Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Doctor Zhivago the "Little Commie"

See, this is what I dislike about conservative anti-intellectualism. Either they just spout off about things they have never taken the time to ever read or see, or they were just too plain dumb to understand it in the first place.

Conservative Fox News, host Chris Wallace called Doctor Zhivago, one of two films named by chief justice nominee John Roberts as his favorites, as "a little commie." William Kristol, of the National Review, calling the film "a sappy, liberal movie."

As I said, either these men have never actually seen the movie, or read the book, or they were just too plain dumb to understand it. William Kristol, while often obnoxious, is not dumb, so I am assuming he has never actually taken the "intellectual time" to read it. Chris Wallace, I think, is just plain dumb.

If either of these men had understood the book or movie, they would know that it is actually and anti-communist book, not pro-communist. The main character, while sympathizing with the peasants of Russia, is up against a regime that crushes free will and purges intellectuals. Zhivago is a man who shows compassion for his fellow man while fighting the tide of a pedantic regime that wants him to conform to their will. Retaining his intellectual independence and freedom of thought is one of the main themes of this story. Boris Pasternak, the author of the book, even had to smuggle it out of the Soviet Union for it to be finally published because the Soviets found it so subversive to their regime.

Perhaps Wallace and Kristol dislike the book because it emphasizes the arts, intellectual curiosity, and freedom of the human spirit, three things that conservatives appear to be more and more adverse to these days.

I guess there is little irony in the fact that a book that speaks to the benefits of intellectualism would be bashed by two conservative anti-intellectuals. Either that, or they just can't stand when anyone would sympathize with those less fortunate.

For anyone who is not an anti-intellectual and have not read the book or seen the movie, I highly recommend it.



Grace said...

We should start a rating system for pundit cluelessness -- in the spirit of "stars" for movie. Wallace would got four open circles for total cluelessness. Kristol would get 3 3/4 open circles (he did know it was a movie).

Dingo said...

LOL grace. I like that suggestion and the ratings you gave