“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

“Red State”, the movie

Posted by direwolff on October 14, 2006

Had a chance to see the movie “Red State” last night, and in some ways I came to some similar frustrations as director Michael Shea, the interviewer and main protagonist in the documentary. While I would have liked to have seen more interviews and in some cases would have wanted the ones they had to last longer and delve into broader conflicting issues (especially in light of recent scandals), but all-in-all I felt that this documentary put across an honest perspective. Because Michael is a Blue Stater, the movie was obviously coming from a decidedly more liberal point of view, but Michael stayed honest to his feelings, compassions, and frustrations, which helped the viewer appreciate the challenges of reconciling a Red State view of the world with a Blue State one.

While this wasn’t Michael’s conclusion, what struck me with many of the interviewees, was their lack of knowledge of the so-called facts they were espousing especially as these related to quoting the Bible or the Constitution. It wasn’t just that the Bible could be made to justify any points they made, it was more that in many cases one was hard pressed to believe that they had ever really read or understood the Bible, much less the Bill of Rights, to even begin making a somewhat educated comparison or drawing their conclusions from these texts. Where Michael’s conclusion lands him, seeing these people as wanting their interpretation of the Bible and to be how all Americans live, which I totally agree with as well, I’d go further to say that they also live in a state of ignorance to the beliefs they espouse. It’s more like they’re told in church what to believe and that seems good enough for them. There was a very funny part in the film during a radio show interview with Michael Shea in which a caller was raising his opposition to the rights of gay people to get married. Michael mentioned that like the rights of people of color and those of women, that were all pioneered by the Blue States, so it would be for this issue of gay rights. The caller then responded that in fact it was Republicans who were the first to vote for equal rights of colored people, to which Michael had to remind the caller that it’s because at that time the south was all Democrats…doh! “Ignorance is bliss” takes on a whole new meaning because it feels like they add to it with, “…and it’s our way of life”.

It was also very interesting how their economic interests did not bear much weight on their assessment of government. It would have been interesting top find out their feelings on all of the scandals in the Republican party, be it Rep. Mark Foley or Rep. Bob Ney, good ol’ Jack Abramoff, specifically in the context of these being violations of God’s laws.
There was another interviewee talking about the abortion issue, who told the story of how his son once said to him, “Daddy, we’re birthing our way to the future and they’re aborting theirs”, when interpreting the Blue State view. You’d think that with such a perspective, they would decide to let the Blue State folks or whoever wanted an abortion do what they want since this would help insure that the lineage of the heathen would come to an end soon. But no, instead they persist on wanting to impose their moral beliefs on the world (not just the Blue States mind you).

Anyway, if you get a chance to see this movie, it’s well worth it, as it does open one’s eyes to the insanity of what our country is having to deal with.

***** UPDATE 10/14/06 (later in the day): A friend just sent me a link to a very appropriate Lyceum Lecture given by Dr. Robin Meyers. It’s a *must* read along the lines of this post since it provides a good framework to better contextualize what’s going on around us.

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