Every now and then I realize that as worrisome as things are in America and in the world right now, there was a time when things were worse... a time when there was no debate over a government's actions, for instance, or over the extent our liberties could be restricted in times of trial.
For instance, last weekend we rented a DVD of the 1943 theatrical serial films "Batman"... back in the before-TV generation, a good old-fashioned episodic (20-30 minutes each) serial that you'd see in the theaters before the main feature. This was made in the middle of World War II. In the second episode the camera is panning down a deserted street, past shop windows featuring signs written in Japanese, to where a criminal hide-out is. The narrator explains (slight paraphrasing from memory but pretty close to verbatim) -
"This is a section of town that could easily have been lifted right out of another country and put here... Little Tokyo. This street was bustling until a wise government rounded up all the shifty-eyed Japs."
Needless to say I had to stop the DVD and go into a history lesson with C. Yay, wise government. Thanks for rounding up your citizens and putting them in concentration camps! And yay Hollywood for playing along. Gives new respect for the "liberal media" and the "conservative right" administration at least trying to meet in the middle... though the conservatives would be wise to pay attention to the past.