July 25, 2004

Left Right Left Right

A while back, the intersection down the street was quite a spectacle-- On one side a group demonstrated for peace, while the other rallied in support of the administration and the war, yet both professed to "support the troops." There are several ways to characterize the scene, depending on who you ask: As per one neighbor-- "Communist traitors vs. Red-blooded Americans." Yet another-- "People who oppose an unjust war for oil vs. Those who want retribution for 9/11." To the people standing on either side of the same street-- "Us vs. Those stupid f***s who just don't get it." So I watched how these two sides carried themselves and imagined some of the most globally-revered people of history choosing a side. Which side would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr stand on? What about Mahatma Gandhi? Abraham Lincoln? Albert Einstein? The Beatles? Jesus Christ? Five of these people were murdered for their ideals by those who felt just as strongly about their own. Is it possible to walk the path between the two? In this case-- no! Not without being plowed under by the cars blazing by in oblivion. But what gives me profound hope is, there are people exercising those magnificent rights afforded them by the blood, sweat, tears, triumphs and shames of those before.

I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 right after it hit the theaters. It was not a sold-out crowd. No one protested for or against it outside the lobby. It was just another showing of yet another film in "a theater near you." But it moved me. It moved me to laughter, fear, embarrassment, anger, and hope. As the film ended and the credits rolled, I noticed no one got up to leave. It wasn't until the lights came up, that people made their way to the exits. As they left, they talked. Talked about what they saw as truth and/or fiction. Talked about their frustrations at the state of the nation and foreign affairs. Talked about the legitimacy of the war. And most importantly, talked about what to DO next. As for me, I went straight home, ran upstairs, held my son and wife and wept. I bawled like a baby. Why? Because I still can. Because neither I nor Ruth are placed in harm's way at the order of this administration nor for the profit of our employers. Because my child's home and school are not suspected storage houses for terrorist weapons making them viable targets of cluster bombs, bunker-busters, or cruise missiles. Because our religious and political leaders have not indoctrinated us to believe our people's only hope is to blow our asses off in public venues so our enemies stature and security destabilize. Because my son and unborn daughter have more options than either a basketball scholarship or the military as alternatives to poverty and/or crime. Because I fear for our future in ways I could not even imagine four years ago.

My 7-month pregnant wife asked if we were both going to see it over the weekend, and I advised against it. I'm certain we'll be able to rent it soon enough. However, at the moment she's rife with hormones and unable to sit through an entire movie without at least one restroom break anyway. We can't even watch the evening news anymore, it upsets her too much. While I have strong misgivings over where we, as a nation are headed, I can't allow those misgivings to distract me from the immediate needs of my family and preparing for the arrival of our daughter.

Now, is Michael Moore presenting a true documentary with impartial, unedited footage devoid of supposition? You're kidding me, right!?! Michael Moore! It's like asking Rush Limbaugh to make an unbiased film about the Clinton administration! Moore's films aren't history, they're propaganda. Just like the propaganda we watched a year ago with embedded journalists and anchormen rolling through the desert in caravans of tanks and unarmored hummers decrying the human rights violation of televising U.S. prisoners and casualties, while "liberal" ABC New's Ted Koppel aired smoldering roadside remains the very same night.

Whew... too many tacos and Abuelitia's tortillas have taxed my soapbox's structural integrity. Anyway, my fervent wish is that this film and others like it (on BOTH sides of the aisle) mobilize the electorate to not only exercise their rights and cast their ballot, but to voice their needs, concerns... even demands to their Representatives, Senators, Council Members, School Board Members, Mayors, Governors-- the people working FOR the People!

- Lito

"Darkness cannot drive out darkenss, only Light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only Love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
- Albert Einstein

"An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."
- Abraham Lincoln

Posted by Lito at 05:43 PM

February 01, 2004


Bill at Core Dump pointed me to the Presidential Match site. A quick survey attempts to match your views with one of the 8 candidates campaigning for your vote.

I'm sure my liberal ways drive my family back in Texas to tears, but that's the beauty of democracy! Looks like I match with:

1 Kucinich: 100%
2 Kerry: 95%
3 Sharpton: 92%
4 Dean: 88%
5 Clark: 87%
6 Edwards: 81%
7 Lieberman: 74%
8 Bush: 10%

Posted by Lito at 12:47 PM