Last night as I lay tossing and turning in my bed, disturbed by what I had witnessed at the RNC, I was flipping through channels and saw the title for this documentary on PBS…Better This World.
An uplifting documentary on people trying to make the world better?! Just exactly what I needed as I lay wiping my tears thinking about how truly awful our country could be for the 99% (and women, and minorities, and the LGBTQI community, and the elderly on Medicare and everyone BUT the 1% like Crazy Clint and his cohorts) under another Republican regime.
But I didn’t exactly get the touchy, feely warm and fuzzy inspirational documentary I was hoping for based on the title.
What I got instead was a riveting tale of two young Texas men whose hearts, I believe, were in the right place even if their methods were questionable.
DISCLAIMER RIGHT UP FRONT: I AM BY NO MEANS ADVOCATING VIOLENCE TO SOLVE ANY DISAGREEMENT EVER…POLITICAL OR OTHERWISE but I DO advocate civil discourse ALWAYS and even a little bit of civil disobedience when necessary.
Without giving too much away about how it came to be that David McKay and Bradley Crowder found themselves the target of the government’s ire (mainly because I think the film unfolds the story beautifully and in just the right way so that the viewer can draw their own conclusions without bias) I will say only that…
There are only two motivating forces in the world, love and fear.
Anger and outrage are born of fear.
Fear makes a person react in a manner not consistent with their character.
Fear forces an “us against them” mentality.
Fear triggers the fight or flight response in our brain when our backs are up against the wall.
My opinion (although I certainly understand that there are going to be those who disagree after watching the film) is that I truly believe that is what happened for these two young men and I don’t believe they were the true threat they were made out to be by the FBI and Homeland Security officials.
I can’t encourage you enough to watch this film. Regardless of your political affiliations, it WILL open your eyes to how the Federal penalty system works (hint: it’s super fucked up) and how changes in the way the FBI handles informants in a post 9/11 America is vastly different from the way it did prior to 9/11 and therefore it opens the trial and conviction process up to a myriad of the “if/and/but” questions that were not previously an issue. You will walk away from this documentary conflicted, I guarantee it.
P.S. Whatever you do, you MUST, MUST, MUST watch until all the credits have rolled. Trust me on that.
I end this with some quotes that popped into my head as I viewed Better This World that took on new meaning for me…
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you’ll get action.” ― Malcolm X
“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.” ― Honoré de Balzac
“The world was fucked up. It was hard to say how exactly, but we could feel it. There was injustice, lots of it, we saw it as a dull shape coming into focus.” ― Michelle Tea