When the Ovine Opine

LeVar Burton, an actor best known for roles in Roots and one of the many Star Trek rebirths, but also a longtime host of the popular children’s program, Reading Rainbow, has decided to throw his two cents into today’s mandatory moralizing about minds and works from the past that are so vastly superior to anything that can ever be produced in our era of politically correct thought police that the only solution to our collective shame is to hide from it by condemning those great minds and destroying their great works, rather than having to live in a world alongside such stark evidence of our pettiness and inferiority. 

From the Washington Examiner:

During an interview with Joshua Jackson on MSNBC on Saturday, Burton pointed to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

“Talk about how you’ve seen this evolve over time. I’m sure there are books that maybe you’ve read or seen that were, you know, popular or bestsellers that in retrospect, you might look back at and go, ‘That didn’t age very well,'” Jackson asked.

“Well, I mean, there are plenty, such as Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn,” Burton replied.

I said at the outset that Burton has decided to throw his two cents into the current blather, but in fact I should say “his” two cents, scare-quoting the possessive adjective. For of course there is not even two cents’ worth of personal thought or sincere sentiment in his judgment; just more of the prescribed holier-than-thou self-denuding that passes for public discourse in this age of tribal hatred and neo-Marxist indoctrination.

So LeVar Burton believes he is in a position to condemn unto oblivion, or more precisely obsolescence, two of the most famous and influential works in American literature, authored by one of the most admired and influential humorists of the modern world. He believes this — he assumes his authority to stand in the role of ultimate historical judge over no less a figure than Mark Twain — because in an age of progressive historicism and political infantilism, self-righteousness comes cheap. Any transient celebrity may pronounce from on high against any world-historical artist or thinker, without even realizing — and without any of his equally transient hearers recognizing — that he is a sheep daring to critique the flight paths of eagles. 

The sheep, sadly, have inherited the Earth. But it is never to be forgotten that for all the damage they can and will do, such irrelevant flocks will and must indeed remain the heirs to only that: the Earth. They, the definitive crowds of our ovine moment, are utterly and necessarily Earthbound. The sky, the clouds, the stars, and the dark profundities of spiritual seas remain the exclusive and impervious domains of Time’s true individuals — forever beyond the woolly bleating.

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