I (legally! woot!) bittorrented the new Kerry documentary, Going Upriver, today, and just finished watching it. It’s great stuff. If you found Fahrenheit 9/11 preachy, rambling, and annoying, you owe it to yourself to see this movie.
It’s very much a real documentary, in the traditional sense. It covers Kerry’s time in Vietnam and with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War; there’s archival news footage, present-day interviews, and so on. Yes, it’s pro-Kerry, but it’s not a hagiographic biopic like they one they showed at the Democratic convention. It’s an attempt to really talk about what happened in Vietnam, and the role that Kerry and others played in the unresolved-to-this-day national conversation about it.
Not mentioned, but ever-present in my mind, was the inevitable comparison between the thoughtful, articulate John Kerry of 1972, and the George Bush of that era, who was accomplishing little more than hard partying and getting bailed out of various excesses by the grownups unfortunate enough to be responsible for him.
Really, there’s just no question anymore. We all saw it in the first presidential debate last week. I’m betting we’re going to see it again tomorrow night, and any other time we stand these two guys up next to each other in an unscripted context. One of them would make a decent president. The other one has no business being anywhere near the White House.
It’s just not even close.