Posted on February 15, 2024



Doo Dar! Doo Dar!

Woke take on Blazing Saddles is beyond stupid


Daniel Clark



It's no wonder liberals are always trying to shut down opposing points of view rather than competing with them, since their own arguments have never progressed beyond the "we're rubber, you're glue" stage.

In observation of the fiftieth anniversary of the classic Western comedy Blazing Saddles, published an op-ed by a freelance writer named Noah Berlatsky, who argues that the reason this movie could not be made today is because conservatives, and not liberals, would object. This, he cleverly demonstrates by quoting director Mel Brooks, who complained that "we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy."

Berlatsky had to include this quote for the simple reason that it would have been too conspicuous an omission if he hadn't. Besides, this is a common tactic among those who haven't got a valid point in the world. The writer will introduce a quote to imply support for his argument by mere juxtaposition, even if the actual meaning of that quote utterly refutes his case. Everybody knows that liberalism is killing comedy, including liberal comics. Brooks is far from the only one to have made this observation. He's got plenty of company in John Cleese, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, among others.

The sum total of Berlatsky's contention is that he presumes conservatives to be racist, and therefore obliviously concludes that "if a movie like Brooks' masterpiece were made today, the left would love it. It's the right who would recognize, slowly and dimly, that they were being insulted, and howl in rage." In support of this, he cites one person on the political right that he dubiously accuses of racism, and assumes that his portrayal of this person represents all conservatives.

We could go back and forth indefinitely, offering individual examples to argue which side is more prone to racism, but what it really boils down to is that conservatives look at people as individuals, whereas liberals look at them as members of groups. Liberals insist on expunging all utterances of racial slurs that are out of favor, even if they are being used ironically as in Blazing Saddles, all the while they are busily concocting new slurs, dividing society up among Latinxes, BIPOCs, AANHPIs and such. So whom are the objects of ridicule in this movie, the Waco Kid and other good-guy characters who are indifferent to Sheriff Bart's race, or the citizens of Rock Ridge to whom race is an all-defining characteristic?

It's nonsensical to even argue about who would censor this movie if it were made today, because liberals have already done it to the existing version on TV. So little of it remains by the time the left-wing censors are through that if you really want to watch it, you better buy it on disc while it is still available. Berlatsky would have us think that liberals have no problem with the racial slurs in the script, because they are being used to poke fun at the people saying them. The fundamental flaw in that argument is that liberalism is not reasonable. It determines that the offending words must be stamped out, regardless of context. They even bleep the slurs out of In the Heat of the Night, which is even more obviously not a racist movie than this one. This is surely what Brooks meant when he complained about being "stupidly" politically correct.

Berlatsky demolishes his whole argument by conceding that "there are a couple moments in the film that might likely get cut or altered in a remake. Brooks, for example, dons brown makeup to play a Native American leader." (Is that anything like an Indian chief? Just checking.) "Today it seems likely that producers and directors would point out that if you're going to represent Native Americans on screen, you should probably hire and pay a Native actor, even if the gag is that the Native American is speaking Yiddish." So, no, liberals would not prevent this movie from being made. They would just strain all the funniness out of it before allowing it to be shown to the public. So the scene with Brooks in a war bonnet has got to go. What about the "French Mistake" number? What about Mongo punching out the horse? What about the stereotypical appearance of the Chinese and Irish railroad workers? Opportunities for offense abound.

While they decry conservative "book bans" that keep pornography out of school libraries, it is the liberal language police who have protected the children from such horrors as Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. They have even begun rewriting books by deceased authors like Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming, expunging words and passages that are not as modern day liberals would have written them. Stupid political correctness, anyone?

At times it seems like Berlatsky is relating the movie from memory, having only seen it a long time ago. Not only does he misquote Sheriff Bart ("Oh, baby, you are so talented, and they are so dumb" is the way it really goes), but he claims that the movie portrays the rural white townsfolk "as irredeemable fools because they are racist." Did he completely miss the ending, when they redeem themselves? Maybe that part has already been cut out of the version he's watching.

To liberals, the destruction of a comedy is no great loss, because they tend not to find things funny anyway. A liberal has to analyze the movie to determine whether his approval of it would validate him personally. If the answer is that the message of Blazing Saddles is good, but there are problematic parts that need to be fixed, that makes him doubly virtuous. By the time he's finished processing all of this, it's too late to laugh with any sincerity, so he will force laughter, or else applaud, or simply say, "that's funny."

The rest of us don't get self-analytical about it. When we laugh at the movie, it's an involuntary action. We can't do much to control it, nor would we want to. Perhaps that's why someone who is unfamiliar with laughter might mistake it for howls of rage.



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