Thursday, January 5, 2017
Out Damn Gumby!
Just added this second volume of vintage The Adventures of Gumby to my burgeoning DVD collection. Glad to have the second half of this two-part collection of the green guy's show from this era. Picked up the first half early last year and now have added the second. For the record I got the bonus box with the Blockheads inside...love this kind of marketing! One of the extras this time is a film called "The Clay Peacock"; check this out for more on that. Many reviewers bemoan that some of the Gumby animated material has been discarded from this collection due to the stereotypical nature of the some of the stuff concerning Native Americans. Having never seen these I cannot judge, but feel it's a mistake to not include material of this kind in these collections which purport to offer a glimpse into the full range of what was happening. Because they are not included I will not be able to see for myself what the problem was.
This sort of thing has happened before of course with Warner Brothers and I remember concerns with some of the Popeye cartoons a few years back. But it's enough I feel to add cautions to the packaging or perhaps even inside for those who are concerned. Purging material which is now deemed offensive runs the risk of masking a problem which has plagued mankind for all its history and to alter that history retroactively, even in this small instance creates a false impression of what attitudes were and how they might need to shift going forward. Racist material should be objected to and sneered at but it should not be purged from the historical record, because as we know from the old adage, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.