Monday, May 16, 2005


We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little

I saw a movie three times this weekend: The Weather Underground. I saw it once regular, once with the director's commentary, and once with the commentary of two of the leaders of the organization, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers (now out of hiding and living in Hyde Park, Chicago).

Each time I watched it, the sense of immediacy was almost overwhelming. The parallel of our current war to the war out of which the New Left was, in part, born was certainly there. But far more important to me was the increasing depth of understanding I had for political movements today and how they got this way (including, perhaps most importantly, the NewCons).

I am more than happy to explore some of the themes brought up over drinks with anyone, any time, anywhere. But here are some of they keys:

The film really made me think about how, in a quest for greater truth, I feel like it's important to take yourself out of your own political milieu and put yourself in your opponent's shoes. If you justify a rhetorical or activist tactic for yourself, can you justify it for them? Are your goals so pure that you deserve greater latitude for your missteps? As long as you win in the end, will the morality of your tactics even matter (see the 2000 Florida recount)??

Definitely check out the movie. Listen to the commentaries. And then buy me a beer & we'll discuss.

Yes, watching the film was hard and I'm glad I did it. Listening to these warriors, gosh, hind site is so 20/20 (gimme a break!). Watching, my first feelings were all about me, my method of justifying not militating, not marching in the street or organizing to do anything. It reminded me of why I never, it never came as a plausibility, never a spark of interest in going to protest in NYC during Republican Convention, marriage amendment polling place, pot parade. Things that I care about. I feel safer alone. These Weather fools used the power of timing, group con, and courage to put it out there, ride the wave, and risk it all (including the awesome particularity of being a privileged whitey trying to tell its truth).

What's to be learned? Man, I wish I was Lili Taylor.
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