Sunday, February 11, 2007

Showmentum and biting the hand that news-feeds me

If words like "groundswell" and "revulsion" are about right to describe the massive rebuke voters delivered to the neocon dreams of empire last November, then what words will describe the cumulative tsunami of outrage that is now breaking on the diminishing beachhead the neocons stole via their ties to the Bush administration? This administration is so willfully out of tune with its own country that in its marbled halls and oak paneled offices the only talk is of war and more war while in the cubicles and around the dining room tables the talk is more like this message I just sent out to others who are showing the movie "The Ground Truth"?:
If you haven't yet, better log in to the host coordination page for your screening of the movie. You may be in for a pleasant surprise. My showing was already fully subscribed by the time I got around to checking. I was expecting emails to notify me because the sign-up that I was running under Focus Films' hosting coordination software was kicking out e-mails. None of the guests via Move ON used the email. I am going spend today moving the gym equipment out of my den to make room for all the other people I invited via emails outside of MoveOn's accounting.

[...blah blah blah...I sure know how to type better then I know when to stop...]

And best of all, of the 14 people who are registered [I set a limit of 10 but 4 are bringing guests], only two are names I recognize. NEW FACES! So read the hosting suggestions and rehearse your responses for parking, food, your spiel to kick off the discussions after the movie, make sure your DVD player is working etc because this is turning out to be every bit the recruiting event I would have wished for.

I had hoped I'd be able to blog a successful sequel to my optimistic post announcing this event, looks like I will.


PS Just a thought. Probably you are getting people already against the war..the little blurbs that I have seen used on the 30 invites to other showings in our area mostly use the "stop the escalation" phrase suggested by MoveOn or words to that effect. My own invitation was a lot more neutral sounding: "There are many perspectives on the war in Iraq, none more authentic than that of those who are fighting "for us" there..." You may be getting some people who are merely curious whats up or even prepared to say things in support of the war [hard to imagine at this point, I admit]. One "reason" I expect I could hear is actually pure emotion: a sympathy for the soldiers somehow divorced from the lies and rationales that put them in the hellish places they now occupy or a blurring of the distinction between supporting the very human individuals in uniform and supporting the very inhuman dreams of empire held by an elite that manipulate with lies or don't know truth when it gets in their way. I mention this because the people coming to my event are mostly neighbors and townies and I know what they have been reading in the newspaper: Front page and opinion page space in my town paper has seen several lengthy pieces by and about a very nice gentleman, military officer, doctor and, as it happens, a friend of our family who has served in Iraq and speaks of the good we are doing or trying to do in Iraq. Don't be caught off guard if what you expect to be a pep rally of unanimity winds up needing some conciliation and healing...our country is torn by this war and that tear may come through your door this Thursday evening.

And, because its all just a little too germane, juicy and ironic, I paste the top of an AP story that my TruthOut subscription brought to my attention. The irony? This is the same AP that can barely get its facts straight if it is reporting on the embarrassment of a blogger...they think they know which side their bread is burgled..but cut'em some slack 'cause they [not me, not you] paid to have a reporter in Washington round up these facts:
Dems Seek to Limit, and End, US Iraq Involvement
By David Espo
The Associated Press

Saturday 10 February 2007

Washington - Even before they cast symbolic votes against the Iraq war, newly empowered congressional Democrats are clamoring for a chance to limit and eventually end U.S. involvement in a conflict that has killed more than 3,000 troops.
"Will I vote for a nonbinding resolution? Yes, but it's insufficient," says first-term Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, author of one of more than a dozen competing proposals that would impose a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
"I think eventually without a question that we will have the House move to that position," the former three-star admiral added. "The country is already there."
Sestak spoke in an interview just off the House floor, which will serve as a nationally televised stage this week for a marathon debate over Bush's war policy.
A vote is expected by week's end on a nonbinding measure that expresses disapproval of the president's recent decision to dispatch an additional 21,500 military personnel to Iraq. The measure also affirms support for the troops.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Democratic leadership have firmed up support for the measure by repeatedly promising it will be followed by binding legislation. "Our goal is to end the war," one Democrat quoted Pelosi as saying at a recent private caucus.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has pursued the same course, hoping to enlist a bipartisan majority behind a measure that expresses disagreement with Bush's plans. Republicans have so far blocked consideration of the resolution.
Two Democrats have said they will oppose the resolution as too weak, even as a first step. But Reid's office has enlisted the backing of the anti-war organization for the strategy and defections have been few.

Note: The AP still hasn't got a clue about some things: is NOT an "anti-war organization". It is a people-enabling organization run largely by reflecting what it hears from its members, not by coming in with a predetermined agenda to sell. It is a for-the-people, by-the-netroots organization. It is a tiny operation if you only count its paid staff. It earns the trust of a man in Senator Reid's position because antiwar sentiment is where most of us are at just now and MoveOn is in touch with us. MoveOn was not predicated on any issue, it arose because finally, by effective internet use, the progressive voters who were shunned by the major parties and the MSM gained a voice. Does the AP think it is writing stories for the exclusive entertainment of some red state ranchers and hunting lodge proprietors? You'd think a market-driven news organization would know who was in the market.

People are actually thinking and deciding all the time. It is literally a constant process but not always a visible one. Showing a movie or calling a vote are just occasions for all that thought, some of it not too comforting, to come out in the open.
Its somewhat like the microscopic dust that helps a saturated atmosphere produce fog, then clouds and then rain. The potential was there all along but not readily seen.

Now, 'scuse me. I have some furniture to move.

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