“They can’t make that (Blazing Saddles) movie today because everybody’s so politically correct. You know, the NAACP would stop a great movie that would do such a great service to black people because of the N-word,” says Brooks. “You’ve got to really examine these things and see what’s right and what’s wrong. Politically correct is absolutely wrong. Because it inhibits the freedom of thought. I’m so lucky that they weren’t so strong then and that the people that let things happen on the screen weren’t so powerful then. I was very lucky.”
Mel Brooks, 2014
(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the culture mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it)
To back up the words of Mr. Brooks:
Olney Theatre’s production of Mel Brooks’s 2001 musical The Producers only has three more performances, but it’s not going to close without a bit of manufactured controversy. Audience members at Montgomery County playhouse are going to have to walk past a small coterie protesting the show’s play-within-the-play, because, the demonstrators say, it makes light of Adolf Hitler and the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany.
“I understand the intent is satire,” says Jeffrey Imm, who is organizing the demonstration through his anti-discrimination group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty. “This is the point of morality: some things we have to recognize as absolute evil. When 6 million people are murdered, we don’t view it with knee-slapping, we view it with reverence.”
Go here to read the rest. Mr. Imm’s group is completely wrong-headed. Too often Hitler, murderous little jumped up thug, is elevated into being some sort of grand demonic personification of evil. This is precisely the wrong way to remember the psychopath and the movement he led. Far better to make him into a clownish figure and condemn him throughout history with laughter and ridicule.
The late Werner Klemperer, who portrayed Colonel Klink on the old sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, was a German Jewish refugee to America from the Third Reich, who served in the US Army during World War II. He was once asked how he could play a Nazi. He replied that he would go to his grave happy knowing that he helped make the Nazis look ridiculous. Precisely! That is why I love the Hitler Downfall parodies, and why I have always relished this cartoon:
“The devil…that proud spirit…cannot endure to be mocked.”
Saint Thomas More