DVD: Oliver Stone Goes South of the Border to Teach Us About Our Neighbors
Here’s a new word for you, with the emphasis on new: politibacy. Just as celibacy is the abstention from sexual intercourse, politibacy is the abstention from screwing with politics (and--ideally--being screwed by the political system.)
Unlike anarchy (the absence of government) and apoliticism (no interest or aversion to politics or political affairs), politibacy accepts that politics frames our lives, and whether we participate or not, our fates are often at the whim of politics. Politibates (those who practice politibacy), do not participate and wish to be left out of divisive debates and discussions of issues. There is only one expert on politibacy (me) because it is a philosophy I’ve developed (formulated from anarchic and apolitical principles); to be sure of this, I did what all good researchers do, I Googled “politibacy” and “politibates” and got no results.
Being politibate, I choose not to be informed what I should think by politically-controlled sources. Therefore, I know very little about Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, other than that they are the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia. They are also, particularly Chavez, the focus of South of the Border: A Film by Oliver Stone. Also featured are Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina) and her husband, ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raul Castro (Cuba).
South of the Border is an engaging portrait of political change in South America. It is interesting because--if we don’t do thorough research on our own--we are relatively ignorant of what goes on south of the border between North and South America. For example, I knew that Chavez obliquely called George W. Bush “Satan.” While Oliver Stone’s documentary is a positive reflection of the Bolivarian revolution in South America and the men and women who lead it, it also balances the negative input we receive from United States media outlets.
Are Chavez and Morales evil dictators who exploit the poor in their countries or are they revolutionary thinkers who work tirelessly for the equality and independence of their compatriots? Should we believe Fox News or Oliver Stone? Um...well, neither. If we want to understand the changing political climate in South America, we need to do balanced research (which is easier to propose than do).