Another Brief Rant on Writing, Living, and Censorship

Because at 1:30 in the AM I have some things on my mind.

Joel Eisenberg

--

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor)

It’s been a minute since I’ve spoken my mind here.

About 20 of them, actually, when I posted this:

It’s time for a followup. I guess I wasn’t finished.

So I watched “Saturday Night Fever” for a nth time last night. The film contains a rape sequence and some racist language. Though a PG version was released way back when without the offending sequence (and some of the language), censoring this groundbreaking piece of work would be a crime.

I lived in Brooklyn, 15 minutes away from the 2001 disco where the film was largely shot. It remains the most accurate portrayal of a Brooklyn moment in time I’ve ever seen.

How many John Wayne films have you seen where he kills Native Americans? Shouldn’t be censored either — these films provide a learning opportunity, to my mind — though frankly I could never stand the actor as I’ve long believed he was a racist prick.

Still, we need to learn from our culture’s history.

Lorie and I were listening a best of Archie Bunker vid on YouTube on a drive home the other night. We were laughing hysterically. The God-fearing Bunker took issue with Jews, gays, POCs, even the French. Gun control too. We were laughing so hard we were crying. Some of the comments to the vid were like this: “I’m a black man and I never laughed so hard. Why do white people think they know what’s offensive to us?”

I can’t answer that question, but I can say Bunker’s logic is so ridiculous and twisted it’s tough not to laugh.

--

--

Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.