Why
June 22, 2004 3:14 AM   Subscribe

Michael Moore, or Michael snore? (I am so funny its almost pointless) Are people judging a film before it is seen? Is our nation so solidified on partisan ideals that our own political idealogies only want to oppose the "other side"?
posted by Keyser Soze (128 comments total)

 

posted by Keyser Soze at 3:16 AM on June 22, 2004


Not to get me the wrong way, there are certainly extreme liberal views that I oppose wholeheartedly. This is about slander on something that is not even publicly available, which is truly oxymoronic. I fear that America is becoming seperated on its views, more than ever. I don't think this is about whose "side" will win, because political idealism is a breeding ground for folly. I also am not speaking of ideals of everyone sitting outside in the sun, praising peace without working. This is about a film that people dislike, without ever seeing it! I do not understand why. Can someone please explain politely why people hate farenheit 9/11?
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:23 AM on June 22, 2004


Michael Moore is to documentaries what David Hasselhoff is to pop music (they're also both popular in certain European countries).

I can't for the life of me understand why anyone serious would pay attention to this man (or Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Al Franken for that matter).
posted by dagny at 3:49 AM on June 22, 2004


Since it's concerned with exactly this point, may I link to my review of Fahrenheit 9/11 one more time? There's also the Fahrenheit 9/11 blog that keeps track of all news regarding the film.
posted by muckster at 3:53 AM on June 22, 2004


In the case of Hitchens, I don't think you can blame it on partisanship (unless it's on the basis of pro-Iraq war and anti-Iraq war partisanship). Hitchens is a card-carrying angry-leftist. Er, he's also gone more than a bit nuts the last few years, as well as being something of a showboat. A nice match for Moore, perhaps.

I read his article earlier this morning, and while I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, Hitchens's points seem persuasive to me, especially since they reinforce my prior opinions about Moore.

For those of us on the left that don't like Moore—and there's quite a few of us—it's a sort of "with friends like these who needs enemies?" kinda thing. That said, at this point I couldn't care less if Fahrenheit 9/11 is the Triumph des Willens of the anti-Bush left. Whatever the hell it takes to get this fuckwit out of office. Propoganda, distortion, lies, tragically gone wrong medical procedure, whatever. It's all good.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:10 AM on June 22, 2004


My fave passage: "Richard Clarke...has come forward to say that he, and he alone, took the responsibility for authorizing those Saudi departures." Nice!
posted by shoos at 4:22 AM on June 22, 2004


The more potentially damaging something is, the more the people/group at risk of being damaged feel they have to rise up against it.
posted by amberglow at 4:42 AM on June 22, 2004


Long boring article.
Nice quote from George Orwell though.
posted by seanyboy at 4:42 AM on June 22, 2004


The fact that the Bush Administration allowed the Saudis to fly is perhaps the weakest argument against the administration I've ever heard. As the news reports seem to suggest that's one of the primary bases of the film, he might get blasted on this one. I mean, I can think of tons of things the Bush administration has done in terms of the environment, the economy, and foreign policy that are FAR worse. I hope those concerns are also addressed in the film. This Slate author is awful by the way. He attacks Moore with faulty logic. Arguments such as well, had the administration done it differently, Moore would still be attacking it. Well, ok, maybe, but claiming Moore wants it both ways because of how you *think* he would react to the administration had they made different choices doesn't magically make the movie false.
posted by banished at 4:47 AM on June 22, 2004


correction: Richard Carke said he and he alone took respnsibility etc AFTER he checked with and got clearance from the FBI...does it matter? you bet it does.
posted by Postroad at 4:53 AM on June 22, 2004


dagny is on the frickin money.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:55 AM on June 22, 2004


Except that Dagny is wrong.

Michael Moore is extremely popular in the United States as well. Bowling for Columbine is the highest grossing documentary of all time in that country. He also has three best selling books in the US. So it isn't a European thing. Although he's wildly popular in Europe as well.
posted by sic at 5:07 AM on June 22, 2004


does it matter? you bet it does.

Cause Shrub was all over the FBI tellin em they better let OBL's buddies out? Damn straight!
posted by shoos at 5:09 AM on June 22, 2004


Oh yeah I forgot to mention that he won an OSCAR (in the US, in case you didn't know).
posted by sic at 5:10 AM on June 22, 2004


"I take responsibility for it. I don't think it was a mistake, and I'd do it again."
posted by shoos at 5:17 AM on June 22, 2004


Keyser Soze: If I wanted to see Cox and Forkum's moronic cartoons, I'd go to LGF, ta.

The sheer amount of vitriol in politics nowadays seems to be a distinctly American phenomenon -- you look at the American media and you see venom and bile hurled back and forth, all the time. If you read media from other English-speaking countries, like the UK, Canada and Australia, it's nowhere near as extreme, in my opinion.
posted by reklaw at 5:20 AM on June 22, 2004


But you have to admit, this Hitchens guy is really having a good time as a new born rightwinger and a Bush apologist now, isn't he?
posted by acrobat at 5:26 AM on June 22, 2004


Are people judging a film before it is seen? Is our nation so solidified on partisan ideals that our own political idealogies only want to oppose the "other side"?

Yes. Duh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:31 AM on June 22, 2004


When Hitchens sees the film, maybe his opinion about it will change.
posted by jellicle at 5:32 AM on June 22, 2004


moore lied, people died!
posted by mcsweetie at 5:34 AM on June 22, 2004


shoos: Here's how the timeline of the bin Laden flight authorization worked, from what I recall of Clarke's hearing:
1) Clarke refuses to unilaterally authorize the flight(s).
2) He asks the FBI to look into it.
3) Dale Watson at the FBI gives it the okay.
4) Clarke authorizes it.

Clarke takes sole responsibility for it, because he's that kind of guy. He was in charge, and the buck stops with him. It may have been a good idea, for all I know. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and it may be that the bin Laden flight was perfectly benign. But Hitchens' article utterly ignores that Clarke did not make the decision alone. He spins Clarke's statement of taking full responsibility for what was done under his leadership into an implication that nobody else had anything to do with it. In an article blasting another person for distorting the truth, that's significant.
posted by infidelpants at 5:37 AM on June 22, 2004


The Saudi flights are not a central point of the film. Moore does a funny "Dragnet" bit about it though--"Don't cops usually question family members of suspects?"--cut to "We'd like you to come down to the station, Ma'm!"--"Ah, yes, that is what they do."

Why didn't they do it in this case? I believe it's a fair question. Moore asks it, and then moves on.
posted by muckster at 5:59 AM on June 22, 2004


Kudos, Keyser, on the way you tried to balance an FPP that would clearly provoke partisan debate, followed by immediately making sure the first internal comment was a gross and hateful attack on one side of it. Bravo. (Claps hands slowly)

(As a cartoonist, by the way, I'm so proud that our craft is finally recognized as the ultimate arbiter of truth. I mean, when you need to emphasize how Michael Moore is untruthful, nothing beats openly partisan caricaturists, does it. Game, set, match!)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:10 AM on June 22, 2004


The Saudi flights are not a central point of the film.

Although the first third of the trailer is about just that.

Unanswered questions! Like how many times does Moore visit Krispy Kreme each day.
posted by shoos at 6:11 AM on June 22, 2004


Like how many times does Moore visit Krispy Kreme each day.

OMG!!! YOUR RIGHT! HE IS WICKED FAT!!! LOL!!!!!!
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:21 AM on June 22, 2004


You got my joke. That's cool. L8R!
posted by shoos at 6:23 AM on June 22, 2004


Thanks to my paranormal partisan mad skillz, I can tell you the next two years of movies will suck so you shouldn't see them because that would mean you don't agree with me, therefore you must be either a republican or a liberal or a martian. In any case, disagreeing with me is a sign of mental illness and sexual perversion and immoral behavior.

And this settles the thread once and for all ! Nothing to see, move along.
posted by elpapacito at 6:29 AM on June 22, 2004


if Haughey doesn't kill this thread, the baby Jesus is going to bawl his eyes out

tell you what -- why don't we wait at least until the fucking movie has actually come out before we post a ffp a day about it?
posted by matteo at 6:30 AM on June 22, 2004


Amen.
posted by agregoli at 6:45 AM on June 22, 2004


what's an ffp?
posted by spilon at 6:51 AM on June 22, 2004


Metafilter: You got my joke. That's cool. L8R!
posted by Outlawyr at 6:51 AM on June 22, 2004


tell you what -- why don't we wait at least until the fucking movie has actually come out before we post a ffp a day about it?

What? No way! Keep bashing it before you've seen it! Keep making assumptions about something you don't know about while accusing MM of spin! You just can't buy that kind of publicity.

And for everyone who bitches about MM's tactics I'd like to remind you that the left has spent ten years being creamed because it was trying to take the high ground. For all of you who compare Moore to Coulter (which is pretty sad considering how easily Coulter throws around words like traitor and terrorist), have you read a Chomsky book lately? Or even Zinn? I'm sorry, but the rational, reasonable left has spent the last decade being derided for being 'out of touch with the common man'. And since the common man apparently likes Rush and wrestling, then bread and circuses it is.

Anyway, if you don't want to give your money to 9/11 because of Moore himself, go see The Corporation or Control Room. Oh yeah, unless you live in the inner city, you can't. Because the only thing that gets into the major chains is contreversy.
posted by lumpenprole at 7:01 AM on June 22, 2004


Michael Moore is extremely popular in the United States as well. Bowling for Columbine is the highest grossing documentary of all time in that country.

Too bad it sucked.
posted by Witty at 7:07 AM on June 22, 2004


dagny: I can't for the life of me understand why anyone serious would pay attention to this man (or Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Al Franken for that matter).

techgnollogic, dagny is not on the money. This is the sort of attitude that lets such divisiveness actually occur. It's one thing to step back and evaluate different writers / commentators and form an opinion on their work, but it's another to dismiss everything they say with a wave of your hand.

Large portions of the population actively seek out this material. I realize some do so out of a need for entertainment and not for political reasons, but it's still a part of the larger sphere of social interest. It's worth having at least some knowledge of the content, arguments, and intent.
posted by mikeh at 7:10 AM on June 22, 2004


what's an ffp

it's a fucking frontpage post
posted by matteo at 7:14 AM on June 22, 2004


I love Moore, but I am sooooooooo sick of talking about this movie (and hearing people talk about it) before I have seen it.

There are two facts here.

1) Republicans will hate this movie, no matter what.
2) When they do see it, it will just provide more ammo to take Moore and his "agenda" down.

Honestly, no one is changing their minds any time soon.
posted by Quartermass at 7:22 AM on June 22, 2004




mikeh: "It's one thing to step back and evaluate different writers / commentators and form an opinion on their work, but it's another to dismiss everything they say with a wave of your hand"

Surely you are familiar with the boy who cried wolf. Coulter, Franken, Limbaugh, Moore and the gang constantly cry wolf. For me or anyone else to keep considering their arguments is simply a waste of time and energy, and flattering them uneccesarily.

"Large portions of the population actively seek out this material. I realize some do so out of a need for entertainment and not for political reasons, but it's still a part of the larger sphere of social interest. It's worth having at least some knowledge of the content, arguments, and intent"

This sounds like relativism to me. Why should I care whether 99% of Americans or 1% of Americans watch this movie? I'm not going to bother regardless. I try to judge works on their merit, not on the basis of hype, fashion and mob mentality. "If you friends were to bicycle off a cliff, etc".

It's not elitism, it's trying to spend my hard-earned spare time on good and sensible things as opposed to rubbish. Both Coulter and Moore are occasionally hysterical, intentionally or not, but they are still rubbish, and I try to avoid that.
posted by dagny at 7:35 AM on June 22, 2004


.
posted by soyjoy at 7:39 AM on June 22, 2004


But you have to admit, this Hitchens guy is really having a good time as a new born rightwinger and a Bush apologist now, isn't he?

It's clearly driving him crazy that he jettisoned his multi-culti-liberal-lefty-appeasement-friendly past at just the right moment to be sold a pack of lies.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:39 AM on June 22, 2004


Seems like Chris took about 6 points from the film and picked them apart. The film discusses much more than he addresses. He had space to take issue with more points on the film but he decided to spend about 20% of his words making a personal case against Moore.

Curious, that. Also curious is that he published this wash of the movie BEFORE it has been released. My guess is that if more people had seen the film first they would dismiss the article, but because the article is first it is laying the foundation of doubt for the film. Bowling... was attacked much the same way -- because these hlaf dozen ideas are questionable, the movie was deemed worthless when in fact the main idea of that (and this film, I think) have a great deal of merit.

The Bushes DO have many business dealings with the bin Ladens and the Sauds. The Bush administration DOES have competency issues. The DO lie about reality and what they have said in the past. Etc.

If Moore told a lie every other time he opened his mouth about 9/11 how much MORE truthful would he be than Rumsfleld, Bush and Cheney?
posted by n9 at 7:40 AM on June 22, 2004




Yeah, but the insinuation (or accusation) that either Afghanistan or Iraq had anything directly or primarily to do with oil is just hooey. Faux-sophisticated, know-nothing bullshit.

On the other hand, the BushCo ties to Saudi Arabia are indisputable. This is why they're mysteriously exempt from any serious criticism from this administration (excepting from the starry-eyed neocons who are, no doubt, at this point less starry-eyed).
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:50 AM on June 22, 2004


Too bad it sucked.

O'DOYLE RULES!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:54 AM on June 22, 2004


Michael Moore is extremely popular in the United States as well. Bowling for Columbine is the highest grossing documentary of all time in that country.

Too bad it sucked.


Yeah, that's why they gave him an Oscar.
posted by bshort at 7:57 AM on June 22, 2004


I don't think the country is more divided, I think those with strong views are just much more vocal now than at any time in the past (it's that damn internet).

There is still a large majority who will not make up their mind who to vote for until that first tuesday in November.

Hell, even my support of Bush is on again/off again (currently in the off position).

That said, Moore is a big fat doody head.
posted by Mick at 7:58 AM on June 22, 2004


Yeah, that's why they gave him an Oscar.

They gave an Titanic an Oscar, too. It's rubbish. They gave N'Sync multiple Grammies. They're rubbish. The movie Godzilla grossed $10 million. It's rubbish. Time magazine named Bush their Person of the Year in 2000. He's a dope. Inside Edition won a Polk Award. And so on.
posted by dhoyt at 8:05 AM on June 22, 2004


So this Michael Moore, he vibrates?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:06 AM on June 22, 2004


Control Room.

Copy that - great documentary.
posted by ao4047 at 8:10 AM on June 22, 2004


So this Michael Moore, he vibrates?
Not very quickly. And girls are not that interested in straddling him. Assuming that's even possible.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:12 AM on June 22, 2004


Here's review with more detail from AICN.
posted by PenDevil at 8:22 AM on June 22, 2004


Yeah, but the insinuation (or accusation) that either Afghanistan or Iraq had anything directly or primarily to do with oil is just hooey. Faux-sophisticated, know-nothing bullshit.

Er, no. After spending much of last night reading about China's "economic miracle," the war in Iraq, specifically, took on a new light.

This, from the Rand Corp:

China has shifted from being a net exporter of oil in the early 1990s to importing nearly half its oil, and nearly a fifth of its natural gas supplies.

How can we deny, then, that paving the way for indirect control, at least, of oil was a factor, and perhaps a major motivator, for the war in Iraq?
posted by kgasmart at 8:24 AM on June 22, 2004


Not very quickly. And girls are not that interested in straddling him. Assuming that's even possible.

OMG!!! YOUR RIGHT! HE IS WICKED FAT!!! LOL!!!!!!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:24 AM on June 22, 2004


The movie Godzilla grossed $10 million. It's rubbish.

Heh. dhoyt, you sound a little like Dr. Evil there. This movie was so popular it grossed ten... MILLION... dollars!

Missing a zero, perhaps?
posted by soyjoy at 8:25 AM on June 22, 2004


you know, the boy is he fat and ugly comments are just awful and they reflect awfully on you.

Making fun of people for being fat is as terrible as making fun of someone for being Jewish. And dismissing someone for being fat is even worse.

You're just making yourself look stupid on the interweb. I have to assume you know that since you are so gosh-darn smart, but I thought I'd chime in.

Give it a break or go make a FPP about how you think fat people are ugly and politically ignorant.
posted by n9 at 8:29 AM on June 22, 2004


Not very quickly. And girls are not that interested in straddling him. Assuming that's even possible.

So, is this Michael Moore a portly gentleman? I honestly haven't noticed. Also, the previous 1,000 Moore = fat jokes flew directly over my head.
posted by crank at 8:29 AM on June 22, 2004


Missing a zero, perhaps?

Heh, you're right. On further review it actually grossed $136 billion. What a mind-boggler.

dhoyt, you sound a little like Dr. Evil there.

my ex-girlfriend used to say the same thing
posted by dhoyt at 8:33 AM on June 22, 2004


Are people judging a film before it is seen? Is our nation so solidified on partisan ideals that our own political idealogies only want to oppose the "other side"?

I think this is actually the most interesting part of the post.

As far as I can tell none of us here have actually seen the film, yet we all seem to have solidified, no calcified opinions on it. This does lend creedence to the theory that most people of whatever political persuasion do not want to have their ideas challenged, just parrotted back to them.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on June 22, 2004


How can we deny, then, that paving the way for indirect control, at least, of oil was a factor, and perhaps a major motivator, for the war in Iraq?
Because it's almost certainly not true? There are about eight-billion obvious, not-secret and equally morally dubious reasons this administration wanted a war in Iraq. If they had been truly serious about long-term strategic control of the region with regard to the oilfields, they'd have taken the post-war occupation much more seriously. As it is, we're going to leave Iraq in an unstable state that very possibly could put its oil under the control of Islamic radicals. What we've done has acted as a destabilizing force on Saudi Arabia—it could become overtly what it's been covertly, very anti-American. The neocons, without a doubt, saw Iraq's oil as a prize in their utopian westernized Iraq fantasies. But the neocon fantasy was never what motivated this administration, it was its cover.

It is impossible to understand the modern history of the region outside the context of oil. I don't dispute that. But this reflexive "it's really all about the oil" is a variety of ignorance. The politics in the region are complex, the strategic concerns varied, and the decisions that various leaders make as often as not emotional rather than pragmatic and calculating.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:41 AM on June 22, 2004


I just couldn't resist the temptation to riff on the "it vibrates" injoke. I have no particular opinion on the matter of Moore's girth, nor do I care one way or another. I'll be happy to joke about an obese conservative when an unusually attractive opportunity presents itself. Boy, will I. In fact, the opportunity doesn't have to be that irresistable. Or the conservative that fat. What the hell. I just like to make fun of conservatives.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:49 AM on June 22, 2004


OMG Ethereal Bligh actually said Triumph des Willens. You ass.
posted by xmutex at 9:04 AM on June 22, 2004


It is impossible to understand the modern history of the region outside the context of oil. I don't dispute that. But this reflexive "it's really all about the oil" is a variety of ignorance. The politics in the region are complex, the strategic concerns varied, and the decisions that various leaders make as often as not emotional rather than pragmatic and calculating.

I'm not disputing this, nor am I claiming that "it's all about oil."

What I suggest, though, is that had Iraq not conveniently sat atop the globe's second-largest proven reserves, there is a possibility that the invasion never would have happened. It's but one leg of many holding the table aloft, but an important one, nonetheless.
posted by kgasmart at 9:07 AM on June 22, 2004


I'll be happy to joke about an obese conservative when an unusually attractive opportunity presents itself.

You'll have your chance the next time someone starts a Rush Limbaugh thread. See the hypocrites explode from out of the woodwork to bash "fat" people and "drug-addicts"—you'll be suprised at the partisanship.

Aw, who am I kidding. No you won't.
posted by dhoyt at 9:07 AM on June 22, 2004


As it is, we're going to leave Iraq in an unstable state...

Heh... you think we're leaving? No way, dude... we might create a puppet Iraqi government so that it looks like we turned over control of the country back to the Iraqi's, but we're not leaving... EVER.

Oil is a nice benefit, but this War has always been about the "enduring bases" that we are currently building. The Bush Administration needed these bases as a foothold on the Middle East through which to wage their proactive, preemptive War on Terror.

I mean seriously, when our own government calls them "Enduring Bases", you know what's up. Even if Bush is defeated and Kerry gets elected, I doubt those bases are going anywhere.

We seem to be in Iraq for good.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:10 AM on June 22, 2004


Both Coulter and Moore are occasionally hysterical, intentionally or not, but they are still rubbish, and I try to avoid that.

With the exception, of course, of participating in discourse about them. Hope you avoid speeding trains better than you avoid Moore. What a stink hypocrisy gives off!
posted by archimago at 9:18 AM on June 22, 2004


Making fun of people for being fat is as terrible as making fun of someone for being Jewish. And dismissing someone for being fat is even worse.

Worse than making fun of people for being Jewish? What say you, Jewish posters? Anyway, it's fine to make fun of fat people because they killed our Lord.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:19 AM on June 22, 2004


I should have made the cartoon a link instead. I guess to me it really drove the point home of irony to see the American Flag burning, the stereotypical frenchman eating the film, and a uber-smiling Michael Moore serving him. It encompasses major points of bigotry in the way we think. It would suffice to say that people will look back at that cartoon and be happy they live in a completely different world.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:22 AM on June 22, 2004


Is being Jewish a glandular problem?
posted by BobFrapples at 9:23 AM on June 22, 2004


dagny, just for clarification, I didn't mean that you have to read every bit of garbage released. I pop my head out of the sand every once in a while to take a cursory look around, see the same old garbage, and back in I go. I doubt anyone around here is guilty of this, but I know people who think parroting critical articles they've read is sufficient for dismissing so-called "pundits" they disagree with. Of course, that's the target market for Coulter et al.

That said, keep that Cox and Forkum garbage off of MeFi, Keyser. Damn.
posted by mikeh at 9:24 AM on June 22, 2004


The politics in the region are complex, the strategic concerns varied, and the decisions that various leaders make as often as not emotional rather than pragmatic and calculating.

And that said, one of the top - if not the very top - "strategic concerns" in the region, and the primary reason why the West is so deeply involved in Middle Eastern affairs and has been since the British and French carved up the Ottoman Empire after World War I, is oil. It is why you and I and everyone else in this thread knows who the Kurds are and why the Saudi royal family has trouble governing and where Kuwait is, and why we hear next to nothing (and care even less) about the brutal protracted civil war in the Congo. Were the world's largest oil reserves in the Congo, we'd know our Luba from our Anamongo. If Saudi Arabia were just another desert theocracy riven by internecine squabbling, we'd care about it like we care about Chad. Burying this under a thicket of complexities and "emotional" grievances doesn't change it one bit.
posted by gompa at 9:25 AM on June 22, 2004


archimago: I hope you never discuss drug use, car accidents and the like online, if you believe that one has to experience what one is discussing at all times. (and yes, I am comparing reading Moore and Coulter to those activities :-)
posted by dagny at 9:26 AM on June 22, 2004


That said, keep that Cox and Forkum garbage off of MeFi, Keyser. Damn.

[sarcasm]
But the Ted Rall and IndyMedia garbage is still welcome, of course.
[/sarcasm]
posted by jonmc at 9:34 AM on June 22, 2004


I'm just pointing out that by participating in a discussion about something is not avoiding it, even though you claim to be avoiding it. Avoiding Moore would be contributing no comments to this thread nor even reading the FPP link to begin with. You want to bash him by claiming that his ideas/work are beneath your intelligence/sensibilities, then have at it, participate in the dialogue, but don't claim that you don't pay attention to what he is doing.
posted by archimago at 9:35 AM on June 22, 2004


The dishonesty of this article is made plain by the fact that Hitch has subtitled it "the lies of Michael Moore", and refers repeatedly to the "lies" in the film, and yet I read it and read it and do not find a single instance where he actually identifies a lie. Sorry Chris, somebody's lying here and it ain't Moore.

This kind of deceit by labeling is becoming very popular: summarise and hype your article with a conclusion you utterly fail to prove, and hope the witless and inattentive reader will come away with the impression that you actually made the point that you slathered all over your article's own self-hype.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:54 AM on June 22, 2004


Honestly, no one is changing their minds any time soon.

That's where you're wrong. In large part, Moore claims to have made this film to entice swing voters to vote against Bush. Thus far, judging only pre-screenings of the movies, fence-sitters have overwhelmingly left the theater wanting to remove Bush from office.

Someone earlier was right: the left has been getting their asses handed to them for a long time because they won't even approach the same ball park those on the right play in. I'm not suggesting sinking all the way down to the level that often represents, but at least throwing a few counterpunches isn't a bad thing.
posted by The God Complex at 10:01 AM on June 22, 2004


Because it's almost certainly not true? There are about eight-billion obvious, not-secret and equally morally dubious reasons this administration wanted a war in Iraq. If they had been truly serious about long-term strategic control of the region with regard to the oilfields, they'd have taken the post-war occupation much more seriously. As it is, we're going to leave Iraq in an unstable state that very possibly could put its oil under the control of Islamic radicals. What we've done has acted as a destabilizing force on Saudi Arabia—it could become overtly what it's been covertly, very anti-American. The neocons, without a doubt, saw Iraq's oil as a prize in their utopian westernized Iraq fantasies. But the neocon fantasy was never what motivated this administration, it was its cover.

1.) Why did they expend so much effort protecting the oil fields after the invasion when they left the museums to be sacked?

2.) Why were they so concerned about increasing oil production?

3.) Perhaps you have information that the rest of us don't, but when is it exactly that you've heard they'll be leaving the power of Iraq to anyone, let alone control of the oil fields to Islamic radicals? Last I checked, they're handing over "power" in short order and increasing the number of troops in the country. That, you know, doesn't really support your assertion.

If you think the neocon plan, as detailed in Project for a New American Century (which included papers by many members of the current U.S. administration), was a "front" then I'd be interested ot know what you think the real reason was. My guess would be it's the *drum roll* neocon fantasy! Why? Because they make up a large portion of Bush's advisors, have written papers about taking out Hussein to destabilize the middle east and shift the control of power, and how to best utilize this to the advantage of America.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that if they had their way (if the war in Iraq had been somewhat more smoothly comlpeted) we would have been rooting through Iran and Syria for other weapons of mass destruction; in fact, they already tried to push that agenda but the american people would have any of it after the mess that Iraq was quickly becoming.

So, EB, what's the non-neocon reason for the war? Revenge for daddy? It certainly wasn't to out the Saudis, who the Americans have been dealing with since the 70's when they formed an agreement to price oil from Saudi in American funds (keeps the american dollar afloat even when the economy isn't).
posted by The God Complex at 10:17 AM on June 22, 2004


Michael Moore is extremely popular in the United States as well.

but not in his "Hometown". And it seems the media cannot get it straight were mike was born...."In the film, the Davison-bred Moore seeks to establish"....

ok, mike was not born in Davison, nor Flint but Lapeer. Were talking the difference between cowbells and klaxons here as far as these communities resemble another. (flint and Lapeer)

oh, i love this...."Moore's documentary ?a blistering criticism of President Bush and the war in Iraq ?devotes about 20 minutes of its two hours to interviews and footage of Flint and Flintites, as Moore depicts his hometown as a prime location where military recruiters attract disadvantaged youths with limited job options."

"The film follows two Marine recruiters through the parking lot of Courtland Center in Burton as they approach young men about joining up.

"It's better to get them (in groups) of ones or twos," one recruiter tells his colleague as they decide whom to talk to next.

"They went to Courtland instead of Genesee Valley (shopping center) because Courtland is considered the mall with the lower economic" patrons, Moore said."

Ok, this is pure bull, I just called the recruiting station in the mall that is not mentioned ( the old small mall, which is were i first met mike promoting 'rog and me') and recruiters hit all the malls. The Courtland Center is in Burton, which predominately lower middle to middle class. The "Valley" mall is not even located around a population base of any size. And the closet population, as far as economics is concerned, is not middle class but lower class to lower middle class. The "Valley" is just larger and has more stores. Also, the Courtland Center has grown in the last 7 years as has the surrounding economic base.

"I'm at peace with it now because it's where I'm from and it's the people I know," he said. "Nobody ever criticized John Steinbeck for writing about the central valley of California..."
posted by clavdivs at 10:21 AM on June 22, 2004


Pendevil: That AICN review is great; probably the best-written review I've ever read on Ain't It Cool News (not, I'll grant you, a very high standard). I especially enjoyed the dripping-with-sarcasm concluding sentences:

Still, for all the hatred and further divisiveness it’s likely to incite, FARENHEIT 9/11 is absolutely the film America deserves in 2004. It’s going to be a great summer.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:27 AM on June 22, 2004


I'm with the Complex here. If we didn't invade Iraq for the oil, then why?

There are a lot of reasons that I can think of and they are all more evil than "we did it for oil."

Maybe it was to establish our policy of preemplive invasion? Or to ensure that Iraq didn't switch to Euros? Or...? (Don't even start with the "to depose a mass murderer" bullshit because Iraq is pretty low on that list and our government has flat out refused to help with the situations in scores of other countries that are killing their own.

So why? Seems like a good question -- maybe someone could make a movie about it...

(and I'm sorry if I somehow insulted Jews everywhere. Suffice to say that I was trying to point out that making fun of and worse, dissmissing someone because of race/creed/appearance. etc is bigotry pure and simple and that this isn't the place for it.)
posted by n9 at 10:31 AM on June 22, 2004


and as a side note, Flint has been under the financial control of the state for the past year and a half (roughly) and has reduced it's deficit dramatically and is scheduled to be handed back over to the control of the mayoral system around June 30th.

I wonder if Mike picked up on that correlation.
posted by clavdivs at 10:32 AM on June 22, 2004


So why? Seems like a good question -- maybe someone could make a movie about it...

Call it "Regional Stability"
posted by clavdivs at 10:34 AM on June 22, 2004


Also worth mentioning (looking at you sic) is that Roger and Me, Moore's first film, was the highest grossing documentary prior to Bowling for Columbine.
posted by banished at 10:36 AM on June 22, 2004


dhoyt: You're right. And the usual suspects will also find no fault in making fat jokes in the monthly obesity threads. But it's off-limits with regards to Moore. Okie-dokie.

xmutex: It's the movie's fucking name.asswipe

Gompa: That oil is central to the region and the world's involvement in it does not require that a decision to invade Iraq hinged on that factor, or even appeared in the top ten.

BobFrapples: Yeah, we'll be leaving, and leaving soon, in the sense of "significantly exerting influence on the control of the nation's oil fields". We won't find it easy to completely disengage, which is what the majority of the American public wants, and no doubt Bush dearly wants, at this point. But, even so, our control of post-war Iraq now doesn't bode well for the future of the US protecting its strategic interests in oil.

On Preview:

The God Complex: The neocons were always only a small but noisy faction within the admin. They provided an enthusiasm and an ideological rationale for the invasion. Bascially nothing in the neocon agenda has been pursued other than the invasion of Iraq. The neocons conceived a very different occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. They conceived of pressure on the Saudis (and some of them have been vocally anti-Suad). This was their war in name only. In the end, it really was nobody's war in the sense that one faction was completely able to take ownership of it. That's why it was such a failure, other than the invasion part. Some felt it was a proper response to 9/11, regardless of whether or not there were links, direct or no, between Al Qaeda and Iraq. Rumsfeld wanted a war to truly demonstrate his revolutionary US military doctrine (and to bury the Powell Doctrine). I thnk Cheney saw some money and opportunities in it. Bush wanted to finish what his dad didn't. And he is obsessed with Hussein. Even some of the State people, like Powell, were probably convinced that Hussein was a problem that had to be dealt with sooner or later and that it might as well be sooner. There were a lot of reasons. Probably somewhere in there, for some, was "oil". But there was no grand plan and rationale upon which all agreed. All interests agreed on "invade". Beyond that, not so much.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:37 AM on June 22, 2004


You'll have your chance the next time someone starts a Rush Limbaugh thread. See the hypocrites explode from out of the woodwork to bash "fat" people and "drug-addicts"

Careful, there. I've never heard Rush claim that fat people should be "sent up the river" for their condition. Don't conflate things that are unrelated.

I, for one, won't be making jokes about Rush's fatness, but certainly will reserve the right to mock his shameless hypocrisy about drug abuse.
posted by soyjoy at 10:41 AM on June 22, 2004


That oil is central to the region and the world's involvement in it does not require that a decision to invade Iraq hinged on that factor, or even appeared in the top ten.

Hmm. The miraculously unbombed, unlooted and unpillaged Iraqi Oil Ministry in downtown Baghdad would seem to suggest it cracked the top ten during the initial invasion. And a big wall-of-sound chorus from Halliburton - oil-field services, shimmy-ya, shimmy-yay - is sending this petrochemical platter to number-two with lots and lots of bullets. Watch for it to dislodge The Battle Hymn of the Republic on the why-America-went-to-war spin charts any day now.

And all the Arab girls sing: Doo, de-doo, de-doo, five million barrels a day, de-doo, de-doo, de-doo-de-doo-doooooo. . .
posted by gompa at 10:57 AM on June 22, 2004


Ethereal Bligh - It only seems like the war isn't about oil only due to the fact that the Administration are just spectacular idjuts and totally dropped the ball on the occupation. Remember how they thought that the war would be paid for with oil revenue?
posted by badstone at 11:06 AM on June 22, 2004


Also worth mentioning (looking at you sic) is that Roger and Me, Moore's first film, was the highest grossing documentary prior to Bowling for Columbine.

As mentioned previously, high grosses can be often be indicative that something is truly bad. See also: Dion, Celine.

Not a year goes by when multiple documentaries get made around the world that are more pure, egoless, fascinating and truthful than Roger & Me or Bowling for Columbine combined—and the grosses are minimal.

The reason Moore appears to the be only one in the running for Oscar documentary awards is that people crave juicy hype. They love it. They'd eat with a spoon if they could. They'd much rather hear a wealthy buffoonish camera-hogging comedian suggest the president is in bed with terrorists than they would a quiet captivating story. Sadly, people in this country will pick hype over the genuinely well-done "choreography of information" any day of the week, which explains the success of both Moore and Fox News.
posted by dhoyt at 11:29 AM on June 22, 2004


Add to all that the Bush administration's vehement opposition to making any part of the Iraq appropriations a loan. This war is paid for in American lives and American treasure. Iraq can never give us back the one, but why not the other? Is it perhaps because any chunk of the oil revenue pie earmarked to be repaid to American taxpayers is just that much that isn't available to certain very well connected corporations?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:37 AM on June 22, 2004




Anyone know where I can watch videos of Michael Moore interviews online? I don't currently have access to a TV, and have exhausted all of the interviews available via MSN Video.
posted by banished at 11:53 AM on June 22, 2004


Why was this ever posted? I'm almost never one to criticize the validity of an FPP, but this is pretty bad. It's been discussed ad nauseam, and several of those links have been posted b4. Why not wait until Friday at least?

Also, why do many people assume Hitchens hasn't seen the film? Oh yeah, it was implied in the post. The only person commenting on it who hasn't seen it (aside from us) is that random blogger.

The post was written in a very misleading fashion. Poor.

I <3 Michael Moore. L8r.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:13 PM on June 22, 2004


I can't for the life of me understand why anyone serious would pay attention to this man

Maybe it's that Academy Award.
posted by scarabic at 1:38 PM on June 22, 2004


From the Duluth Superior:
Rep. Mark Kennedy, a Republican, is a little annoyed at leftist film maker Michael Moore after an edited version of an interview between the two appeared in the trailer for Moore's upcoming U.S. release of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"I was walking back to my office after casting a vote, and all of a sudden some oversized guy puts a mike in my face and a camera in my face," Kennedy said. "He starts asking if I can help him recruit more people from families of members of Congress to participate in the war on terror."

Kennedy said he told Moore that he has two nephews in the military, one who has just been deployed in the Army National Guard. But to Kennedy's annoyance, his response to Moore was cut from the trailer, which was released Thursday. His response was also cut from the film, according to a spokeswoman for the movie.

"The interesting thing is that they used my image, but not my words," Kennedy said. "It's representative of the fact that Michael Moore doesn't always give the whole story, and he's a master of the misleading."
posted by dhoyt at 2:12 PM on June 22, 2004


So Kennedy expects "the whole story" from a trailer?
posted by muckster at 2:25 PM on June 22, 2004


Michael Moore released a transcript of his exchange with Kennedy. According to the transcript Moore says he's "trying to get members of congress to get their kids to enlist in the army and go over to Iraq" [my emphasis], and Kennedy says "I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan." So their accounts of the exchange are slightly different (and I assume the transcript is taken from footage that wasn't included in the final version of the film).

Also, I'm not sure what Kennedy's trying to prove.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:59 PM on June 22, 2004


Dhoyt: the reason I brought up the grosses and the oscar (and the best selling books) was to comment on Dagny's absurd insinuation that Moore's success was a purely European phenomenon. It isn't. He's huge in the US (yes, he's fat, it's hillarious)...

steve@linwood flying like a moth to MM.... ah, yeah, you're right, it's stale already.

(and so is this topic, but at least all the gazillions of dollars that the movie is going to make will (at least some of it) be reinvested in defeating Republican candidates...!

S@linwood, you do love the MM threads though...
posted by sic at 3:16 PM on June 22, 2004


Has Hitchens even seen the movie? If not, this article is a personal grudge of his that's best left to a diary.
posted by destro at 3:29 PM on June 22, 2004


em>You dont want just one voice or one stram of thought being put out there.....(talking about republicans making their own documentaries) make your own movies,
and the people will respond and I will respond to them.

Video
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:59 PM on June 22, 2004


Disregard top post.

You dont want just one voice or one stream of thought being put out there.....(talking about republicans making their own documentaries) make your own movies, and the people will respond and I will respond to them. - Michael Moore

Video
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:00 PM on June 22, 2004


Was that an anti-Moore screed? Cause it seemed pretty respectful of him.

Anyhow, the reason that there are no conservative documentarians is because there are almost no conservative artists (outside Vincent Gallo).
posted by destro at 5:39 PM on June 22, 2004


Does John Malkovich threatening to murder Robert Fisk count?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:53 PM on June 22, 2004


I always come in late on these long discussions.

I'm with the Complex here. If we didn't invade Iraq for the oil, then why?

I think it's important to distinguish between the importance of Iraq's oil per se and the importance of exterting control over Western Asia's oil resources.

We don't need the actual oil in Iraq all that badly. It's far-fetched to suggest that we were just interested in grabbing their oil. (Sure, it's a nice bonus for the companies that will score contracts working there, but I can't imagine this is more than a partial motivation.)

Think about this in the context of the major increase we're going to see in economic competition from Northeast Asia over the coming 10 years, and in light of the fact that the big players in that region depend on oil from Western Asia (as kgasmart's Rand link points out).

Also think about the fact that this gives us a military base smack dab in the middle of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. It's no secret that the folks in power here want regime change in both Syria and Iran, and we're in a better position to intimidate them once we have bases next door (now we have Iran surrounded almost completely, with troops in every country surrounding them except for Russia, if I'm not mistaken). The reason we care about this, as gompa argued so well, is that there's oil there, and our presence gives us leverage that is more important than the oil in any single country.
posted by boredomjockey at 10:30 PM on June 22, 2004


dhoyt, you sound a little like Dr. Evil there.

The best thing I got out of this thread is that I will forevermore hear dhoyt's comments read in a Dr Evil voice, imagining pinky-raised-to-lower-lip. That's a good thing!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:29 AM on June 23, 2004






Unfairenheit 9/11, The lies of Michael Moore. - Christopher Hitchens

(even the left is bailing)
posted by hama7 at 12:35 PM on June 23, 2004


How embarrassing for you. It wasn't enough to just pop in and say "I didn't bother to click the link or read the thread," you had to top it with an absurd comment attempting to make Hitch stand for "the left." To each his own, I guess.
posted by soyjoy at 12:57 PM on June 23, 2004


Uh... hama7..... click on the first link in the post. Please don't enforce the stereotype. :)
posted by Keyser Soze at 7:15 PM on June 23, 2004




Uh... hama7..... click on the first link in the post. Please don't enforce the stereotype. :)

You expect hama7 to think? Silly silly sad man ...

(hama7, pull your head out of your ass before you comment ... please ... just once?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:33 PM on June 23, 2004


Damn hama7 is getting called out here. I dont personally dislike him, or anybody else here for that matter. In fact, I found some of his words in his profile good:

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
posted by Keyser Soze at 8:50 PM on June 23, 2004


You cannot look like less of an asswipe by quoting platitudes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:37 PM on June 23, 2004


You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
Very true, but I add, you cannot survive a class war by ignoring it either....
posted by Elim at 11:16 PM on June 23, 2004


(even the left is bailing)
posted by soyjoy at 7:31 AM on June 24, 2004


click on the first link in the post.

Got me.

How about these?

You cannot look like less of an asswipe by quoting platitudes.

I might say the same to you by omitting "by quoting platitudes". Friend.
posted by hama7 at 7:43 AM on June 24, 2004


How about these?

Now that's more like it. Certainly compelling evidence that the left is bailing.
posted by soyjoy at 9:13 AM on June 24, 2004


hama7 & stavros: You two do still have a DMZ between ya, right?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:17 AM on June 24, 2004


I might say the same to you by omitting "by quoting platitudes". Friend.

Especially when "less" is "moore".

Since we're talking about Moore and his knee-jerk idiocy and unfettered relationship to reality and truth, it would be beneficial to recall the magnitude of his idiocy regarding Clinton's obscenity in Kosovo. At least he's consistent, if just a consistently addle-brained marxist coward liar.

"Clinton isn't just bombing Yugoslavia, he's bombing you."
posted by hama7 at 9:42 AM on June 24, 2004


Philip Shenon:
After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening. Based on that single viewing, and after separating out what is clearly presented as Moore's opinion from what is stated as fact, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in "Fahrenheit 9/11" are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Bush's political career).
Michael Moore does Agit-Prop wonderfully. He talks directly to the man in the street, something that the right in the US thought it had a monopoly on - more than that, he's media savy and is smart enough to not base anything on lies, while choreographing his documentaries for maximum emotional effect. Thats why the right-wingers hate him more than all the ineffectual leftish intellectuals, those who might as well be speaking a different language than the masses that grew up on pop culture and MTV. Finally the left has produced a pop-culture media personality that's willing to clobber the right in what they imagined was their own home turf. Good.

Oh and the bombing of Yugoslavia was criminal indeed. He was right about that as well.
posted by talos at 10:22 AM on June 24, 2004


Bush's Monica Moment

Next weekend, when Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 opens, we will see George W. Bush's Monica Lewinsky moment. Philip Shenon, who covered the hearings of the 9/11 commission, described that scene in an article on the film in Sunday's Times.
For the White House, the most devastating segment of Farenheit 9/11 may be the video of a befuddled-looking President Bush staying put for nearly seven minutes at a Florida elementary school on the morning of September 11, continuing to read a copy of My Pet Goat to schoolchildren even after an aide has told him that a second plane has struck the twin towers.
Moore stipples his film with damning (and in some cases doubtful) statistics—for example, that Mr. Bush spent 42 percent of the first eight months of his presidency on vacation—and vituperation. But, Shenon concludes, while "Mr. Bush's slow, hesitant reaction to the disastrous news has never been a secret,…seeing the actual footage, with the minutes ticking by, may prove more damaging to the White House than all the statistics in the world."

That moment exposes Bush's character. It reveals what his press conferences proclaim: his incapacity. If he were George W. Smith, what job would he be qualified for? Bush's presidency can be seen as one long cover-up of the most obvious thing about him. A life of upward failure, of being his father's son, left him without "sand," my nineteenth century-born father's word for the residue of strength acquired by "standing on your own two feet" and "taking your medicine." Bush never stood on his own feet, never took his medicine—and he has never been his own man. He's the only president to be related to the Queen of England, and his biography is that of a "royal." Prince Charles would make a sorry prime minister. Like Bush, though, he'd give good strut.

Leaders show what they are made of in a crisis. Bush hid in plain sight with those kids. Later, hiding twice over, he used them as an excuse, saying he did not want to frighten them by ending the reading before finishing the book...

Bring It On.

posted by y2karl at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2004



posted by hama7 at 12:32 PM on June 24, 2004


It would be easy to call you an idiot Hama7, just like you called Moore an idiot. The problem in doing so would make my argument simplistic and closed. I'm sure your contributions would not be so brashly judged if you were more polite about your views. Oh! Marxist liberals, they have to be so nice. Intellectuals are being poisoned by Political Science professors across the country. Look, right now your writing clouds up the very point you try to make. You are inadvertently making people ignore you without really thinking about what you are trying to say. I defended you, and you ended up offending me. Try to elucidate yourself in a manner more befitting of your supposed intellect.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:44 PM on June 24, 2004


I'm sure your contributions would not be so brashly judged if you were more polite about your views.

Great idea!

Please, at least he, Moore, is consistent, if just a consistently addle-brained marxist coward liar. Thank you..

And thank you, Mister Soze, for a wonderful suggestion, and for your unrestrained sanctimony.
posted by hama7 at 10:03 AM on June 25, 2004


I hinted at your intellect, which is a lot more than anyone else here will give you.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:59 PM on June 25, 2004


I like the part of the documentary where Moore shows George W. Bush's eyes sidling left, then right.

"......Since we're talking about Moore and his knee-jerk idiocy and unfettered relationship to reality and truth"

I'd rather talk about whether George W. Bush was full of shit (or not) when he gave a letter to Congress - which directly implied that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9-11 plot - as a justification for the US invasion of Iraq.

'On March 21, 2003, the day after the war began, President Bush sent a letter to both houses of Congress laying out the legal backing and underpinning for his decision to go to war. In the letter's second paragraph, Bush wrote: "I have also determined that the use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." '

Could we discuss that please ? - How George W Bush claimed in writing, to Congress, that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US ?

Or, perhaps we could discuss Bush family business ties with the Saudis and the Bin Laden family.

If that's too political, I'm still up for a light chat about something less partisan - like, say, goat cheese.

It's really tasty, that.
posted by troutfishing at 10:31 PM on June 25, 2004


Excellent movie. Just watched it.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:40 PM on June 25, 2004


Could we discuss that please ? - How George W Bush claimed in writing, to Congress, that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US ?

The comission claims that it can find no link between Iraq and the September 11th attacks, but countless examples of contact, coordination, and cooperation between Iraq and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda exist and have been well documented. Salman Pak. Bush stated that Hussein's Iraq had ties to terrorist activity both directly and indirectly, and that is absolutely indisputable.

Iraq-al Qaeda link comes in focus

The Iraq -- Al Qaeda Connections

Ansar Al-Islam: Iraq's Al-Qaeda Connection
posted by hama7 at 9:31 AM on June 26, 2004


...countless examples of contact, coordination, and cooperation between Iraq and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda exist and have been well documented.

countless examples of contact, coordination, and cooperation between the US and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda exist and have been well documented.

countless examples of contact, coordination, and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and terrorist groups including Al Qaeda exist and have been well documented.

your point?
posted by amberglow at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2004


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