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Nine Lives of Marion Barry
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Nine Lives of Marion Barry - August 12, 2009, 10:50 AM

Has anyone watched this? It seems pretty good, but I don't have HBO.


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August 12, 2009, 04:24 PM

I Watched it. I can't feature that it would be interesting enough for anyone out of the DC area to watch. It was a fair documentary, it didn't glorify him and didn't damn him..and didn't end with any smug little message. What I learned is that he was a civil rights activist in the mid 60's counted in the ranks of notables that followed MLK. He was born dirt-poor in Mississippi and later moved to Memphis, was very bright, earned excellent grades, became an Eagle Scout, an athlete, and graduated from a black university with a BS in Chemistry(!) Under his brash activism and charismatic leadership in the 60's, he created jobs for blacks in DC, helped wrestle control of DC away from Congress, and gave a sense of pride and empowerment to the black community of DC. Then he succumbed to the lure of power, women, drugs, & alcohol. (Most of us are familiar with the scandals.) From there, most of his energies were focused on apologizing and appealing the to folks that kept electing him again and again due to his charisma and ability to identify with the trials and tribulations of his constituency. Shortly after his reelection as Mayor (after the 6 month prison term for smoking crack), Congress established a Financial Control Board, diminishing his Mayoral influence further. He still delivers a message of hope to the poorest district of DC, though his effectiveness to deliver is questionable. At the time of the documentary, he comes off quick-witted but physically deteriorating man, living in a run-down apartment in Ward 8 (that possibly doesn't know what else to do but chase public office.) The one bright point in the documentary is his God Son (didn't catch his name) that wants to be a politician. The teenager (in 2004) comes off as VERY bright, with good moral compass - evidently receiving all the correct advice from Barry, even when Barry doesn't follow his own advice. He defends his Godfather even when he sees his Godfather's failures. I'd love to know this kid's name if anyone else catches it. He may have an interesting future.


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This has been another fine contribution from Captain Craptastic.

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August 12, 2009, 04:46 PM

Corbett, I saw it and couldn't add anything to what you had to say. Great depiction. It was not biased at all. It actually brought a lot of things to light for me that I never knew about Barry and gained a little bit of respect for him.


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