Tuesday, May 17

Learning Non-Violence

I watch TV with the remote in one hand. I have the attention span of a very small child when I'm watching TV. The second that I'm even a little bit bored...zap.

Therefore, when I'm watching I find myself viewing a wide variety of programs. I'll be watching a food competition, network comedy, How Its Made or something like it, an old episode of Friends, Mythbusters and Pawn Stars/American Pickers/Storage Wars.

Occassionally I'll find myself in rather odd juxtapositions - Antiques Roadshow and Hoarders (the only difference is the quality of the crap people collect), Vegas Sucker Bets on Travel Channel vs. Cash Cab, you get the idea.

Last night was a remarkable combination. I was watching Dancing with the Stars - because it is the semi-finals and by now each season...I've usually gotten sucked in. And it was a great show - but when the commercials came on...I wandered off. Eventually I wandered to PBS. As usual - I was looking to see if Antiques Roadshow was on. I love to see the people's reactions when that strange lamp that their aunt gave them 50 years ago is rare and worth a freakin' fortune.

Instead I found the most incredible documentary: Freedom Riders. I had heard some inklings that it was coming up. I think there were some interviews on public radio a couple weeks ago. I had thought then "I want to see that". But (as often happens) I had since forgotten about it. I thought the interviews on the radio seemed interesting. But I was unprepared for the quality of program itself.

I am certain that we heard about the Freedom Rides in history class in school. Well - now that I say that...I'm not all that sure. After all, I was educated in a county school system in Virginia. It is entirely possible that the curriculum was regressive enough to gloss over that part of Southern history. The only time I remember hearing the phrase "freedom ride" was in the movie Dirty Dancing. So - what I learned during the radio show was very enlightening. What I learned from the documentary itself defies description.

There are very few DVDs that I feel like I want to own. But I've already ordered a copy of this documentary. And while I was looking for a link to give to my readers - I actually found that you can view the program in its entirety here.

It is worth the two hours.

I'm not sure you could say that I enjoyed it. But I'm richer for the experience.

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