Monday, December 05, 2005

Good Night, and Good Luck

black and white and red all over...

In my opinion, Good Night, and Good Luck is one of the best films of the year. In stark black-and-white, director George Clooney has given us a response to the black-and-white world we increasingly find ourselves living in.

Today, fundementalist Muslims and Christians are painting our world in stark contrasts where people are either good or evil, and consequently saved or unsaved. This film also points at the political polar extremes that are involving themselves in American politics, historically in the 1950s with the McCarthy red scare and presently in the presidency of George W. Bush.

Political or spiritual, fundemental extremes are dangerous.

CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow (brilliantly played by David Strathairn) took a stand against the red scare tactics of Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy live and on the air, a very risky move in his day (and probably a risky move, in some respects, in our day as well).

This marked the first time a major television entity risked it all and spoke out against this witch hunt. No one wanted to touch this, for fear of their own careers and finances. But Murrow did, and in the end, McCarthy was forced to answer for his actions. Had he not spoken up, would another have risen up and speak out? Had he not spoken up, where would we be today?

But history often repeats itself, and Clooney has created this film to remind us of that.

Today we live in another black-and-white world. So what are we challenged to do? Speak up, and speak out. Christ lived in a black-and-white world (either you were submissive to the Romans or you lived as a zealot killing Romans). Christ didn't fit into either camp, and spoke up and spoke out against such fundementalism from both sides. So again we ask, what are we challenged to do in today's black-and-white world? Speak up, and speak out.

Murrow accepted whatever fate befell him (luckily for him, he saved his life, and his job). Good Night, and Good Luck encourages us to accept whatever fate befalls us, if we, too, choose to speak out against what we believe is wrong.

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