15 April 2009

Dr. Syn Was A Religious Right-wing Extremist

For Dr. Syn's motivation and political philosophy, pay particular attention to the dialogue which begins at about 5:06 into the video. I remember I was struck by that exchange when I watched the film again several years ago. Very timely, especially in light of the "Tea Party" phenomenon spreading across America. I wonder what Dr. Syn would think of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's efforts to label all who oppose burdensome taxation policies, state-nannyism, and an intrusive federal government as "right-wing extremists." I guess it's the same as "preaching sedition." I would also have to assume that, based on Napolitano's "report" that she is woefully ignorant of our country's history:

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson

I suppose Mr. Jefferson is also a "right-wing extremist." Napolitano has also angered Veterans' groups like the American Legion.

You younger readers (under 45) probably won't recognize this old Disney clip. This comes from a 3 part Disney series (I have all 3 on VHS) titled "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh." The story centers around a Robin Hood like character who stole from the King (the government) and returned the bootie to the rural farmers, shopkeepers, and peasants in Southern England. You can buy the complete DVD version here. I highly recommend the film series. The Scarecrow was, in his "real life", actually a scholarly priest in rural England who rode out at night in his disguise to defend the locals against an oppressive and corrupt Crown. Dr. Syn (and the Scracecrow) was played by that wonderful British actor, Patrick McGoohan. The film is based on a series of novels written by Russell Thorndike. Here's how one website describes the film series:

"Originally airing in three parts on 'Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color,' this thrilling adventure stars Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Syn, a kindly country vicar in 18th-century England. Only a few know that Syn is also the masked Scarecrow, notorious leader of a band of smugglers, who defends the villagers from unjust taxes and oppression by King George III's men. George Cole, Michael Hordern, Sean Scully also star."

This film, like so many of the old Disney classics, stands in stark contrast to what we're seeing produced today. The film depicts--and promotes--a healthy spirit of rebellion against tyranny, a love of liberty, and values which once united our Nation. It does so with a truly entertaining and quality product. These old Disney films are excellent resources for families. I can remember watching "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" every Sunday night at 7:30 when I was growing up in the '60's. As a young boy who loved adventure stories, it was one of the highlights of my week. As I mentioned in an earlier post about Johnny Tremain, Disney's patriotic themed films are a refreshing break from the Beavis & Butthead, MTV, South Park, "I Hate America" garbage that passes for entertainment (and education) today.

Here's the introductory clip from Disney:

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