Letter to My Son: Old Movies and Books Help Inoculate You against Liberalism

My Son,

You may not like those old movies and books, but you need them. Why? Because old movies and books were made before liberalism took over.

The old moviemakers and authors were free to show normal human beings doing normal things. They were free to show life as it should be. They didn’t have to worry about being punished by social justice warriors, and they were not brainwashed by liberalism. Yes, some old movies and books get things wrong, but overall they are the best place to see how things should be. Contemporary liberalism has distorted and perverted our way of life.  If you want to see how life should be, the best place to look is old movies and books.

That’s why the liberals (if they have any brains) don’t want you to like old books and movies.

Yes, the old movies were (mostly) in black and white, with lame special effects and old-fashioned people doing old-fashioned stuff. And yes, it’s hard work reading books that have few graphics and no embedded videos. Yes, the contemporary stuff is cooler.

Too bad. If you want to free your mind you have to escape the liberal madness every now and then. You need to see human beings being normal.  Like vegetables, old movies and books may at first turn you off. But they’re good for you.

There are some contemporary works that speak truth. I am saying that you also need the great works of the past. And I refer mostly to fiction, which when done right nourishes our spirit by giving us a picture of life as it should be.

*

Maybe you need more explanation before you understand what I’m saying. Here goes:

Remember that liberalism is our enemy. We didn’t start this fight, but liberals hate us and our way of life. Individual liberals can be decent people and liberalism sometimes has benefits, but the overall thrust of liberalism is war against our people and our ways.

Liberalism is also false. The liberal belief system is fundamentally defective because it ignores the God of the Bible and attacks the traditional forms of knowledge which mankind has discovered, at great effort, over thousands of years.

And liberals have mostly taken over. They rule the governments, schools and colleges, the media, many churches, and most private organizations (the corporations, the Red Cross, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the academic societies, etc.) When people talk or write or make videos and movies, they mostly teach liberalism. Just about everything we see teaches liberalism. If we don’t keep up our guard we’ll be fooled into liberal thinking.

Surrounded by lies, how can a young man come to know how the world really works and how people really should behave? Two of the most important ways are old movies and old books. Made before the liberals took over, they show a more realistic picture of the world.

In the old movies and books most men are masculine and most women are feminine. In the old movies and books Christianity is generally honored as the religion of our people. In the old books and movies divorce, adultery and abortion are shameful. In the old books and movies white Americans do not welcome masses of immigrants and refugees or apologize for their “white privilege” or their “xenophobia.” In the old movies and books, the madness of liberalism only lives in a few villains and other odd characters.

It’s true that some contemporary movies reflect the beliefs of ancient times. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example, does not depict Éowyn of Rohan as a modern movie would. If those movies had been made according to liberalism Éowyn would have been as great a warrior as Aragorn, if not greater. Feminism demands it.

Instead, the Lord of the Rings filmmakers were (mostly) true to Tolkien’s vision, and true to pre-modern ways of thinking. But this is an exception. You must mostly look to the past for literature or entertainment which shows a healthy society.

*

An old novel or movie shows how people of that time understood the world, human society, and the human soul. The author or the filmmaker had to present a story which his reader or audience would recognize and agree with. If a filmmaker of the 1930’s, for example, had made an action movie in which a small woman consistently defeats in physical combat men much larger than her the audience would have been disgusted at the sight of an unfeminine and therefore repellant woman achieving totally implausible feats. But these days the filmmaker has to assume that his peers and the critics will demand feminism, along with the rest of the liberal package: sexual ambiguity, multiculturalism, religious skepticism, and so on.

Young people have always had a preference for the new: It’s how the next generation establishes its identity by rebelling against the ways of their parents. And in contemporary times new technology gives the modern young man a feeling of greater power. By using technology to do what previous generations couldn’t, the modern young man feels stronger and wiser than his parents’ generation. When he looks at old movies he sees weak technology and strange fashions, all presented in low-definition, drab black and white. When he reads old books (which he rarely does), the modern young man sees people doing and saying things to which he cannot relate. He naturally assumes that there is nothing there that is good for him.

The liberals hope you will be repelled by old things. They hope you will prefer new things. That way you won’t discover what people knew before liberalism took over. All you will know is the madness of liberalism.

For the contemporary young man (or woman), the greatest value of the classic works of art and literature, the books and movies of the past, is that they show a generally sane world. Showing men and women relating one to another in a sane way. Showing families living together in a sane way. Showing businesses, schools, churches, functioning in a sane way. Showing people living sane lives, not blighted with the insanity of liberalism surrounding them and pressing in on them from all sides. This is the antidote to, the inoculation against, liberalism.

*

I want to highlight one area where all this is especially important: love and sex.  As a teenage boy you may feel that this is just squishy girly stuff, but it’s very important that you not be deceived about love and sex.

The liberals have two basic goals in their campaign of disinformation about love and sex. One is to deny that man and women are fundamentally different. The other goal follows from the first: To deny that there are right ways and wrong ways for a man and a woman to relate to one another.

These goals follow from liberalism’s stated goal of creating a world where every individual person has maximum personal freedom: He can be a he or a she, or some other personal sexual invention. He can be “gay,” straight, transgender, or whatever. He can be white, black, Asian, or any other racial identity he chooses. He can be an engineer, a babysitter, a fighter pilot, a seamstress, or have any other profession he chooses. He can join a church, a mosque, a synagogue, or an association of atheists. He can think of himself, as a human, a dog, a fish, or any other type of life he chooses.

[That’s their stated goal. Their actual goal is slavery and damnation.]

In all these choices, the liberal wants the individual to be free from ridicule or any other hardship which might by caused by his making a choice that those mean conservatives call bad or unnatural.

And a world like this can only be achieved (if it’s even possible, which is doubtful) by massive control of society, so that normal people are forced to act as if they approve of all this freedom, and are also forced to supply the goods and services needed to cater to the whims of people with mental disorders.

Back to love and sex.  It’s most important to know that man-woman differences are real, caused mostly by the facts of the human body and soul, not by social conditioning. And then you need to know the proper way for a man and a woman to relate.

And this proper way is not just a matter of knowing the rules. You need to know the rules, but they cannot guide you in every possible situation. The only way to know how to behave as a normal human being is to see it happening before your eyes. You see your father and mother relating one to another, but that’s not enough. You also need to see boys and girls, and then men and women, relating correctly one to another. And you also need to see how courtship should be done.

“Courtship,” of course, looks like an old-fashioned word. Something they did back in the day, whereas now we “date.” But dating means nothing more than looking for (if you are a man) female companionship. That “companionship” could be anything from prostitution to matrimony. “Dating” could mean anything. “Courtship,” even if contemporary man rarely uses the word, means that you intend to get honorably married.

So where can a young man see examples of men and women relating one to another in proper ways? Sometimes it does happen in real life, but you can’t depend on it. At best, it comes and goes. The liberals have created a world in which we often see men and women relating to each other in unnatural and bizarre ways. And young people who see only these unnatural relations come to think of them as normal and acceptable, which they are not. The only dependable places to find good examples of male-female relations, and to be nourished by these examples, are old books and movies.

Not all old movies and books, of course. There are many bad old books and movies, and they are bad for various reasons. But in the old days, the liberals were not in charge. In the old days, the author of a bestselling novel or a popular movie was able, if he wanted, to show human life, including man-woman relations, as it should be. He did not have to face the wrath of the politically-correct thought police if he correctly portrayed male or female nature, or if he depicted a man and a woman relating well one to another.

Also, when an old movie or book shows a man and a woman relating one to another in a bad way, you can usually it’s bad. Artists have always known how to portray something so that the viewer or reader will think it’s bad. Old movies and books often show bad man-woman relations, but you can tell that they’re bad if you pay attention.

Nowadays all that is gone. Telling the truth about subjects as important as love and sex can get you in a lot of trouble.  That’s bad enough, but the movie-going (and book reading) public also expects their entertainment to agree with their beliefs, and these days much of the public agrees with the liberal way of life, with its feminism, its atheism, its multicultural disrespect of traditional America and Americans, and so on.

So almost all contemporary movies fail to show proper male-female relations. They do not show girls and women being womanly and boys and men being manly. It’s only when they portray the past, or when they film a known work from the old days (such as a Shakespearean play), that Hollywood can get away with showing proper male-female relationships. Even then, there is no guarantee. The modern moviemaker often wants to reinterpret the past so that present-day liberals will approve of what they see.

And I’m not talking about out-and-out pornography. Porn in mainstream movies is on the rise, but I’m talking about non-pornographic movie depictions of love and romance. The danger here is that movies depict these non-sexual encounters in the wrong way.  Men and women should not relate in these ways.

So what exactly is the problem? The basic error of Hollywood and the rest of the politically-correct world of the media is showing women acting like men and men acting like women. And the second error is to show normal marriage as something undesirable because it restricts the freedom of women. (Being liberals, they don’t care about the men as men. They may care about the men if they minorities, or sexual deviants, or foreigners, and so on, but they don’t care about them as men. They don’t want to portray a confidently masculine man.)

Of course, Hollywood often portrays sexual immorality as acceptable, and even good. But that’s not its greatest sin. We Christians are taught to be wary of sin, and when we see it on the screen or read it in books, we know it is sin. But when Hollywood creates a world where women receive honor for rejecting their traditional duties of caring for husband, children and home, and instead compete with men for jobs, careers and prestige, we face a perversion that Scripture does not directly address. There have always been women (and men) who rebel against their natural duties, and Scripture does address this sin. But there has never before been a nation like modern America, in which this rebellion is encouraged by the authorities.

So what do we see in contemporary movies and television?  Women more competent and confident than men. Women rejecting wifedom and childrearing so they can compete with men in the world of accomplishment. Women with harsh, masculine personalities.

And those are the women Hollywood thinks are good. Media still shows a few feminine women, but they are not shown approvingly. Feminine women are counterrevolutionaries, traitors to the liberal cause. The audience must be made to dislike them.

And what about the men? There are masculine men in the media: The action movie heroes. But they can only express traditional masculinity in one way: physical aggression against evildoers. If the action hero were to require that his wife honor him as the head of the family, or if he were to require his family to honor Jesus Christ, he would not be the hero of a Hollywood movie.

*

We’re in a war, and in this war propaganda is the enemy’s main weapon. We cannot avoid all exposure to his propaganda but we can become immune to his poison by consuming its antidote: The great works of the past.

36 thoughts on “Letter to My Son: Old Movies and Books Help Inoculate You against Liberalism

  1. Pingback: Letter to My Son: Old Movies and Books Help Inoculate You against Liberalism | @the_arv

  2. Yes, I thought it totally realistic how Eowyn sliced off the head of a dragon, swinging her sword through three feet of flesh and bone. Most men would have trouble slicing through six inches of bone-in ham!

    As for male-female relations, Lord of the Rings skipped the part where Aragorn and Arwen met and fell in love: https://blog.jim.com/culture/role-models/

    • Well, that’s what happened in the book (more or less). And it could have been a whole lot worse, had the SJWs got hold of it.

  3. Pingback: Letter to My Son: Old Movies and Books Help Inoculate You against Liberalism | Reaction Times

  4. This is a tremendous essay, if I may say so. The only thing I would disagree with is this, “It’s most important to know that man-woman differences are real, caused mostly by the facts of human biology.” And that’s only because I believe these differences go beyond even biology to the soul itself.

    At one time in the 1980s I lived for 5 years in India in a village where there was no T.V. and no access to bookshops. The only place I could find anything to read was the local club, which had been started up by British coffee planters in the 1800s, and which had no books published after about 1947, the date of India’s independence. I can truly say that reading many of these books, Victorian and early 20th century books I would not normally have bothered with, was a real education for me, and this was 30 years ago!

    I have a son of 12 years old who loves The Lord of the Rings “because it seems true not like modern stuff”. Children have proper instincts before they are corrupted by this world.

    • Good point, William. I have already amended the passage to say “the facts of the human body and soul.”

      My son also loves LOTR, He has not expressed to me just why he loves it, but he does have an instinctive love of order and beauty and an instinctive revulsion at their opposites. Proper education is to encourage the true instincts.

      • Proper education is to encourage the true instincts.

        I’ll leave y’all to “connect the dots” on how this story is relevant to the quoted passage.

        Several years back we planned and scheduled a family picnic at a state park – Robber’s Cave State Park – in S.E. Oklahoma. My mom was coming down for a visit. As it turned out we were fortunate enough to land one of the more “coveted” spots in the park for our picnic.

        At some point, my kids all wanted to go exploring at a nearby stream and swimming hole. I told them they could all go (with no further instruction) while we (the adults) stayed at the pavilion and prepared our food.

        Around an hour later a car entered the area, filled with young men who had the look of trouble on their faces. In less than a “twinking of the eye” my children all (the older kids holding the younger together like mother hens) came running to the safety of the pavilion and of their father.

        My mom (having noticed the entry of the car containing the young men looking for trouble) quickly exclaimed ‘oh my gosh!, you don’t have to worry that your kids will be abducted,’ or something to that effect. I retorted: ‘well, no, not normally. And that is because we make it a point to *not* destroy their natural instincts by telling them the [liberal] lie that “everyone is basically good” and has good intentions.

  5. I recommend “Rio Bravo” (1959), starring John Wayne, Angie Dickinson, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, and Ricky Nelson. Howard Hawks directed the film from a screenplay by his longtime collaborator Leigh Brackett. The film has the advantage, for those viewers who have not educated themselves to enjoy the emotional nuance of black-and-white photography, that Hawks shot it in Technicolor. The subplot involving Wayne as a tough-guy sheriff and Dickinson as an itinerant cabaret girl who really wishes not to be an itinerant cabaret girl is touching, genuinely adult, and not a little bit funny. (It takes Wayne’s character some time to discover that he is, indeed, courting the cabaret girl although she has known it all along.) I recommend the entire collaborative work of Hawks-Wayne-Brackett, beginning with the epic “Red River” (1948). Although not credited, Brackett contributed importantly to the screenplay. “Red River,” which tells the story of the blazing of the Brazos Trail in an epic improvisatory cattle-drive, delivers its drama in glorious black-and-white. It comes with a rousing fully symphonic score by Dmitri Tiomkin.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Tom. It was meditating on the fact that my son instinctively recoils from “old movies” which led me to the present essay. But if I force him to watch, he is able to appreciate a good movie.

      • When my son was a boy, from about the age of five, I watched old movies with him. As he had formed no prejudice, black-and-white was alright with him. One of his favorites (and one of mine) was the Errol Flynn war-drama “Objective Burma” (1944), which holds up to this day. One of the values in introducing young children to compelling cinema is that, like symphonies and concertos, movies run long, ninety minutes or two hours. (“Objective Burma” runs slightly longer than two hours.) Children learn to pay attention, which they do not from seven-minute cartoons. By the time he was seven or eight, my son would watch “The Seven Samurai” (1954) with me, attentively, riveted mostly by Toshiro Mifune’s brilliant performance as Kikuchiyo, the illiterate buffoon who actually becomes a competent samurai-warrior. It bothered him not at all that the dialogue was in Japanese. The visual story is so self-explanatory and so vivid that one need not speak the language to understand it.

        If I wanted to give cinematic instruction to late-adolescents in the meaning of courtship and again of marriage, I would show them two films: The John Ford-John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara film of “The Quiet Man” (1952), shot on location in Ireland: and the William Wyler-directed “Best Years of our Lives” (1946), which ends with the wedding ceremony for two childhood sweethearts, one of whom, Homer, has lost both of his upper arms in battle while serving in the navy during the war; he is played by Harold Russel, who in fact lost both of his upper arms in exactly those circumstances. His bride, Wilma, played by Cathy O’Donnell, is a heroine of devotion, but also a very young woman who is full of trepidation about married life. There is a powerful scene in which Homer shows Wilma his disability. “The Best Years of our Lives” is about men coming home from the war either to their wives or to their girlfriends or, in one case, to cynical betrayal by a woman. It is difficult to praise Wyler’s film sufficiently.

      • My son enjoyed B&W when younger, but then he began to notice “progress,”and that old things are “old. He still retains the ability to enjoy the old, if someone holds his feet to the fire or if he’s distracted. He still loves Ma and Pa Kettle, for example.

        [I probably shouldn’t say this, but my wife is no help. Watching something from the 90’s, she’ll say “This is old!” That despite the fact that she was there when the old days happened. Go figure.]

  6. archive.org offers innumerable books, now out of copyright and unspoiled by political correctness. They don’t know it, but in this regard they might as well be a “ministry” of the Orthosphere. However, they might have links to a lot of recent music, etc. too.

  7. All true. One thing you might add when talking to your son is that all of these old books were written on a typewriter or, more often, by hand. Revisions were made, of course, but they were hard and there was a strong incentive to get it right the first time. Also, a lot of this writing was done in a man’s spare time–no government grants or sabbaticals. Tolkien wrote LOTR longhand in his spare time. Have your son compare what he produced with the narcissistic rubbish that comes out of the English departments nowadays.

    • “Get it right the first time.” I fought a war for twenty years with the “writing program” (read: freshman composition) people at various institutions where I have taught. College writing programs, which ought not to exist because students who can’t write competently should not be admitted to college, have been dominated for decades by what the professors call “The Process.” According to “The Process,” nothing is ever completed or finished. So there is no motive to teach students to GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. I only teach freshman composition, when I teach it now and then, with the aim of prepping students to GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. My open war, which failed, has transformed itself into a guerrilla war, which I shall fight forever.

      Another thing: No mid-Twentieth Century genre-writer learned how to write by majoring in “creative writing” in college.

  8. How do you account for the fact that much of these “old books” and probably almost all of the “old movies” were created under liberal regimes? That is, the governments under which this art was created considered securing the freedom and equal rights of its citizens to be a legitimate and primary purpose. Does this not suggest that proper depictions of masculinity and femininity can be appreciated and celebrated under liberalism?

    • Well, I’m painting with a broad brush. By one definition, America has been liberal from its founding. By another, it only became dominated by liberalism in recent decades. Under the previous liberalism, showing proper masculinity and femininity was acceptable. Under the current liberalism, it is generally thoughtcrime.

      • What specifically are these two different definitions of liberalism you are referring to? I thought there was broad agreement as to the definition of liberalism among Orthosphere contributors.

      • Broadly speaking, the old liberalism says it just wants to tweak the system, and at least feigns allegiance to the fundamental order of society. The new liberalism openly tries to smash the system

      • Liberalism doesn’t hold itself in check. Fundamentally it is an ideology of extremes, and has no inherent ability to govern itself or “self-censure.”

        To answer winstonscrooge’s question, you have to look to the conservative or traditional elements in a given liberal society at any given moment in time to begin to understand what forces do, in fact, and somewhat keep liberalism within certain bounds. Meanwhile, liberalism is slowly and methodically eating away at everything good and moral and decent that exists, because it must.

        As pertains to old movies and Hollywood in particular, the old Hollywood Code of Production and the Catholic Legion of Decency are two examples that co-existed and had the overall aim to keep Hollywood from polluting the whole of society with its productions. See here:

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legion_of_Decency

    • It is possible for a man to walk fifty miles at the onset of lung cancer, but cancer is a process and not a state. Liberalism is the same, and no one has figured out to stop it when it has erased the discriminations they don’t like, but before it erases the discriminations that they do. Saying that you like liberalism up to a point is like saying you didn’t mind the bullet until it struck your skull.

      • “Saying that you like liberalism up to a point is like saying you didn’t mind the bullet until it struck your skull.”

        LOL! That’s the comment of the week, if not the month.

      • LOL!

        Alan: with respect, it isn’t something that hasn’t been noted before. Namely by Zippy, et al. Not, of course, to take away from the truth of Prof. Smith’s missive, but he would, I am very sure, be one of the first to point out that his “take” on “liking liberalism to a point and no further” is not at all new, novel, a coinage attributable exclusively to himself or whatever. 🙂

  9. Liberalism when the old movies were made was one strand of thought among many and the old Christian values still held sway among the general populace. Now liberalism in an extreme form is the dominant and almost unquestionable ideology and Christian values have been driven to the fringes.

  10. I love watching old movies, especially from an ethnographic perspective. It’s fascinating to discover what it is that we lost, and how did we lose it so quickly. I was surprised to find out that these changes happened much earlier than I originally thought. I see the most significant changes happening right after the War, in the 1946-1950 period. One notices the distinct introduction of themes that are culturally new, almost experimental.

    Take for example the movie “Possessed” (1947). A woman (Joan Crawford) is in a catatonic state, and the movie is told in flashback prior to the point of her coming under medical attention. She had an obsessive attraction to a man, but the man did not return her advances, and she eventually kills him. Now the doctor declares that she is in “no way” morally culpable for the act, due to the state of her mind. There’s nothing really extraordinary about the jealousy the character feels toward the man that hasn’t been shown in hundreds of other movies, or that people have probably felt in their own lives. But now we’re told that this has contributed to a mental state that the character had no control over and lead to a murder.

    The postwar movies are fascinating for the various novel themes that are pushed. “Possessed” is actually heavy-handed in the treatment; other movies give only a line or two that are meant to plant a seed in the audience’s mind. Of course, it only got more persistent from that period onward, but it’s interesting to see when this all started to turn.

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