Stuart Peterson's blog

Michael Lux's The Progressive Revolution

Last night, progressives gathered at The Tank to discuss the topic of Michael Lux's new book, The Progressive Revolution. In addition to Mike Lux, MoveOn's Eli Pariser and Atlantic Philanthropy's Gara LaMarche spoke about what Lux calls the next "big change moment." Moderated by Laura Flanders, host of GRITtv, these progressive masterminds spoke to a packed room (people stood in the back and sat on steps). At the end of the discussion, the audience was invited onto the stage to mingle with Mike, buy books and drinks, and chat with fellow audience members.

Mike's literary agent, consultant, and chief of staff all came to the event. From the audience, I met several lively liberals who required little encouragement to share their thoughts. Discussion topics varied, including responses to the talk, debate over the stimulus package, the future of feminism and worker's rights, and hopes and fears for Obama's term. Dedicated discussions closed down The Tank and were transplanted a block away to Drinking Liberally's regular haunt, Rudy's.

Photos after the jump...

Laughing Liberally Lab February 4th

Here are some photos from last night's Laughing Liberally show at The Lab. I have never been to a comedy show before, and I was pleasantly surprised by the chuckles I shared with the rest of the audience. Seven great liberal comedians presented their final views of the Bush administration and their take on President Obama's (I still love typing that) first few weeks. Take a gander at the photos and come to our upcoming events if you do not already.

Harry Terjanian

Harry Terjanian

More Photos after the jump.

Five Cities We Want

If you were to do a quick scan of Drinking Liberally chapters from around this great nation of ours you would assume that the list would be prolific enough for us. But, after a little research earlier today(, I found that we are without Drinking Liberally chapters in five of the most populated fifty American cities. If you have left-leaning friends in these cities, please, get them to start a chapter. It is so easy and fun! Here is the list:

1. El Paso, Texas
2. Fresno, California
3. Mesa, Arizona
4. Tulsa, Oklahoma
5. Honolulu, Hawaii

Waltz with Bashir


Cartoon documentary? Does that even make sense? With a film like “Waltz with Bashir” it does. I went down the escalator into the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas with no knowledge of the film. I did not even know the film was a cartoon when I entered the popcorn-smelling foyer. But for those of you who are turned off by the idea of sitting in front of a screen watching drawings float around for ninety minutes like I was; please, give this movie a chance.

I do not claim to be an expert on the Middle East conflict, or cartoons for that matter. But the great thing about this film is that you do not need to be. It is not about factual data from the war; it is about human emotion and how people deal with grief. The film is also strikingly unbiased: there is no Zionist propaganda and it is not a war cry for Palestinians.

The film follows the director, Ari Folman, on his journey to remember his experience as an Israeli soldier during the 1982 Lebanon War. Folman knows that he was in Lebanon, but he cannot recall specific memories of the war. He has a recurring dream of seeing the destroyed buildings of Beirut from the Mediterranean Sea, but no one else can recall this memory. This scene is shown throughout the film as an homage of the failed memories of soldiers. To spark his memories he visits his fellow infantrymen, asking about their memories and find that many have the same sorts of loss of memory. Folman recorded audio interviews throughout his journeys and they are the real documentary substance of the film. But the medium of animation allows for half-memories and dreams to become a reality for the viewer. Folman uses animation because it is the only possible method to show poorly remembered dreams and realities. The animation allows Folman and his interviewees to view their memories objectively and to accept their past.

When the credits began I knew I had just seen something of great importance not only for the understanding of past horrific events, but also for the entire filmmaking community. But during my walk up the broken escalator, all I could say was “wow.”

Inaugural Ball


For those of you who were not there this past Sunday night at the Living Liberally Inaugural Ball you should really consider not missing more events by us! Imagine walking into a three-story club to find a group of 400 liberals listening to Jim Dean talk about the future of our country! Imagine the drink tickets being traded for cocktails! Think of the politicos and interesting liberals that could now be your friends. It was truly an incredible Inaugural Ball.

Along with Jim Dean's call to action, other local politicos got up to speak to the crowd. State Senator Daniel Squadron spoke about his hopes for a progressive future. City Council Member Bill deBlasio talked to the group about his campaign for Public Advocate and continued the talk of the future of progressive politics not just in New York City, but nationally.

Pictures after the jump...

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