If You Could Be Someone Else, Who Would it Be?

Andrea Kihlstedt with pictures of Michael Moore and Revered Billy

If you could be someone you’re not, who would you choose?

I just saw the trailer of Michael Moore’s new movie Where to Invade Next.

And then, the next day, I saw the remarkable Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping performing at Joe’s Pub.

And inspired by this two-fer, I thought that if I could become someone else, I’d want to have the courage to be like those remarkable people.

With humor and spirit and serious intent, they call attention to the evils and the wonders of the world.  They use their art forms (theatre and film) to get people to think about their values and the condition of the world.

They find the courage to take a stand and tinge it with humor. And they stick with their convictions over a lifetime. They are willing to get arrested and be the subject of right wing ire.

Don’t Know Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping?

You should.

Imagine, in this season of over-the-top shopping, a church service by a self-proclaimed phony televangelist that calls for an end to commercialism?

The choir sings and dances and Reverend Billy, sermonizes passionately about the evils of commercialism and how we must stand up against the big political and commercial forces that are ruining the world. In any given performance, you might hear him preach about first amendment rights or the chemicals produced by Monsanto and liberally sprayed on our city parks, or the evils of commercialism or a host of other important topics.

Rev Billy and his choir light up the space. They get everyone moving and responding and thinking seriously about the world we are a part of and how our choices every day collectively shape our futures.

They are funny and vibrant and serious and sad.  Here’s a video they made with ideas about gift giving in the holiday season.

And Michael Moore?

Once again in this new movie, he points his amazing wit and his camera at the hypocrisy in our society.  With his tell-tale baseball cap and burly physique and brazen determination, he insists that you look at the absurdity of what is around us. But he doesn’t only point to what’s bad, he gives models of what’s good and working elsewhere in the world.

You can’t help but smile even as the absurdities in this country that he highlights make you squirm.

If I Could Be Someone Else…

Yes, if I could be someone else, I’d have more courage to speak out, more of a taste for outrage and anger, more of a commitment to doing everything I could to make a positive difference in the world. I’d combine humor with serious intent and art with politics.

I’d stand up and speak out!

Who would you be and what characteristics would you want?

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Who Would You be if You Could be Someone Else?

Just because you are who you are doesn’t mean that you can’t imagine yourself a different way. What would you imagine for yourself if you could suddenly, magically be someone else? And why? What are the characteristics of that person or those people that draw you to them?

Share your thoughts about who would be below, or come on over to Facebook and leave your comment there.

  • Ha! I’m sure you’ll get some flack. Lots of folks hate Michael Moore with an unbridled passion. Me, I love him. And you as well, dear Andrea. Wishing you and Tyko a wonderful holiday.

    PS: The last time I wanted to be someone else it was Marie Curie and I was 12. But I guess in today’s world, I would want to be Elizabeth Warren.

  • Dawn R. Wolfe

    A somewhat related song that I’ve loved since it came out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FQO1fj1MJU