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3 Replies to “At The Movies With Gandhi!”
Thanks for the close read, Andy — it’s always fun reading you too, arcane fish references notwithstanding.
Not surprisingly, I disagree with your disagreement of me. The few passages I cite are not just a few passages — there is nothing more core to Gandhi’s work, and to MLK’s, than Satyagraha. Consequently both men would find the current tenor of our national debate to be a distraction from the real work to be done — work that requires both sides if it’s really going to get us somewhere fundamentally new. I bet you agree with me on this point. And, while I’m at it, I agree with you that both men would appreciate the film’s use of symbols. This is something the “reform” camp gets in ways the “status quo” camp never has, and it was powerful to see so many films being screened at the recent Charter Schools Conference in Chicago. That was precisely why I wrote the post — as the ascending power in the field, the “reformers” are the ones who are in the best position to craft a set of symbols that resist the “I/It” framing of the opposition. That doesn’t mean there’s no tension, and it doesn’t mean the untenable ideas of the old guard get a free pass. It does mean, to me at least, that the new set of symbols should resist painting unionists as the bogeymen of the land (just as old guarders should resist painting Wendy Kopp as the Antichrist). The underdogs, after all, are not the blatherheads in either of these rapidly polarizing camps — they’re the families in the film, and they need ALL of us.
I think the ed “reformers”, professing ther “habit of siding with the underdog,” would get lots more mileage out of donning the cloak of Gandhi and MLK if they weren’t raking in so much cash.
I think the ed “unions”, professing ther “habit of siding with the underdog,” would get lots more mileage out of donning the cloak of Gandhi and MLK if they weren’t raking in so much cash.