Sunday, October 17, 2004

"Fahrenheit 9/11"

My wife and I just finished watching “Fahrenheit 9/11” for the first time. My initial reaction is that is a powerful, poignant and often sickening movie. It is not as deeply emotionally moving and personally disturbing as “Bowling for Columbine,” but more historically evocative and more likely to elicit visceral reactions of anger, hatred and, hopefully, action. As a documentary, it is not great filmmaking, but as an “experience,” it’s up there and worth of its Cannes Film Festival Award.

The film made me think of Vietnam, the wretched power of media to distort facts and what we think about when we elect leaders. It makes me think of a nation suffering short-term memory loss and a nation that believes that Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather are trusted friends when they actually are actors, or as the British call them, presenters.

I have two major thoughts immediately, perhaps more later. One thought is that we as a nation must look at the facts and those who are running for president and look into our hearts to make the right choice. We must make a choice we can live with, and, more appropriately make the choice that takes us down a more just and moral path. This coming election is the most important one since World War II.

Second and this related to my work, we must take every chance we have to seek out news and information that is not filtered and edited by media organizations that have financial and political motivation. The Internet will change the way we “get news” forever. We must embrace the means to collect a variety of unbiased facts and opinions and share those with others. We must embrace the tools that allow us to build and disseminate networks of truth. The technology is here to facilitate this new paradigm. We are lucky to be living in a time when we can be in charge of our informational intake.