Southside With You

When I saw the trailer for this movie, I knew I had to see it and I finally did and totally fell in love with it. Basically, it’s Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama’s first date. I don’t know how much of the film is rooted in actual events, and I don’t care. It was a beautifully composed romantic film that had something most romances are missing. Intelligence.

It’s 1989 in Chicago and a young Barack Obama is spending the summer working at a law firm in town and his advisor is one Michelle Robinson (one day to be the First Lady). He invites her to a community event and she accepts, but maintains it is NOT a date. At first it’s fascinating to see these characters as young starters now that we know where their paths will lead them, but after a while you forget about their destinies and you just see two people making a real and honest connection. Despite Michelle’s reservations, Barack manages to charm his way through her defenses, just as he begins to see the fragile soul that is held together behind her iron-strong armor. It’s easy to get lost in this glorious interpretation of their first date. It’s clear to see these are two strong people who come from very different backgrounds but manage to let down their guards enough to see each other for who they are, flaws and all. It’s the kind of date movie that could make you angry that people don’t date like this anymore. Their conversations were deep and complex and the emotions were raw and real. The story is as true and honest as you can imagine. Despite what your politics may be, the strong bond between Michelle and Barack is bound to win you over. This isn’t a political story. It’s a love story.

Audience: The audience was pretty good for this one. There was some woman in the row ahead of me who was wrestling with a particular noisy candy wrapper for a bit, but other than that, everyone was good as gold.

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Respect

I’ve been hearing a lot of noise about the recent ‘disrespect’ the President showed for our armed servicemen with his ‘latte-salute’.
It’s fascinating to me. Whatever Obama does is either an attack on something or other or complete affront to our precious American ideals; despite the fact other presidents have done similar acts with little to no notice. In this particular instance, George W. Bush saluted while holding a dog. You’ve all seen the picture and if you haven’t, check it out. I think his salute was way worse than Obama’s. Besides, give the man a break! He’s got the most stressful job in the world during one of the most stressful times in American history. He’s dealing with a Congress constantly fighting him here at home, a suffering economy, people screaming at him for progress on gun control, immigration, and a laundry list of other issues. So he steps off his transport and throws a fast salute to the servicemen. BIG DEAL! Besides, if you want to talk about proper respect, let’s look at how the Repubs and Fox News have been treating our President. From day one they’ve been hounding him for his birth certificate, there have been slurs and racial insults from the right wing media. Many of these continue even to this day. I’ve heard many times that if you don’t respect the man, at least respect the office. Yeah, it hasn’t been perfect, but can anyone name any president who did everything right and made everyone happy? Considering his wins, including stabilizing a nose-diving economy, redemption of the national GDP and reducing the unemployment rate, I’d say he’s done a pretty good job. If the Congress had tried to work WITH him instead of standing in his way every step of the way, one can only imagine the good that could have been done, but they were more obsessed with sabotaging his administration, and then when he used his executive power to sidestep Congress in order to get things done, they cry foul and accuse him of abusing his power. He was only using his powers because they refused to use theirs. It looks to me like the president was the only one up there who cared enough to work for his people while the overfed Senators and Congressmen, with their million dollar+ salaries, pursued their own agendas, and in some cases, those schemes brought this nation to the brink of disaster.
So you want to talk respect? Here’s a lesson: Give and get it. Simple as that. Don’t piss all over someone and then pitch a fit when the guy you’ve been dumping on falls short of your ideals of what respectable behavior entails. Try walking in that person’s shoes for a moment.