Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Broadway Sacrifices a Classic

From The American Thinker:
Sorkin’s dirtying the waters of Finch’s legacy is deliberate. In an essay for New York, he describes the search for Finch’s fatal flaw, discovering it in what we all considered a virtue up until, approximately, the minute Donald Trump took the oath of the presidency. Finch’s problem, Sorkin observers, is that he “believes in the fundamental goodness in everyone, even homicidal white supremacists. He believes … that there are fine people on both sides?”

The horror! Harper Lee’s creation is nothing but our doddering president apologizing for neo-Nazis! Who knew?

With the moral ambiguity of a rock, Sorkin rejects swaddling “the book in bubble wrap and transfer it gently to a stage.” Instead, he’s created a critical literacy student’s take on “Mockingbird.”

Sorkin’s iteration of an American classic will appeal to woke Manhattanites who mock blinkered southerners from the comfort of their prohibitively expensive high-rise apartments. But, it really only amounts to lazy moralizing. Sorkin thinks empathy has limits, that consideration extends only to the non-racist or prejudicial. That Finch could defend a black man in the segregationist Deep South while still believing in the humanity of his neighbors is unconscionable. Far better for Finch and family to high-tail it out of Maycomb and settle somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon.

Life doesn’t work like that, as anyone who doesn’t rest easy on a cushion of wealth can attest to. We don’t choose our family; we rarely get to choose the people we’re raised around. Yet we’re bound by obligation to love and respect them regardless of their views.

As for superimposing modern values on the past, the entire business, which seems to have taken root in many universities, is myopic. It is sanctimony disguised as wisdom. From Rudyard Kipling to Thomas Jefferson, the bright lights of the West, and of humanity in general, are being dimmed because of perceived moral failings. Contextual consideration is dropped. The struggles that were present in the subject’s time are forgotten about. An entire life -- accomplishments, courage, ideas, and reputation -- is dismissed because a person didn’t check off the proper woke boxes circa 2018. (Read more.)

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