Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oliver Stone: Fifth Columnist Extraordinaire

Stone and Castro

Stone and Chavez

Oliver Stone is once again presenting us with his controversial point of view of history in a new series he is directing for Showtime “Secret History.” In the series Stone promises to put Hitler, Stalin, Mao and McCarthy “in context.”

Of course the “context” is his context. And as a lover of history and freedom I am not denying him the right to offer us his perspective. However, he betrays his feelings when he groups McCarthy with three murderers who combined are responsible for at least 120 million deaths. Then of course, Stone has to rehash the old accusations against IBM and GM for doing business with the Nazi regime. I wonder if he will put their reasons in “context.” Finally, he couldn’t avoid the demonization of Truman for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan.

I will definitely watch this series, and I am looking forward to the debate it will engender. After all Stone has already announced in a press conference that conservatives will not like the series. I wonder why not? Is it perhaps because conservatives dislike tyranny and dictatorships as much as Stone seems to like them?

But my main concern is the propaganda tool that this fifth columnist has become. He is not satisfied with Showtime showing this work; he has announced that he “eventually hopes to send ‘Secret History’ to schools as a teaching curriculum.” I have no doubt that thousands of social studies teachers will show the series to millions of students who will watch the film without the basic background in history to critically evaluate what they are watching.

These teachers will show Secret History for two reasons. The first is because they agree with Stone. After all most social studies teachers know very little history and were brainwashed by schools of education. The second reason is that social studies teachers are always on the look for something to show while they sit in the back of the classroom.

Memo to all my former colleagues and teachers who worked with me or for me: In my accusations I didn’t mean you.

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