I've been feeling really under the weather this weekend and thought that I was well enough to work Monday, but the immediate rejection of lunch put that notion to rest. So it's back to bed for me.
But lying around watching the constant sordid flow of political and financial news would likely make things worse, so instead, I grabbed a handful of used DVD's I bought last Christmas that I never got around to viewing, and hit the hay.
It turns out that one of these disks is a critically acclaimed film nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2003, with quotes on the DVD cover such as:
"…a terrific movie, energetic and articulate. It's the don't miss documentary of the season. -- Christian Science Monitor.
"A great story! Terrifically smart!" - The New York Times.
"Essential viewing" --The Boston Globe
"Exhilarating. Couldn't be better timed." -- The Washington Post
"Powerful and searching!" -- Entertainment Weekly
So what is this fine feature?
"The Weather Underground -- The Explosive Story of America's Most Notorious Revolutionaries."
Yep. Those guys. And right on the cover is a photo of Bill Ayers, who has gotten quite a bit of attention lately for his two decades of association with Barack Obama.
So just what kind of folks has the Democratic candidate for President been buddy-buddy with? Well, you can judge for yourself. The entire film is on Google Video for free, but after viewing it, I've decided not to link to it. There's a lot of bad language, nudity, and incredibly graphic images from the Vietnam War and, strangely enough, the Manson murders. Those who are interested in viewing it should be able to find the film easily enough.
In my opinion, it appears that the entire film is geared to allow these aging "revolutionaries" the chance to justify their monstrous actions. There's a ton of talk about revolution, "the pigs" and white privilege all through the film. Only one of the terrorists interviewed regrets what they did, and one member said she would do it all over again, except more efficiently.
The causes they were blowing stuff up over varied from the Vietnam War, the plight of concrete workers in Puerto Rico and even planting bombs in support of the mindless thugs who kidnapped Patty Hearst. When the group finally broke up, some went even deeper into criminality and ended up in prison. The rest of them are now either educators or activists in progressive causes, or both. FBI abuses of the Nixon era insured that many of them would see no punishment.
But, as far as I could tell, all but one seem to look back fondly to those days of dropping acid, free sex and wiring dynamite to kitchen timers. They are proud that no one was ever killed in their bombing campaign, as if that makes it all A-OK. The end of the film raised my eyebrows a bit because I kept hearing talk from these domestic terrorists, now college professors and activists, about their hope for "change." Ayers' political beliefs certainly haven't changed as you can judge from who he shares his thoughts with. And he is not shy about expressing his opinion today:
Capitalism played its role historically and is exhausted as a force for progress: built on exploitation, theft, conquest, war, and racism, capitalism and imperialism must be defeated and a world revolution--a revolution against war and racism and materialism, a revolution based on human solidarity and love, cooperation and the common good--must win.
I'm questioning why the Washington Post would say that a film about a bunch of bomb throwing radicals "couldn't be better timed."
Or why Amy Goodman of Democracy Now would say that "young people, especially, should see it, as it addresses issues and questions at the heart of the current social and political climate."
There's also the question why this critically acclaimed film has suddenly dropped off the public's radar.
And I'm really wondering how in the world a certain Senator managed to rise as far as he has with friends like this in his background for so many years and it never got much notice in the media until a month before Nov. 4.
If you are planning to run for the highest office in the land, it's probably a real good idea that you don't associate with people who were once on the FBI's Most Wanted List for nationwide bombing campaigns.