Most of my friends aren't aware of the extent of my political views. I keep them close to my vest because I know that they are extreme and that some are more than likely enhanced by my subjective desires for a world that has heroes and villains, polar opposites and obvious paths of right and wrong. Obviously, that's not a realistic description of the world in which we live, and I do tend to demonize political figures with whom I disagree. It gives me a flag to fly. It makes things more fun.
That being said, I'm not the type who enjoys the kind of event where lots of people who are obviously of the same mind come together, get exposed to a piece of information that reinforces their previously-held beliefs, and then go home. So seeing "Iraq for Sale" at David Nelson's tonight didn't really do it for me, as much as I did enjoy learning some details about the extent to which Blackwater and KBR are involved in the War in Iraq - it's far more extensive than I had imagined. I'm apalled by everything that I learned tonight (you can go here
for the facts, I'm not about to cough them up), but at the same time, I have been in quite enough rooms full of people who guffaw every time Bush Jr. says something idiotic. The time for that is so far behind us. Now maybe if we could get this movie played in some places where the folks seeing it may be undecided about their feelings on the war, that might make a difference. That would be wonderful. Some eyes may actually be opened, a difference may actually be made.
And I've said it to more than a small handful of people: I'm not in the best place lately, obviously. If you know my personal and work life, you know there are a lot of problems right now and I'm kind of just barely keeping my act together, and I'm vulnerable as hell to depression. But the most depressing part of this kind of screening is when all of the counter-cultural types leave the theatre, grumbling about Bush (when numbers say that most of them could not be bothered to vote in 2004, leaving them no right at all to complain), and we all light our cigarettes (most of which are manufactured by R.J. Reynolds, who have contributed more than $12.2 million to Republican campaign war chests since 2000), and we repeat the same old tired rhetoric that we came in repeating.
This may be a shock to some of my friends, but I find most liberals to be as intolerant and stubborn as republicans. I'm way, way, way to the left, but having grown up in the deep south, I love a lot of right-wing assholes. I may hate their ideas, but by God, I have to listen to them all over again every time we carve a turkey or bury a great uncle. So I've learned to be patient to the best of my ability and be gentle when I make my case for the way we should perhaps go about effecting change in the world, politically. Making stickers that say "Fuck Bush" and slapping them up on stp signs within three blocks of your home isn't going to promote any dialogues. It's just propaganda, and it may be even worse than that - it may be something you're just doing to increase your chances of getting laid by the artsy chick in the apartment upstairs.
I dislike our president, his staff, and where he's taken our country these past 6 years. But I also prefer dialogue to diatribe, so I kind of regretted this use of two precious weekend hours.