The Film Take Back America Took Back

As a result of the attention surrounding my film about the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference–it was a YouTube hit–the liberal Campaign for America’s Future asked me to produce a similar video about their annual conference, Take Back America (TBA), held in Washington. On the first day of TBA, my film about CPAC was shown to an audience that appreciated its satirical edge. The planners of TBA promptly scheduled a screening of my film about their conference for their closing lunch banquet. But when I finally delivered that film, they were less amused.

With over a thousand people waiting to view my film, my videographer, Thomas Shomaker, and I were whisked backstage. There, conference organizers told us “technical” problems made our screening impossible. I was finally told that our film was too “edgy.” In it I interviewed participants at the conference, including Ralph Nader, Al Sharpton, Mike Gravel, bloggers from Atrios to Matt Stoller, and activists. I suspect that its good-natured humor failed to meet a threshold of dull earnestness. Judge for yourself. Watch the film now.

49 thoughts on “

  1. Emphyrio

    Great opening, and the Gravel segment was great.

    Obama girl? Just kind of annoying. The people you irked had nothing to do with that.
    had nothing to do with that.

    Oh, Ralph, where did you
    lose your way?

  2. A.Scott

    Wow . You’re nuts. Brilliant work . Should be screened, it won’t, cause self deprecating humour and shame isn’t something you want the neighbours to see, you’d be labelled Unserious.
    They did the right thing in censoring you . For themselves and their freaky insecurity.
    Keeep it up .

  3. Righteous Bubba

    Not that funny.

    I liked the Gravel bits, and the “what blogs do you read” part.

    Even funnier is the YouTube “Related” recommendation:

    Jackie Mason Video Blog 12 on “Nifong and Duke Rape Case”*****

  4. David Allgood

    I thought the piece brilliant and funny.
    The good folks at Take Back America need to:
    1) get a sense of humor
    2) loosen up
    3) learn to laugh at themselves

  5. MasonMcD

    I think by “edgy,” they meant “pissing off people with access to the comped hotelroom minifridge.”

  6. Vanessa

    Sheesh, some of those people had no sense of humor!
    The only person who really seemed to laugh at
    anything you said was the gay dude. I’d have a drink
    with him. No wonder progressives have such a reputation
    for being annoying. Quit giving us a bad name, humorless
    lefties!

  7. Van

    I’m not sure what they were so scared of. It was amusing
    but not really that ‘edgy’.

  8. Jon Swift

    How odd that these people could not understand the “good-natured humor” of a knife in the back. How narrow-minded of these humorless, earnest progressives that they did not get your satiric portrayal of a shallow, spoiled, rich, white, straight kid, who seems to delight in making fun of working class people, African-Americans, gays, bloggers, the elderly and people who chew their food before swallowing. Clearly, this obnoxious young man you are portraying is nothing like your true self. Is he?

  9. shinypenny

    LOFL – you rock. I can’t believe they didn’t want to show this. We’re liberals, damn it, we can laugh at ourselves.

  10. eileen left

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    Too funny!

    P.S. voice over at the beginning sounds like a young Michael Douglas

  11. Merry Selk

    film is silly and disspiriting — just like the mainstream media — manages to omit any mention of the issues that concern us enough to consider candidates and voting.

    no wonder they didn’t want to show it. i didn’t want to see it.

    obama girl is really insulting, and jason alexander is brave to have hosted (especially when idiots imply that he will never have work again)

    not funny, and a put down of everything i think is important

  12. Duane

    Ralph Nader won’t get over his jealousy of Al Gore.
    Nader let his ego lead to a Bush presidency and he
    refuses to take responsibility for it. He knows
    America would be better with Gore in the White House.

  13. DC progressive

    Hahahahahaha. Great stuff. If they banned this, I don’t regret skipping the conference.

  14. Preston Powell

    Hey, Max, sorry to bother you, brah, but have you put this video up on YouTube yet? For some reason the video won’t load up for me through your bloke (there’s a problem with my internet settings and I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet), but I’m still able to view videos on YouTube. If it’s not a problem could you upload the video there, too, so I can finally see it?

  15. Preston Powell

    Damn, did I just say “bloke” rather than “blog”? (That shows I’ve been debating with the Brits over Margaret Thatcher far too long over at YouTube and it’s effecting my writing.)

  16. I. Conoplastic

    Well, Max, in the words of our Savior, J.R.”BoB” Dobbs, patron saint of sales and One True Living Avatar of Slack, “FUCK ‘EM IF THEY CAN’T TAKE A JOKE.”

  17. Preston Powell

    Nevermind, I got it to work.

    I like the homage to Mike Gravel’s Dadaist campaign ad at the beginning of the video; I thought that was a nice way to set the tone for the entire video. And while I get the satirical style to the video, I don’t see why the planners felt so threatened to showcase it at the conference. I think they may felt you weren’t taking the event seriously and the video was a slap in a face to them. They failed to see how you were not only satirizing people in your age group—people such as myself—and why many of us tend to tune-out from listening to politicians and their phony, calculating, it’s-time-for-a-change rhetoric, but you were also scrutinizing their jaded, self-seriousness—the inability to poke fun and laugh at themselves.

    Overall, I thought it was a funny video that kept in the same tradition as your prior ones. I guess too many references to “booty,” “gay sex” and the silliness of praying-away-gay, offended them the same way it would’ve displeased prudish conservatives. Honestly, as a current film student whose two main influences are Luis Buñuel and Jean-Luc Godard, my interpretation of the event had I intended it, would’ve been far more controversial, to say the least. They should be happy you went lite on ‘em.

  18. Max Post author

    Definitely, Preston. I went lite and actually edited out several scenes that would have made this video genuinely edgy. That is why I was so amazed the video was torpedoed. You have to be beyond uptight to think my video was truly over the edge.

  19. Mr. Donut

    So it’s okay for you to lampoon conservatives, but turn
    that same light humor back on to ‘liberals’ and suddenly
    it’s too edgy? Memo to TBA: satire and sardonic humor
    cannot be pointed only in one direction, and this was
    really a light-hearted approach. That they would sink
    this type of video says a lot about the organizers.

    Oh, yeah, and f!$k Nader. What a sanctimonious gasbag.

  20. Nick Danger

    You know, as a fund raiser, the left could kidnap Ralph Nader
    secret him in a room, tie him to a chair and tape electrode
    s to sensitve parts. Via the internet, anyone with a credit
    card and a touch of vengence could apply, for $50, had rob
    ust bit of electricty. Would raise zillions.

  21. straightuplefty

    There were some funny and poignant bits — Gravel, Nader, blogger whiteness, etc. — but overall, this feels like a failed attempt to pull off humor that takes more nuance, a la Stephen Colbert. I’m a lefty and laugh regularly at our movement and our players.

    Max, most of your attempted jokes were great in theory, but — unlike Colbert – there seemed to be no undercurrent of respect for the people you were interviewing. So, your poking fun at them often came off as tactless at best and at times intentionally hurtful. That got in the way of the decent theoretical jokes, and made your overall piece less effective.

    Lefties should definitely lighten up. But, if you can turn down the volume ego a bit, it won’t drown out your subjects and the good points you’re trying to make in your videos.

  22. macbob

    Asking elderly women what blogs they read on a daily basis threatened to be
    offensive (toward the elderly in general) until the gal asked, “you mean [the blogs] in
    newspapers?”. That jewel of a response trumped the question which is what separates
    the funny from the not funny. Unfortunately, the vid had many more unfunny bits
    than funny ones. Like it or not, flatness more honestly explains the rejection of your
    vid than “it was too edgy”. Whoever told you that thought they were being nice.

    I can see how humorless progressives might be offended by the TBA vid, but
    comedians even more so; I love most of your work. This one either lost its
    edge on the cuttiing room floor, or you just had an off-weekend. Looking forward to
    the next one!

  23. JRo

    Merry Selk doesn’t really live up to her name, does she?

    Unless it’s her last name with a “u” instead of “e”

    Those “idiots” were joking, you idiot — the punchline was
    that he was hosting the conference.

    Try Zoloft. Hilarious video.

  24. StraightUpLefty

    There were some funny and poignant bits — Gravel, Nader, blogger whiteness, etc. — but overall, this feels like a failed attempt to pull off humor that takes more nuance, a la Stephen Colbert. I’m a lefty and laugh regularly at our movement and our players.

    Max, most of your attempted jokes were great in theory, but — unlike Colbert – there seemed to be no undercurrent of respect for the people you were interviewing. So, your poking fun at them often came off as tactless at best and at times intentionally hurtful. That got in the way of the decent theoretical jokes, and made your overall piece less effective.

    Lefties should definitely lighten up. But, if you can
    turn down the volume on your ego a bit, it won’t drown out your subjects and the good points you’re trying to make in your videos.

  25. Matt

    It didn’t need to be “edgy”. The CPAC video was edgy enough. Your question to Coulter will forever echo in the halls of future CPAC gatherings.

    IMO, Sharpton is definitely doing more harm than good. Racism is a serious issue, but going around crucifying white men (the Twanna Brawley case, and then the Duke Lacrosse players) only makes Sharpton seem like the racist.

    Your question to Coulter will forever echo in the halls of future CPAC gatherings.

    However, I did find something ironic about the videos; In order to find some of the clueless figures at TBA you looked for average people. But in order to find them at CPAC you have to look towards best-selling authors and ivy-league graduates.

  26. dana cala

    I don’t find the video edgy; i find it obnoxious and mean-spirited. It looked like you were really trying to be a dick. Cn you really blame them for not being able to get behind this video?

  27. phat

    I loved it, it was better than Cats…

    Seriously, good job.

    I get told to lighten up a lot and watching this, well, like looking in a mirror.

    phat

  28. comment

    That was terrible.

    I think they said ‘edgy’ because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings.

    seriously.i loved the cpac video but your forced attempts
    at humor in this one fell flat. as an example, your ‘gags’ simply went on wayyyyy too long. how many times did we have to hear you ask someone about obamagirl? see, once or twice would have been funny. 100 times was not. similarly, your ken mehlman shtick was destroyed by its length. how many times did you have to ask that kid to pray with you?

    don’t try so hard to be funny. it doesn’t work.

  29. monclerjacketssale

    moncler
    moncler jacket
    montcler jackets
    moncler coats
    moncler coats sale
    giubbotti moncler
    moncler uomo
    moncler sales
    moncler sale
    punti vendita moncler
    moncler daunenjacke
    moncler roma
    moncler winterjas
    moncler winterjassen
    moncler coat
    moncler down jackets
    moncler vest sale
    moncler down jacket
    moncler torino
    moncler jacket women
    moncler ski
    moncler jacket sale
    moncler jackets on sale
    moncler jackets for women
    moncler mens
    moncler dames
    moncler jackets for men
    moncler vanoise
    moncler mantel
    moncler jas dames
    moncler down coat
    abbigliamento moncler
    moncler ski jackets
    moncler herren
    moncler clothes
    moncler price
    moncler veste
    mountain equipment down jacket
    moncler munchen
    moncler discount
    manteau moncler
    moncler discount
    moncler damen
    felpe moncler
    moncler jackets for kids
    moncler kaufen
    moncler
    moncler sauterne
    pink moncler
    moncler coats for women
    moncler shirts
    moncler coats sale
    moncler schweiz
    moncler nantes hooded down coat
    moncler outerwear
    moncler vest men
    moncler deutschland
    moncler coats for men
    moncler shirt
    moncler winter jacket
    moncler sizing
    moncler coats on sale
    moncler sizing
    moncler berlin
    moncler tibet vest
    mens moncler coats
    cheap moncler coats
    moncler down jacket women
    moncler jackets online
    moncler winterjacken
    moncler jassen te koop
    moncler coats for kids
    moncler winterjacken
    moncler jassen te koop
    moncler ski wear
    moncler tulsa jacket
    moncler down vest
    moncler vest for women
    moncler herrenjacke
    moncler coats for cheap
    moncler herrenjacke
    real moncler jackets
    moncler kindermode
    moncler zomerjas
    moncler leather jackets
    moncler summer jacket
    moncler spring jackets
    moncler down jacket
    moncler jackets for men
    moncler coats
    moncler ski jackets
    leather jackets
    moncler jacket
    mens leather jackets
    moncler jackets on sale
    moncler jackets for women
    moncler down jackets
    moncler uomo
    moncler outerwear
    moncler daunenjacke
    moncler spring jackets
    moncler roma
    moncler weste
    moncler discount
    moncler down coat
    moncler torino
    moncler vest men
    moncler munchen
    moncler price
    moncler jacket women
    moncler leather jackets
    moncler sales
    moncler sauterne
    moncler mens
    montcler jacken
    montclair ski jackets
    manteau moncler
    moncler jassen te koop
    abbigliamento moncler
    moncler sweater
    moncler ski wear
    moncler herren
    moncler schweiz
    moncler sizing
    moncler schweiz
    moncler sizing
    moncler zomerjas
    felpe moncler
    moncler tibet vest
    moncler dames
    moncler jas dames
    moncler deutschland
    moncler k2 jacket
    moncler winterjassen
    moncler berlin
    moncler down jacket women
    real moncler jackets
    moncler winterjacken
    moncler kindermode
    moncler damen
    moncler clothes
    moncler herrenjacke
    moncler winter jacket
    moncler winterjas
    moncler kaufen
    moncler coats
    moncler down jacket
    moncler jackets for men
    moncler coats for men
    moncler coat
    moncler coats for women
    moncler ski jackets
    moncler vest
    moncler jackets on sale
    moncler coats for kids
    moncler trench coat
    moncler men
    moncler vest men
    moncler bubble jacket
    moncler jacket
    moncler down jackets
    mens moncler coats
    giubbotti moncler
    moncler roma
    moncler daunenjacke
    moncler coats on sale
    moncler mantel
    moncler shirts
    moncler discount
    moncler torino
    moncler tulsa jacket
    moncler coats for cheap
    moncler jackets for women
    moncler weste
    moncler nantes hooded down coat
    moncler vanoise
    moncler munchen
    moncler summer jacket
    mountain equipment down jacket
    punti vendita moncler
    moncler ski
    moncler sales
    moncler mens
    montcler jacken
    moncler sizing
    manteau moncler
    moncler ski wear
    moncler jassen te koop
    moncler tibet vest
    moncler herren
    moncler schweiz
    moncler zomerjas
    felpe moncler
    moncler jackets online
    moncler sweater
    cheap moncler coats
    pink moncler
    moncler dames
    moncler jas dames
    moncler winterjassen
    moncler raincoat
    moncler shirt
    moncler winterjacken
    moncler damen
    moncler kindermode
    moncler vest for women
    moncler jacket sale
    moncler günstig
    moncler jacket women
    moncler herrenjacke
    moncler ski pants
    moncler winterjas
    moncler down vest
    Moncler Womens Coats
    2010 ladies newest moncler jackets black
    2010 ladies newest moncler jackets orange
    2010 ladies newest moncler jackets pure blue
    2010 ladies newest moncler jackets purple
    2010 ladies newest moncler jackets red
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket Black
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket Black 2
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket Brown
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket Chocolate
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket DarkOrchid
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket Purple
    Moncler Lucie Pop Star Jacket White
    Moncler Womens Jacket
    Ladies Moncler Fashion Down Coat Black
    Ladies Moncler Fashion Down Coat Blue
    Ladies Moncler Fashionable Down Coat Blue
    Ladies Moncler Fashionable Down Coat Brown
    Ladies Moncler Fashionable Down Coat Purple
    Ladies Moncler Fashionable Down Coat White
    MONCLER LIGHT NYLON SALLA DOWN JACKET
    Moncler Badia Very Shiny Black
    Moncler Women Classical Style Beige Down Coat
    Moncler Women Classical Style Black Down Coat
    Moncler Women Classical Style Blue Down Coat
    Moncler Mens Coats
    Fashion Moncler doudoune Rabbit men coats Cover buttocks
    Long Moncler Down Coats for men’s
    Moncler Cheap Opaque Sport Jacket
    Moncler Coats Hooded down mid length men Coffee
    Moncler Coats Hooded down mid length men Dark
    Moncler Coats men Hooded down jackets dark green
    Moncler Coats men Hooded down jackets nevy blue
    Moncler Discount Jackets 2010 Men Down Jacket
    Moncler Discount Sheepskin&Feather short Down black shop all Mon
    Moncler Down Coat men Hooded mid-length black
    Moncler down jacket man with hooded zip black
    Moncler Jackets Affton Half length Men Brown
    Moncler long down Coat brown
    Moncler long down Coat brown Gray
    Moncler long men down jackets Zegna grey
    Moncler Men Long Down Coats Grey
    Moncler Mens Jacket
    Branson Navy Mens Moncler Jackets Dark Blue
    Branson Navy Moncler Men Jackets Black
    Chartreuse Down Mens Moncler Jackets Grey
    Moncler Arcs Jacket black
    Moncler Aspen Down Jackets Black
    Moncler Branson Down Jacket Grey
    Moncler Bredford Jacket black
    Moncler Bulgarie Jacket black
    Moncler Bulgarie Jacket Brown
    Moncler Chamonix Jacket
    Moncler Chevalier Jacket black
    Moncler Down Jacket
    Moncler For Men Anderson Parka
    Moncler Himalaya Jacket black
    Moncler Himalaya Jacket doudoune brillante veste taille Brown
    Moncler Himalaya Jacket White
    Moncler Himalaya Jacket White
    Moncler Jackets For Men "Christmas Edition" Down Black
    Moncler K2 Jacket 3 Outwear Grey
    Moncler Maya Hooded Parka Navy
    Moncler Maya Jacket black
    Moncler Maya Jacket Purple
    Moncler Men Down Jacket Blue
    Moncler Men Down Jacket – Grey
    Moncler Men Down-Hat Jacket
    Moncler Men Down-No Hat Jacket
    Moncler Men Jacket -leon navy
    Moncler Mens Jacket Blue
    Moncler Mens Jackets Black
    Moncler Striped Technical Menuire Sport Jacket
    Quilted Moncler Ski Jackets with hood
    Moncler Men Sweater
    Moncler 90% of wool Sweater Gray men
    Moncler 90% of wool Sweater green men
    Moncler 90% of wool Sweater green men
    Moncler Cardigan 90% of wool Sweater black men
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater Black
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater Black
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater Black
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater Green and white
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater grey
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater grey
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater shallow and white
    Moncler men 90% of wool Sweater yellow and purple
    Moncler men black 90% of wool Sweater
    Moncler Sweater men black 90% of wool Sweater
    Moncler Sweater men black 90% of wool Sweater
    Moncler Sweater men black 90% of wool Sweater
    Moncler Sweater men blue 90% of wool Sweater
    Moncler Vest
    2010 new Moncler Vests For Women fur down gilet/vest Blue
    2010 new Moncler women fur down gilet/vest Black
    2010 new Moncler women fur down gilet/vest Purple
    2010 new Moncler women fur down gilet/vest Red
    Moncler Milano Multiple logo Women Vest Cream
    Moncler Multiple logo Women Vest Black
    Moncler Multiple logo Womens Vest Beige
    Moncler Multiple logo Womens Vest Black
    Moncler Tibet Vest – Quilted body warmer Navy
    Moncler vest sale waistcoat blue
    Moncler Spring Autumn
    Fashion Men Moncler Spring Autumn Jacket black
    Fashion Men Moncler Winter & Autumn Jacket black
    Fashion Men Moncler Winter & Autumn Jacket black
    Fashion moncler halesia women Spring Autumn Jacket Blue
    Fashion Moncler Men Spring Autumn Jacket blue
    Fashion Moncler Men Spring Autumn Jacket Cream
    Fashion Moncler Men Spring Autumn Jacket white
    Fashion Moncler women Spring Autumn Jacket black
    Fashion Moncler women Spring Autumn Jacket Gary
    Fashion Moncler women Spring Autumn Jacket Purple
    Fashion Moncler women Spring Autumn Jacket
    Fashion Moncler women Spring Autumn Jacket white
    Moncler Polo
    Moncler Men stand collar T-shirt black
    Moncler Men stand collar T-shirt blue white
    Moncler Men stand collar T-shirt red
    Moncler Shirts grey Men Short Sleeves T-shirt
    Moncler Shoes
    Moncler cowskin high Vancouver Casual shoes
    Moncler cowskin high Vancouver Casual shoes Chocolate
    Moncler men shoes coffee cowskin high St-Moritz Casual
    Moncler men yellow cowskin Vancouver shearling Boots
    Moncler Monaco Sneakers Brown
    Moncler Monaco Sneakers Brown
    Moncler Monaco Sneakers Chocolate
    Moncler Monaco Sneakers Orange
    Moncler Monaco Sneakers White
    Moncler Scarf
    Moncler Accessories Hat Black
    Moncler Hat Beanie Cream
    Moncler Hats Gray
    Moncler Scarf Black
    Moncler Scarf Gray
    Moncler Skully Scarf Cream
    New Brown Moncler Scarf Hat Set Gray
    New Moncler Scarf Hat Set Black
    New Moncler Scarf Hat Set Cream
    Moncler Kids
    Baby Moncler Clairy Down Sleeveless Vest Black
    Kids Moncler Jackets Clairy Down Sleeveless Vest Brown
    Moncler Children Clairy Down Sleeveless Vest White
    Moncler For Kids Clairy Down Sleeveless Vest Green
    Moncler Jackets Kids Clairy Down Sleeveless Vest Red
    Moncler Bags
    Moncler Bags Black
    Moncler Bags Red
    Moncler Boots
    Moncler Nible Quilted Boots in Black
    Moncler Nible Quilted Boots in Black
    Moncler Nible Quilted Boots in Red

Leave a Reply