We were watching Inherit the Wind last night on TCM. The kid wanders in and wants to know what this movie is about -- what are they fighting about.
“This guy wants to teach evolution in the public schools,” I explain. “Those guys don’t want him to. Because they’re Christians, and they believe it contradicts their text.”
She watches the movie awhile. “Who wins?”
Hah, hah, hah.
Isn’t that a funny question?
There's this bit in the movie I had forgotten, where the lawyer for the Christians asks the lawyer for the science teacher why he wants to take "the beautiful dream" away from the Christians, especially since it's all they have.
"Like my Golden Dancer," says the lawyer for the science teacher wistfully.
The science lawyer tells about Golden Dancer, a rocking horse he had longed for as a child, how beautiful it was in the store window, how much he wanted it, how it shone in the sunlight. Glittering stirrups, gilded saddle, the works.
Then he gets it, Christmas morning, leaps on it, starts to rock, it falls to bits: it's made of wax and glue and pressed board. It's a lie, a sham. It won't hold together.
Even if it's all they have, if it's not the truth, we don't teach it. What's true: that's what we teach in the schools. That's what will get them through.
(Of course, you know what the kid got from the movie: now she wants a rocking horse. Ai.)