So the IFC Center celebrated it's opening with a big bash and a picket line. In attendance was pretty much a who's who list of the big wigs of the Indie-world in New York and even a few from LA (although if you didn't show up, it doesn't mean you're not a big wig, it just means I don't know you, and frankly, you should probably be happy about that). Different drinks were served in each theater and room (kind of like those old seven deadly sins parties from college, except without the going to hell theme), which was a genius move in that the crowd was forced to explore the entirety of the theater and no one bar got so packed that the sheer of number of people over-powered the AC.
But as inside people were celebrate drinking strawberry margaritas and martinis, outside member of Local 306 were protesting the theater's hiring of non-union projectionists. It was a strange contrast, and for me anyway a bit unnerving. I've found now a days unions are at best a mixed bag in most people's minds. Rather than being seen as protecting their members, too often they are envisioned as corrupt bureaucratic institutions that make life more difficult for members and non-members alike. I don't know if this is because of the country's unabated (even post enron) love affair with corporate culture, effective right wing propoganda, or that some unions have been (and may well still be) corrupt. In truth, it's probably a combination of these factors, and all of them need to be dealt with in order to remedy the problem, because even though people at the opening ranged the social scale from top to bottom, I couldn't and can't stop thinking about how we were living out a small microcosm of the larger struggle that is plaguing this country.