February 8th, 2011

toasted

Democracy

With all of the stuff going on in Egypt, I have come to the conclusion that democracy is a very messy thing. I almost think that it is against human nature to be truly democratic. We in the US have had over 200 years of practice with it, and it's STILL an evolving process. Then again we have elections where barely 50% of the people even bother to vote. That's how I reached my conclusion that we really don't care all that much about democracy. We would rather just have some one in charge and as long as we have our McDonalds and American Idol, who cares about everything else.

The rest of the world is just trying to grasp the basic concept of "one man, one vote." But think about it! How long have most countries been free of monarchs or colonial powers? Most governments of the world are very young! Most of what the people have known have been kings, viceroys, or dictators. I think the very idea of the people having the power is foreign to most. Look what happens when rulers come to power through democratic means. They ban opposition parties, shut down the press, and censor the media. Why do they feel this is necessary?!? Both the right and the left are guilty of this. You take over an oppressive government only to instill your own oppressive government.

The US SHOULD be that shining example of how democracy works, but even we have our faults. Right now our voting districts are being realigned based on the new census. What will the Republicans (since they control most of the state governments) do? They will redraw the lines to insure that they have the edge in the next elections. Oh, don't get excited. The Democrats would be doing the same crap if they were in control. So much for democracy, eh? Let's do everything in our power to tilt the scales our way.

And look at the messages we are sending to the rest of the world. How long have we supported brutal right-wing governments just to preserve our economic interests. If the people want a communist government or one ruled by Islamic clerics, shouldn't the people be allowed to decide that for themselves? Isn't that what democracy is all about? I can see that we have to be careful with what's going on in Egypt because democracy is one thing while mob rule is another. If they want to elect the Muslim Brotherhood into power, however, then who are we to say that they are wrong. We only have ourselves to blame if that happens because we have been holding back the tide for decades by supporting an unpopular leader. Shouldn't we have been promoting fair elections years ago instead of waiting this long?

This is just my ranting that has built up over days after watching what has been going on in the world. We actually seem scared of democracy when it goes against our own beliefs here. How about we stop supporting people who are not liked or fighting against people WE don't like, and let the people decide their own destinies in their own countries. Let's make sure that there is choice and that the decisions are made fairly. Perhaps democracy is like the words of Jesus. They look really good on paper, but even after 2000 years we still haven't gotten it right.
barf

"Dogtooth"

I was going to write this review for tomorrow's LJ post, but decided to put it down in writing tonight before the effects wear off. Tonight's movie is the title in the subject line. It's a Greek film up for Best Foreign Language film this year. It's available on demand from Netflix. My review to Netflix was "This is what a David Lynch adaptation of 'The Village' would look like." I have seen many movies over the past 30+ years, and this film is right near the top of the "Most Fucked Up" category. The plot is almost too convoluted to describe. It's like a 90-minute version of the old Steve Martin joke where he thought it would be hysterical to talk wrong whenever you're around a baby. That way on his first day of school he would ask the teacher if he could mambo dogface to the banana patch. This film just drips pretentiousness as many reviewers resorted to that old standby retort to the naysayers "You just don't understand it!" On the plus side, there were some pretty good sex scenes bordering on hard core pornography. On the minus side there is a graphic depiction of a killing of a cat. Watch this movie either drunk, stoned, or both. Better yet, avoid it all together.