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I am a recovering idealist 13 August 2011

Posted by splait in entitlement, Integrity, Lack of Integrity, Uncategorized.
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I read the book and loved it.  MBH and I went to see the movie today, and I loved it, too.  However, both the book and the movie made me very, very mad and sad.

The Help is an amazing story, set during the height of the civil rights movement.  I was living in the D.C. suburbs of Virginia at the time.  I read about it all, but I truly didn’t understand what it meant.  I didn’t see the bigotry where I lived.  Northern Virginia might as well have been on another planet.

Why would white people treat others so badly just because they were a different color?  (This question is posed by a Jew who had been through much Sunday School at the time and was taught about prejudice – we’re talking the Pharaohs of Egypt and Nazi Germany here.)  I just didn’t get it.

Still don’t, really.

So the movie made me mad and sad.  While I’m glad that I didn’t live in the South at the time (MBH did, and she has told me stories), I wish I had been old enough to join the Freedom Riders.  Those folk had the right stuff.

Having said all that, if you (all three of you in the US) haven’t read the book, pick up a copy.  If you have read it, go see the movie.  The book comes to life.

Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, deserves an Academy Award nomination.  She plays the incredibly bigoted villain of the piece, Hilly.  Hilly rules Jackson, MS with a white, iron hand.  She’s about as despicable a person as you’ll ever meet.

Emma Stone plays Skeeter, the lead, almost exactly the way I pictured her while reading the book.  I hadn’t heard of Ms. Stone until about a week ago, when MBH and I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love.  That’s another movie I enjoyed.

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer ARE Aibilene and Minny.  It was also good seeing Cicely Tyson as Constantine, the woman who raised Skeeter.  All three are outstanding actresses who gave their all for this movie.

Go see it.  You men see it, too.

So, back to the title of this post.

Being an idealist is hard.  It has probably always been hard, throughout human history.  I live in a country that, at one time, was considered the best in the world.  I still think it’s the best place to live, but I watch the new “racial” prejudice, Right vs. Left, and neither gives a damn about Middle.  It plays out in a similar way*, and it’s sad.  Polarization is never good, and it is killing us.

I don’t get it.

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* – Before anyone raises Cain about this statement, I know the two are not the same, and I don’t mean to imply that they are.  However, I believe there are some strong similarities.  Want to discuss that?

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