Sunday, February 01, 2015

The week goes to Michelle Obama

[Image from an official White House photo taken by Amanda Lucidon -- commentary below from this entry C.I. did at The Common Ills.]

Let's move over to First Lady Michelle Obama.

Friday, she made some remarks on American Sniper.

I thought they were wise remarks (a) with regards to the film and (b) with regards to connecting with veterans.

I thought (and continue to hope) this may mean the next two years won't be about Michelle as wife-of or national scold.

The country doesn't need to be told how to eat by anyone.

We all have to eat and anyone telling us how is going to look like a scold.

Nancy Reagan said "Just Say No" and endured jokes as a result.  But at the end of the day, she was referring to drugs and telling children to say "no" so most could support that message.

What we eat is very personal.

Equally true, it also has to do with how much money we make, with where we live and our access to fresh produce.

Anyone positioning themselves as the voice of what America must eat is going to be seen as a scold.

I have no idea why they chose to make that Michelle's issue.

It was sheer stupidity.

And, no, it wasn't her issue.

It was the issue certain 'experts' were sure would win her approval.

Instead, she's still attacked for it and most aren't defending her because it's such a stupid issue.  You are never going to win people over with issues that touch on what you should eat.

Michelle, at one point, had a speech where she noted the benefits of drinking water and a campaign that asked you to drink a glass more of water a day or even eat one more fresh fruit or vegetable a week would have had more luck succeeding.

Instead, to some she came off bossy, to some she came off out of touch, etc.

She is far from perfect (true of me, true of most people on this earth) but she has had a very rough road to walk because some of her biggest 'helpers' are such idiots.  (Valerie Jarrett, to her credit, did warn that the food campaign could hurt Michelle's likability -- but when men are in the room, they just know everything, don't they?).

With the earlier event this week (Saudi Arabia) and with Friday's remarks, it gives me hope that she's going to pursue issues she really cares about.

(Food was pushed off on her because it was 'a woman's issue' and the male advisors felt Michelle came off "too strong" and this would soften her.  Never try to soften a strong woman, celebrate her.  Celebrate her strength and you'll see a lot of Americans joining you in that.)

An actress friend who is tight with Michelle phoned to insist that I was ignoring Michelle and all she'd done this week.

Do I do the "Michelle Obama snapshot" five times a week?


More to the point, where am I right now?

I'm at an industry party advocating for a friend whose nominated for a supporting Academy Award and for a Best Picture that is not American Sniper.

I have friends who produced and directed an amazing film, a film I'm honestly in love with.  Their film is what I am campaigning for.

Now were I the Weinsteins, this would mean I would attack every other film, spread negative lies about the other nominees, etc.

I haven't done that to American Sniper.  And I've written that I truly believe Bradley Cooper's performance is worthy of the Academy Award.

I have twice defended the film here in lengthy pieces.

Ava and I did two pieces at Third defending the film.

Again, I won't be voting for it and I'm not campaigning for it.

It is not my job to promote it.

While being more than fair to American Sniper, I have not once used this site or Third to promote the film -- its name has never appeared here or at Third.

If people are unhappy with what's up here, please start your own website.

I mean that not just in a "Leave me alone!" manner but also because you should have your own.  We need more opinions, we need diversity.  We do not need conformity.

Equally true, our rebel stance of 2004 and 2005 is probably old hat now and fresh blood is more than sorely needed.

In terms of Michelle, let me close this entry out on her.

They tried to put her in a box early in the primary campaign.

By the 2008 DNC convention, she was lost and over managed.

You saw someone scared to express themselves.

(Some will argue it was because of the 'for the first time . . .' remark.  More was made of that remark in the Barack campaign than by the press.  She was offered feedback that I said then and say now was actually bullying -- I'm referring to feedback from Barack's advisors.)

The advisors and press then tried to turn a grown woman into a fashion model.

That was beyond stupid.

Then came the scold.

And in the last years the best term for her would be "adrift."

This week, my opinion, belongs to Michelle Obama.

She got a chance to demonstrate why she does have loyal fans and why she's inspired people.

I'm not talking about as First Lady.

Michelle had many admirers before 2007.

She had those because she has skill, she has strength and she's very smart.

This week, she had a chance to show that side of herself and, except for some carping from Ronan Farrow's idiotic MSNBC show, America was impressed -- as we all should be.

Hopefully, the next two years for Michelle will be about that.  Being herself, showing her comfort in who she is and what she believes.

And rejecting any efforts to silence her own voice which is a pretty amazing voice when she actually gets to use it. 
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