Archives for posts with tag: fifties
George Trendle

George Trendle (1884-1972)

Earlier this week, Aryan Skynet’s Hipster Racist published a post titled “White Nationalists Should Take Over the Freemasons”. By coincidence, I just happened to come across the following passage in Native Americans on Network TV: Stereotypes, Myths, and the “Good Indian”, a study by mass media scholar Michael Ray Fitzgerald. Referring to George Trendle, who originally created the Lone Ranger character for radio, Fitzgerald writes:

One reason Trendle admired the Texas Rangers may have been that the outfit had been founded and staffed by Scottish Rite Freemasons, and Trendle himself was one. During the period The Lone Ranger was aired (1949-1957), Scottish Rite promoted the most extreme sort of racist views. The point here is that Trendle, as an active member of Scottish Rite, was steeped in these views. For example, an excerpt from Scottish Rite’s official publication, the New Age Magazine, published during The Lone Ranger’s first season, declared, “The hand of Providence has chosen the Nordic people to bring and unfold the new order of the world. … Providence has chosen the Nordic people because they have prepared themselves and have chosen God.” Belief in Nordic racial superiority did not originate in Germany: remarkably similar beliefs had been in circulation in England and in the United States (i.e., Anglo-Saxonism) before Germany emerged as a nation. According to Reginald Horsman, Anglo-Saxons have long believed they have a “gift for governing,” which they have a duty to bring to the rest of the world, whether or not it is welcome.

Where, then, does the American Indian fit into this worldview? In The Lone Ranger, Tonto serves as the Indians’ representative; he welcomes the white savior on their behalf. In turn he is accepted into the Anglo-Saxon-Nordic project if – and only if – he is willing to assist in this project of Anglo-American control of the land. Tonto becomes an apprentice white man, a Regulator, doing the dirty work for the white man. It might also be illuminating to ask, where do African Americans fit into this vision? The simple answer is they do not. Not only are blacks not included in Trendle’s vision of the Old West – even as third-class citizens – they simply do not exist. They have been, in [Cedric] Clark’s term, relegated to “Non-recognition” – or, as [George] Gerbner and [Larry] Gross would say, “symbolically annihilated.”1

It should be noted, however, that in a particularly striking instance of political correctness (given the standards of the time), the series converts the Indian into an ally of the white savior. “The villains on The Lone Ranger are always white men, even though a Texas Rangers historical site unequivocally states the organization was founded to fight Indians,” Fitzgerald points out2.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Endnotes

  1. Fitzgerald, Michael Ray. Native Americans on Network TV: Stereotypes, Myths, and the “Good Indian”. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014, pp. 44-45.
  2. Ibid., p. 36.

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY TWELVE

Ouija

Kevin Tenney’s Witchboard (1986) remains for this reviewer the definitive horror treatment of the Ouija board phenomenon; but those wanting more in the same vein could do worse than last year’s Ouija, especially considering that Ouija board movies have never constituted a particularly robust or prolific genre. There is nothing very original in Ouija, but that is not necessarily bad. The first elegant hour or so of this spooker conforms to teen horror expectations well enough and is comfortably suspenseful in its attention to the conventions, with star Olivia Cooke and her friends finding themselves visited by an unknown force after attempting to contact recently deceased pal Shelley Hennig through the titular spirit-conjuring game.

The last half hour suffers from too much onscreen revelation, with CGI frights taking the place of the great unseen – the bane of far too many Hollywood horrors in this age of digital effects – but the relative strength of the first portion still makes Ouija marginally recommendable for less-than-demanding admirers of the genre. Cooke looks good and is tolerable in the lead, but cute and creepy character actress Lin Shaye, who also energized a memorable scene in the same year’s The Signal, is more worthy of mention for a puny but pivotal role as an insane asylum patient with some inside information.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Ouija is:

3. Insensitive! The idea that evil can and ought to be destroyed in a furnace may offend Chosen viewers of delicate sensibilities.

2. Multiculturalist. Bianca Santos plays the token Latina friend. Black mourners at blonde bimbo Hennig’s wake demonstrate that she was a decent person. Nona (Vivis Colombetti), meanwhile, puts in a good word for supernatural Mexican folk wisdom.

1. Ambiguously anti-family. Hennig’s house is haunted by the spirits of a little girl (Sierra Heuermann) and the spiritualist mother (Claudia Katz) who tortured her by stitching her mouth shut. It turns out the little girl was even more monstrous than her mother, who apparently was justified in performing this highly irregular surgery, while the mother’s other daughter, played by Shaye, is also a devilish lunatic. The biggest mystery about this family, which lived in the house in the forties and fifties, is why there was no father in the home. Was he a casualty of the war or did he abandon his wife and children? Is the mother’s frightful grotesquerie a commentary on the plague of single motherhood, or on the uncaring men who abuse them? The meaning of Ouija’s portrayal of the family hinges to a large extent on these unanswered questions; but Ouija with no uncertainty seeks to cast doubt on the idea of the perfect atomic age family as glimpsed in the vision of Norman Rockwell and various television sitcoms. This is a pathological past, in comparison with which the multicultural and erotically permissive present is normal and salutary.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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