Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Monkey Trial Day To You

Well happy Scopes Monkey Trial Day.  I saw the movie Inherit the Wind while in high school, I think and become absolutely fascinated by Clarence Darrow and that trial.  Later I found out that the authors of the play kept it off the stage for a few years so they would miss the McCarthy nastiness.  Still later I learned that the ACLU had given lists of their members to the FBI during that same unpleasantness. 

So the movie and the ACLU kind went down hill in my mind, but never Darrow.  I still am nearly totally impressed by him even with the new "evidence" that he really did bribe juries in some of his labor trials.  That movie and the books I read about Darrow were probably a major influence on my choice of professions (well, OK Perry Mason was on TV every week while I was growing up, and who wouldn't want to be Raymond Burr with a secretary like Della Street back then, or for that matter now?).

I read the book Six Days or Forever by Ray Ginger when I was either in junior high or a freshman in high school.  I got to meet Ginger's ex-wife Anne Fagan Ginger when I was in law school, when I was going to NLG events.  I never had the nerve to ask her about her ex-husband (I didn't know they'd divorced then) and his writing.  It was probably better that way.

At any rate that book Six Days or Forever, started me reading about Darrow and I went on to read Irving Stone's book Clarence Darrow For the Defense.  That book introduced me to Darrow's other cases and particularly to his defense of various labor leaders and his involvement with the early unions.  An eye opener for a teenager who was growing up in republican mostly rural Ohio in a moderately conservative family. 

So my politics can be directly blamed on: Clarence Darrow by way of Robert E. Lee (the playwright not the general), Jerome Lawrence, Ray Ginger, and Irving Stone.  I am a perfect example of why there should be greater censorship of what children are allowed to read and see and some sort of limitation on what books are permitted in the libraries of this great country of ours.

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