I'd be more than happy to endulge you. In fact, we would probably agree on most points, including the fact that communism has many flaws. Thats right, you heard me. Mr. Liberal just said that he doesn't like communism. Fancy that!

    But please...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!...leave good and evil out of it. A philosophy that doesn't include any violation of moral codes (wether yours or anyone elses) can't be evil. It can only be misguided. Sometimes horribly so.

    Taft
     
  18. Sol macrumors 68000

    Sol

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    The leftist who left

    taeclee99 made a very good point: The mention of Kazan makes leftists nervous because he exposed their 'brothers.' This is a victory for those right-wing paranoid hate-mongers who initiated that shameful Communist witch-hunt in that era of American history. They made one a well-known left-leaning artists into a villain for their enemies. In the end it was a game of politics.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    There is every indication that Karl Rove has decided on a strategy of good-vs-evil for '04. The rhetoric is going to get a lot nastier over the next year. The phrase "A uniter, not a divider" is going to ring hollow as Rove sets about trashing liberals in as many nasty ways as he can think of.

    The one mistake Bush 43 hasn't made that his father did is that 43 has made sure the religious right see him as one of their own. Rove and Ralph Reed have done extensive planning in an attempt to get the fundamentalist vote out in force this next fall. And with the huge war chest Bush has/will have accumulated bye next year, you will see a massive organisation spring to life in the final weeks of the campaign that will have as it's goal to outdo the labor vote in key states with religious conservatives.

    This is going to be one of the ugliest campaigns in memory IMHO. It will probably divide the country even more deeply and bitterly than it is now.
     
  20. h'biki macrumors regular

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    #20
    Does that apply to Facism as well?
     
  21. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    Re: The leftist who left

    i think you meant to post this in the "have you ever been drunk" thread.
     
  22. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #22
    From m-w.com:

    My previous statement contained an implication of subjectiveness concerning moral codes. A component of fascism is the forcible suppression of opposition. I'd say thats pretty bad. I wouldn't use the word evil, but its bad.

    Communism has no such component. You might not agree with communism's ideal of no private property and state-controlled everything, but that doesn't make the idea evil. I personally think that it is a very optimistic but flawed concept.

    It clashes too much with the average person's idea of freedom to ever work. It didn't work and in most Communist countries this is obvious. But to describe communism's followers as evil is ridiculous. I don't agree with them, but that doesn't make them evil. Many implementors of Communism are pretty bad people: Stalin, Castro, etc. I consider these leaders to be the reality of Communism and a testament to why it doesn't work. However, note that these leaders have very little in common with the average believer in Communism.

    But the biggest problem I have with some conservative columnist's use of Communism is their tendency to equate liberalism with Communism. With a rather large stretch of the imagination you might arrive at the conclusion that liberalism shares many ideals with Socialism, but to compare it with Communism is just insane. No liberal I have known has ever thought Communism was a good idea.

    I'm rather liberal. Do I want to see Communism take hold in the US? No friggin' way. These arguments are simply character attacks against liberals with no real basis in reality.

    Pisses me off. Big time.

    Taft
     
  23. medea thread starter macrumors 68030

    medea

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    #23
    I'm a little disappointed that this thread ended up in the Political Thread, the man was an artist and passed away and instead of either discussing his films or his questionable politcal past you guys chose to make it an argument over communism itself, and a rather silly argument at that. Can no one stay on topic?
     
  24. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #24
    yes, no one can stay on topic.

    my epitaph will read: He answered rhetorical questions.
     
  25. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    medea, since I'm guilty of turning this into a political thread with my opinions on Kazan's actions let me say this about his films. I've always thought Streetcar, Along the Waterfront, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are among the best American Cinema has to offer. Part of that is of course the genius of Williams (in two of the films) and the unbelievable quality of the actors, but film is primarily a directors medium and Kazan deserves every bit of praise he received for these works. I won't get into the themes of the movies, because that would lead right back into a political discussion.
     

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