The Revolution

I have always maintained that there is more to learn from a bad movie than a good one. Same with literature, television and porn. Teachers. Cab drivers. Cops. Judges. Employers. Sex partners. Parents. Doctors. Concepts. Farts. Jokes. People who make pizza. Other people in general. Pretty much everyone and everything in life. If it’s awesome, well, it’s awesome. There’s really nothing more to think about. And the only thing you’ll ever remember in the end is that it was awesome. When something sucks, on the other hand, you’ll always remember it. You’ll always think about it and learn from it. Unless you’re a jackass or something.

There’s a scene in the movie UNDER SIEGE, shortly after Tommy Lee Jones hijacks a nuclear armed battleship, which has always stuck in my mind. The military is trying to negotiate with him and he starts babbling about injustice and topsoil. One of the negotiators, suspecting he is just a fucking hippie grown old, tells him that if his actions are about reliving the 1960’s he can forget it and goes on to say that “The movement is dead”. Without missing a beat Tommy Lee Jones agrees. The movement is dead. Hence the name. Movement. It moves a certain distance and then it stops.

Unlike a revolution which gets its name from always coming back around. In your face.

Today, those of us in America celebrate a revolution. Not a movement. A revolution. And while we’re not fighting the British anymore (shit, we’re practically kissing cousins at this point) it doesn’t mean that what happened 237 years ago was the end of the revolution. We’ve traded redcoats and mentally ill royalty for shitty jobs, debt and corporate rule. We’re probably as placid and lethargic now as those colonists were almost two-and-a-half-centuries ago. Until they got pissed. And I mean really pissed. Then there was blood and mayhem and revolution. And until we get that pissed again, well, I guess we’ll get everything we deserve. Maybe one day we’ll put down the beer and the burgers and the fireworks and actually keep the revolution going.

Meanwhile, the revolution continues elsewhere in the world. In places like Egypt, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, Sudan and Texas. People are fighting with their hearts and getting killed for it. Or jailed. Or tortured. Or made fun of by Rick Perry. And while it’s easy to look down on them because it’s not America I can’t help but think that, while America truly has something to celebrate on July 4th, maybe we still haven’t gotten it right. Maybe this isn’t a good movie yet.

Maybe we should stop celebrating the movement and keep the revolution going.


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