MAGA Is to Woke As Errol Flynn Is to Henry Fonda

As a Rorschach test, you could rewatch two prehistoric black-and-white films – Captain Blood (1935) and The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – which deal with themes of law and government, oppression and what, what to do, deal about it. One of them is a swashbuckling 17th-century pirate tale with a starring role Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland; the other is a quasi-documentary melodrama with leading actors Henry Fonda, heartless bankers, vicious fruit growers and the Dust Bowl. Think of the two films as allegories exploring the difference between MAGA and Woke.

“Captain Blood” captures the essence of MAGA – or at least MAGA’s slightly piratical idea of ​​itself. “The Grapes of Wrath” is a masterpiece of what might be called sentimental realism, heavily laden with Christian and socialist phrasing. Ask yourself which of the films speaks to your heart. The exercise – a visit to American fantasies from before the birth of Donald Trump and Joe Biden – could be an interesting prelude to November’s election decision. MAGA Is to Woke As Errol Flynn Is to Henry Fonda

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