Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Messianic Politicians, Past and Future

This is the last political post for awhile...just gotta get this one last out before I can concentrate on watching and talking about movies. My apologies to non political junkies

Have you rented The Times of Harvey Milk yet? It's beyond. I've told you before. Bone up on the history before the feature version of Harvey's life story, Milk, comes out. I'm so sad today that Focus Features did not release this movie before that despicable Proposition 8 met with California voters in the booth. I'm not the only one. It really needed to be part of the conversation. Maybe the movie wasn't ready yet but I blame studio obsession with holiday Oscar strategizing because that's an easy thing to blame it on. I'm frustrated so... pass the scapegoat!

Harvey Milk was an American icon and hero and it's heartening to see him being ressurrected in popular culture by way of the film. I'm crossing my fingers that the new film is a worthy companion piece to the documentary.

Yesterday Americans elected another inspiring leader who broke barriers and made the kind of "I can't believe this is happening" history that puts tears in the eyes of open hearted people of all stripes. I am very hopeful that his moment will last much longer than Milk's and won't end as tragically. I don't think it will. For today, all across the country --even in the "red" states -- people are feeling good that we've embraced a political figure worth following in a passionate way. ["Red" Tangent: Aren't we glad to have a man going to Washington who followed Howard Dean's lead (he never gets enough credit) for rejecting the whole notion of "red" & "blue" and realizing you have to win hearts and preside over citizens in all 50 states, United States as it were.]

The forward-projecting mass jubilation over Barack Obama suggests to us two things.
  1. Obama set the bar very high for himself --people will be expecting miracles. And...
  2. They might actually get them if they, as voters and citizens, continue to choose hope over fear and show a willingness to part with old ways that don't work. But as California voters sadly reminded us yesterday, even in a moment when many voters were feeling hope, generosity and inclusiveness while letting go of past divisions -- they couldn't quite let go of other fears and prejudices. That's truly depressing but let's all HOPE anyway. It's audacious!
Nations often end up reflecting the character of their leader and even if Obama isn't yet pro gay marriage he inarguably has an inclusive spirit as a leader. Obama even mentioned gay people twice in his acceptance speech which is, I believe --though correct me if I'm wrong, unprecendented for a President Elect. Reflecting their new president's inclusive spirit should serve Americans very well as they move forward into this new millenium. After all, diversity of opinion, religion, sexual orientation, color and basic worldview aren't going anywhere. We're going to need a bigger tent.

And now we really are returning to the movies! Promise -->

Next: Velvet Goldmine's 10th anniversary for our 'Musical of the Month' club (delayed until nov. 11th), a conversation with Sally Hawkins from Happy-Go-Lucky, some thoughts on Slumdog Millionaire, a Rachel Getting Married interview (it goes wide this Friday). Plus: Gone With the Wind vs. The English Patient as 'Best Pictures from the Outside In' resumes.


Anonymous said...

At least you guys get to VOTE on something like prop 8, here in Australia, our government changed it so that same-sex people can't marry without even consulting us. Pack of self-important turds.

Anonymous said...

marry without consult - I don't really understand

Anonymous said...

Actually, I sort of prefer it that way. Up in Canada, I bet if gay marriage had been left up to us, it wouldn't have happened, simply because a large percentage of the people simply don't care. Now that we have it, those people still don't care, with the added knowledge that the world still turns and thankfully, the debate is over.


yeah i don't really think citizens should be allowed to vote on the civil rights of other citizens. Should just be a given that majorities are not allowed to vote to discriminate against minorities. Isn't the government supposed to actually protect citizens from each other?

Anonymous said...

I guess that is fine, as long as they actually end up PROTECTING the rights of citizens. Which was NOT the case here.

Anonymous said...

The part of me that wants to be an optimist says maybe it wasn't explained enough.

I mean, I'm not a Californian, and when I read about Prop 8 I just knew it was something about gay marriage. It was just when I read "say no to Prop 8" and the like that I found it weird, so I checked and then learnt what it was about. So maybe some voters thought that saying "yes" to the prop 8 was automatically related to saying "yes" to gay marriage.



there was a lot of confusion yes. but the basic problem (i think) is that americans have really lost sight of the separation of church and state. We've been losing sight of that for a long while now (and Bush's presidency definitely pushed the issue)

but the truth is anyone has the right to believe anything they want to believe --which is BEAUTIFUL. But if they truly believe in the concept of America they will understand that they're beliefs are NOT law and shouldn't be. Because everyone else, under the concept of freedom has the same rights.

your rights end where mine begin and so on.

i hope the new direction the country takes will re-teach these core american values of 'live and let live', liberty and justice FOR ALL.

but what we can ever do abotu the mass conversion of Basic Christianity to Hate Mongering Inc... i have no clue.

Jesus would be vomiting constantly. Not just weeping

Anonymous said...

By total coincidence I watched this this morning and then came on your blog. Just finished it 10 minutes ago, weird how that works sometimes. Fantastic documentary which everyone should see. Now my #4 of 1984.

Anonymous said...

well, i don't mean to be disrespectful, but USA is in my opinion, the country of the double standards. how is that it is the land of freedom and oportunities and some people can not enjoy the same civil rights as others? how on earth, an state like california votes for such retrograde prop? (well, although, a.s. is the governor, that should have been a hint for the outcome)... i hope in the near future the situation changes... after all, is that what you vote for? right?

Anonymous said...

Actually Gabriel, Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended a no to proposition 8.


this can allbe blamed on the mormons and other evangelicals actually. they spread lies (some they desperately want to believe -- i do think some of the lies are just things they just don't realize aren't at all true. some planned) and confusion and trotted out the ol' protect our children.

in essence they murdered Harvey Milk all over again only instead of blaming twinkies they're just blaming the bible.

I've heard that there are people printing names of everyone who donated to "yes" (most Americans don't know that when you donate to political causes it's public record) and there's already a call for boycotting Mormon owned businesses and THANK GOD someone is finally pushing an investigation into the church's finances.

church's are tax exempt but if you're primary a political machine you can theoretically lose tax exemption and there is evidence that the mormon church has been working on and planning for this political cause for over a decade --this is a pipe dream of course. They're never going to take away church's tax exemptions but one wishes that someday they could for all the non-churchy things these insitutions put their grubby hatemongering fingers into these days

Anonymous said...

Not completely unrelated, but a few days ago someone noticed there was a banner on "yes to prop 8" on this site.

Today, I've found on a Spanish online paper some news reporting that some sites such as "TechCrunch or "Create Digital Music" have reported that Google put those banners in sites that reported the problem and tried to delete them because they felt they could be offensive for their readers.

So, maybe that explains why that banner a few days ago. I tried to "google" this information to have a link in English, but I guess I should have used "yahoo" instead ;).

I'll leave the link in Spanish where I found it, though, for Spanish-speaking readers.



I am getting in touch with google ads about it. there must be algorithms that change it based on YOU the reader and not me. because i never saw that sign and I kept checking as the complaint came in.

but obviously i can't have google ads on the site if it's going to be promoting legalizing discrimination.

Anonymous said...

I really have no clue about how it works, sometimes I see Spanish ads on obvious non-Spanish sites, so you're probably right. I didn't see it either.

Just wanted to post it as a possible explanation for the other day.


Anonymous said...

I don't intend to go on with this issue forever, but as a consequence of the results on Prop 8, now the head of Catholic Church in Spain says he wished there had been one similar here before passing the laws on same-sex marriage.

It's just f****^unbelievable. They just don't have enough receiving public financing. It's f**** insulting.

That, the news on Pushing Daisies and talking to my mother (really, at what stage of pregnancy do mothers develop the ability to get on your nerves and embarrass you in public?) are just too much for me today.

I think I need one of those pies with anti-depressives.

Sorry for the rant. I've been so chatty lately, you can ban me any time you want. ;)


gabrieloak said...

Well, I feel fortunate to live in a state that does allow gay marriage (CT) and we voted down the possibility of a constitutional convention to try to get rid of it.Unfortunately I don't have anyone to marry at the moment.

And yes, I think Obama is the first president-elect to mention gay people in his acceptance speech.