If I were to add one word to the beginning of this week’s
Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt,
it would be “free”.
the latest from documentary film maker Michael Moore is a clever spin on a previous doc he’d made in the early 2000’s – from 9/11 to 11/9. Not even #45 could have planned it better.
Moore highlights the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the mass school shootings in Parkland, Florida.
Scenes of protests all over his country, from marching for women’s rights to those of teachers.
A West Virginia politician goes as far to say that America has never been “GREAT”.
As far as democracy is concerned, those countries who shout the loudest about possessing it, rarely really do, rarely ever did. Women couldn’t always vote. African-Americans couldn’t always vote.
It is a hard look at not just one side of the political isle or the other. I came out of it thinking less of Barack Obama than I used to, with his stunt of asking for a glass of water to drink, in front of so many wounded and sick and traumatized citizens of Flint.
Was that a stunt? Did it happen like that? Did the media not showcase it? Or did I just choose not to hear about it at the time?
I can hear about any stupid thing a politician does and make up my own mind. I don’t ever want to be ruled by any one man or woman, anyone governing over me. My freedom is worth fighting for, but not by all the violent wars this world’s ever fought.
I know any group of people can lose their freedom, just like that. If it can happen to one, it can happen to another, it can happen to me and those I love.
A prosecutor of Nazi war criminals is interviewed and he speaks of the peril we’re all under, when children are separated from their parents, anywhere. Anyone who has seen what he’s seen, who has asked a Nazi how they could take part in the murder of 90,000 human beings, just to be told that they were told by their leader that those human beings were a threat – and I choose to listen to this spokesperson for history and what it has to teach us.
Nobody wanted an entire film of just #45 and I am at the top of that list. I couldn’t stand to hear his ugly sneering voice for two hours. No way!
I do remember where I was that night (November 9, 2016) and how it felt. I was making a podcast and I wasn’t one of the many Moore shows clips of, laughing off the prospect of a DT presidency. I don’t like to say “I told you all so,” but I think it when I hear the silly, derisive laughter, all those who laughed it off as a big joke. The joke becomes our reality before we know it.
The man is a symptom of the bigger disease, a rotten symptom like gangrene, I grant you, but a symptom all the same.
Money. Power. Greed. All ugly.
Since this film was made, more current events have taken place in the US, with nomination for the highest court in their land. This is setting off women, the #MeToo movement, like nothing else in a while. Women are sick of the status quo, just as survivors and the rest of us after a mass shooting are sick of “thoughts and prayers”. I haven’t even suffered from serious sexual assault or abuse in my life and I am furious about the misogyny that exists everywhere we look.
I am in Canada and we have our own set of problems, but I know how close Michigan is to where I live. The poisoning of a community’s water supply happened there, is still going on, and I think what class or race can mean, in terms of whether you are heard or taken care of or ridden off entirely.
I know Michael Moore puts a spin on his subject matter when he makes one of his classic documentaries. I go into it with an open mind. I have to admit though, it’s scenes like the one where he tries to make a citizen’s arrest of the Michigan governor, asks a representative of said governor to take a drink of a glass of Flint water, and going as far as hosing down the governor’s mansion with poisoned Flint water that are the things I love about the outrageous filmmaker. He has the freedom to take such actions, to make such films, and he keeps right on exercising that freedom.
I have the freedom to write these words, now, but will I always?
As long as voices like MM exist; yet, (not putting all our hopes on one filmmaker/man/woman/politician is probably best) and it’s when we all act that we hold onto the freedoms we hold so dear.
You may think I’m being dramatic, but as long as freedom is still my own, I can draw the comparisons between Hitler and Trump, from the 1930’s to now because history is a tool with which to evaluate where we are in the present moment.
I ask myself, time and time again, how a society of intelligence and culture like that of Germany at the time could have let it happen. It’s not such a mystery and yet I can’t wrap my mind around the answer.
I am choosing, with my own free will, to learn these lessons, before it is too late. It is already (too late) for so so many, those who lost their own freedom long ago. I still hold some of mine and I am grateful for that. I am awake, wide awake and I am grateful for any piece of media which shines a light on the problems that exist.
He ends his film with the sound of a pained and passionate female voice, one I’d heard at the time and winced at the fury I heard bubbling just below the surface of her words. Watch out world.
So forget thoughts and prayers. We women are at the front of the line when it comes to defending our freedom and no longer hiding our fury.