for my freshman writing seminar last year, i took a collaborative writing class that looked at a lot of democratic documents and the things they promise in the united states.... especially when society has evolved into what it is today. we looked at what this "american dream" looks like for the urban poor, for the marginalized, for the minorities.

last night, i watched the pursuit of happyness. and i thought about the same things.

for those of you who haven't heard of it, it's inspired by the life story of an african american man (played by will smith) chris gardner who's at a dead end sales job and is trying to support his son in the 1980's. but it's just that... a movie. when the lights turn back on at the end of those 114 minutes, we're still sitting in the middle of a mega-million dollar theatre in suburbia chicago, getting back in our SUV's to drive back to our safe neighborhoods.

i've never had to worry if i had somewhere to sleep at night. or food to eat the next day. or less than $21 in my total savings account.


are movies like this really a call to justice? or is it just a feel good movie that people can walk away from with some sort of false security that the system really works for the marginalized. for every success story we see, there are hundreds more that don't get out of the rut -- that end up working during the day and staying in shelters at night.

there's this one scene where one of the shelters that the main character and his son stay at is at a church. and he's hugging his son and worshipping while the choir is singing and swaying to the music and... i don't know. i wonder what he's thinking.. i wonder what anyone in that position would be thinking. "God, why'd this have to happen? God, why did my only son and i have to sleep on the floor of a men's bathroom in a subway station last night? God... where are you now?"


or maybe i'm just thinking too much and should shut up and start working on my air force documentation.

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