This segment comes from the 1960 movie “Inherit the Wind.” The dialogue is virtually a direct quote from Clarence Darrow’s real speech to the judge and jury in the “Monkey Trial” held in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. In fact, most of the script for “Inherit the Wind” (starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, and Gene Kelly and directed by Stanley Kramer) is based on the Scopes trial. If it sounds painfully relevant, you might wonder if we have improved at all over the past 96 years.

Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding.
– Clarence Darrow

Nearly 100 later, this speech is as relevant as today’s headlines and tomorrow’s too. You would think that we’d have come a long way since then. but apparently not.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. We tried. We passed legislation. We marched. We protested. Then, we rested and moved on, for the most part believing we’d done well. Yet here we are again and worse now than ever.

Can we improve? Is there hope? What do you think?

We’re heading down a bleak, dark road. We lack a national memory of having been here before. When a country heads backward, it always ends badly. Always.

Categories: Ethics and Philosophy, film, Film Review, History, Legal Matters, Movies, Politics, Religion

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16 replies

  1. We are now in the active process of destroying all means of life support on the planet. I won’t live long enough to see it end, but I am so sorry for my great grandchildren. My children will have much to suffer but it is the next two generations who will witness the end of this planet. No clean water to drink, no trees to climb, no green grass or plant life to clean the air, nothing but concrete and steel which will change the temperature of the world. As it heats up the people will depend more and more on electricity to cool the earth and that will end badly when it all fails. I’m not sure any of this can still be reversed. Maybe 50 years ago but now? Not a chance. We depend too much on technology and that technology is killing the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink.


  2. I have been concerned for so long and pointing out the problems to others either too blind too tired or too involved with being to think about what came before, the fight that was. Complacency? Ignorance of the past? Hard to say, but we’re here again at this point in time that so many fought and died for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apathy. A failure to engage and sometimes denial and an unwillingness to engage. Sometimes because people don’t think it’s important, but sometimes it’s because they don’t want to deal with the issues — or can’t. The problem is, they keep looking at us like WE made this mess, but humans made this mess and we’ve been making this mess for a very long time. It didn’t start in our lifetime. The Sahara desert is manmade — bad farming in an arid zone. WE — people – killed off the Mastodons. As long as people have lived on earth, we’ve been slaughtering animals and not because we are hungry, either. Because we like to kill. We have been destroying forests since we had a blade with which to cut.

      And people don’t seem to get that we have run out of forests. Now we are cutting down even the small plots of land with trees. It wasn’t us and it wasn’t even our grandparents.

      It’s PEOPLE.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Way to go Marilyn! A perfect example!!!!!!
    I’m afraid the down slope is getting steeper


  4. Yep, as relevant today as 98 or so years ago. Today it seems like ignorance and book burning is winning once again…


    • 98 years? I really can’t do simple arithmetic without a calculator. Yes, maybe even MORE relevant because we ARE banning books. We really are trying to go back in time. Pity we can’t bring back the planet. I might be able to cope with the rest if we were able to restore what we’ve destroyed. It’s depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lol, we are both wrong… I just read through your post and wrote my comment without referring back to it, but 2022 – 1925 = 97 lol.
        OK, back to serious topics… We still ban books. More Americans than ever don’t believe in science. I think the planet can easily recover, if us humans go away. The world will regain equilibrium eventually unless we are here to continue screwing it up. It won’t ever be the same as before, but….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Math was not our best subject. I should have used the calculator. People are the problem. The Sahara is manmade. Mastodons were killed off by early humans. Just think how much we’d enjoy slaughtering them now — if only we hadn’t already eliminated them.

          We aren’t going to disappear and we aren’t going to make even the slightest attempt to do the right thing. We no longer do the right things. I suspect most people don’t know what the right thing is or was AND they don’t care. it’s hard to be hopeful.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s extremely worrisome. I can hardly bear to watch the news.


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