You are a guest
Bush is our neighbor
Im looking around and I see Alaska Gyrl. Shes upset. Shes been
trying to get Cindy Sheehan to sign a tapestry some little girls in Alaska painted.
But she cant get any closer to Cindy than I can for an interview. Sheehan
has a bodyguard.
is telling me about the man she met here ten day ago. Hes a Vietnam vet
and she befriended him. It is he who has become Cindy Sheehans bodyguard.
And now he wont let her get a signature from Cindy Sheehan.
am I going to go home and tell those little girls I came all the way down here
and Cindy wouldnt sign the tapestry?
irony is making me sick.
he,Cindys new bodyguard, wont even speak to me anymore. She
starts to cry. I thought he was my friend.
hes a sycophant, I suggest. Ive seen them before, did
you hear about Hunter S. Thompsons funeral?
I like that word. He IS a sycophant! Now shes laughing.
cant stand it. So I go over to the PR woman who has been denying me the
one on one interview with Sheehan I need for the documentary film I am working
you know this woman came all the way down here from Alaska? Some little girls
created this tapestry and if she goes home with it unsigned that wont be
woman looks surprised. "Well we can definitely get it signed," she said.
is still crying.
press handler makes an exception and gets it signed immediately. She even takes
Alaska Girl backstage. I figure I can even get the interview too
I am having sound issues with my video camera. I guess I wont be getting
this artificial inaccessibility is the sort of thing that ruins peoples
movements. What happens is that some people become more important than others?
The next thing that happens is internal discord. Soon people are fighting amongst
themselves and the unity that created the movement to begin with evaporates.
friend of mine was part of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement during the 1960s
and she said the women were always cleaning and cooking for the men. The women
became tired of this. She still refuses to cook.
the United Farm Worker movement the stories about people who volunteered and later
felt unappreciated or even taken advantage of are an untold part of things. As
a matter of fact, as an independent documentary photographer photographing the
late period of the movement during the early 1990s I had some trouble with some
people demanding I turn over my photos to the movement. They said if I didnt
theyd ban me from photographing the movement. What a bunch of shit. They
said this to some other photographers too. One of them left and didnt come
back. I was able to cooperate because I was working on a class project (had I
been working for a media outlet any cooperation would be highly unethical)
but it felt like blackmail. And I found, and still find, this troubling considering
Unions are supposed to protect workers. Besides, it is not the journalists
job to join forces with anyone. A journalists job is to tell the truth.
And this also applies to the journalists who cover Bush and the war in Iraq.
got my issues with Unions anyway. My dad was a construction worker when I was
growing up and for a while he was Union. One winter there was no work, our money
was running out so he took a side job working on a house for an elderly couple.
Somehow the union found out and fined him over 700 dollars. Waiting in line because
he was lowest in seniority was not going to help us. We didnt have money
for food, there was a house payment to pay etc. So to those who dont understand
trailer park Republicans maybe this will help
many, but not all, Unions
became so corrupt they eventually became an enemy of the people they were supposed
to protect. The unions like to blame Reagan and I understand that but I think
theyre their own worst enemy at times because they are often corrupt.
then there was Jesus
let us not forget about him. It was one of his own
disciples who double-crossed him. So maybe this is as good as things can go with
this Sheehan vigil
anyway, she has been crucified for this cause. Her life
will never be the same. Shes a martyr of sorts.
the morning I am to leave, Dennis Banks shows up. He says the Berkeley Speech
Movement was one of the catalysts in the formation of the American Indian Movement.
He is one of the leaders of the AIM He was there at Wounded Knee. The government
wanted to change the treaty with the Indians. When the government was finished
the FBI and the Indians had a shootout. Leonard Peltier was put in prison. They
said he killed the FBI agent.
now were in Iraq, our good people are dying daily while some Iraqi bluebloods
living in the Green Zone are writing a constitution for the people of Iraq. They
probably dont have a clue.
the elections were free but we know part of the country couldnt even vote.
The place is in anarchy. Word is that a new port is being built for shipping into
and out of the country. So what is the real plan for Iraq? But are we not occupiers?
Were bringing them freedom? so they say. Somebody wrote a letter to the
editor in the town where I live
the United States has a good constitution
and we could give that to the Iraqis
after all were not using it anymore.
Perhaps there is some merit to that.
its time to get the hell out of here and I am walking up the road to my
rental car. Ive got to catch a flight so I can go back to my day job
this kind of journalism doesnt pay the bills. And Ive got a job at
a corporate newspaper. Soon, Bush will be making congratulatory statements while
people die in New Orleans. Ive got to get back to that hyper reality. Its
Id still like to get that five minutes with Cindy Sheehan
come down from Indiana to speak with her. Id like to know her thoughts on
free speech and how she feels about the way shes been represented in the
media as a crazy middle-aged woman. Some say shes dishonoring her son.
leaving I meet a French journalist
she cant get an interview either
and we begin to speak about the media. She says a lot of journalists covering
Bush are afraid if they write anything negative or that doesnt match the
White House agenda they may lose their jobs.
Ive certainly seen how the media has come here and reported one thing but
this is another. I mean, there is really no objectivity in journalism because
I can stand next to another journalist and have an entirely different interpretation
of an event. But in the American medias defense the French journalist says
the media isnt lying, the truth has been reported. But there is something
wrong here in America
something is very wrong
and I love this country.