We didn't get back until 2 am. We drove right back into the torrential downpour that we left. Fortunately we were on bridges, so the flash floods were happening beneath us. Yikes! They canceled the Q & A session - Moore stayed at the convention in Boston, to not take the light away from them. And my crotch was sniffed by a bomb sniffing dog! And it was deemed acceptable.
Here's my report on the the event, if anyone is interested:
We piled into the family car with snacks and drinks, books and movies to keep everyone occupied for the drive, and for the kids to have entertainment during the film presentation. As we left, a huge rainstorm rolled over the city and at one point we had to pull over. At only 5 PM it was black in the sky, and we couldn't see the hood of the car. A break in the cloud cover came and we drove out from under the storm. Once we were out of the city, the sky was clear. My husband thought that might keep a lot of people from coming.
Finally we got to Waco, home of Baylor University, the largest Baptist school in the US. They were loading buses with students and citizens. Crawford is about 25 miles outside of Waco, and it has a population of 720. When the president is there, that number rises exponentially. He was there, but not at our show. It's a town of one Subway, a Dairy Queen, and a gas station. The main road into town is a two lane road, and we were driving at a crawl. The sides were lined with people carrying signs denouncing Moore, his movie, his weight. We saw a lot of fat jokes. The one I saw most was "Moore lies more than he eats." Such a well articulated debate, no?
I guess because we were a family, they thought we were there to support "family values" which translates into Pro-Bush. My son started saying (very loudly) "Why are these people saying that? Their opinion is wrong." We explained how in America we believe in the Freedom of Speech. That everyone is entitled to their opinion. We were there to support the First Amendment, that we were supporting the ability for any one in our country to be able to say what they wanted, even if we don't agree.
I had expected a lot of "alternative people" there. After all, Austin is a short drive away and is one of the most progressive and liberal cities in America. Maybe they didn't have the benefit of buses. Probably they got their early and were already situated in front of the projection screen. Most of the young people (college age) at the entrance when we arrived were dressed in Tommy Hilfiger, the girls had their platinum blonde hair freshly ironed, the guys had their tips frosted, and all were talking on their cell phones, "Oh my God this is so crazy! Can you hear all of that? Dude." "All of that" was the sound of the Baby Boomers who were driving up and down the main street in pickup trucks waving Bush/Cheney signs and cheering themselves for their love of a Bubba.
A little about these folks: women with plastic visors holding back their helmet hair, lots of makeup plastered on, red/white/blue striped T shirts tucked into white denim jeans, zippers straining at their soft, plump bellies. The men had Magnum PI facial hair, Bush/Cheney blue T shirts tucked into long denim shorts, zippers straining at their soft, plump bellies. We see where to park, load our arms with our portable chairs, diaper bag, and such, and start the walk down the dirt road to the large theater screen set up for the viewing. All along the way people in support of Bush are catcalling, yelling obscenities about Michael Moore, and the like. I hear one group of overweight grandmas with "Uncle Sam" hats talking to each other about how their bullhorns don't make more noise. They all had on huge Ws on their chests with red and white stripes, and blue stars. I hoped to find one lying around so I could wear it upside down. M for "Moron."
We get to the entrance, and have more protesters tell us to get ready to pay a lot to get in. We didn't have to pay anything. News crews are set up all along the entrance, and you can tell they are from all over the States and the world. We saw one Japanese news crew broadcasting by the entrance. The ACLU was set up to ensure everyone had a fair voice. The police, Secret Service, and K-9 bomb squads were set up all over the place. We passed one policeman who was directing the traffic, and I told him thank you for being there. He lit up and said "thank YOU for being here, young lady!" I wonder if he knew which side I was on?
People were already set up with their blankets and such, so we found a spot in the back and set up our chairs. A group of Bushies set up behind us and catcalled during the opening credits, and every time Moore was on screen. Every time Bush showed up on screen, they yelled out "Four more years!" As the movie went on, and more and more evidence came on screen, and there was more and more irrefutable truth (the 9/1 commission has proven the facts of this movie, for those keeping score) the Bush supporters got quiet. The calls for "Four more Years" dropped off considerably.
At the beginning of the movie, there is a black screen - all you hear is the panic of the New Yorkers as the attack happens. It is horrifying. Then they show people in distress, crying, begging for information of their lost family members. And these idiots are talking and laughing about how fat Michael Moore is. While a woman is crying and pleading for information on her missing husband. It should be obvious that human decency begs for silence but they are apparently lacking in even that ability.
My husband took the kids back to the car for the scenes we had been warned about with a beheading. It is not close up, and you have to be paying attention to see it, but still. On his way back he was stopped by the Japanese newscaster and asked about what he thought, and why was he leaving early. He said that the kids got the idea, and I was staying to finish the film. They didn't talk to the kids about their experience. They seemed impressed that my husband was a Republican, married to a Democrat, and found the movie informative and chilling. If you haven't seen it yet, if you haven't learned about Bush's ties to Unocal, the Saudis, Halliburton, Ken Lay, etc., this will be an eye opener. if you know all of this already, it's fun to see the Bush/Saudis shaking hands over and over at meeting upon meeting and hear "Shiny happy People" by REM play.
We left a little early to get out ahead of the crowds, and to get the kids back home before 1 AM. At that point, there were no fights, no need for tear gas or riot gear. Just some dumb hillbillies with money shooting their mouths off, but making themselves look like assholes while doing it. but that is a part of the First Amendment. You can say what you want, even if it is stupid. Or mean. Or insulting. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have: the facts of life. Sing it, Tootie. Glad we went, glad my kids saw (relatively) a relatively peaceful protest, and that we planted the seed.
I'm super tired, so off to drink mass quantities of Sumatra, medium roast. Bush sucks!