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  • Airbrushing history

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on June 15th, 2010 (All posts by )

    A new museum of World War II is opening in London. Some anonymous nanny stater has taken the liberty of airbrushing the cigar from Winston Churchill’s mouth.

    nonsmoke

    It isn’t even a very good job as the whole lower left side of his face is distorted. The museum directors say they don’t know who did it. It is a mystery but not surprising.

    The FDR Memorial that was put up in Washington a few years ago, does not show FDR with his cigarette holder that was so characteristic of him in public. I gave a cigarette holder like that to my grandfather when I was a child. He loved it because it made him look like FDR.

    The FDR Memorial shows something that was never seen in public when he was alive. He is shown in a wheelchair. He would never have allowed that but the modern nannies have to draw the last drop of sanctimonious pap from the scene.

    Thus goes the slow decline of common sense and reality in our lives and those of our friends.

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    8 Responses to “Airbrushing history”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      1Kgs.19

      [4]But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.”

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Note also the similarities between this and this. This was done in 1974. At least they kept the cigar.

    3. ArtD0dger Says:

      What, the artist didn’t proudly claim his now-famous work?

      Might as well have airbrushed out the index finger, too.

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      IIRC Stalin did the same thing with his opponents in photos after they were liquidated.

    5. Matt Says:

      So if covering up FDR’s smoking is changing history, shouldn’t we be consistent and show him in a wheel chair as well? I think it would only show what he had to overcome to become the man he was.

      I do think the smoking coverup is a terrible modernist revision of history. We have to stop judging our past leaders by the standards of today. Yes George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but these (relatively minor at the time) moral failings are far eclipsed by their push for democracy and liberty. Unevenly distributed perhaps, but that was the culture of the times.

    6. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Roosevelt chose to overcome his handicap in private and concealed it all his life. I would choose to honor his wishes and merely mention it in accounts of his life. Instead, it is one-fourth of the exhibit. “The crippled man who became president.” Obama would love that title but I don’t think Roosevelt would.

    7. John Burgess Says:

      The airbrush disease has already taken hold in the US:

      http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2008/10/thank_you_for_smoking.html

    8. Tatyana Says:

      Airbrush thing – or other means of alteration – came to my mind when I happen to see this post, featuring other ICONIC PHOTO, of naked Vietnamese girl running from napalm attack.
      I posted my doubts in the comments, and then in my place, too.