Who is the best working director in America today?
If you ask the usual Hollywood suspects, they’ll give you a top-ten list featuring the usual Hollywood schlockmeisters. Sure, some are good at what they do. A few have occasionally produced breakthrough works of cinematic art. But even the “best filmmakers in Hollywood” tend to keep their heads firmly ensconced in Hollywood – that “plastic asshole of the universe” in the immoral words of William Faulkner.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up