After Kevin Spacey was excised from the upcoming movie "All the Money in the World" (his scenes to be reshot with Christopher Plummer), I modestly proposed that Hollywood remove and reshoot Spacey's scenes in "Beyond the Sea" and "The Usual Suspects," and destroy all copies of "American Beauty" — that hackneyed attempt at a takedown of suburban America.
This expungement, I said in jest, was the required remedy for Spacey's sexual assaults and related misconduct.
Now I learn that Minnesota Public Radio has expunged Garrison Keillor — also accused of sexual misconduct, albeit vastly less severe than Spacey's. A columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, David Vossbrink, writes this about the way MPR has treated Keillor:
"Garrison Keillor has been disappeared into the Memory Hole. If you look for his biography or the archived shows from a half century of 'A Prairie Home Companion' on the website of Minnesota Public Radio since his fall from grace, you'll now find only this: 'Sorry, but there's no page here.'
"Keillor and his entire body of work from 'A Prairie Home Companion' and 'Writer's Almanac' have been effectively erased from the archives of MPR, along with the work of all the other storytellers, singers, poets and production staff who made the shows successful."
Keillor was never my cup of tea, but I agree with Rod Dreher, who wrote this in the American Conservative:
"The MPR panic is what you would expect from a Stalinist regime dealing with figures who have fallen out of ideological failure...
"If you only chose to partake of art, music, and literature created by morally upstanding persons, you'd quickly come to the end of what's available. Museums would empty out. Concert halls would fall silent. Bookstores would have to be repurposed as yoga studios, and movie theaters as hipster churches. The unfortunate truth is that bad, or at least deeply flawed, people often make the best art."
For some on the radical left, Dreher's list of consequences is probably a feature, not a bug. On college campuses, there are said to be those who don't want "Whitey" and his culture to be studied, except perhaps as a specimen of evil, with safe spaces available if the examination becomes too intense.
Dreher concludes with this ominous passage:
"I hear from readers who grew up in Communist countries, and who tell me that they sense more and more the same atmosphere of their youth coming into existence here. This erasing of Keillor and his enormous and valuable creative legacy from history has to be setting off their internal alarms."
It has set off mine.