Note: This is not some puritanical attempt at judging videos "unfit" for proper viewing. Rather, its a playful attempt at articulating a progressive code of values and bringing to light where they are reflected in popular culture.
I consider myself progressive (kind of a class-conscious, left-wing communitarianism) and of course I expect to see my values expressed in politicians. Every so often, with a Paul Wellstone or a Gerald Nadler, I get my wish. Most of the time, however, the left cedes all discussion of values to the right, allowing them to claim the moral high ground and leaving my values undefended.
Well, I say enough of that. It's about time for the left to more forcefully articulate the values within our politics. In recent years, there have been some interesting efforts towards doing so. However, many on the left have a hard time describing their values and often associate expressing values with being judgmental.
So, in response, and as an exercise defining (my own) progressive values, and as an attempt to show that values plus pop culture don't equal censorship, I have initiated the development of Progressive Movie Renting: A Values-Based Video Guide.
Movies are one of my favorite storytellers. But the first words in film are previews and, in video stores, the blurb on the back of the box. Rarely do values, of any variety, sneak through the promotional packaging to advertise what I want to know.
All right, so it's a comedy, or a drama, or a musical. But does the movie promote respect for gays and lesbians? Are the interdependent nature of communities appreciated? Is there an awareness of economic inequality and a concern for social justice? Without an exceptionally knowledgeable employee, the moment I walk into the video store, I'm on my own.
My hope is that by the participation of people like yourself, this guide can become a place for both the articulation and discussion of progressive values & a resource for progressive movie renters. Please read through the site and use what you find helpful; if you have any ideas for your own movie reviews, please consider submitting them for inclusion in the site. The valuable resources here will only grow with your help. YOU WILL NEED A FRAME CAPABLE BROWSER TO USE THIS SITE
If this is a problem for you, please email me and let me know.