First there was an article about Carrie Fisher in The Talk of the Town where it mentioned she dated one of the producers of Star Wars, a Quaker named Gary Kurtz. I've wondered for a long time about whether my attraction to Quakerism is connected to my love of Star Wars and its "theology", so I did a little research. Turns out Kurtz had some influence on the series. In an interview here, the author implies as such:
"Mark had said to me that there was a lot of agonizing going on between Gary Kurtz and Lucas over the amount of violence that was in the film. And I think, as I remember correctly, what Hamill was saying was that there was a lot of Quaker influence. Now I don't know whether Lucas was a Quaker or whether it was Gary Kurtz , but there was a spiritual basis for this film and they were concerned that the non-violence message that they were trying to get across was going to be compromised by a lot of the shoot 'em ups that were going on. The reason why I mention this was I think these guys were really very unusual in what they were trying to do with their motion picture making. I think they really had a vision of the world which was pure. They wanted to present some kind of legend looking ahead into the future. It really was some reflection of good vs. evil, not seeing it very simply as good being interior and evil being exterior. We all as human beings are wrestling with it inside ourselves. Like the relationship between Skywalker and Vader. The thing that I really did feel was that there was, going back to what I said earlier, the way in which they handled people in that production, they looked after their people very, very well. To me that's the essence of great leadership and creative ability. I give them full credit. Definitely they were talking about a spiritual dimension and trying to come up with a non-violent message."
I don't think it was the non-violence message that came across to me, but the sense that there's something that connects us all, and if we only quiet our minds and hearts, we can hear it...
Yeah, I know. What does that have to do with social class?
It doesn't. But the next mention does.
In the September 28th issue, Briefly Noted mentions a biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Penn State professor Lori D. Ginzberg. The book apparently makes connections between Cady Stanton, and modern feminism's problems with social class and race.
An abolitionist more out of political convenience than conviction, she not only abandoned the movement for black male suffrage after the Civil War to focus on white women’s suffrage but increasingly made vitriolic attacks on immigrants, the working class, and African-Americans in her writing and speeches. The consequences of Stanton’s racism and élitism were “deep and hurtful,” Ginzberg says, and she attributes the continuing difficulty of incorporating race and class differences into gender politics, in large part, to Stanton’s mixed legacy.
Ginzberg writes about two issues that impact me personally, sexism and classism, and therefore I am most passionate about. I can't wait to read this one. I just hope it's not too heady for me. I found the last New Yorker Briefly Noted book about Quakers too academic and inaccessible
EDIT NOTE: This was a big mistake--Cady Stanton wasn't Quaker!!! Why didn't any of you tell me this? I'd assumed that she was. Mistakenly. Sorry for that.