Saw the movie yesterday. It wasn't outstanding dramatically, though some of the performances were quite good. (I can't believe that Richard Dreyfuss pulled off Dick Cheney, but he did!) It was not suspenseful or gripping, nor poignant or sentimental. Most of the events and a lot of the dialogue were familiar. Oliver Stone didn't take very much creative license, so it almost seemed like a documentary at times. But here's the surprising thing - when it was over, I cried.


It took me a few moments to come to an understanding of my emotional reaction to a pretty unemotional film. What moved me to tears was the release of the kind of cry that comes out when a trauma is finally over. It reminded me of when my mother died of cancer so many years ago. She'd been sick and deteriorating for almost two years, and so, when she finally died, all of the pain I'd held in throughout her illness could finally come out. That's how I felt yesterday.

I don't think I could have seen this movie prior to this weekend. Now that it looks fairly certain that Obama will be our next president, I can exhale all of the sadness and disgust caused by what I've witnessed on the national scene for the last 8 years, and honestly, for the last 28 years! Beginning with Ronald Reagan, and including Bill Clinton, my Democratic friends, we have descended into the lower levels of our consciousness with each successive president until finally hitting bottom with W.

As I watched the ensemble cast portraying Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Rove, wantonly dismantling our constitution, I couldn't help but think of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin working to create it. I wasn't depressed, mind you. As is well known in my profession, and in 12-step programs, hitting bottom is often a necessary stage before advancing to a newer, higher level of consciousness or healthier living.

In fact, not only was I not depressed, I was grateful. I was glad that we had Bush & Co. for 8 years, because America had fallen asleep while our house was burning down and many people's lives were being wrecked. Some of us during these years were in a drunken stupor, high on greed and paranoid jingoism, and some of us were enablers, making excuses for the sociopathic behavior of our abusive parents. But I've seen the enemy and it was us.

So, thank you George W. Bush. Thank you Oliver Stone. Thank you for holding up a mirror that was painful but necessary to look into. I feel pretty optimistic on this Sunday morning, 9 days out from an historic Election Day. The truth always sets us free, doesn't it?

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