Mid-May, someone told me about an underground viewing of Adam Curtis’s The Power of Nightmares at The Kitchen on Protrero. I couldn’t make it, but ended up with a flyer from that show. Ellison Horne’s em was on that flyer, along with alot of information about the BBC documentary and how to spread the word about the Neocon myths. It seemded like Horne worked as a one-man PR firm, so I instantly thought that CELLspace might be a larger, more public place to show the doc.
For those of you who don’t know, The Power of Nightmares is a three-part program that compares and contrasts the right-wing, fundamentalist philosophies of Sayed Kotb and Leo Strauss. It played the SF Film Festival early last month, and Curtis has won awards for this work. The San Francisco Bay Guardian covers the style and content of the doc pretty well. Al Jazzera comments on the doc, bringing up a few issues that Anglo media hasn’t mentioned.
With the hype from Curtis’s awards, and the fact that the doc sanely explains why the War on Terror is a complete fabrication (based upon Strauss’s belief that the people need a mythic enemy to fight to keep society wholesome), I decided to track down Horne and see where he was playing the DVD next. A quick em to him got a quick response, so I headed to the Meridian Gallery near Union Square and caught two of the three parts.
Horne, simply dressed and soft spoken, stood in front of the tiny gallery’s big screen and explained why he felt that the US public needed to see this UK doc. While Part Two played for the third hour (Horne felt that Parts One and Three work well together, so saved Part Two for last), I ended up speaking with him further. Horne, founder of Celebrating Solutions, got his DVD from Curtis himself, and both share the desire to pull the curtain back and reveal the fragile reality that the Neocons have created for the world. While appearing extremely busy in his many projects, Horne wanted to play the doc to larger audiences. He was working on a show at the Roxie, which opens June 10. I connected him with Patricia, the CELL caretaker who is programming the Sunday Movie Nights.
Horne’s desire to get this info out there inspired me, but I also hoped that The Power of Nightmares would get out of the leftist gutter and hit the conservative parts of the USA. Horne, who has film and TV connections (he helped run AcessSF), felt that he could get the show aired on other city PBS channels. I left him convinced that he indeed could get this doc on the air for that important meme tipping point (Right now, the UK memo showing that the whole war was fabricated may prove to be the meme that brings down this comedy).
As always, I put my conservative South Carolina family up to the test for whether they could sit through three hours of deep information, alternative history lessons, and bits of humor and irony thrown in. I took copious notes during for the two hours I watched, and realized that they would probably make it through an hour of this at the most. US Americans do not get into history unless it’s full of Ken Burns voice overs and antique photos. I sometimes found myself lost in a philosophy lecture, but Curtis kept coming back to the point that the War on Terror is a myth. Post-neocon philosopher Strauss’ influence on my parent’s world gave me chills. Not because of the danger of the myth getting worse, but because my family in SC have no idea that they’re believing the hype that the TV shits out to them. Would they believe this British journalist’s take on reality, or throw it out with all the other “liberal media” items that Rush always condemns? I’d love to find out.
For now, I’m a connector and mouth for Horne’s new alliance. I hope that this doc does get out of the liberal enclaves of the US and into the homes of folks who voted for Bush but don’t like the idea of still being in Iraq. I hope that the history and philosophies discussed in the doc also crack open that already weak shell that half of this country is surrounded by. So, to keep the buzz going about The Power of Nightmares, I suggest that you hit it up at the Roxie if you haven’t seen it already.
S.F. Indiefest presents ‘The Power of Nightmares,’ opening Fri/10, Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St., S.F. $4-$8. (415) 863-1087.