Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Unexpectedly Patriotic Weekend

This weekend I went over to my friends' flat and watched the first two installments of the HBO series "John Adams" about America's founding father and second president. My friend Nhan said, "it can't help but make you feel more patriotic." So true.

John Adams had an eye for talent. He considered himself obnoxious and widely unpopular in his own time. Yet it's impossible to not like a guy who valued his wife's advice so much. On my life list of 'things to do' is to read the letters John and Abigail Adams wrote to each other while he was away at the Continental Congress. In addition to selecting a great partner, Adams also suggested George Washington to be the first General of the Continental Army and Thomas Jefferson to author the Declaration of Independence. Humanity's general consensus: good calls.

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk

The next day I went out to see "Milk," the new movie about San Francisco activist Harvey Milk, starring Sean Penn. Sean Penn was totally believable as a gay man. Penn won the Oscar later that night for "Best Actor." He deserved it.

It was fascinating to see how America's founding fathers constantly inspire new generations of people to demand their rights. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician elected in America. Today in America, being openly gay still takes a lot of courage (American teenagers who are dealing with their sexual orientation have a higher than normal suicide attempt rate) but it's a lot easier because of people like Harvey Milk. This movie, like the "John Adams" mini-series, made me so damn proud of my country. Here was another wonderful example of Americans leading the cry for us to live as if "all men are created equal." MILK is a movie that sends hope all over the globe to people who need it. That's what the America I know and love is supposed to do. Spread hope.


Kathy said...

I am so anxious to see Milk. Thanks for the review!

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
Those are the kinds of things we like to hear about our country...and hope that it can hold it's own through this crisis--and come out the other side much stronger!

That book you mentioned--letters between John and Abigail Adams--is wonderful! Talk about inspiring! I wish I had it here, I'd loan it to you!

Have a great day!
Sher :0)

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