Register Monday | August 19 | 2019

We Are the World

"There's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives..."

 “Fahrenheit 9/11” is number one at the box office! More people actually wanted to go see a documentary than “Dodgeball.” This may even renew my faith somewhat in the “American people” and the possibility that George Bush could be out of a job come November. I’ve never loved a movie I haven’t actually seen more than this one! They say most of the audience will be made up of people that already can’t stand W., but I’m praying that some of those “swing voters” will see it and actually realize that the president is not only a terrible leader but worse: an arrogant fool with too much power and the most corrupt administration in decades.

I was tempted to see it this weekend but there was too much to do, work-wise, and I didn’t think I could bear the madness of sold-out shows, long lines, and no parking. It used to be that in L.A. it was easy to see movies, but now that theaters sell tickets online in advance and parking garages don’t give out much free parking, going to a movie can be a lot of work. Instead, I like to go during the week, when less people are around, parking is easier, and you don’t have to line up hours in advance. Okay, maybe I sound like an old man, but I think you understand. I’ll see it this week instead.

Instead I watched the DVD of “Osama” at home, a film about a young girl in Afghanistan living under the rule of the Taliban who must pretend to be a boy in order to work and make enough money for her widowed mother and grandmother. It’s a brutal and sad film, made even more powerful by the images of women walking through the streets in burkas. Not only does Afghanistan look like Tattoine (the dry, dusty planet of “Star Wars),” but you can’t help but realize the vast divide between the Western world and the Middle East. It truly looks like Father Time just skipped over that region. It’s a sad state of affairs considering this is the 21st century. (Unfortunately, one could say that about much of the world right now).

Americans are often accused of being out of touch with the rest of the world and that is unfortunately true, for the most part. I’m not sure the cause is the American-centric school system or the comfort that we are bordered on the east and west by oceans. The other day I was shooting a promotional video for an upcoming Indian arts festival, and we decided, for fun, to ask people on the Venice boardwalk if they knew where South Asia is. And guess what? Nobody knew. Not one person got it right. My favorite answer: “I think it’s south of regular Asia.”

Remember that song “We Are The World?” Was that twenty years ago? It occurred to me that maybe that song was not meant to be about world unity. Instead, it was a declaration to everybody else: We are the world. Not you. Us. Judging from the past three years, America is definitely sending out that message.

"There's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives..."