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Some Assembly Required

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There is a basic truth about American politics and the First Amendment. No matter how poorly thought out, no matter how devoid of logic, and no matter how badly interpreted your opinion is, you still have the right to shout it at anyone willing to listen. Oh, and those that don’t want to listen, too.

I learned about this video from an online forum I frequent often: Something Awful. The footage was filmed by a number of members of that forum as they visited protests from New York to California and Washington. Their website is at americanprotests.com.

One thing becomes painfully clear as you watch this video. People can be pretty inarticulate when voicing their opinions. It’s hard to make much sense of what people are feeling or thinking. Perhaps they are caught in the moment or uncomfortable in front of a camera, but the ability to explain their position without sounding like a rabid looney seems to escape them.

But perhaps that is the point of the film. It leaves one wondering if there were sane people in the crowds that just didn’t make it in front of the lens. Whether it’s a gay-hating loudmouth or an sign-toting anti-war drug addict, nearly everyone in this film comes out a loser.

Which brings us to one oddity in the film. Parents, hide your kids now, there’s nudity. And the nudists are the sanest of the bunch, a fact not lost on the creators of the film, who add commentary between segments. As they say, “The world needs more naked people.”

I do have to admit to being disappointed by the commentary. Mostly, it is nothing more than sitting around and cracking jokes about the protests. I was hoping for something a little more indepth. It was fun, none the less, though.

Bonus tracks on the DVD include complete interviews with a number of the people at the protests, most of which leave you shaking your head. There are some segments of violence which appear to have taken place at a protest of the WTO.

An engrossing film. I was shocked by the utter stupidity displayed by both sides of the issues. While not a technically excellent film (shaky camera shots and spotty editing in places) the content kept me glued to the screen.

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