David Simon is back in the news! On Veterans Day, November 11, 2018, he announced his latest TV/HBO production. It’s called “Plot Against America.” A better title would have been: “A Yarn to Demonize America.” #veteransday2018
It is based on an off-the-wall novel, publish in 2004, by the late Philip Roth. His main claim to literary notoriety was his book, “Portnoy’s Complaint,” centered on the joy of – masturbating! #philiproth
The Baltimore Sun’s “Insider” section, penned by Christina Tkacik, picked up on Simon’s press release via his website. The premise of the show will follow Roth’s book and examine the mother of all what-ifs: “Suppose Franklin D. Roosevelt had lost the 1940 presidential election?”
The book will evolve into, Tkacik explains, “a six-part HBO series produced and co-written by Simon,” a former crime reporter for the “Baltimore Sun.” He also co-produced the wildly popular TV series, “The Wire.” #davidsimon
When the “Sun” tried to reach the historically revisionist-minded, Simon, about his latest brainstorm, all he would tell them was this: “That book in this moment speaks for itself, honestly.” What is that suppose to mean?
Does Simon really expect the “The Greatest Generation,” and their kin, to be happy about that? According to the book, the villains in his production will be most likely the majority Christian community? It’s one thing for dork head Roth to go that route in his witless storybook. Why, however, is Simon determine to travel down that same, bigoted, Christian-bashing path?
It would have been nice to know from Simon himself why is he sponsoring this fantasy television production, that will falsely portray our America as Nazi lovers and anti-Semites? Also, what effect does he expect it to have on the viewing audience, especially our younger generation?
My first thought was this: Isn’t it bad enough that we have to deal with a shaky Donald Trump in the White House for two more years? At the moment, the divisions in our country are deep, raw and easily directed to a violent expression, and sometimes, as we have witnessed lately, ending with mass casualties.
Question for Simon: Is his production going to further inflame our troubled, currently on-edge America?
One of the glories of our Republic is how our America courageously responded to the Fascist threat in Europe, in the 40s, and brought Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi gang, to their knees (along with the Japanese thugs in the Pacific Theater of the War.) Our troop, with their gallant allies, also liberated the Nazi concentration camps in Europe, in 1945.
(Check out my related WWII story on Baltimore’s Harry C. Agro, who was a POW of the Japanese, spending three years in one of their hell holes, see http://
It’s one thing for a loopy intellectual, such as the penis-centered, reclusive Roth, to ignore America’s splendid achievements in the 40s with his make-believe nonsense. It is quite another for someone with Simon’s reputed credentials to go down that same ignorant road.
I grew up in South Baltimore during and after WWII. I recall vividly some of my neighbors coming back home from the European conflict without any legs, with one arm missing, blinded, and some suffering, too, from serious cases of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rewriting history will ignore their gallant sacrifices and the sacrifices of the thousands of other Americans, who perished and/or were wounded in that European conflict. I can’t allow that to happen without posting a dissent.
According to Ms. Tkacik, the book details what happens when famed aviator – Charles Lindbergh –
– defeats Roosevelt for the presidency, then forms alliances with Germany and Japan. She added: “As anti-Semitism rises in the country, Jewish Americans are relocated to rural areas to enrich their Americanness and Jewish teens are sent to live with gentile families.”
Back Story – Lindbergh, Detroit-born, gained global fame by making the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Previously, he had served in the U.S. Army in 1924, where he had perfected his flying skills. In the early 30s, he invented an “artificial heart.” In 1932, Lindbergh’s 20-month-old-son, Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and later found murdered.
Of German descent, Lindbergh opposed any U.S. involvement in another war in Europe. He was sharply criticized for his beliefs by then President Roosevelt and labeled a “Nazi sympathizer.” After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, however, Lindbergh immediately changed his position. Despite being a civilian, he flew 50 combat missions in 1944, in the Pacific War against Japan. To see a balanced bio on Lindbergh, go to http://www.
Keep in mind, that Winston Churchill also once did praise his great nemesis – Adolf Hitler. According to the “London Times,” Monday, November 7, 1938, the British politician said: “I have always said if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations.”
As for the fiction writer, Roth, during WWII, he was living safely at his home in Newark, N.J. He never heard a shot fired in anger. Roth died earlier this year at age 85.
Here is what I suspect is coming. This television production is about to open Pandora’s Box, without any deep reflection on Simon’s part. It will rewrite U.S. history of that period, insulting the majority of Americans, and also seriously distorting our revered military history.
What-if kinds of stories can cut a lot of painful ways. I will resist painting such a portrait in this dispute since I don’t believe it would serve a public purpose.
Prediction: Simon’s HBO show will hurt his reputation and do no good whatsoever for our country and/or its fragile community relations. And, (Are you listening HBO?), the American people will LOATH this production.
Finally, David Simon, despite all of his worldly successes, will end his days going to bed at night cursing the fact that he ever heard of an oddball novelist with the moniker of Philip Roth.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is “Byline Baltimore.” It can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/William-Hughes/e/B00N7MGPXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1