Monday Morning Musings:
“The blacklist was a time of evil. . .no one on either side who survived it came through untouched by evil. . .it will do no good to search for villains or heroes or saints or devils because there were none; there were only victims.”
–Dalton Trumbo, Laurel Award acceptance speech delivered to the Writers Guild of America West, The Writers Guild of America Newsletter, April 1970.
“Until now, we scientists have only seen warped space-time when it’s calm,” Dr. Thorne said in an email. “It’s as though we had only seen the ocean’s surface on a calm day but had never seen it roiled in a storm, with crashing waves.”
New York Times, February 11, 2016
Gravitational waves have been heard
A chirp, hitting Middle C
Einstein’s theory confirmed
Space and time moving,
A cosmic sea
We watched the movie, Trumbo
My husband and I,
We missed it in the theaters
But saw it “On Demand”
And science education.
Without it, you wouldn’t be able
To stream your shows
Or read the latest gossip news.
Do you think this happens by magic?
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was president,
Radio was important.
Sound carried by waves.
He talked to the nation through
And told us that December 7, 1941
Was “a date which will live in infamy.”
Which it was and is.
That was the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor
By the Japanese military.
Two months later,
February 19, 1942,
FDR signed Executive Order 9066
And with that order
Citizens of the United States,
Were forced to leave their homes,
And placed in internment camps.
Did you study that in school?
Fear took over.
People were profiled by their ancestry,
By the way they looked.
Does this sound familiar?
A political candidate called for
Banning all Muslims from the US.
He wants a wall built to keep
Mexicans out, too.
No matter that it would costs billions of dollars.
Mexico will pay for it, he says.
He thinks Mexicans are all criminals, rapists.
People believe what he says.
But back to Trumbo.
Remember, I told you we watched the movie?
It’s about Dalton Trumbo,
Played by Bryan Cranston
Many people have never heard of him.
Trumbo, I mean.
Perhaps they’ve heard of some of the screenplays though.
Roman Holiday (a must-see, Audrey Hepburn, in her first big role,
And the always wonderful Gregory Peck.)
But those are just a few.
Yet Dalton was not credited with writing these movies.
At least not at the time.
Though they won awards.
Because he was blacklisted.
So he wrote them under other names.
He was one of the Hollywood Ten.
He—and many others–served time for standing up to HUAC,
The House Un-American Activities Committee.
That’s right, the 1950s were not just “Happy Days,”
There was Joseph McCarthy and the FBI
Knocking on people’s doors.
Witch-hunting of communists.
Arthur Miller took the witch part literally
And compared the time to Puritan Massachusetts
And the Salem Witch Trials
In The Crucible.
It was a shameful time
The Cold War.
No, the US is not a theocracy,
Though there are people who would like it to be.
But that is not OK.
The separation of church and state is guaranteed
By our Constitution
Our Bill of Rights.
Also, guaranteed is the right to free speech.
So you have the right to
Say what you want.
And I will defend your right to do so.
But I have studied history,
And I can read and fact-check.
I know it is not against the law to be a communist
Or a Muslim.
So it would be fine for our president to be one,
Though he is not.
You can believe the Earth is flat, or
That humans have not been to the moon.
I know those things are not true.
You can believe
That building walls is a good thing,
I have a right to believe you are wrong.
I want to believe
Not in conspiracy theories
But in the value of education
To believe that everyone, men, women, and children
Of all races, religions, and social class
Have the right to learn
To understand that the past repeating itself
Is not always a good thing.
Water under the bridge
That flows one way only?
Or does it travel in a loop
Splashing like a waterfall
Into a river where it flows
Peacefully until the next storm hits?
An endless cycle.
Space and time
Walls torn down.
So many people and places gone.
So many crimes repeated.
So much to learn.
I can’t imagine never wanting to learn.
I feel sorry for those who fear knowledge.
“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
–Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird