Saturday, August 7, 2010

Excerpt from "The Hoaxters" by Herman Hoffman (1952)

I only saw the tail-end of this documentary, which was nominated for an Academy Award, which it lost to "The Sea Around Us" by Irwin Allen. I cannot speak to the entire film, but it featured this very timely words at the end. I was shocked how much of it applies today, particularly the "Professor" remark, with regard to some of President Obama's naysayers. From what I have gleaned, this is a Cold War-era propaganda film, but this holds up rather well:

NARRATOR: "...It is not enough to be anti-Communist. That doesn't mark the measure of a man's love for Democracy. Remember, Hitler was an anti-Communist, and accomplished his Nazi reign of hate and terror, by the violence of his cries against Communism. What we are FOR is important. Beware the hoaxters with different bottles to sell.
[SHOT OF HAND HOLDING BOTTLE LABELED "SNAKE OIL"]

NARRATOR (cont.): Beware the fearful gossip-mongers, the lunatic fringe, the calamity-howlers, the fascists, the ersatz patriots, the hate-smiths, the grubby demagogues screaming for the crackpot.

VARIOUS VOICES(in hushed tones): He's a communist! What's his religion? He's a fascist! He's a liberal, a bleeding-heart, a do-gooder! He reads too much. He talks just like a college professor! (in loud voice) I'm 100% American! 200% American! 300%! 400%! 500%!

(Music cue: Julius Fucik's "Entry Of The Gladiators")

SNAKE OIL SALESMAN: Six-hundred percent, that's what my snake-oil is, six-hundred proof!

NARRATOR: Amid the clang and clatter of clashing ideology is still heard the voice of the hoaxter, trying to destroy America, in the name of America. But the multitudes that once listened to this voice of doom, dwindled down to a mere handful. For no hoax, by whatever name it is called, can measure up to the shining truth of the human decency we call freedom, of the human hope we call liberty. Dictators come and dictators go. In the better world of the future, dictators will fall not at the point of a gun, but at the point of the truth. For we can win our fight, without going to war. The free countries of the world, with their material might and their spiritual hearts, can prove that there is no victory over the mind, when it is ruled by a whip and a gun, and that freeborn men and women, under God, will ignore the loud shout of the big lie, and listen instead to the quiet voice of the big truth.

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