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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RED & BLUE

Yesterday was my little girl's fourth birthday so Katey and I took her to Disneyland.  As I walked around the happiest place on earth, I watched people.  Mickey draws folks from all walks of life.  It really is a great place to observe a cross-section of these United States.  Then I saw the flag over downtown Disney flying at half-mast and was reminded of the tragedy in Tuscon.  I began watching people in a different light, wondering about their beliefs and values.  Were they conservatives?  Where do they land on Roe v. Wade?  Do they attend church?  Then I reflected on all the folks I've met (via social networks and in person) through Sons of Anarchy over the past few years.  They are average citizens with average struggles.  They are Christians.  They are Jews.  They are agnostic.  They are Republicans.  They are Democrats.  They are Independents.  They are apolitical.  They are all decent, hard-working people brought together by a simple television show.

I've had this idea brewing in my head for awhile and now seems like the right time to explore it.  It's a simple idea, exploiting a basic function of our civilization -- communication.  It's called Red and Blue.  The basic concept is this: We go to cities throughout the country, some in Republican states, some in Democratic states.  We sit down with a panel of Liberal citizens and Conservative citizens and we just talk.  A moderator conducts an open forum that allows civilized, respectful communication between men and women with different beliefs and similar struggles.  So it's not just about debating our differences, but also engaging in discussion about how we are all the same.  This is real talk, about real issues, not hyperbolic buzz points that the media and politicians say are the issues.

I believe that the biased media (both left and right) is creating this great divide in this country.  That the conflict between citizens is not as great as we are led to believe; it is clearly being exploited to expedite an agenda.  That exploitation fuels events like the ones in Tuscon this week.  I'm not saying it made him pull the trigger, but it helped connect the distorted dots in his mind.  I applaud Jon Stewart for his attempt to out those extremities with his Rally to Restore Sanity.  If we, the people, leave it up to the media and the politicos to determine how we are divided, that division will grow and it will continue to generate more drama, more hate, more pain and more death.

Yes, I'm a bombastic liberal Hollywood writer who makes a lot of money, but this is not about my agenda or any one's agenda.  I put this pitch out here because I have no desire to profit from this concept and I am looking for people of the same mind.  Producers, production company, talent and networks who would be willing to forgo their fees for the greater good.  Other than the cost of production and airtime, no one should profit from this experiment.  When money and power are extracted from the equation, esteem is the driving motivator.  This could be an extremely esteemable act.  I am looking for people who are willing to put principles before personalities and help us heal.

I'm not sure what happens now.  This post may die on the vine and I'll just put it in my ever-growing "ridiculous idea" folder.  But if industry people (producers, talent, union-sanctioned production companies, networks) are legitimately interesting in helping me make this a reality for no pay, no career-advancement, no glory, then they can contact my reps at ICM and we will begin the process.  If you are not someone in the parenthetical category above, you can simply reply to this blog post.

I'm not delusional.  I don't think a project like this can change the tide of ill-will, but I think anything that generates awareness is a start.

And yes, Small World is still the most terrifying ride ever created.

127 comments:

Ryan Cody said...

Small World is awesome. So is this idea, I agree with you that media is blowing up the average divide between normal people. Unbiased coverage is non-existent but sorely needed.

LinLori said...

I wish I was part of the parenthetical category above just to help out. Alas, I don't think a freelance copywriter is what you'd need to get this thing off the ground ;) Maybe in time, but not right now.

I hope this comes to fruition - it would be absolutely amazing to see people from both "sides" simply sit and have a decent, respectful conversation about the issues our country faces. All too often it's slanted or turns into screaming matches about who's the worst and who's going to hell first - and aren't we all, really?

Lj said...

I love this idea. I would do it in a heart beat, cause I like you have a very different view of the world we live in.

I wish you luck and hope it goes over and we can see what happens.

Chris Hansen said...

I think it's a terrific idea. I feel the same way about the way these conversations have gotten out of control in our country. I think you should partner up with someone who has the same vision and is a "fiery conservative" to be the yin to your yang (or vice versa - I'm not saying who's yin and who's yang here!).

I've been thinking of writing a fictional project along these same lines, but I never bothered because I felt people weren't ready to listen. Maybe they are now. I certainly hope so.

cjh (longtime reader, first-time commenter)

niimki said...

I have a degree in Sociology and working on a Masters in Social Work. I'm in if you get something going.

kalipornia said...

i love it. i am a conservative bordering on libertarian but most easily identified as republican.

people have a premeditated notion of what i will say do or feel and communication is tough when it starts from there.

when i sit down and have an honest, open talk with liberal friends amazing things happen. it can get passionate even, but not disrespectful. but we leave the meeting understanding each other a little better and knowing that we are more alike than we are different. basically we have different theories about how to get to the same place.

my recent conversion to judaism has taught me to encourage and welcome dissent. far different than i was raised. from healthy dissent (with active listening) come viable solutions to long existing problems.

i hope it catches on and wish i had more influence in order to make it so.

thanks friend.

Patti said...

"I'm not delusional. I don't think a project like this can change the tide of ill-will, but I think anything that generates awareness is a start."

I dont think its delusional to know that each and every change started with someone's idea. With someone who had the courage to embrace change; to walk through the fear of the unknown and attempt to make a difference.

One thing is always constant in this recovering addicts life; change! Thanks for the reminder; and thanks for attempting to make a difference. I wish more people would.

defiant_doug said...

I'm just your average citizen, with a very similar mindset as you Mr. Sutter.

I'm on board with this and have been told I am a good listener. So if you can use me, great, if not, ok as well, but I will continue to support any dialog that will help better the world.

Thank you for planting the seed.

Peace.

Doug

Merritt said...

I am not in the "industry" but would host something like that here in Northeast Massachusetts (probably at the local access tv station). One might think that being in Mass we only have liberal viewpoints, but that is not really the case. I am trying out a new discussion group series at my museum (I am a curator) that tries to address certain political issues while giving everyone in our city the chance to come and voice their opinion. I, for one, think this a great idea!

Kat Scratch said...

i hope this doesn't end up in a ridiculous folder. rock on, Mr. Sutter. and happy b-day to your daughter.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea! I'd attend a gathering.

Thanks for bringing this idea to light.

Best of Luck!

Serena

Lindsay said...

I'm not sure what else to say but thank you for sharing this wonderful and inspired idea with all of us. I'm sure there are many, many people out there who long for a true discussion rather than a shouting match but are afraid that they are alone in that desire. So thank you for putting yourself out there and hopefully beginning a new line of dialogue.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I'm a bombastic liberal Hollywood writer who makes a lot of money"

Wow that's a surprise! I dare you to go & talk to Glenn Beck. He was shattered by the shooting. Just try listening to one of his broadcasts.

Guess what? Everyone was grandstanding on this awful tragedy. Nobody had any info. Glenn Beck did, how is that possible? The shooter was:
1. a atheist
2. fave books, Communist manifesto, and Mein Kampf
3. A Obama supporter.
4. Obsessed with the congresswoman pre 2007 (pre Sarah Palin).
5. Not a Tea Party member.
6. Was kicked out of college... professor said he was a danger to society, and he needed mental evaluation before he returned.
7. Displayed schizophrenic-like mannerisms.
8. Wrote essays titled "Mayhem-fest" and the like.

I live in red state, and yes am a tattooed artist-conservative. I don't bother talking to liberals, as I've found so many flip out and base much of their beliefs on what they've been told. Not what they learn on their own.

Cionnaith MacRitchie said...

Kurt, your honesty in labeling yourself as a rich liberal hollywood type is the only reason that you would be willing to do this. That kind of honesty is a foundational cornerstone of conservative thinking. NOTE: I did not say conservative politicians. All politicians have as their primary and perhaps only purpose getting re-elected or getting appointed to some well paying think tank after "serving" as an elected official. The majority of Hollywood types absolutely hate anything that has to do with morality or religion and particularly anything that has to do with Jesus Christ and Christianity as Biblically practiced. I know most conservative Christians would pass judgement on SOA as something that promotes violence and pornography and drug use among other things. I tend to prefer to point out that the "brotherhood" that is displayed in the purest form is a reflection of Christian philio brotherhood. Leftist liberals will do all they can to silence anything from the right, that same right which incidently protects the lefts right to speak so....What you are suggesting would be nice if people were honest...they're not...the working class proletariat has little time for such exercises in self indulgent kumbyah nonsense and the rich have better things to do....like find a way to screw me.

Jack said...

It used to be you disagreed with someones political beliefs you could debate on the merits of each others arguments. Today, it seems, if you disagree, you are anti american and un patriotic. This eliminates any real debate about the problems we face today. Politics has always been about compromise. Two different groups getting together and working towards a common goal. If you are unable to see someone elses point of view, then you have no place in public office.

niimki said...

Sorry about posting twice, but for those that may have information that would be valuable to such a project, interest in helping or ideas to toss at you SOME kind of direct access would be really valuable. Set up an email point, etc. Hard to send a lot of information or contacts, etc. through the blog system. It is a great idea Kurt. Go for it.

Peggy said...

Great idea, I think even more so if the people doing the talking have no knowledge or indication of each other's political beliefs prior to meeting. If the politics are taken out of the situation, I do believe the majority all have the same concerns for the most part.

Dave Hestand said...

Kurt, I think this is definitely a worthwhile effort. I'm a 68 year old retired cop of 40 years and have seen it all....and it hasn't been a pretty picture. Someone has to do something like you are suggesting. No one ever talks to the "people" but there are plenty of folks out there...media, politicians, etc....that certainly speak for the "people". Good luck.
Dave Hestand

Katie said...

I really hope this doesn't fall into the ridiculous idea folder.

Kelsey French said...

Definitly sounds like a good idea. the media has way too much leeway when it comes to giving us what they think matter against what truly matters.

i hate that ride..lol

Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful idea. Its time to start to mend and heal alot of wounds in this country and your idea would be a great way to start that process and bring understanding of other individuals ideas, thoughts and beliefs that one does not agree or understand with and give a new prospective for the hreater good of all. I am personally tired of it all and would like to see something change and change dramatically. I hope someone listens to your idea and does something for the greater good of mankind instead of blowing it off since there will be no money to be made. However, Karma is worth so much more than any amount of money. I hope your idea is picked up on. Good luck and thank you for the wonderful idea.

Victor Baez-An said...

If you come through Missouri, I'd be happy to participate. I'm at Fort Leonard Wood, you could tie it in with a troop visit and meet some folks who love the show at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Kurt,
I think this is as brilliant an idea as your creativity on SOA. I am a law enforcement officer in a Chicago suburb, and I am dying to hear the cross section of America say how they really think and feel.
In my profession I am finding it harder and harder to do my job, due to the pressures and restraints put on by media and public view of what is necessary to accomplish my goals. I love this country and want to do my part to hold on to what makes it great. But I, along with many of my brothers and sisters in blue, are losing the fight, and paying the price for it with our lives. Please let me add that I know not every officer who dons a badge and gun is a good and just person. But the majority of us are.

Red and Blue is a great idea!!!! I think people need to be heard from their own hearts and mouths, not the media's perspective. By removing the filters, and getting real we may yet save this country from the spiral its falling down.

Michael

Dean "D-Day" said...

I agree that the media fuels a lot of the great divide in this country. It throws fuel on the fire and creates sensationalized news stories to boost the all-important ratings.

And yes, "It's A Small World" is the most creepy ride in the world. They shouldn't allow people to drop acid before they design rides. My face was locked into a state of horror by the time I got out and I saw those little robots for about a week in my dreams.

Lara said...

I think you have a great idea..and I support it whole heartedly..I just wish others saw it that way..Most people cannot sit down and discuss these matters with an open mind and heart..they are too caught up in their own beliefs to REALLY listen to what others have to say..they are always waiting for a break in conversation so they can say their piece..this is our biggest problem..

Heather Oughton said...

The map you are using is old and innacurate. There are several states on this your map that are red now. Here is a list of states misrepresented on your map:
Florida
Wisconsin
Ohio
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania
Indiana
Iowa
North Carolina

This website will give you up-to-date info on who controls what in the house, senate and governors this way. http://www.politico.com/2010/maps/#/Senate/2010

Mike P. said...

I am with you on this 100%! Where do I sign up?!
My personal views lean to the conservative side, but I like to choose my direction in life with an open mind and not follow the herd of my party of choice.
I also believe that the two-party system has outlived its purpose and now is the time for the voting public to break the corporate stranglehold on politics and return it to the true grass-roots level it needs to be.
I don't believe you have to be a pedigreed life-long politician to go to Washington (or your state capital)- you just need to have common-sense and an open-mind to listen to those you represent, and respond to their needs- not your own.
My diatribe could go on for days, but this is just the foundation of where we need to go to fix this country.

Andi said...

Sounds like a great plan. If only it could come together.

Paultera said...

I think whether or not the tragedy in Tuscon was propelled by it or not, the partisan war in this country needs to halt or else the worst will be yet to come.

Your idea is excellent, Kurt. I was even thinking you should get Jon Stewart on board before you mentioned his name. I'm not in the business at all really but I fully support this and if you get it going and you film anywhere near northern Nevada I'd be proud to help in whatever way to help keep it non-profit.

Heather Oughton said...

I think that this is a wonderful idea you have. I would love to be involved in something like this. Any discussion I have ever had with the opposite party has always resulted in name calling and cursing, instead of intelligent data and fact revision. If the American public (WE THE PEOPLE) would actually take a look at the reality of what is going on in our government maybe we (as a group) can make better decisions. Bravo Kurt -

Sally Berger said...

Radical idea...now is the time to seize the momentum. I live in Virginia and it is definitely a red state again...it was blue for a couple of years but went back to red in the last election cycle.

Dave said...

I think your concept has merit. In fact in some ways it sounds similar to the efforts of the NO-Labels group that has been characterized as being the "middle" between left and right. In watching a lot of their initial conference they talked much more about changing the tone of the debate away from the bloated headline grabbing, typical talk show type rhetoric, and moving it toward a more civil debate on issues. In other words some tolerance of other's ideas without personalizing everything.
I think it can be done, you should persue it.

bridget said...

Its an excellent concept, I would love to see it happen. How about a stop in upstate new yrk, say an hour north of Albany:)? It is frustrating to me as well to try and have a conversation about politics. I have one particular co-worker who can not accept that someone having a different political opinion is not wrong or right.To her only her opinion is right, and everyone else is unpatriotic. To frustrate me more instead of having reasoning or facts to back up her opinions, she turns to yelling, badgering and ignorant name calling. -bridget

Over_head said...

It is all about division. The power structure cannot be threatened, and by "threatened" I do not mean with violence, as long as the people are divided and distracted by cheering for their "team". The TV networks and the political parties both serve the same purpose, and that is to make sure the people stay divided and distracted. We are told what we will support and what we will not support by the folks that supply us with the T-shirts and bumper stickers. And unfortunately our educational system is in such disarray that many people cannot critically think about an idea anymore. They are unable to use simple logic.

I like your idea, but I am afraid I have given up. Things have just gone to far. I have resigned myself to sitting on the sidelines and watching things fall apart while I just try and get through my day to day life and enjoy the things I can.

Good luck with your idea.

Rob

Dr. Evil said...

Great idea. Few years back you had On The Road with Charles Kuralt. Same with Blue Highways on the literary side. You hit the road with a crew and just talk to all walks of life. No script, just a basic set of standard questions to start the conversation. It's funny but when I was in Iraq, we did just that. You just sat down in the Dining Facility (DFAC) next to some stranger, and talked, not "opinionate". Good Luck in your endeavor, Mike Zabel

Lori Garza Cuellar said...

Mr Sutter I am a Master Control operator for a localTV station in a small town in Texas and I would love to volunteer my time and energy and know how for this cause/dynamo. Finally someone for us "regular" people.

Colleen said...

I really like this idea and think it's worth sharing with others, so I reposted this on my facebook account in hopes that others might comment here too. Maybe by our comments to you (the viewers to this idea) will help show the folks you are addressing how important something like this can be. I really hope you get those you need to start this going. Being a resident of the USA and of Tucson I think something like this would most definitely benefit us all.

Anonymous said...

The idea that anything going on in political discourse affected this guy or his actions is silly.

I grew up with a brother who's a paranoid schizo, trust me someone who is mentally ill to the degree the shooter is, their reaction to anything, no matter how violent or benign couldn't and can't be predicted.

As for the idea for a show,perhaps the first place to start would be not dividing people in the very title of the show. Purple would be a better term as I believe the majority of people are a mix of both liberal and conservative views.

Speaking as a conservative or Red if I have to classified, before I would trust a show such as you suggest I'd have to believe it would be handled in a non-biased manner. Let's face it, 99% of shows openly insult conservatives and conservative views. Why should I or any other conservative expect unbiased treatment by an industry who both in the product they produce and in their personal life quite loudly say how much they hate us?

Devon Lyon said...

Hi Kurt,

Once again, your posts are both timely and thought provoking. As an attorney with a BS degree in Political Science, it is very sad to see what the American Political System has boiled down to. At the end of the day this is a senseless tragedy, and the media (both sides) are quickly trying to attach their cart to the cause. Whatever drove this individual to do these crimes, will probably not be understood by something as simple as the 11 o clock news telling him to do so. I respect your views, and love your show idea. Hopefully so more people sign on.

wzychee said...

I don't know how much this would actually accomplish. Some people don't want to change or listen to people talk about change. I did a semester abroad in the U.K., and the professor was putting the question of socialized healthcare to a group of us Americans. I thought that one dude was going to bust a blood vessel, he was so vehement to even listening to the idea from someone with experience in the area.

I think that the polarization of society is something that is ingrained in us now -- an "us or them" mentality that we, as a country, lived under for so long with the cold war and now the war on terror. People feel that they have to pick a side -- and that is partly do the media, like you said.

People blame politicians for their rhetoric, but they've always been that way. We're just overexposed to it now.

All that said, it can't be a bad idea to address the issue in a positive way. If you end up doing this, do consider coming to a small university in Southern Oklahoma. People around here could use the discourse.

megastein said...

Great post and I completely agree with you that Americans are not as polarized as the media would have you believe. We all want what is best for our families and we simply have differing ways that we believe that can be achieved. I hope that this idea of yours comes to fruition. I am in the entertainment industry, but unfortunately have no sway or power to make things happen, if I did, there would be more shows like Sons of Anarchy on television. Thanks for keeping a cool head during these times of trouble and thank you also for looking for solutions instead of adding to the problems.

With respect,
Michelle

Photojnke said...

I think you are an amazing human being with amazing ideas. I also think that if more people thought about similarities and others and less about differences and themselves. The world would grow beyond what we could imagine.
C. Brandley, Lake Havasu City, AZ

YoungstownTuneUp said...

Mr. Sutter,


Having been a Libertarian candidate in the 2010 congressional election process I couldn't agree with you more, in part - we do need forums, or round table like discussions, on a Much Broader scale than is often permissable.

My concern, regarding your idea for a "production" of such - is in the Editing process. Obviously language may need bleeped, at times... But when a program like this is put together, best intentions are often lost... I'm reminded of a similar program hosted, years ago by Gabrielle Carteris (then of 90210 fame) dealing with racial issues... Much of the information was 'nice' enough to air.. but the group organized as well as the obvious editing created something "made for TV" representing only one side of a clearly divisive issue.

As a candidate for a federal office, Most of the questions we faced from the media were all the same generalized 'what is your opinion on ____?" they had no idea what was In the hearts or on the minds of the People in the room... on those occasions when the People were able to ask questions, they did tend to get 'heated' because Politians, as I'm sure you're aware - do not answer questions...

I'm thankful to whatever Gods may be that I am not a politician. I answered questions based on what I know to be true, what I believe -and some agreed, some disagreed.. I tried to have 'discussions' where available.. But the best discussions often came After the forum would close and I was able to 'mingle' with folks. Often times, I was the only one of the candidates who did this (as seen in my YouTube video "I'll Stay All Night")

As a Libertarian, I have a bit of a different perspective on most of the issues which seem to divide us as people. I tend to need to see both sides of any arguement. And then try to find a reasonable middle ground.

With this in mind, I would happily volunteer my time, should this effort get off the ground. I would happily serve in any manner which might help bridge the divide in a peaceful, thoughtful manner.


I thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely,


M.J. 'Buck" Elsass

brittany said...

I live in phoenix and find the atmosphere here very heated these days. Everyone's tense and pissed off because we're all broke and out of work. while the government is getting the blame the media is fueling all the hate. I think this would be a great thing and would love for it to happen.

Brian said...

What a great Idea, I have to agree with the media, I am a conservative but I think I am an educated middle of the road type. I watch fox news but hardly think they are fair and balanced and Cnn is just the same going the other direction. I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment and that more stringent gun laws is not the answer, I believe no child should be with out healthcare but I don't think everybody deserves the same free ride. I think it would be neat to debate my beliefs in a civilized manner to see how they think.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. I hope you can pull it off because I believe it would make our country better.
Rich Cain, Denver

Mike H. said...

Great idea Kurt and you're certainly not delusional. Making it workable on a purely altruistic level, well, that's kind of like God asking Lot to show him ONE righteous person in Sodom & Gomorrah. But then I'm pretty jaded at this point in my life. The concept is BRILLIANT though. If I were in a position to help make it happen, I would have already contacted your people at ICM. If I can help in some other way...please let me know.

Angel R. said...

Very timely post. You should check out a book called "Common Ground: How To Stop The Partisan War That Is Destroying America". It exposes the players in this "game" of polarizing the nation for power & profit, as well as dispelling myths such as red/blue states.

Amy said...

Dear Non-Dilusional bombastic hollywood writer, Good Luck with that!

For now you may just have to be satisfied that we are listening and gravitating towards your thoughts.

:) Happy New Year!

TAMBER said...

Sounds like a great idea...I think it would work best if there were no politicians allowed to participate. Televise it and let our "leaders" hear what their constituents really want.

Nate T. said...

You might consider using the Purple imagery/connotation (red and blue together) that has been used on occasion in the past to further the symbol of unity.

I think this could be successful if you could gather a large group of recognized professionals from left, right and center, from the media, politics, business, sports, entertainment and the international community. Then send them on a discussion forum tour. Maybe 10 dates in major US cities, 6 speakers at each event. Open to the public. Each event covering one topic (ie. economic growth, education, healthcare, immigration, etc).

I think this idea has some merit. And if folks could see someone from their camp (right, left and center) engaging with the other camps in a civil manner and talking about real issues and real problems then maybe they can learn by example.

As a point of reference, CNBC has televised a few of these roundtables on business or healthcare with decent discussion resulting from them.

hellkell said...

I think this is a fantastic idea. If it happens and Austin, TX is one of the places it does, I'd be happy to volunteer.

JoAnn Robison said...

While I applaud your idea and completely agree that 'we, the people' have more in common than we are led to believe once you get past the propaganda, I find it impossible to believe that you'll find anyone that will step up. The struggles of the middle and poverty classes make no difference to those not living it. Our reality is not theirs and hasn't been for some time so they're out of touch. There but for the grace of God go 'they'. I wouldn't be in my world if I had the choice. I hope it works. I hope they heed the call. Call me jaded and pessimistic but the only thing that brings this nation together is tragedy and chaos. And even then people just get numb again once there's a new headline.

Luis said...

Hi Kurt,
I'm not an actor, proper etc. But I am of the same mind you are. I think we can agree that this country definitly is sick right now and only people with clear minds can save it from herself. I consider myself one of the few lucky ones in an otherwise raging sea of red and blue... powered the winds of the economics, religion, ignorance and complacency.... I would love athe chance to be part of this noble endeavor...but then again, I am a son of immigrants without a high-school diploma that's starts off comments with proper grammar only to end up overusingpunctuation marks and "webisms"....lol.
Hope I hear from you.

Luis said...

Cool

Tempest said...

Kurt,

I think this is an excellent idea. It has become too much about which party or "side" people are on and it has become lunacy. I am not saying I like your idea just because I am an SOA fan, either. I agree that we have lost the ability to communicate in a civilized manner.

mayra preble said...

that would be awesome if you can find individuals that are willing to listen to what the average person that has to deal with the day to day worries of how we are going to pay for the gas to get us to work so we can pay the bills and put food on the table has to say.

Kathy said...

Thank you, Kurt. Yours is a much-needed voice of reason in this increasingly hostile world. If real men like you and the good Sheriff Dupnik can bring awareness and rational discussion to current events, it is sure to have a positive effect. --Kathy Cuevas

Donna Leone said...

Kurt, Great, amazing idea and I hope there are others in a position to make it happen that hear you and make this a reality. I think that America and Americans, and what we think and feel about what's really important gets lost on the media and we are force fed what the media wants to put out. We all have our own personal thoughts and beliefs, but are all connected by the basic needs of survival and the need to feel safe and secure. I really don't need some politician or media rep telling me what to think or how to think. I am mother to 4 children, wife to a police officer, and foster parent...I am damn sure I can make up my own mind. Anyway, please don't give up quickly on your idea and return it to your silly idea file, it really is not, it is a great opportunity for all of us to come together and reach out to each other on the purest of levels...as human beings. Thank you, Donna Leone

cafedidi said...

Ironically, it sounds like something Oprah and OWN would be interested in... and the lyrics to It's a Small World seem to illustrate your point. Red & Blue conjures up division though. Small World seems more appropriate. What about Sundance Channel? Sounds like something Bob would be into... And then there's always the nonprofit world... Perhaps you could partner with a foundation and a nonprofit media group... or a nonprofit radio station... anything is possible... I used to do that sort of thing for a living. If I can help, let me know. Otherwise I look forward to the fruit of your idea!

Jennifer Allen said...

Red and Blue - I love this idea! America's talk show, with real-life relevance, all the urgency of our age, and using media to connect rather than isolate. I do this work, essentially talk shows, but live, not through the media. I work on a few talk-based programs - one called Think & Drink (bar-based, pair two people up front, give them a beer, a couple hundred people show up for a drink and to listen, to the pair discuss provocative issues/ideas. Another one is called The Conversation Project, which includes about 100 public conversations each year all over Oregon. What about pairing a red person and a blue person (both charismatic but reasonable, informed, civil, and smart) who think differently to talk over a drink? The pub was the original public house, after all - even President Obama invites people who disagree to meet up to talk over their disagreements over a beer If I can be helpful in any way as you think about this, even if it's just to throw some ideas your way, let me know. Jennifer Allen (jenniferanneallen@hotmail.com)

Ashley said...

I love reading your blog posts and your tweets. You are one of the most brilliant minds I have ever come across. I think the Red & Blue idea is amazing. We need something like that. The way things are going, we're all just going to end up killing eachother. It would be good to know that everyone is struggling with similar problems. I just wish I was somebody that could help make it happen. So I'm sending you all my best thoughts and hope! Don't ever stop writing or throwing out ideas because they are brilliant, they are real, and they are amazing. I'm a HUGE fan and am wishing you the best. I can't wait for Southpaw and SOA season 4!!!! And yes, Small World IS the most terrifying ride ever created. :) Good Luck! <3

Jen said...

Great idea. I agree that network news channels are greatly responsible for the division and hate among fellow Americans. I no longer watch news and have gone so far as to try and stick my head in the sand and just live..but having a child, I realize how detrimental that is to her future. I hope your idea does come to fruition and execs and writers, etc. see where this could go in bringing us together instead of ripping us apart even further.

Jessica said...

Kurt,

I am a 26 year old Colorado native with a degree in Broadcast Production and no way to use it. Any project you might be doing I would pretty much cut off my right arm to be involved in, I respect your craft and want to learn how to find a home in this fucked up world of writing and broadcasting for myself.

This political mind meld sounds like something which has been needing to happen for a while. I think it's a stellar idea and I'm hopeful you can find folks to help you with it sans profit.

If you would be so kind, let me know if you need the help of a hungry entry level type gal too! I would love to hold a boom mike, or bring coffee, or just about anything else you'd need in any of your ventures. Good luck and keep on creating like you do, it's inspiring!

Love,

Jess (phoenixphlight@gmail.com)

Jen said...

Great idea. I agree that network news channels are greatly responsible for the division and hate among fellow Americans. I no longer watch news and have gone so far as to try and stick my head in the sand and just live..but having a child, I realize how detrimental that is to her future. I hope your idea does come to fruition and execs and writers, etc. see where this could go in bringing us together instead of ripping us apart even further.

Christopher said...

Couldn't agree more... I too am pretty far left. However, I had to respond to a few of my friends on FB blaming Palin directly.

--SNIP--
Palin is not to blame, but I think it puts things into perspective. Over the top rhetoric that blurs the line of hate speech is never acceptable. Right or Left. Period. The "Shock Jock" adoration of the past has morphed into "political entertainment". In itself, that is fine. It's when the "entertainers" start to be viewed by the masses as "news outlets" that we have a problem.
--SNIP--

Again, we must stop using every tragedy, celebration, loss and accomplishment as a fake referendum against whatever is the Yin to our Yang. What's infuriating is that @Matt is 100% right, it's ALL about ratings, and "we the people" have allowed ourselves to distill the complexities and nuances of politics into what equates to a "I know you are but what am I" quarrel on a playground. Of course that playground is the world stage, and those "children" making fools of themselves, spiting hatred, are our elected politicians, and self proclaimed pundits.

The art of political rhetoric as studied and written about by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian is long forgotten by the wing nuts that show up as talking heads, both paid and elected.

--SNIP--

Just thought I would share...

mq01 said...

over the years, as a result of TWO unrelated violent acts that myself and my family experienced, i have faced the onslaught of hate from biased, barren of fact, and hugely impactful media FULL-TILT, or maybe i should say full spin.

i learned the hard way at that time not to trust most politicos and media, that they are not our friends, that they do not serve We The People, well that is unless it directly serves a purpose to them (bucks, votes, press)...

since my personal experiences (1997), i have been shown time and time again proof not to trust the media. and over the yrs i have watched in dismay as the media frenzy has not only continued but grown. and ive watched with sadness and shame the effects it has/had on We The People.

i like the way you think kurt. i hope you can make this work. i'd like to see this happen. id like to hear our people talking. i hope i live to see We The People take back this country of ours and start handling business better.

Anonymous said...

This is the most intelligent and most logical post of yours that I have read, and I whole heartedly agree. This coming from a bi-racial, Christian, independent voting, college student and fan of SOA. Thanks for attempting to use your celebrity for something positive.

RLT said...

I think the idea has great merit.

I am an average American, you know the real kind, who lean a little right on some issues and a little left on others, but who in all honesty just want to ensure that there is food on the table everyday and worthwhile work to do, in other words the forgotten and ignored American. Boy, just to have the opportunity, in a civilized environment, to discuss what is happening in this great country of ours would be such a blessing. To be heard by others, and in turn hear them, I can can hardly even imagine that.
I am with you Mr. Sutter .......

R L Terrill

j'lynn said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. I think it should be explored, promoted and pushed to a reality.

The whole problem, in my mind, is the fact that everyone sees other people's differences as a personal attack on their own beliefs, views, etc. It isn't. And by seeing it as a personal attack no one gets to the core value that regardless of our differences we all have commonality. Once we have a base of common beliefs we can explore differences without the right versus wrong aspect, which so often fuels the rhetoric that is at such a fevered pitch in our country right now.

I don't fall into the categories you need to make this happen, but I support the idea 150%. I would love to see this happen. I would love to be a part of something like this or at least witness it with a front row seat...

Good luck Kurt! Let me/us know if there is something more we can do to help move this along.

PS: Happy B-day to your little girl! How sweet & exciting....

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am a fan of your show...but this is an outstanding idea! I gave up watching the biased news a few years ago because there are very few outlets that report the news without putting their spin on the situation. Unfortunately this shooting in Arizona only reflects how nasty and biased the news agencies are. And that disgusts the heck out of me.

I am active duty Marine who has traveled all over this nation and world. And wherever I've been I've noticed one simple thing...we're all the same. Sure we have different ways of looking at each situation, but we are all the same and at the end of the day I would like to believe 99% of us just want a good life, a happy family, a healthy family, and raise good kids.

I would gladly volunteer for whatever project you are working!

Semper Fi (Always Faithful),
Trenton Widdis

Ray said...

Kurt,

I commend you on this noble endeavor. I live in the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire and we see the Bullshit from both sides first hand. I love the idea. If and when you come here tell me what I can do to help and it's yours. ray@fly-nh.com

Jaye said...

In theory at least, I think that sounds like a great idea. As a practical matter, im not sure that people of all types of differing opinions can remain civil while engaging in a discussion like that...But regardless, it would be interesting to see it. Give each viewpoint it's own tiny set of spokespeople. Close the gap a bit by making people talk, and forcing them to realize that the gap isnt really all that big to begin with. I hope that without pay and all that, you still get enough people to jump into it. It would be really interesting to see what comes of it. Plus, I know this isnt the point your trying to make, but still, knowing that a bunch of people who are used to making a buttload of money are willing to do something for free just might make a pretty cool point in itself. Good luck with this. I hope you get to do it. . .and I gotta agree - the only thing as creepy as the It's A Small World ride in Disneyland is the It's A Small World ride in Disneyworld. Maybe your next project can be getting Disney to finally shut them down.

Shelli said...

I think Red&Blue is a beautiful idea, and I am glad I am not the only one that notices the media brain washing. I strongly dislike when people forget their own minds and regurgitate what they here on T.V. or by politicians. That being said, I pray that this idea is taken seriously by those in the industry who can make it happen.

Michelle Davis
Semi-Conservative, Independent, Chistian, stay at home mom of 3-1/2

Chrisiah70 said...

Sounds like a brilliant idea, but really? Small world? I'm sure your little princess showed you up on that one. God Bless her.

lici2 said...

Sounds awesome Kurt, but while your doing this out of a desire to do it, others will envitably do it for the reasons who mentioned anyway! When you do something IN the media, FOR the media and WITH the media,doesnt the agenda become that of the media? How much money do you think its worth to Fox (or some other company) to have YOU, Kurt Sutter, with all of your opinions and the way you present them, lead the charge for your cause in front of cameras? I think that that is incredibly marketable. I think that you would get support from people who truly believe with you but I also think that you would get so many people who want a piece of you, want to talk to you, not really caring about you're saying, just that its you saying it! If I could put that to air and get millions in advertising, then I'd be stupid not to. When would it air, where would it air, with who and in what time slot? Thats the agenda. All that being said, I love the way you think, I appreciate the way you express what you think and I'd be really disappointed if you got discouraged enough not to think!

Marjorie said...

Loved this. Such a great idea. As a producer and a journalist, I'd love to be involved in any capacity. But no matter what, good luck and God bless.

Kris said...

I'm in. kris taylor aka average joe in Il. let me know how to help

Kris said...

this average joe is in. let me know...Kris

Stephanie Huge said...

dear Kurt, first of all, hapy birthday to the princess!! I work on movies production in Belgium (Europe) (series and long features films)... I m very amazed to read some "brave opinions" in the mouth of a "great american writer (or producer, or director, or actor you choose..)..
from my office in Europe, I cant do other thing that say "you r a great and VERY SMART guy!" let's go ! maybe you cant change the world (nor USA; even Nor California or LA!) but the simple fact you say it, you change something! so.. im on the other side of Atlantic but I share all that you said.. im liberal and proud of it!
sorry for my english :)
St├ęphanie
ps: agree.. small world is freaky!!

Tess Haulbrook said...

You're idea is sound and as fundamental a need as there ever could be in this country...unfortunately, doesn't calling it Red and Blue, including the colored map of the country, immediately forge a psychological picture in the ordinary man that this is politically based/biased?? I know your intention is to leave the politics behind but I don't see it happening with this moniker. Further, the moderator(s) chosen would have to be of greater caliber than any public figure I've seen so far, both neutral and commanding enough to keep the conversation both civil and productive, preventing another Geraldo Rivera type misadventure. Good luck Mr. Sutter, I truely hope this venture takes off and ultimately succeeds. Although conversation is not a new idea, it is our only chance at coming close to taking some action to fix this country and it's citizens....<3

Anonymous said...

That´s about the smartest idea I ever heard. I genuinely applaud you Mister Sutter, also for being one of the most impressive creative talents when it comes to tv drama.

My perspective is one of a foreigner who takes a great interest in american culture and politics.

Other than you I don´t think the divide is created by the media - it is rather exploited expertedly by the media.

If a liberal atheist from a big city meets a christian southerner there´s obviously a big divide and conflict between them, just to name the most obvious example for a conflict line. The conflict can´t be resolved since both wont change their convictions. But both need to respect each other despite their opposing opinions and respect the rules of a democracy.

Bringing them to a table and let them talk is a great idea since it´s always much more easier to hate the abstract "Hollywood liberal" than the person Kurt Sutter. As a writer you surely notice how loaded words like liberal or christian have become. They aren´t simply neutral description of another person, but filled with hatefull subtext. No matter, what the true motives of the killer were, the rhetorics used in the last years tell a lot of the political culture and the climate of hate for each other.

I am very interested to see how your idea will be received. I can already hear some attacks coming your way: "The guy who writes Sons of Anarchy? ANARCHY! America, don´t you know what Anarchy is? We don´t need an anarchist to tell us what to think. He´s a pinhead and he says about himself: Yes, I am a bombastic liberal Hollywood writer."

I am pretty sure if the pitch goes through you will be the object of a smear campaign and every attempt of roundtable discussions between americans from both sides will be the object of heavy criticism by the well known charlatans of american media from the right.

Just as much as I admire Jon Stewart I admire your will to do something good for your country without any financial interest.

From the distance it looks like the american democracy is imploding. Only a strong political centre is able to prevent the implosion imho.

Erin said...

Really amazing idea--assuming you can keep it non-commercial. You have the pull to do just that, I expect, particularly as your SOA audience includes ultra-liberals and far right-wing conservatives. I'm not in production, but am in PR (www.RLMpr.com) and would happily donate positioning, messaging and publicity services to the effort, as well as assistance with logistics (which, I expect, will be one of the most time-consuming aspects).

I would suggest that involving folks form different parts of the country--not just LA/West Coast and not just big cities--will be important, too, and this is a particular area of expertise of mine, taking a story/message beyond the coasts.

You can reach me directly at 917-922-1353, erinfaye@gmail.com or erin@rlmpr.com.

Here's hoping many more folks see the sanity and value in this effort.

Best regards,
Erin

Paul W said...

As a community organizer and someone who thinks this is an absolute brilliant idea any help I could be to further this discussion I offer. Seriously I would love to help in any way make this a reality.

James said...

Read this yesterday, pondered it, and now think that, yes, this isn't a crazy idea that you should file away - if executed right, it would be necessary television. The polemic right now is so clouded something needs to clear the air. Maybe the execution is nothing fancy, maybe it's a Studs Terkel-esque look at regular people. I'm a producer at a reality tv production house (do some major cable stuff) and will be passing this up the ladder to see if it strikes a chord. Best of luck.

Susan said...

Great idea! Seriously. It's about time we talked together instead of AT each other. Civility. And I have to say it does seem like the news pundits seem to create animosity where it wouldn't otherwise exist. One other comment though ... know that there are liberals who live in "red" states because of jobs, etc. It sometimes bothers me that people paint me with a conservative brush because of where I live. Thank you.

WI_Debi said...

If people could remove emotion from the equasion and discuss ideas in a logical matter it would be a dream summit of BY the people, FOR the people. Based on the fact that as I reply to this blogpost the count shows no other comments I'm sorry to say this idea is probably going to go in the wither file. I hope you had good response from industry people because it would be an incredibly interesting conversation to watch.

Brian Palmer Photography said...

I think this is a great idea! A conversation is needed in many places without the BS from either side of the tilt. I agree this will not change the tide, but it's a good start to making ripples.

Count me in, though I'm just your average 9 to 5'er.

B

Joe Pontillo said...

If this doesn't make it to TV, you could always go the podcast route. It would probably be simpler and less expensive to do it that way, and you'll still reach a solid audience.

bonnie said...

Kurt
Great idea but you know that most people just cant understand normal thinking.
Politicians don`t want that to happen because they`d find out we are smarter than they are

Desolation Angel said...

Kurt, count me in. I think too much, talk too much, I'm verbose and opinionated, but at the end of the day, I'm still just a 30 year sober, Sundance on the rez with the bloods, electrician who was born and raised in Michigan, travels this country to the Gulf of Mexico to work and I want a better damn world for my kids and grandkids. Anything at all I can do to help,I think it's a fantastic idea and would provide some real "we've got more in common tha we have differences" moments I want to leave a better place. No "put me on the show" shit, no "read my blog", nothing. Whatever I can do, let me know.

Laura said...

Kurt,
Morning Darlin'! I unfortunately am not any kind of television big wig but I love this idea! I live in Denver Colorado, which has recently become a blue state with the last election! Would love to help with something like this if the event ever come my way! I love your writing, both on screen and off, keep up the good work! Lots of love to you and yours.

The Mulkster said...

Kurt,
I Tip my hat to you and clench my jaw at the same time. As much as your idea inspires me, I cannot silence the voices of cynicism and vitriol that haunt me whenever I speak or think about the current state of our great society. When these tragedies happen, the anger we feel is justified, for we cannot stop all of the evil in this shitty world. Yet, when people who claim that they are "Open-Minded" and "Peace-Loving Americans" start shaking their fists and pointing their fingers, they may want to take a moment to turn that finger around and take a good look at who it is pointing at! These Fuckers out there who are angrily blaming others for society's explosive levels of anger and hate are silently dividing people and, like evil itself, it defeats our own hope from within. It is a toxic poison we call hate and it is indeed programmed into us by this biased media that you speak of. I truly believe that the human heart is "Open-Minded" and "Peace-Loving" But none of that shit matters at all until we can get a hold of ourselves and get folks to see that how we treat each other is what really matters. I truly believe that despite our differences, we, as humans, are full of decency and goodness and these evil little fuckers that divide us are not as strong as those forces out there that unite us! Your idea here Kurt could be one of those forces and the idea of it dying on the vine is not an option. You industry folks that Mr. Sutter is speaking of, you hold the power more than you may ever know. This is an idea whose time has come. It's a genuine good idea and if done with a little wit, it could change society's perspective. We all know how viral and powerful the "reality element" of a show can be. Add that ingredient to a heavy industry talent pool and a show of this nature would be absolutely engaging. We do need the media networks and think-tanks to take some responsibility-not all of it, just SOME of it and make things right somehow. Mr Sutter, I admire you for having the balls to skip partisanship and get right to the gut of the issue here by tabling a solution while others just sit on their proverbial asses and watch. Thank you Brother. Keep up the great work...

OH, and hey man, being a resident of the city myself, you spelled Tucson wrong.
It's TUCSON not TUSCON. Hate to be the a-hole to grammar check ya!

-BornOnFire

Lisa said...

This is a real idea. It is so discerning to see what this nation has become. We are to the point where we can not put our differences aside even when an unnecessary tragedy occurs, all we can do is blame one another. Maybe just maybe if we were all to use our words in a calm, reasonable manner we would discover that we are not all that different from each other. I am a big fan of your work and would love to see where you take this.

Chris said...

Very cool Idea, and as a person who has mostly conservative belief's I would love to help or participate in any way.

gary bfc said...

hi kurt im bloggin in great respect and admeration about how u an the cast of soa have captured the famly and brotherhood of an MC as i am a member of an MC in ireland and just to say thats wat i love abot the show
i want to thank you for showing the world wat MCs are realy about.
greatst reguars
gary BFC

malia_mo said...

I could not agree with you more! I think that is a brilliant idea. When you break down the party lines and actual see the person on the other side you are actually able to converse with them. I am 100% with you on your political beliefs, (die hard liberal here) but I also think that the rhetoric would die down a little if people actually discussed their positions. Thank you for bringing this up!

April said...

I've given up on society. I usually keep my opinions about religion and politics to myself. I learned that after saying out loud "I think they should bring back hanging or burning people at the steak in town square if they're guilty." (After being found guilty by a jury of their pears of course. And its more directed towards child molesters, and murderers.) My Christian mother turned a funny shade of red and said she was going to pray for me. I replied with "and anyone who defends them should be up there with them..." we stopped speaking after that. As you can probably tell I don't believe in God either. I think God is to adults as Santa Clause is to kids."be good all year and you'll get a bunch of presents...." you get the idea. God is a tool to control people. That is the core of all our problems I believe. I mean really there is something wrong with a God who can forgive a child murderer if he asks for it. Let me just make clear I'm not a hateful, depressed, or confused person. I'm a mother and a wife. I work in customer service which probably has something to do with it, but I see things for what they are. This latest tragedy is nothing new, and as long as we keep treating our criminals better than they treated their victims it will continue.
Sorry Kurt.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck with this - seriously. I hope that it works. It would be nice to see real people talking about real problems. I am sick to death of the millionaire pundits and politicos trying to tell us how much they identify with our situations. They are all full of sh!t!

Shannon said...

It's certainly a good idea...but can it realistically be done? "Just talk" is so simplistic, that it might be too difficult to achieve in today's society.

Brian said...

It's sad when it takes a tragedy, to bring people together (or emphasize togetherness) in this country. Somewhere in the last 20+ years, many in our society, and many politicians, have lost sight of what it means to live in a Democracy. In simple terms, you may not agree with someones opinions, but you do need to respect them. As the old saying goes; opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one. As a current Arizonan, it's good to see all the support for the family and friends of the victims. As a former "DC area" native, the unwillingness of some to cross the line-in-the-sand to find common sense solutions, is appalling. Everyone needs to be willing to take a moment, put aside their own ignorance, and ask themselves if that opposing opinion has some common sense attached to it. The real question to ask yourself isn't, are you liberal or conservative. But are you open-minded or close-minded?

Tom said...

Hi Kurt, not sure if my comment made it to you. I keep getting "URI to long to process" error. My apologies if you have multiple comments from me. If I don't see it, I will try again tomorrow. Regards, Tom

MKAngelus said...

I think this is a wonderful idea, the 'people' are the ones that seem to be the ones living in the real world, so they should be the ones that are listened to. Excellent concept & I sincerly hope that you are able to get it in motion.

I always thought that ride was creepy as hell...

Indianacat aka lowecat said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to post, our PC tower is still down. Postin' on an iPhone is a bit difficult.

Lovely that you took your wee one to Disney and enjoyed her company. Moments like that are to be treasured.

Don't put this idea on the ridiculous pile. And don't wait fir someone else to do it, it'll never get done. As I told ya on the twitters, I'm liberal about some things, but conservative about others. Mabe that makes me chicken shit'. I prefer to think it's bein' open minded.

Anyway, would like to be in on a forum where people can exchange ideas without exchanging bullets or fists. I hope you follow through on it, cause if you wait for someone to do it, no one will and it will never get done.

Anonymous said...

Kurt - Michele Nebel Peake here. I would be willing to help you set these up. I don't know if you are aware of what I do for a living, but I am a professional meeting and conference planner and could handle the logistics for these types of events. You know how to get in touch with me. Best of luck to Katey tonight.

john lao said...

Congratulations to Katey for her Golden Globes win! So well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Go Katy!!!

Katy won a Golden Globe Award so well deserved...

Rock on Katy!

Roll on Kurt!

Woo Hoo

Emma said...

I think this is a great idea. I think most people in the US have the similar ideas and wants, but we get so entrenched into our way of thinking how we'll get there that it clouds the fact that most people want the same outcome even if the process of how we get there is different.

So I hope you are successful with this project.

Tom said...

Kurt, You are not delusional in your way of thinking about the shootings in Arizona. What you are looking for is what we have all been looking for politically in the country for far too long: true leadership.

I began watching SOA in November, consuming all 39 in two months, finishing the final episode yesterday. I really enjoyed the Belfast storyline, but was disappointed to see your statement on ew.com (link below) “ultimately people just wanted to be in Charming with our guys, and get back to more of what we did the first two seasons . . . He's (JAX) distanced himself from the notion of trying to change things. Really, in a lot of ways, he's becoming more like his mother.”

Maybe the more “twitter-active” viewers, but I don’t think the majority felt this way, especially now after what happened in Arizona. I was kind of bummed when I learned in the season 3 final that Jax was double-crossing Stahl all along, and was not really looking to take the MC in a more legitimate direction. Maybe the majority of viewers don’t want “more of what we did the first two seasons.” We are all impacted by the violence in Arizona, and in general, the pervasive lack of respect for the value of human life in society. In the fictional world of Charming, CA, isn’t it possible Jax – having gone through what he did in season 3, can be impacted too??? If Jax would to pursue the idea of trying to change things, maybe the series would be more difficult to write, alienate some viewers (maybe), or lead to ending a profitable series earlier . . . but maybe not? Maybe a more legitimate, less violent way of life is what a real person would pursue in that situation? I am not blaming TV or Hollywood for violence, nor have I lost sight of the fact that Charming, CA is fiction, but after reading your “Red and Blue” post, I am thinking about how your show might better reflect not only your feelings and that of the viewers.

We cannot script a “Red and Blue” scenario to lower the conflict and rhetoric in the real world, but you are in complete control of making real change happen in Charming, USA. –Tom (Kurt’s ew.com interview: http://tinyurl.com/2wnhhrt )

javier gomez said...

Congrats to Katey and to you, too, for the Golden Globe, although I think that it was outrageous she didn´t get it last year. I am among those TV critics who didn´t like season 3 as much as the second. But it is not the day to start an argument about it. Enjoy the award, man!

A great, demanding and not unconditional fan from Spain.

Pam said...

I have to "echo" all the others,who think this is a great, wonderful idea. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could sit down and COMMUNICATE...no matter what the race, politacal party, etc?

Communication has always been my concept in every aspect of my life. We don't have to agree or disagree, but maybe "agree to disagree", and take it from there...no trying to influence each others opinion....

Communication, what a wonder concept. I wish you luck with this and I hope I could be in on it one day.

Pam B

Tara said...

I so appreciate this idea and hope that something like it comes to pass... maybe the seating arrangement at the State of the Union will start the bridging between the two. There is so much fear out there; wish we could act more out of faith.

Denise Shelton said...

I have always felt that neither the left or the right had all the answers for me. The truth lies somewhere in between. That's why I vote Independent because there are aspects of both red and blue camps I am unwilling to support. I like your idea and I hope it can be developed into something good. As for "It's a Small World" we took my nephew for his first visit to Disneyland and I insisted he ride "It's a Small World" even though he was in college, because it's a rite of passage, after all. After the ride I asked him what he thought and he said, "I think if they handcuffed me to the boat and sent me through a couple of times, I'd tell them everything they'd want to know."

Anel said...

Kurt...

I just wanted to congratulate you and Katey on the Golden Globe. It's great to get the recognition she deserves. It's such a great role and I bet that you both had a blast. I was so happy for her.
Congratulations!!! I know this isn't the right forum, but I was so excited and wanted to pass on the congrats.

katherine. said...

KS - off topic - no need to post this comment.

I guessing the staff working with Charlie Hunnam at the EasyRider shows have communicated to you regarding the crowds of SOA fans showing up. Not just the female crazies, but normal adults who admire the show.

In addition to those who lined up and waited for hours for their moment with "jax"...the Sacramento show on Saturday had many people sporting SOA shirts and hoodies who were just attending the show.

If FX had a merchandise booth traveling with the show, they would be a big time hit. Probably have a hard time keeping items in stock. Not to mention peaking the interest of people who don't watch SOA...yet.

Mugwump said...

Get the Dalai Lama on board watched him interview the head of the catholic church facinating man can cut you to pieces with a grin and never a cross word or a frown

DharmaMeetsDogma said...

Thanks Kurt.

I ave always been of the belief that we, as people, as human beings that have to live in the world we create, have similar concerns: we care about where we live, our families, our friends, we care about making a living and maybe even enjoying our lives. We want to be happy. Labeling ourselves and siding with political agendas complicates all this. I can't say I fall hard in the left or right, though I am more liberal and socialist than many of my friends. It would be great to get people together and instead of regurgitating a political stance (how this side see it, or how that side stands on the issue) to have a HUMAN conversation...You care about your families, I care about mine - how can we come together to compromise and solve some things knowing we both are coming from a place of caring. Most times I think people take a position on political discussion that the other side is just looking to screw me over. That is so far from the truth. I am pretty sure I would like anyone, even Sarah Palin and the staunchest Republican Right winger, if I got to know them. I agree with you. We need to see each other as people with some good in them.

Anonymous said...

Kurt,

Great idea. I'm not in the business. I'm a lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI (a liberal in a den of conservatives, which I actually kind of like). If you ever need help setting up one of these events in my area, I'm in. I can be reached at the following e-mail address (please don't post the address): joshfahlsing@gmail.com

Keep up the good work. You're putting out a great show.

Josh Fahlsing

Vicki said...

I would love to be a part of this; I'm a liberal too and puzzled by some of what our President is doing at the moment, I wish he would stand up to the opposition. And yet there's a way he can do it civilly, while taking the bits of the opposition's policies that really WOULD work and supporting them instead of rolling over on the ones that don't.

I have a blog that's been very dormant for a couple of years but I'm getting it going again.

Beth P. said...

I like your idea and I agree, the pundit tv shows cause more harm than they inform. Your idea reminds me of a book I read and really recommend. It's called Belief of Nonbelief? It's a collection of letters between atheist author Umberto Eco and the Archbishop of Milan Cardinal Martini. Instead of rigid debate or trying to prove the other wrong, it's just a series of thought out and honest questions between the two on why they think they way they do on such topics of Abortion, Morality without God, the "end time"/apocalypse and so on. The questions and answers are though provoking from both sides and never once did either of them stray from honest, friendly questions while respectfully listening to what the other was saying. While in the end, neither of them changed their ideas but they both agreed that they understood more what the other "side" was trying to put across. I think it's brave of them both to put themselves out there and publish the letters. We need much more of this kind of communication instead of biased anger. It was a nice refreshing change and I highly recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/Belief-Nonbelief-Umberto-Eco/dp/1559704977/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295454218&sr=8-1

Speed Metal Built said...

I guess I dont really understand why being different from each other is so bad. If you and I have a conversation and agree 100% on everything, does'nt that make one of us "useless"? When I meet someone, I dont look at them and wonder; "is he/she a democrat?". Most of my encounters occur organically (as the best always seem to be) and within a few minutes of conversation about something as simple as the weather I can tell if we click or not. This entire country needs to stop labeling everyone and everything as if we are all test subjects in some wierd experiment and the old addage that; "there is a place for everything and everything has a place" applies only to cleaning up my garage when I am done working on my bike...not every living person on the planet. We should be free to differ on opinion and I should be free to share a liberal view on Rowe v Wade and a conservative view on fiscal politics if that is where I stand on the matter. - Jason Hallman

Anonymous said...

Kurt,
By doing this it'll give a lot of people courage to not hide what they believe in. In my small world its anyone who is not religous is an evil enemy. While you cannot explain the oddities in the bible to some, they think its ok to explain the bible to you in a way that makes you feel wrong. Although I highly doubt it will open anyones eyes to a new religion I hope that it creates a new understanding with the narrow minded. I got two great people in mind for the discussion if you come to indiana.

Jessica
Jlmccrary@ymail.com
Jlmccrary.blogspot.com

Thati said...

Hi, I'm from Brazil and last year we had presidential election and what I saw was exactly what you're talking about. The media trying to act as a political party but refusing to recognize it.
I have my opinions, but I always keep in mind that people that doesn't share the same opinion as me are not my enemies. They are just people like me, who wants a better world for them and their children, and happens to not agree with me about the paths to get to it.
I just think it will be hard to find people with different opinions to talk in a civilized, respectful way. But I would definitely watch a show like that.

Anonymous said...

There is a public wave rising --the desire to bridge differences, build relationships and look for ways to solve problems together. (could it gradually turn into a tsunami?) Most major social shifts are built on the public saying "enough". Leverage and visibility help. Calling this initiative or show or public forum "Red and Blue" starts with the assumption of there not being nuance in people's understanding and opinions on things. Maybe we should call it "Purple - finding our common purpose, dreams and solutions"
If anyone has access to Kurt - please pass the notion on to not start from emphasizing black and white (red and blue) sides.
And i think we should continue to find ways to support and foster all these initiatives and ideas aligning with each other and working together for common cause - one wave many molecules.
Judith

A Scott said...

The only flaw i see in this potentially is the fact that most EVERY (and yes i feel pretty confident in grouping them all together on this) Republican cannot simple talk or debate or free flow ideas. They all seem to either attempt to deflect the question or topic by pulling out a example of how the other side sucks ass or point to out someone else's failing.

Showing mistakes people make or the need to demoralize someone isnt a argument. its a statement of fact handed down by god Regan himself that they keep trying to repeat over and over as if saying it enough times changes history.

Sadly thats how we've always worked here and i dont think it can be changed. You are either a DICK, or your not. You either realize you DONT have all the answers every time anyone anywhere on any topic says something , or your think you are never wrong for anything ever.

People let others bad behavior and untrue reality go unchecked because its like taking to a brick wall that gives a flying fuck what you think , they are right and need you to agree with them or the conversation will never end.

SO, while i think its a valiant attempt to help solve our differences i think that each city would be exactly the same bad song on a loop. Has Rush EVERRRRRRRRRRR said he isnt qualified to speak on a subject so he will refrain? No, he takes his opinion from different situations and repeats it like its a How-To manual and gospel.

Those who are never wrong are seldom ever right because they never have the correct answer to the Actual question asked. Instead they take what they think should be the question and run with that answer, leaving you saying...Thats not what i asked you....over and over and over and over and over until you think you might puke.

Sometimes i think Republicanism should be considered a mental illness instead of party branding.

But thats just my opinion as someone whos tried too many times to reach across the isle only to find they walked out of the room after shitting on your shoe and blaming you for walking into it and how thats why they are right. TADA

Lisa Earle McLeod said...

This concept taps into a growing discontent amongst the viewing public, it would make a great show.

I've been living this issue for the past 10 years. I'm a leader in two groups: a conservative neighborhood and a liberal church. Both consider me a like minded peer, not because I keep my opinions to myself, but because I talk about my heartfelt aspirations for my community and my country in a human way, not a political way.

It's true. We're not as polarized as we believe. Both "sides" share the same core aspirations for their country and their families.

I do corporate conflict resolution work for a living. Listening and collaborating aren't sexy when you're running a three hour meeting, but if it's edited, it would make for 23 minutes of GREAT TV!

Watching people's assumptions unravel before your eyes is riveting.

The media is only producing reactive polarizing content because that's what we in effect have voted for when we turned on the tube.

My country and my kids deserves better. This show needs to happen before 2012.

lici2 said...

Hey Kurt, so the other day I was thinking about this blog. I thought that its such a shame that you had this thought and that was the end of it (as far as I know). Then I thought, really, whats stopping you? Why couldnt you do this online? Every corner of your country could be represented by voices from all camps and you havent the hassle of moving! You have to be one of the hottest commodities in the States at the moment so I am confident that you would have generous offers of assistence and support. Not only is what you have to say interesting but its quite nice to watch you say it. Your face is expressive and vunerable and that to me conveys honesty. This - was just a thought!
Love ya work