Ah yes! Hollywood awards season. When some of the performing mensa’s from Tinseltown take painstaking efforts to exhibit their intelligence…
There were statements…
Whatever Mr. Ryan did to Ms. Kirke, it must have been pretty bad.
Then there were hygiene/shaving issues…
It may be extremely difficult for you to believe, but Ms. Kirke, we really don’t give a damn.
Then there were moments of adoration…
A great actress…undoubtably. The 2nd coming – we’ll wait and see on that one.
Then a bit of dry wit… (we think)
“It’s pink and it has stars on it,” she said.
Perfection? Probably not…but thanks for the effort, Emma!
Then speeches, followed by more speeches with a bit of well-intentioned (we’ll give the benefit of the doubt here) lecturing here and there. It’s cool. We’ve come to expect it but honestly, about the only person we’ll tolerate lecturing from is our Mommies. Then more speeches…
And then there is a SPEECH.
Charlie Chaplin’s speech about fascism in The Great Dictator from 1940 is as relevant today, if not more relevant. Chaplin was vilified back then for his anti-fascist convictions and for telling the truth. Not unlike today for those who might dare to speak the truth.
The movie ends with Chaplin looking into the camera and giving a stirring speech about timeless principles – peace, mutual respect, freedom from the evil aspirations of some who seek the power and control to lead nations.
From Chaplin’s autobiography:
“My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a nonconformist. Although I am not a Communist, I refused to fall in line by hating them. . . Secondly I was opposed to the Committee on Un-American Activities– a dishonest phrase to begin with, elastic enough to wrap around the throat and strangle the voice of any American citizen whose honest opinion is a minority one”
In June of 1947, Congressman John E. Rankin of Mississippi told the House:
“[Chaplin] has refused to become an American citizen. His very life in Hollywood is detrimental to the moral fabric of America. [If he is deported] … his loathsome pictures can be kept from before the eyes of the American youth. He should be deported and gotten rid of at once.”
On September 18, 1952, Chaplin boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth with his family in route to London to debut his film Limelight as it was the setting of the film. The next day, Attorney General James P. McGranery revoked Chaplain’s re-entry permit because of his moral behavior and political views, stating that he would have to submit to interview before being allowed to re-enter the United States.
“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Here’s an excerpt from the “The Greatest Speech Ever Made” with the full video clip with text in the YouTube video below:
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone—if possible—Jew, gentile—black man—white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness—not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men—cries out for universal brotherhood—for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world—millions of despairing men, women, and little children—victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
The Greatest Speech Ever Made – [Original]
Photo Credit: By Joost Evers / Anefo (Nationaal Archief) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit of Hollywood Sign: By Adrian104 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: By Trailer screenshot (The Great Dictator trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons