Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of Katrina, and the dedicated and remarkable blogera Scout Prime, over at First-Draft.com has two must-rrread has posts on the current situation in New Orleans that deserve to be spread far and wide across la blogsfera.
Een the most recent one, Scout Prime provides two videos wheech show scenes of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward as eet looks today against what the same area looked like 18 months ago. The comparison points out that, two years later, practically nothing has changed for large segments of the population there.
Wheech breengs us to Scout’s other, earlier piece from last weekend, wherein we learn that
El Chimperador ees planning a return to the scene of the crime, een an attempt to yet again raise the maximum level of mendacious crrrap that can be shoveled eento the America’s gullet at one time.
Of course, el sociedad de los frotacíonados profesionales een the media will be there as well. They will provide comic relief to the scenes of Chertoff and Bush, striding through the graveyard of a city that they have made of New Orleans, looking for that elusive photo-op by wheech they hope to convince a majority of the American televison-viewing audience that they are sincerely trying to rebuild a city wheech they have always held een contempt.
Thees situation had Scout Prime apparently theenking about the visuals, and considering the fine suggestion of the new Orleans blogger Suspect Device:
If you live /work in NOLA and own an American flag, fly it upside down this Wednesday. Hell, fly it upside down the whole week.
Scout Prime’s completely appropriate and reasonable reaction:
I think we bloggers should post upside down flags in solidarity.
I must reply een strong affirmation, I have followed Scout’s lead and posted Suspect Device’s flag banner as well. Eet ees to be hoped that other bloggers will see their way clear to reciprocating.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
No Justice on a Spreadsheet
AMY GOODMAN: Why would impeachment hearings put the election in jeopardy?
REP. JOHN CONYERS: Well, because unless I’ve got the Constitution in one hand and a calculator in the other, so I’ve got any kind of hearings on removing both the President and the Vice President—or putting it in reverse, remove the Vice President and then the President—within the months remaining, would require 218 votes in the House of Representatives. That’s my calculator giving me this information. And then, in the Senate we need two-thirds to convict. Notwithstanding all of my progressive friends that would love to see me start impeachment hearings, those votes I do not think exist in the House of Representatives or in the US Senate. - Democracy Now, August 28, 2007
I’m sure plenty of people made similar calculations back when you and other young Representatives pushed impeachment against recently-re-elected-in-a-landslide Nixon. Dixiecrats angrily raised such objections back when legislators with actual values and integrity were fighting for the 14th Amendment, let alone the Voting Rights Acts. I know damned well that making Blacks and American Indians three-fifths of a person was justified with the argument that there wouldn’t BE a Union without that great crime being enshrined in that Constitution under Article I, §2. para. 2. Compromises must be made, after all, and calculations for political expediency are a fact of political life. Right?
Representative Conyers, I offer this to plug into your calculations:
An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:
“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
I don’t see party considerations, or upcoming elections, or political cowardice, anywhere in that Oath that you swore, sir. Oh, and about those duties of the office, again in Article I, §2, in paragraph 5:
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The people are demanding that you do your duty, a duty you swore to fulfill. This is beyond party, this is beyond the next election, this is beyond how ever little time there is before the next election. This is about re-introducing the idea of accountability and justice into a government that no longer has either. Back to his petulant response to Amy Goodman:
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Conyers, on the issue of the warrantless wiretapping, on the one hand you’ve had the Democrats going after Gonzales fiercely for the Bush administration’s secret warrantless domestic surveillance program, yet signing off on the recent bill that the Bush administration had pushed for for further warrantless wiretapping.
REP. JOHN CONYERS: Well, the leadership was, of course, against the bill, and the majority of Democrats voted against the bill. But we’ve got this consideration: we’ve got 233 Democrats; forty of them are Blue Dogs, that is, conservative Democrats that frequently vote Republican. (Madman: that’s known as a majority in name only) And then we have another group that are new to the Congress in their first term elected from red state congressional districts, which they felt that they would not be able to come back, and we couldn’t get them over. So we didn’t have all of our Democrats. It was not a solid position. But the leadership, Pelosi and I and Reyes, the head of the Intelligence Committee, we pleaded with everybody to vote with us in caucus, and we weren’t able to persuade some of the new members, and we weren’t able to persuade some of the Blue Dogs.
If you don’t do your duty, Representative, then you are culpable for the continuing crimes, I don’t care how much pleading and vote-trading you Donklephants engaged in when caucused.
To be fair, this isn’t just Conyer’s problem, or the rest of the Vichy Dem “leadership”. We’ve all been taught that the genius of our form of government rests upon a complicated and carefully-balanced system of checks and balances. There is one last check beyond the various branches of government, beyond the courts and the bureaucracy and police and all of the other institutional machinery of our government. That last check is the ballot box. That last check is you, no matter how weak your access to that box has become, it is still the last check, that is if we can even pretend to call this a representative democracy.
So, if you believe in, yearn for, a country that pursues justice, not control; if you believe we should reach out with diplomats, not bullets; if you fervently wish that your nation was a force for human rights, and not a serial destroyer of the same; if you want this war to end and habeas corpus restored and for there to be real political debate ...
... if you really believe and want those things and more, then you cannot vote for this worthless Donklephant party any longer. You MUST withhold your vote from any national office holder who doesn’t fight for justice, accountability and human rights.
The hoi polloi can effect change by buying it (like through increasingly worthless national “advocacy” organizations), by violence or by weight of numbers, either through protest or the vote. However, you can make a statement not just by voting FOR someone, but also by withholding your vote. A strike, if you will.
Conyers and the rest promise, and then threaten. They hold out hope, then dash it as soon as you’ve rubber-stamped them again. They are running a protection racket on you.
Remember that justice came to women and minorities thanks to those who COULDN’T vote ... they FORCED change, and they did it by demonstrating and raised voices and blood. Why would you sully those sacrifices by kow-towing to people who betray everything you believe? Why would you sully that ballot by voting for more blood, more injustice, more lies? Why do you reward criminals and their accomplices?
Make them lose ... be willing to face the pain of a national Republican win (as though you really get much difference with that majority-in-name-only that the Blue Dogs and corporate toadies give the Donks anyway). Don’t let them threaten you with criminals who they won’t stand up to anyway.
Vote for local lefties, liberals or progressives (whichever fuzzy label fits your particular values) ... help support positive change in your corner of the world FIRST. Vote for third parties or write-ins who share your values on the lines of your ballot for the national office. Vote SOMEWHERE on your ballot so there is a count (if they count ... this may just be a symbolic gesture in many places) of how many people are rejecting the status quo.
Some of them must lose so the others learn, or so that they can be replaced by people who want to take that Oath of Office seriously.
Conyers et. al. are definitely a problem, but if you keep rewarding them with their fancy offices and staffs and corporate junkets and all the rest, if you keep endorsing their cowardice and complicity, then you’re complicit too.
You are the LAST check. Don’t let them or scaremongering blogs or pundits tell you otherwise. Make Conyers and the rest put the citizenry and the Constitution before their tawdry calculations.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Bop That Clown
Oh, there was joy in pwogwessiveville ... I got some gleeful cheering in my e-mail today, (from Democracy for America, the Dean organization that once seemed promising before it became a wholly-owned Democratic Party organ):
You did it! U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned.
As a Democracy for America member, you played a major role in the battle to return integrity to Washington. Here’s what you did:
- Signed over 100,000 petitions calling for Gonzales to go.¹
- Ran three hard hitting media generating ads.²
- Ran newspaper ads in five major media markets.³
- Delivered your powerful message to Members of Congress by phone, through email and in-person
Our strategy works. When we all work together and channel the power of the progressive grassroots - we win! But we aren’t done yet. We have more work ahead to remove all Republican corruption from Washington.
Support DFA in the next challenge - kicking the Republicans out of the White House - with a contribution of $25 or more today.
Give us some money, take a swing at the clown! Congrats, you knocked him down!
It’s just the same circus, ladies and gentlemarks, with the barkers calling out promises of wonders you’ll behold.
A bunch of clowns rushing out of the clown car, eager to entertain and take your money.
Senator Chuck Schumer, one of the Democratic leaders in the Senate who held a press conference earlier today to talk about this, reminded everyone that he called for Mr. Gonzales’ resignation a long time ago. “I don’t know why it took the president so long to come to the same conclusion, but I’m glad he did — four months after I first called for the attorney general to step down. ”
I love when they squeeze their funny noses and the honk HONK rings across the big top.
Like that bop clown you had when you were a kid, the clown will bounce right back up again. Oh, they’ll make a show of it, that the NEW clown isn’t the SAME clown. Yes, yes, yes, your money still gone, your friend Habeus still got stomped by the elephant, the bearded lady is still torturing the bearded men, the ringmaster is still listening in on your phone calls and the world’s tallest man is still filming your every move. The Big Top is still crumbling and the roustabouts are still cracking defenseless women and children’s heads.
They’re all clowns in the same circus, ladies and gentlemarks, and they’re laughing at you. They will still put on a show while reaping all the benefits.
Remember, the smart kids know that clowns are scary and evil, whether they’re dragging you under the bed or pulling you down into the sewer. The clowns in our two ring bigtop are just the same, no matter what they promise as they hit one another over the heads with big fake hammers.
When you’re down here with us, you’ll float too!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
That squawking noise you’ve been hearing today is our dubious Preznit, appearing in front of the nations largest veterans group and avoiding mention of the Walter Reed mess and the resignation of his Sec. of Veteran’s Affairs last month. Instead he spoke of Vietnam, something he avoided like the plague that it was, only to start one of his own in Iraq.
He, of course was among people who would sit and applaud whatever came out of his mouth. He won’t appear in front of the 70% of Americans who know just how awful he is. From WaPo:
Not that they’re worried or anything. But the White House evidently leaves little to chance when it comes to protests within eyesight of the president. As in, it doesn’t want any. A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of “deterring potential protestors” from President Bush’s public appearances around the country.
Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by “rally squads” stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out.
The coward who ran for cover when the World Trade Center was hit, who even ran from his hiding place in the National Guard during Vietnam and then avoided New Orleans for 5 days after it was decimated also can’t be in the same space with the majority of Americans. If you don’t worship him like Condi, Karl and Harriet you are persona non grata. As much as I deplore Tony Blair’s poodle-like behavior, he faced the music in Parliament and British press and did not flee the British people. Bush on the other hand, hides in plain sight, going from one orchestrated propaganda event to another. To call him a pathetic coward when the men and women he sends back for their third tour of Iraq have no other choice is an understatement.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
LSF Review: The Eleventh Hour
The new documentary The Eleventh Hour opened in New York this weekend. The reviews have been particularly good and I was curious to see it. My overall reaction is that if you liked “An Inconvenient Truth” you will like this one as well. The films are similar in that they show you the problems for the first 2/3 and then spend the remainder telling you how these problems can be solved.
Leonardo DiCaprio narrates the documenatary as well as appearing on camera. The film uses talking heads and location shooting to drive home the points, and it is a hard hitting experience. The evidence at this point is absolutely overwhelming and on top of it things look very bleak for two reasons: we are so far into the problem that the fix is not easy and secondly we know the ‘head in the sand’ mentality of the US at this point in time. Hopefully if these documentaries get seen and the necessary changes are implemented, we have a chance to turn this mess around. Nothing of any substance will be done in the next 16 months of the Bush administration but if that time is used for a groundswell of public outrage then we might still have a chance. If America chokes in 2008 we are in deep, deep trouble, and if China turns into a mega US by copying our worst excesses we have even more work cut out for us.
See this film if you get the chance and help get the groundswell growing.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Who Can I Be Now
Everybody knows it’s true
Everybody feels that everything is real
Anybody’s point of view
Everyone can feel their chains
But even in my life I knew you found your sight
And nothing would be quite the same - David Bowie
I’ve been watching the non-existent debate over the war. I’ve been watching the debate since the latest dkos convention, over race and the internet. I’ve been watching our mass media whip up hysteria over chinese toys and pedophiles and the ponzi scheme aka the stock market, and I’ve been watching ... well, I’ve been watching. It’s what this white boy, over-educated boy, this solitary boy does. I’ve been watching.
Hell, I’m part of the problem, as I’ve been watching. I’m another comfortable American, another white boy, another ... well, I’ve been watching. That’s what I do. What most of us do.
Until we find a way to have genuine debate, we can’t progress. Until we find a way to step away from the story we’ve been sold our whole lives, our Imperialism won’t end. Until white Americans can divorce “fair” from themselves, ("I’ve never owned slaves!"), then fair and equal treatment will NEVER exist in this country.
We are the tail wagging at the end of our parent’s and grandparent’s and great-grandparent’s misdeeds. We are ultimately responsible for our country’s war crimes, even if they happened over sixty, or a hundred, or hundreds, of years ago, because we ("we" being white and middle-classed ‘Mericans) have profited from what has come before us. Even as we try to get even for our own small betrayals, the advantages built into the whole system are ...
... well, why bother pointing it out? We won’t be honest about it, so why bother?
Prejudice is personal, but racism is institutional and pervasive and cultural. You can be personally NOT prejudiced while still enabling racism. Sexism is personal while misogyny is institutional and pervasive and cultural. You can be be personally NOT sexist while still enabling misogyny. Homophobia is personal, but ... well, it’s so ingrained there is no word for the lesser, un-ingrained version of it, so ...
We won’t talk about this, won’t OWN the general nature of these problems. After all, WE didn’t do it, so ... well, no harm (now), no foul, and if there IS a foul, “they” deserve it.
No compassion, no growth, no hope for redemption.
Who can we be now?
Nothing special, until we own the crimes our present advantages rest upon.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sharp Stars and Bloody Stripes
I was, believe it or not, a Boy Scout. Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Order of the Arrow, the whole ball of wax. I might not have had much patience for the stricter rules, for some of the authority figures, but I had fun and learned a lot. I really liked putting up and taking down the flag. The whole ceremony of it, the steady movement of the rope, the flag lowered or raised slowly, reverently. The careful folding of the flag ... all of those rituals and etiquettes laid out in the Flag Code.
I took it kind of seriously, even as I was learning more and more about the real history of this country. All of that stuff about how the stars represented the states, the red stripes the blood of patriots who fought for freedom, the white stripes for liberty.
I wanted to believe that it stood for a set of ideals, a “perfect union” that was being built slowly and steadily. It seems so naive now, as that flag plainly doesn’t mean any of that. It is, like most flags throughout history, a battle flag, a standard to plant on the soil of the conquered territories of our expanding empire. Perhaps no worse, but sadly not much better, than any other exploitive, extractive, racist and warlike empire.
Like many Americans, I was naive. I wanted to believe that my group, my nation, my people were good people, peaceful people, decent people.
I was wrong.
I don’t know if Americans are exceptional in the evil we do. Human history is awash in blood, but we do have a knack for mechanizing and organizing the delivery of death while spouting platitudes about peace and cooperation. When people resist, we act as the abusive parent, punishing them further for their ingratitude and stubborn refusal to accept our help. Iraq is just the latest, and perhaps most bald-faced, variation on this theme.
Again, I’m not a “blame America first” lefty. I’m a lefty who still wants to hope that we could have made ourselves something different. The combination of all the different races and cultures here, the Constitution and other founding documents with their built-in mechanisms for change—we could have become something different than conquerors, murderers, builders of terrible weapons of mass destruction. We could have learned from our crimes, stopped indulging our racism and fear.
Instead of investing in each other, we invest in weapons and murder. Instead of building, we exploit and destroy. We’d rather use people up than enable them to develop themselves, build better futures for themselves.
I don’t know that Americans are any better or worse, but we certainly don’t live up to our fine words, our espoused ideals. In some ways, that makes our crimes worse, for they have betrayal and lies laddled on top of the blood and torn flesh.
Just recently the city built some nice little gardens on the median of a boulevard near where I live. It’s beautiful, a nice splash of color for the neighborhood. Then they put up the huge flag pole. Then the flag, the big flag, fluttering in the breeze, and suddenly the garden wasn’t so beautiful anymore. I hate that this flag that I used to cherish now fills me with dread, but it does. Those red stripes stand for the blood we spill, the white for the phosophorus melting flesh, the stars for the blinding muzzle flashes from our guns.
It didn’t have to mean those things, but it does. We choose to make it this way.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Remember and Atone
Shinichi Tetsutani (then 3 years and 11 months) loved to ride this tricycle. That morning, he was riding in front of his house when, in a sudden flash, he and his tricycle were badly burned. He died that night. His father felt he was too young to be buried in a lonely grave away from home, and thinking he could still play with the tricycle, he buried Shinichi with the tricycle in the backyard. In the summer of 1985, forty years later, his father dug up Shinichi’s remains and transferred them to the family grave. This tricycle, Shinichi’s best friend, was donated to the Peace Memorial Museum.
We must remember, and atone, we the people and children and grandchildren and on into our posterity, we must remember and atone for this terror, this holocaust we unleashed upon a civilian population.
We don’t, sadly. Instead we elect leaders who beat their chests and threaten to bring hell’s fire down on other countries, we have a supposed opposition that does the same, afraid to look “weak”.
Miyoko (then, 13) was a first-year student at First Municipal Girls High School. She was exposed to the bomb at her building demolition work site. Her body was never found, but her mother found this wooden sandal three months later.
She recognized it by the straps that she had made herself using material from her kimono. The atomic bomb left the imprint of Miyoko’s foot on this geta. Her mother wrote with India ink on the geta that she believes this to be Miyoko’s left foot. The geta served as Miyoko’s ashes, and her mother spoke to it every day.
We are the greatest arms dealers, one of the biggest arms proliferators, in the world. You’d think that a decent people, a people who claim to be “Christian”, supposed followers of the Prince of Peace, would find a better way to make amends than to construct bigger and more deadly weapons rather than to recoil in horror from what we had wrought. Instead, our government wants to make even more. Some of us take pride in this power, make jokes about “glassing” whatever nation is the latest to feel our wrath, killing people for the profit of our military-industrial-congressional complex.
Nobuko Oshita (then 13) was a first-year student at First Hiroshima Prefectual Girls High School. She was exposed to the bomb at her building demolition work site and fled to Koi. There she was found by relief corps workers, who returned her to her parents in Otake. She died late that night. She sewed this summer uniform herself.
Someone will stop us if we don’t stop ourselves, if we don’t take everyone else with us first. Sixty-two years ago today we committed a war crime. Not to end the war earlier, the convenient lie we tell ourselves. It was a flaming sabre waved by our haberdasher-in-chief at the Soviet Union. We weren’t firing the last shot of the current war, but rather the first shot of the new one.
We must remember, and atone, and stop our ruling class before they do it again.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
"Sunshine" on a Cloudy Day
I woke up in a weird mood. Couldn’t sit around the apartment like usual: I was out the door at 8:30, headed for the mall to see “Bourne Ultimatum”. Great roller coaster ride, but kind of cold. Not that it is anything other than what I expected. The whole thing was tremendous fun, but I think it’s EXACTLY like a roller coaster. You strap in, and if it’s a good roller coaster the drops are scary, the turns are a little blind. It was a great action movie. Matt Damon really sells that character, and he does it by doing almost nothing. Almost affectless. The stunts were like watching modern-dance choreography ... again, kind of cold, but ruthless and stunning and at-points conveying a real sense of danger. There is a car chase that makes the one in the earlier movie w/ the Mini-Cooper going down stars and such seem tame, and a hand-to-hand fight scene where even books become weapons. If you want some dumb fun, go. It’s movie as craft, and well-done craft.
I was out just after noon, hit the bus back east to my neighborhood, and decided to go ahead and catch “Sunshine” at the art house.
... science fiction movie. No, scratch that ... what a wonderful movie.
I see what the critics were talking about it, why they thought the last third was a letdown, but they are 89% wrong. They missed the whole point of the movie. I absolutely loved it, want to see it again. So much metaphor and philosophy and interesting faces and characters and wonderful imagery. Boyle made it clear that light is PHYSICAL, which is a thing that many people don’t really understand. Light slaps these characters and their technology around, it is brutal and unforgiving and TACTILE.
I had a weird kind of whiplash going from roller coaster to meditation on life, reason and faith.
I took a long walk up to catch a bus that runs closer to my home after the movie, abused my body w/ a mcdonalds cheeseburger (haven’t had one in months, had a craving). Saw some kind of heron wading on the Milwaukee river when I crossed it. So I come upon the Pick and Save grocery by the bus stop I was heading for ...
... and there is a big fire truck parked by the bus stop, and in front of the truck there are four firemen milling around and telling jokes, and then I realize, on the ground, there is a man, cane across his chest, laying on the ground. Not moving. No one is doing anything, so I guess he’s dead. There is a weird kind of sundance-movie disconnected vibe in the air. Upset people watching from across the street, other people talking about how he’d been having a seizure when he went down.
... and I’m pissed it’s killing my good mood. How self-involved is that?
So I walk up the hill to the next nearest bus-stop, thinking that the bus might skip the obstructed stop ... AND I don’t want to be near adrenaline junkies joking over a dead man’s body, and when I get to the bus-stop there is a white surfer dude type with bleached-blonde dreadlocks with a weird bracelet made out of what look like bird’s bones.
An older black guy walks up from the stop w/ the body, looking all shifty. “I had to get out of there”. I’ve got my headphones on, so I can pretend I can’t hear (had NPR news on) and the stupid surfer dude bites. “What?”
“I had to get out of there ... didn’t want to have to drop my gun. I’m strapped, and I NEED my gun. I need it to make a living.” He looks at me out of the corner of his eye, hoping for a rise. Being a vet of the NYC subways, Washington Heights and fucking Ft. Greene Brooklyn, I’m just thinking “poser”, which is stupid, but what am I gonna do, jump up and run?
Anyway, he’s kinda bummed that the surfer is just talking him about his gun like they’re talking about the weather, and I’m sitting there with my headphones droning NPR in my ears and just gazing off into the middle distance, and eventually he wanders off, a couple of more guys walk up from the fire truck and the body, and off they go, “strapped” or not.
Ever have the feeling you’re IN a “sundance/indie” movie?
So, the digression ... why?
I was thrown by “Sunshine”. In a good way. There are echoes of so many other “sci-fi” movies, open references to other movies, but it’s not just a regurgitation (while “Bourne” WAS, but in a GOOD way, the way that a good cover band in a bar on a night when they’re ON can sometimes almost feel better than the original, or in the way that you can walk into a hole-in-the-wall dive and get a bowl of chili that has the same old ingredients yet somehow SURPASSES them).
The most obvious is “2001 - A Space Odyssey". In that classic, ultimately there is an outside power greater than man. His science, his ambition ... they pale before an outside power. A attempt to create sentience, HAL 9000, goes horribly wrong. Mankind has no choice but to surrender, at the end, return to childhood.
I’ve always found that strange, considering that Arthur C. Clarke wrote it, champion of human industry and reason and technology, but it is a motif he repeated other times, so I guess I shouldn’t let his invention of geo-synchronous communication satellites and so many stories I love blind me to his all-too-often fall-back to a weird kind of faith.
This brings me back to “Sunshine”, which in its whole is a question: is humanity supposed to surrender to outside powers, or can it remake it’s experience? Can we be saved by what we think and invent, or are we doomed by powers outside ourselves? If you’ve read reviews of the movie, you know that there is something that happens about two-thirds of the way through the movie that many critics think was a letdown.
At that point they’ve had to make some choices about accomplishing their mission, and frankly the math has broken down and they’re falling into the sun based on a guess, when they find the first mission to reignite our dying sun. It’s at this point that many critics have complained, but I feel it’s at this point where the real questions are asked. Do we rely on faith, or reason, even if reason has its limits and we’re left guessing anyway? THAT is the question at the heart of “Sunshine”, and I think the answer it arrives at is why it is special and unique amongst speculative movies. There is a belief demonstrated here that people CAN be motivated by reason to sacrifice, that people can CHOOSE to serve a greater good, and that human reason, if not their technology, can rise to the task at hand.
It’s a faith we don’t have anymore.
So again, I’ve gushed over two movies ... and one could expect that this should just be a movie review, so why the digression, why the body and the supposed gun and the chicken-bone bracelet and all the rest?
Because “Sunshine” made me think, and pay attention, and wonder and focus at what was going on around me. “Bourne” was a fun diversion, wonderful craft, but “Sunshine” was art, and made me notice my world, bodies and all.
Light is physical, and it’s beating up against us all the time ... and it can affect us if we let it, even as it comes in through the lenses of our eyeballs and strikes our retinas, exciting the nerves there like multitudinous little pieces of birdshot, bringing us bodies and joking adrenaline junkies and armed bantam roosters and laid-back backpackers and wonderful cinematic meditations on life.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
LSF Review: No End In Sight
I saw one of the most talked about films in New York today, the new documentary No End In Sight. This documentary won a Special Jury Prize in January at the Sundance Film Festival and now it is being distributed slowly across the US. After the glowing reviews and packed houses at Film Forum here there is a good chance it will be coming to a theater near you in the coming weeks.
There is some new information here, for even the most scrupulous of us can’t find all the facts and can’t retain everything we’ve read and seen over the past several years but much of this is known by avid readers who have been following the Bush Administration in regards to Iraq. What this film does incredibly well is to soberingly put all of it together chronologically and painstakingly with the talking heads inside the apparatus who tried to prevent the quagmire.
Talking heads are interspersed with footage in Iraq to show just how this war was conceived and mangled beyond all imagination. To paraphrase one person “There were 2 or 3 ways to do it right and 500 ways to do it wrong and we’re watching all 500 play out”. No End In Sight lays it all out for the audience in a way that would make even the 30% of Bush’s supporters gasp, unless their blinders are on so tight that air (and facts) cannot reach them.
This is the type of work that the networks news divisions should have put together years ago, which lets you know the media has no interest in making a 90 minute piece using the inside players. They are content to do 10 minute quick pieces that don’t give the audience the full scope of the horror that collided when the Bush Administration met the poor country of Iraq.
I recommend everyone go to the links and to please pass the word around to anyone who is only partially disgusted with what has happened in our country, this documentary will move them to full-tilt horror at what is still happening.
The Official Site is definitely worth checking out and includes a preview.