Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"Thank you, Republican Party. You helped us elect one of the most liberal senators to the presidency of the United States."
March 7, 2009 12:17 AM   Subscribe

"That's the difference -- The American people agree with me." Michael Moore reflects on the past eight years and America's shift to the left.
posted by bardic (153 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know, it's politicalfilter and ZOMG Michael Moore is fat-filter, but I thought it was a pretty solid piece of writing about just how phenomenal the political shifts since 9/11 have been in America.
posted by bardic at 12:18 AM on March 7, 2009


if they said it was "the party of Michael Moore," it appears that the American public heard them loud and clear and decided that, 'hey, if you say Michael Moore is connected to the Democrats, then the Democrats must be OK!'

Sorry, gave it my best try, but have to snark. He's just so fucking self-aggrandizing. The essay is all about him and how he's weathered the incessant attacks of the Right because he just believes the same thing as Joe Average, he's the one really standing up for the little guy, blah, blah. Same old bullshit he's been peddling for years. I don't care that I happen to agree with him on most issues, he's still an asshole and he's not helping.
posted by bluejayk at 12:33 AM on March 7, 2009 [38 favorites]


One difference between liberals and conservatives in America today would appear to be a sense of humor. On the left, one finds popular political humorists like Bill Maher, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Al Franken, etc, and on the right one finds...um....who exactly?
posted by ornate insect at 12:40 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The humorists on the right (Jindal, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Rumsfeld) are just so avant garde that you're not really sure if they're kidding or not. They're in deep, Andy Kaufman style.
posted by rokusan at 12:42 AM on March 7, 2009 [92 favorites]


Gotta go with bluejayk, dunno if he's helping or not, I think getting the word out and making folks feel like they're not alone is a good thing whatever the message (within reason), tends to help clarify a position.
But he's kind of like the guy that gives you directions when you both know you know where you're going.
"Turn left here."
"I know Mike."
"At the gas station."
*glances at Moore* "I know Mike. I see it."
"It's coming up."
*Looks at Moore* "I know that Mike."
"I just don't want you to miss it."
*Glares at Moore*"Look I know where to turn, you don't have to keep reminding me like I'm a..."
"You missed it. I told you."
posted by Smedleyman at 12:42 AM on March 7, 2009 [36 favorites]


Michael Moore says "I told you so." Fair enough.
posted by ryanrs at 12:49 AM on March 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Obama's popular but his policies aren't exactly what most Americans thought they were voting for, are they?

I don't think the leftward shift is as hard as Michael Moore thinks it is. They shifted away from Republicans like the plague carriers they were, fair enough. The only other direction was to the left.

Now it's the their turn to frighten, alienate, and disgust.
posted by codswallop at 12:54 AM on March 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


Look, Michael Moore, here's the deal: what's insulting about Rush Limbaugh is that he's an unimportant twerp, the moral inferior of most career criminals, and that he still pretends to a leadership role in a major political party, to the extent that he is willing to cause that party damage to assert his own importance. The key, boiling it down, is: he's disgustingly self-important.

So, Mr. Moore, when you argue that the difference between you and him is that the American people agree with you, well, I think you're missing the point. And it is out of respect for you that I'll say what I've said over and over again recently: give it a rest, and please don't talk about Rush Limbaugh. Or, if you must talk about Rush Limbaugh in the context of this altercation everyone's talking about, please say something like, "it's insane that anyone would associate with him, and if people knew more about him, they wouldn't." Rush Limbaugh is not, and does not deserve to be, a good illustration of anything about any society or culture anywhere.

And, also, since you have at times been very funny, I will take it as a joke when you tell us that the biggest difference between a raving, sleazy, pill-popping escapee from hell's finest asylum and yourself is that the American people agree with you.

In fact, I somehow doubt Rush's closest followers really agree with him, as people of his type are very rarely being ingenuous when they pontificate about morality and decency. Rush is only the most glaring example of hypocrisy I can think of, and his (even half-hearted) embrace by a political party doesn't indicate the victory of an ideology, or the triumph of one idea over another, or the settling of a debate in one side's favor. The enshrinement of barest hypocrisy generally indicates the death of a movement, and that's something much more serious than your claim that you're a major political leader can possibly be.
posted by koeselitz at 12:55 AM on March 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Oh crap, the right is getting back at us for that whole Limbaugh thing. *crosses fingers* PLEASE DON'T MAKE MOORE THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE LEFT PLEASE DON'T MAKE MOORE THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE LEFT PLEASE DON'T MAKE MOORE THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE LEFT
posted by spiderskull at 1:12 AM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


must...stop...favouriting...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:16 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait, so the majority of Americans believe that 9/11 was an inside job?
posted by daniel_charms at 1:21 AM on March 7, 2009


Zogby Poll [PDF] cited on Wikipedia conspiracy page says it's closer to a third.
posted by rokusan at 1:38 AM on March 7, 2009


Moore is grating and annoying, which is too bad since both Columbine and Roger & Me were good, thoughtful pieces of work in their time.

He didn't really master the art of bashing you over the head with a 100lb hammer until later.
posted by rokusan at 1:39 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


C'mon. I'm as happy about the shift as anyone. But let's not kid ourselves. This election, like those for the last 20 years, was decided by that small segment of the voting public who straddle the fence until late October. The only thing that happened this time was the fence-straddlers got a little uncomfortable with the wild-eyed Barrack Hussein Terrorist rhetoric. Michael - or the left for that matter - doesn't really have any more believers now than 4, 8 or 12 years ago. I-told-you-so's are not in order here.
posted by klarck at 2:05 AM on March 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


The humorists on the right (Jindal, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Rumsfeld) are just so avant garde that you're not really sure if they're kidding or not. They're in deep, Andy Kaufman style.

The big difference, as far as I can tell, is that conservative "humour" doesn't appear to have any jokes that aren't "boy them colored people sure do act different, right?" or "women sure are dumb, right?" or "them fags sure do act like women, right?" or "hehe, wouldn't it be great if all the liberals were shot?"

I'm certainly not saying that some of this doesn't happen on the left. But there doesn't appear to be anything resembling a conservative John Stewart.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:44 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I try to give Michael Moore a chance once in a while, since I agree with him on just about everything, and I suppose he'll eventually write or say something that doesn't piss me off, but this is a first - the URL actually pissed me off before I even read the article.

"must read" indeed. It's got "self-aggrandizing" right in its name...
posted by mmoncur at 2:56 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: I'm certainly not saying that some of this doesn't happen on the left. But there doesn't appear to be anything resembling a conservative John Stewart.

Yes, sure, fine. I mean, whatever: there are plenty of reasons to think liberalism is more funny than conservatism, or vice versa, although I don't think lack of humor is a very good standard for who's right and who's wrong.

But the fact remains: bringing Rush Limbaugh into a discussion about politics is like bringing a piece of fresh, greasy monkey feces to a church potluck.
posted by koeselitz at 3:17 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


It doesn't belong, and it's beyond unpalatable to boot.
posted by koeselitz at 3:18 AM on March 7, 2009


So in short, Michael Moore is the reason Barack Obama is president.

Glad that's sorted.
posted by djgh at 3:20 AM on March 7, 2009


There was a shift to the left? Clinton beat Dole by a wider margin in '96. I think we just saw the correction of the post 9/11 craziness. The US is going to continue on a course of voting for the party that pays slightly more lip service to progressivism.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:56 AM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


In essence:

"The majority of the American public agrees with me, for now."
posted by chillmost at 4:01 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


A conservative friend of mine said in all seriousness that humor is an essentially conservative enterprise. At the time I rolled my eyes, since political humor at least is a reactionary enterprise, in the sense of opposing the authority with whom you disagree. However, since then I've realized that a lot of humor, left or right, is basically about xenophobia. Whether it's racism right or reverse classism from the left. I think the real reason why the right can't muster the funny is that they often can't poke fun at themselves consistently because it chisels a hole in their claim to patriarchal authority.

I'd nominate Tom Ammiano for having a sense of humor, both for his response to the Wave Magazine Replicant test, and the "I haven't slept with so many men since the 70s" comment during the CA budget crisis. There are other examples of conservatives with a sense of humor, although not any who make a career out of it that I can think of.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:06 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, Tom was joking about being a Republican in that interview. I don't know what I was thinking.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:08 AM on March 7, 2009


you know, michael moore is self-serving and self-aggrandizing. annoying, irritating, you name the flaw, he exemplifies it. but.

his presentation in this article is grating. but he is also fucking right, and he has been right for a long goddamn time. just for kicks, i went back and watched that oscar clip, and damned if people weren't jeering, JEERING, because the dude who won the academy award for best documentary film had the unmitigated gall to get up in front of his peers and speak the fucking truth: we have just embarked on a war based on complete fictions.

how many people were saying in public what he said that night in front of the largest tv audience besides the superbowl? NOBODY. how many people had the guts to say we were in the process of something truly awful and wrong and disgusting? in the underground -- many. in the mainstream -- none. except one brave and prominent voice, who said what we all know now to be true, and some of us knew then: we are engaged in an ugly, destructive lie that will cost countless lives.

and now here we are in 2009, disdainful of michael moore's uncouth tendency to self-aggrandize, as if being impolitic has any bearing on whether someone speaks the truth.

it's about time that we recognize that some people had it right all along. it's about time that we stop paying attention to anything republicans have to say, seriously -- they have nothing to offer but bad faith. it's about time that "i told you so" should start to carry some real weight, because you know what? some of us told you so. some people would have been worth listening to in a more timely manner. some people should have more say by sheer dint of their fucking habitual correctness.

like it or not, moore is one of those people.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:09 AM on March 7, 2009 [90 favorites]


But the fact remains: bringing Rush Limbaugh into a discussion about politics is like bringing a piece of fresh, greasy monkey feces to a church potluck.

Are you just fucking ignoring what's going on in politics right now? Rush Limbaugh has the balls of the RNC chair in a jar on his desk; he is one of the most powerful figures in modern American conservatism, and is arguably even more powerful within that realm right now than he has been at any other time in his career.

You don't have to like it, but pretending that Rush Limbaugh isn't relevant to discussions of politics is ridiculous and stupid.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:26 AM on March 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


in the mainstream -- none

What are you serious? No one in mainstream America said the war was a sham except Michael Moore? Nobody? Surely you exaggerate.

I seem to recall even people like Barack Obama spoke up against the war.

Let's not cheerleader the guy for stating the bleedin' obvious.
posted by dydecker at 4:30 AM on March 7, 2009


Beware anyone who wants to be in charge, for they do not have your best interests in mind.
posted by moonbiter at 4:38 AM on March 7, 2009


The humorists on the right (Jindal, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Rumsfeld) are just so avant garde that you're not really sure if they're kidding or not.

Yes! That Bobby Jindal kid is hilarious! Barry Goldwater and Fred Rogers in the body of an Indian dude? Brilliant!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:42 AM on March 7, 2009


I'm pretty sure that Moore knows he didn't cause Obama's success. It's over the top and not going to convince many people of that premise, but that's not what he expects it to do. What he's doing here is taunting the right wing. Any of them who read this are going to be incensed. Moore is certainly hoping that all their blogs will link to his lapel-polishing essay and freak out. He's trying to do his part to make them appear even more deranged.

I did like what Smedleyman wrote, especially the finish.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:48 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


He lost me when he went after the Alzheimer riddled corpse of Charlton Heston in Columbine. Moore was indeed funny and did an excellent job when he was excoriating Big Business. But when he started on Government (Well more specifically Republican led government), his sense of humor was lost amidst his incessant need for self promotion.
posted by Gungho at 5:23 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, so the majority of Americans believe that 9/11 was an inside job?

So you're saying you don't?
posted by davelog at 5:27 AM on March 7, 2009


Moore was indeed funny and did an excellent job when he was excoriating Big Business.

I'll concede that he did do a good job of going after Big Business, and that was so rare to see in American media that it was hard not to root for him for that reason alone, but was he ever *really* funny?

I'm not convinced that he was.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:34 AM on March 7, 2009


I seem to recall even people like Barack Obama spoke up against the war.

In April 2003, Obama was an Illinois senator who was behind in the state Democratic primaries for the US Senate - he only took the lead after a scandal undid his opponent in 2004. Moore was speaking directly to 33 million Americans, and the Oscars clip was watched by many more after that.

It's easy enough to see what prompted Moore's piece - it's right there in the middle:

On the front page of this morning's Washington Post, Mark McKinnon, a top adviser to George W. Bush, revealed -- for the first time -- the Bush White House strategy of singling me out in the hopes of turning the country against me and the Democratic Party. Here's what the Post said: Mark McKinnon, a top adviser in President George W. Bush's campaigns, acknowledged the value of picking a divisive opponent. "We used a similar strategy by making Michael Moore the face of the Democratic Party," he said of the documentary filmmaker.

He's simply pointing out that their strategy didn't achieve its aims, and may actually have backfired by giving his documentaries a higher profile. Even if you figure that only ten percent of viewers of a Moore documentary would have their opinions swayed by it, if six times as many people see it you've got a lot of extra changed minds out there. (2004's Fahrenheit 9/11 did about six times the US box office of Bowling for Columbine.)
posted by rory at 5:39 AM on March 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


A conservative friend of mine said in all seriousness that humor is an essentially conservative enterprise [ . . . ] I think the real reason why the right can't muster the funny is that they often can't poke fun at themselves consistently because it chisels a hole in their claim to patriarchal authority.

So humor has to embody real humility in order to be authentically funny. Moreover, if one views politics as comedic theatre, then only the self-deprecating are masters of the genre. And this is why the right won't win in the long run. On the other hand, if politics is ultimately a theatre of tragedy, then self-aggrandizing egoists who take themselves too seriously have the upper hand, and the comedians will always be on the sidelines.

I don't know here I'm going with this. I'm trying to parse Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh within these definitions, and I'm having a very tough time. Is Micheal Moore more of a humorist because of his relatively unkempt persona? Or is Rush Limbaugh more of a humorist because of his pain-killer addiction?

Maybe that's the difference. Rush's fall from grace makes him into a comedian -- prior to that, his act wasn't self-deprecating enough to be funny. But now it is. And the right essentially conceives politics as a theatre of tragedy, so for them to suddenly take marching orders from a comedian is, well, pretty comedic, which gives the comedians the upper hand. OTOH, Michael Moore's rant wasn't very funny at all, at least as I read it. Oh dear, I feel there's something to this, but I've run out of fuel for contemplating this plate of beans . . .
posted by treepour at 5:43 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Huh? I thought Obama was a moderate. Has Moore started imbibing the conservatives' Kool-Aid? Does he believe their hype about Obama's purported socialism?

This is what's so fucked up about the whole one-dimensional political "spectrum" (as much as black vs. white is a spectrum). It's so rah-rah cheerleader head-up-the-ass that it blurs reality in favor of self-congratulatory masturbatory exercises and ratings/pageview-friendly us vs. them, "our enemy is stupid" diatribes that accomplish nothing (SEE ALSO: preaching to the choir). Of course, painting everything into such narrow categories frees one from having to make a thoughtful analysis of the very blurry reality.

The American people don't agree with you, Michael. It's not that simple. Some of the American people agree with you, politically, on several matters. Whether that is a majority or not is debateable, but it does not make you better or worse than Rush Limbaugh. In fact, it does not even make you dissimilar to him; it makes you more like him. It's something you have in common. It's something we all have in common; we agree on certain things, disagree on others. What we need to do is realize that some of the things we agree on—having food and shelter—are much more important than the surface level trivia that we quibble over. Acronyms are everywhere today; they're ubiquitous. They also are a cognitive shortcut, but one that sometimes sacrifices more thoughtful analysis. The U in USA stands for United. We will not get anywhere with our current political system, because it is based on divisiveness and undermining. Until we can foster a spirit of cooperation, nationwide, and do away with this—largely illusory—adversarial and schismatic political climate, we'll stagnate.

Join or die.
posted by Eideteker at 5:47 AM on March 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


yay, I got that in before comment #50. Maybe someone will actually read it!
posted by Eideteker at 5:47 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the front page of this morning's Washington Post, Mark McKinnon, a top adviser to George W. Bush, revealed -- for the first time -- the Bush White House strategy of singling me out in the hopes of turning the country against me and the Democratic Party. Here's what the Post said: Mark McKinnon, a top adviser in President George W. Bush's campaigns, acknowledged the value of picking a divisive opponent. "We used a similar strategy by making Michael Moore the face of the Democratic Party," he said of the documentary filmmaker.

it's funny how many people have a hate-on for michael moore. i'm sure they all feel like it's purely a reflection of their own personal beliefs rather than a reaction to a media campaign (see above.) marketing is a funny thing.

so, michael moore is self-promoting, he's trying to make movies for a mass audience, that's what movie-makers do. but he's not even doing that in this article if you actually read it:
What I have believed in, and what I have stood for in these past eight years -- an end to the war, establishing universal health care, closing Guantanamo and banning torture, making the rich pay more taxes and aggressively going after the corporate chiefs on Wall Street -- these are all things which the majority of Americans believe in too. That's why in November the majority voted for the guy I voted for. The majority of Americans rejected the ideology of Rush and embraced the same issues I have raised consistently in my movies and books.
i've yet to see anyone point out an example of Moore's work that was fundamentally dishonest. As to Charlton Heston: I mean, come on, you don't go around as a spokesman for a manifestly political organization and then get to hide behind the fact that you are senile and demented. i mean it's not like MM tried to get him lost in his own house and or confuse him about fun facts, he just interviewed him on tape in a pretty mild way. the mere fact that Heston wasn't all there is damning for the nra by itself. also: see Ronald Reagan.

I think "Fahrenheit 9/11" actually had an impact on U.S. politics re: Iraq. Can you say that about any other movie made in the last 9 years?

I don't understand why people who nominally agree with him are attacking him for asserting that you and he stand with the majority of americans: see Jerry Falwell and the "Moral Majority."
posted by geos at 6:13 AM on March 7, 2009 [19 favorites]


"That's the difference -- The American people agree with me."

You know, most of the time I agree with Moore, but this thing between him and Limbaugh sounds like two prom queen candidates arguing over who's prettier.
posted by jonmc at 6:23 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Join or die.

that's a funny thing to say at the end of a plea for Unity for the sake of Unity.

The American people don't agree with you, Michael. It's not that simple. Some of the American people agree with you, politically, on several matters. Whether that is a majority or not is debateable, but it does not make you better or worse than Rush Limbaugh. In fact, it does not even make you dissimilar to him; it makes you more like him.

if you can't get up in the public square and say: I believe the majority agrees with me, then what are you doing in politics? That's how a popular democracy works: we agree to do the things that the majority supports. Should MM advocate for things he thinks only a minority agree on?

Until MM starts going to the Domincan Republic with bottles of viagra, lies like he's breathing on the national airwaves, or get's addicted to drugs while declaiming their evils there is simply no way to equate the two.
posted by geos at 6:23 AM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it's more indicative that the three decades of rightward shift have brought us to the point where a center-right politician like Obama can be seen as Liberal.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:36 AM on March 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


i think it would be entertaining to put moore and limbaugh in a steel cage match and let them go at it

vastly entertaining, in fact
posted by pyramid termite at 6:49 AM on March 7, 2009


Ya know, like it or not, Michael Moore was tearing huge chunks of ass-flesh out of the GOP at a time when the majority of Dem bureaucrats (most still among us) were caving into Bush at every turn; cowering in abject fear that they'd be tagged un-Amurkan for standing up for what's right at the very time we needed them most.
posted by RavinDave at 7:09 AM on March 7, 2009 [19 favorites]


Michael Moore fucking rocks, and if he didn't exist we would have to invent him. We may very well have him to thank in some large measure for Obama's victory, because nobody else was running around getting the youth vote all riled up in 2004, and who was it again who drove the grass-roots Obama campaign? Oh yeah.

Moore is important because of the Overton Window. Without people like Moore, the entire discussion would consist of rightists like Ann Coulter insisting that all liberals should be shot, facing leftists like Alan Colmes saying that well we should at least distribute Quaaludes and plastic bags so we can let them die with a little dignity, and the media splitting the difference between these two opinions and congratulating itself for being so centrist and unbiased.

We need our own loud people to stand up and say that hoping for the President to fail is treason (a word you guys loved so much 45 days ago), the Earth is not 6,000 years old, stem cells and fertilized eggs are not people, and you're a fucking idiot if you disagree.

(And FWIW I feel the same way about Bill Maher. So there.)
posted by localroger at 7:20 AM on March 7, 2009 [27 favorites]


Obama's popular but his policies aren't exactly what most Americans thought they were voting for, are they?

Wait, the guy who ran saying he would tax the rich more, get out of Iraq, fix various social services, etc is the same guy who is doing these things and Americans are surprised. I dont think so. They voted this guy in to do these things.

I dont understand the hate for Moore. He's crass, but when Daschle and Pelosi were saying 'Whatever you say Mr. President' for 8 years he was one of the few voices questioning the Bush administration.

The left is simply too catty. Theyre quick to take on their own instead of taking on the enemy. Its just shameful.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:24 AM on March 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


i've yet to see anyone point out an example of Moore's work that was fundamentally dishonest.

Here you go
posted by dydecker at 7:24 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's clear that Moore was set up as a demonizing figure by the Bush White House and the RNC -- and by Rush Limbaugh. That worked very well for them for a good long while. Now it's not working so well.

The Bush White House and the RNC also set up numerous other public figures as demons and used them to fuel fundraising appeals and in political campaigns over the past eight years. The list would be a long one, but just as one example, I'd cite Howard Dean, who I would argue was just as responsible for some of the shifts that Moore talks about as Moore ever was.

I got a lot of food for thought out of "Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko." I salute Moore for his willingness to stand up and shout at a time when it was considered treasonous or worse to say anything about the Bush White House that wasn't along the lines of David Frum's insistence in 2002 that "Bush's record has been dauntless, far-seeing, and consistent."

But I don't think it's hating on Moore to say that I don't get anything out of his apparent desire to insist that he is single-handedly responsible for every shift in American politics in the last 5 years. I'd have a lot more interest in what Moore's saying, a lot of which is true, if he had the humility to share the podium.
posted by blucevalo at 7:52 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I dont understand the hate for Moore. He's crass, but when - Daschle and Pelosi were saying 'Whatever you say Mr. President' for 8 years - he was one of the few voices questioning the Bush administration.

Maybe we could focus on this for just a wee bit.
posted by notreally at 7:54 AM on March 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Pope Guilty: Sorry; I agree completely with you.

I guess I'm just aghast that people pay attention to Rush Limbaugh. I know you don't, and I know you can't stand him either. The realization that some people do, though, makes my skin crawl, and I tend to react when my skin crawls.

posted by koeselitz at 8:13 AM on March 7, 2009


TBH I haven't really been paying that much attention to Obamas policies what with the fuck off huge financial crisis and all.
posted by Artw at 8:28 AM on March 7, 2009


Wow, this is difficult to read. I've tried three times at this point and it's just too difficult wading through all that ego. Moore's done some good work and said some brave things, but Mike, Mike, Mike: it's not about you
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:42 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, that's rather the problem with moore.
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on March 7, 2009


You know, most of the time I agree with Moore, but this thing between him and Limbaugh sounds like two prom queen candidates arguing over who's prettier.

quick someone, get to work on photoshopping Moore and Limbaugh into prom dresses.
posted by nola at 8:46 AM on March 7, 2009


Rush Limbaugh debates reality: A 1994 perspective (the year he was made an honory member of their class by fellow house Republicans, who openly credited him with their victories).
posted by Brian B. at 8:46 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyone who gets attacked relentlessly will have a lot of people dislike them, whether they deserve it or not. I bet if most of the posters here were subject to relentless character attack for years they probably would be as despised as Michael Moore.

The right tried to do the same thing to Michelle Obama during the election. Everyone has a few irritating quirks and if those quirks were discussed 24/7 on cable TV everyone would define you by your flaws and see you as a freak.

Wait, so the majority of Americans believe that 9/11 was an inside job?

What? No, but neither does Michael Moore?
C'mon. I'm as happy about the shift as anyone. But let's not kid ourselves. This election, like those for the last 20 years, was decided by that small segment of the voting public who straddle the fence until late October.
That's totally false. It was true for bush in 2000 and 2004, but 2008 was a landslide in terms of the U.S. political system. There were a lot of people who didn't really pay much attention until the election got really close, but they mostly went for Obama, McCain Never had a realistic chance at winning. He just didn't. The media covered the election like it was close because they wanted people to watch them, but it wasn't
There was a shift to the left? Clinton beat Dole by a wider margin in '96. I think we just saw the correction of the post 9/11 craziness..
That's true, but Clinton governed in a fairly conservative way, and republicans held the house and senate in '96. Now we the house and almost 60 votes in the senate. Plus it's not all about parties, it's also about polices. Attacking Iraq was a fairly bipartisan position in the late '90s (yes, that's right, 9/11 was just a catalyst for our pent-up desire to attack Iraq, and let's not forget the no fly zone). Universal healthcare failed in '93 and it was never brought up again. Republicans and democrats were falling all over themselves to ban regulation of credit default swaps, etc.

In terms of policy the country is much farther to the left then it was in 2000
posted by delmoi at 8:52 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Now DNAB knows my struggle.
posted by tehloki at 8:53 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The hate against Moore in here is pretty disgusting. It's the same "Dirty F'ing Hippie" dismissals conservatives have been conditioning us to make for 40 years. Stop it. If you don't like him, fine. But don't feel like you have to diss him before agreeing with everything he says.
posted by DU at 8:55 AM on March 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


OK, there is one right-wing humourist who's often worth reading: P. J. O'Rourke. I haven't seen much from him lately. I know he's been recovering from rectal cancer; but I also hope that like most THINKING right-wingers, he's been forced by the current issues and 8 years of fail to reflect seriously on what he really believes.

Limbaugh isn't a comedian; he's a buffoon. And he's a magnet that attracts stupid.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:07 AM on March 7, 2009


RushLimbaugh.com demographics.

MichaelMoore.com demographics.
posted by Brian B. at 9:15 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd probably read Michael Moore's site more if I didn't have to look at his face. Same with watching his films. Ever since that one book came out, I can't see his face without feeling dizzy & ill.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:29 AM on March 7, 2009


I'm not convinced that Michael Moore is all that despised -- on any widespread basis. He's demonized by the right wing and by some elements of the mainstream media, but he's also lionized in other quarters. Like any other lightning-rod American public figure, he has his admirers, and he has his detractors. He's certainly no pariah.

I also don't think there's any especially high level of execration against Moore in this thread (as opposed to typical Metafilter indifference or snark, which are basically par for the course). If you really want to see real, visceral hatred, there are plenty of right-wing sites bringing it -- or, at least they were bringing it, when Moore was last seen at the forefront of the GOP Two-Minute Hate, which was -- when? Five years ago?

Moore brings up the David Zucker movie that came out last year, "An American Carol," calling it "a feature film starring Kelsey Grammer and James Woods that had me being slapped silly for 83 minutes." But that movie was a gigantic stinking turd that flopped over dead the moment it hit the theaters.
posted by blucevalo at 9:32 AM on March 7, 2009


Yes!! He's so right. I doubt any politician in the majority will ever come out and say we're now a socialist country, but with the amount of poor there were before the crash, and then the add-on poor for 2009-12, the far left is here to stay. Just remember what Moore said: the Kerry won the youth vote in 04, Obama in 08. More and more voting each election. I knew things were changed for good when a trailer-trash woman, who just up and says all kinds of racist shit without even knowing it, explained to me for 15min why she was voting for Obama. I thought I was on acid.

If the majority of people in this country are poor, then you will have left leaning government I bet. The only way to take this country back to the middle is to produce more middle class people. I don't think we're ever going to the far right again. I think capitalism, without oversight, is done for as well.

This is just my feeling, I'm not a professional of anything at all. But neither is the country. Once the masses get educated to the power of voting, there's no going back. The rich cannot give us mud and make us think we're drinking fine wine anymore.
posted by Flex1970 at 9:40 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not convinced that Michael Moore is all that despised -- on any widespread basis.

Actually aside from a small contingent who follow politics like sports, I'd say most people are more or less indeifferent to both him and Limbaugh.
posted by jonmc at 9:46 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Michael Moore reflects on the past eight years and America's shift to the left.


America has always been left-leaning. There has been no "shift to the left." Unless you consider anything short of a fascist theocratic dictatorship leftist, then OK, we're shifting away from that. But really, we've always been that way, there was just that 8 years of Republicans taking over everything, by any means necessary, and fucking it up.
posted by Chuffy at 9:48 AM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


You don't have to like it, but pretending that Rush Limbaugh isn't relevant to discussions of politics is ridiculous and stupid.

It's quite fascinating how so many politicians (and others) are cheering and supporting a person who is so obviously full of shit a child can see through him. An outright obvious cunt whose ability to say anything intelligent is nonexistent. Ridiculous and stupid indeed.
posted by juiceCake at 10:08 AM on March 7, 2009


i think it would be entertaining to put moore and limbaugh in a steel cage match and let them go at it

vastly entertaining, in fact





ew
posted by CitizenD at 10:12 AM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you don't like him, fine. But don't feel like you have to diss him before agreeing with everything he says.

Guys, he lies in his movies. He lies to the subjects of his movies in order to get them to participate in his movies and, when called on it, publicly insults the subjects of his movies and lies again about their involvement with his movies. The fact that I'm ostensibly on the same "side" of a contrived political dichotomy as he is makes no difference. One of my primary political beliefs is in honesty and transparency in political discourse. It does not matter that he and I both call ourselves liberals: we are not on the same side of anything.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:17 AM on March 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


Rush's fall from grace makes him into a comedian

No, it made him into a figure of fun. There's a big difference between someone who is voluntarily and deliberately funny and someone who is inadvertently and unwittingly so.
posted by orange swan at 10:18 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


America has always been left-leaning. There has been no "shift to the left."

Poll after poll confirms that most Americans agree with liberal policies. The problem is that conservatives know how dog whistle a lot more effectively than liberals.
posted by DU at 10:24 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


conservative humorists? what about the guy who draws mallard fillmore? socking it to the radical leftist cabal in like 400 newspapers everyday! take that, trudeau!
posted by barrett caulk at 10:50 AM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I ♥ Michael Moore.
posted by ericb at 10:55 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would have read a piece with that tone very differently under Bush. Let's face facts: Bush was good for Moore, far moreso than Clinton was, because Bush was so extreme. When I say extreme, I don't just mean policies, I mean approach. I just read Lincoln Chafee's book about being in the Senate in Bush's first term, and it confirmed what I always knew: Bush was of the opinion that if he got a dollar less than the 1.6 trillion dollar tax cut he wanted, then he felt he got nothing. The guy played hardball, all the time, even when he didn't have to, and his definition of bipartisanship was exactly what Limbaugh described at Cpac last week: put your boot on their throat and make 'em say Uncle. He was a one trick pony, and that trick was wedge issues.

So under a President like that, I'm not surprised that the talking heads became so shrill and black-and-white. There seemed to be a meteoric rise for the Malkins and Hannitys of the world in the last eight years, all of them spontanteously expressing the zeitgeist by never shying away from saying the magic words: "YOU HATE AMERICA!". Against those people, a Michael Moore makes a lot of sense. The guy has many good points, but he's not very subtle.

But there's a certain point where your adrenaline runs out. A lot of soldiers get so tired of constantly fearing for their life that they just stop caring whether they live or die. (Incidentally - and self-linkingly - that condition is called "feyness" - descended from the word "fairy", because fairies used to take people into faerie realms and leave not-quite-right automatons in their place.) I think we as a culture had a little bit of that fatigue after 7 years of constant 9/11, because the Republicans were so shameless about it. (To roughly paraphrase Joe Biden: "Rudy Guliani always says 3 things. A subject, a verb, and 9/11.") After being frightened for so long, and after the constantly threatened bogeyman kept not showing up, I think people were just tired of it.

In that context, I think support for Obama makes a lot of sense. It's not that he won't talk tough, its not that he isn't serious about security issues - its that he's not an all or nothing guy. He's willing to say the dreaded d-word: "diplomacy". And he's shown a willingness to compromise and actually attempt bipartisanship, although he's also not so dumb as to tie himself down by making too many concessions to people who don't have any power but still won't meet him halfway. When people talk about Obama as change, I think a big part of it is that he does seem to see shades of gray, and after eight years of Bush thats kind of a novelty.

And in this context - well, Michael Moore doesn't make sense. Because as smug as I feel about knowing the Iraq war was bad from the start, smugness isn't going to move anybody forward. In fact, it threatens to push us back into the position that got us into this trouble in the first place by convincing us that whichever side is right is unilaterally and totally right, and thus only one side at a time should have a voice. Maybe Michael Moore is right about America's gun problem, but the fact is that not everyone who wants to own a gun is crazy, and lumping them all together so you can shout at them all at once is disingenuous.

When I read this article, I found it kind of sad, to be honest with you, because Michael Moore thinks Obama is a victory for him. In terms of policies, Obama will be great for Michael Moore. But Obama is also going to kill Michael Moore's career. Not just because it will be harder for Michael Moore to rant now that his party has power - but because now the conditions aren't so bad that if a Michael Moore didn't exist, we'd have to invent him. In fact, the conditions right now are such that we might have to try to decommission as many soldiers in the Talking Head Brigade as we can, Moore included. It might be time for a do-over.

I never have a high level of optimism about the state of America's political discourse - I once had a coworker tell me he was tired of all my facts when I tried to explain to him why Iran Contra - which happened in his lifetime - was so fucked up - but I do have faith that the form of the discussion will change in this new zeitgeist. I don't know what form it will take, but the Bush holdovers like Moore or either going to adapt or become irrelevant, and honestly, I just cannot see Moore adapting very easily. From what I just read, he's still stuck in 2003, when he was a lone voice in the Wilderness, when this sort of attitude made sense.
posted by Kiablokirk at 11:13 AM on March 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


RushLimbaugh.com demographics. 133k/mo.

MichaelMoore.com demographics 1.4m/mo

This is what happens when the reading skills of Libs/Cons come into play.

People who depend on Fox news for information are not likely to burden themselves with going to web sites that require reading skills.
posted by notreally at 11:22 AM on March 7, 2009


Guys, he lies in his movies. He lies to the subjects of his movies in order to get them to participate in his movies and, when called on it, publicly insults the subjects of his movies and lies again about their involvement with his movies.

I know there are right-wing websites out there that claim Moore tells like 200 lies in each of his movies but most of those websites are just B.S. from the right. Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11 were rigorously fact checked. I realize there were problems with Bowling for Columbine and some of his earlier movies, but the fact is he seems to have learned his lesson.

I realize there are websites out there that try to make the claim that there are 200 lies in each of his movies but most of those are B.S. or distort what's even in the movie in the first place.
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


RushLimbaugh.com demographics. 133k/mo.

MichaelMoore.com demographics 1.4m/mo
-- notreally
You have that exactly backwards. Rush has 1.4m visitors, and Moore has 133k visitors.

eponisterical.
posted by delmoi at 11:31 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thoroughly dislike Rush Limbaugh, but he and Michael Moore are cut from the same cloth, and just because I find one less alarming than the other doesn't mean I'll respect any infotainer.

Some parts of Moore's films are really well done, but there's always a step too far, a childishness and lack of discipline. I think it bothers me most because I agree with him on so many issues, I'd like him to be more accurate and measured.

Limbaugh is a clown, and he's being played as one. By many accounts Obama is slow to anger, but once someone really gets to him, he's passionate in his dislikes. Rush really asked for it, but I'm sick of all the attention on him, not on Republican policies that may seem reasonable, but that are really hurting the country.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 11:39 AM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


RushLimbaugh.com demographics. 133k/mo.

MichaelMoore.com demographics 1.4m/mo


and I'm sure that websites relating to American Idol and Survivior dwarf the hitcounts of both blowhards. Are you beginning to understand or do I need to break out the fucking hand puppets?
posted by jonmc at 12:21 PM on March 7, 2009


I think the main difference between Moore and Limbaugh is their sincerity. At the bottom line, Moore is lobbying for people who work for a living by lobbying against special monied interests, attracting younger and diverse audiences, alerting undecided people to their negative prospects in life, need for government health care etc. Limbaugh is doing exactly the opposite, by lobbying for people who employ people for a living by directly lobbying against liberals, attracting older male audiences, many of them in complete denial about their financial situation in regards to Limbaugh's allegiances.
posted by Brian B. at 12:28 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you beginning to understand or do I need to break out the fucking hand puppets?

If you do, would you be so kind and post it to Youtube?
posted by daniel_charms at 12:33 PM on March 7, 2009


I did a hand-puppet based YouTube way back when, but it was apolitical.
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on March 7, 2009


You should do political YouTube with fucking hand puppets. Instant national fame would be guaranteed.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2009


Instant national fame would be guaranteed

what nation?
posted by jonmc at 12:54 PM on March 7, 2009


Vatican?
posted by daniel_charms at 12:56 PM on March 7, 2009


ehhh, not enough groupies and drugs.
posted by jonmc at 1:01 PM on March 7, 2009


Washington Post: Limbaugh's Audience Size? It's Largely Up in the Air
"...estimates of Limbaugh's nationwide (and overseas) audience are exercises in guesswork, slippery methodology and suspect data. Limbaugh himself has muddied the water with the claim that he reaches 20 million people a week, although there's no independent support for that figure."
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


ehhh, not enough groupies and drugs.

Maybe, but it'll be a springboard to international fame. When the press find out that the Pope is a fan of your clips, hordes of Catholic schoolgirls will be all over you.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:20 PM on March 7, 2009


When the press find out that the Pope is a fan of your clips, hordes of Catholic schoolgirls will be all over you.

Or, most likely, closeted priests
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on March 7, 2009


The modern American Right does a great job creating boogiemen, but they're getting much worse at transmitting their mythology to typical low-information voters.* I watched SLACKER UPRISING a few months ago and was shocked at seeing (and remembering) the vitriol that was directed at Moore in 2004. It was a minor scandal that he attended part of the Democratic Convention in Jimmy Carter's box -- even if you assume that he and Limbaugh are equals, Limbaugh just gave a keynote at CPAC and had it broadcast live and uncut on CNN. It's an unbelievable double-standard, prompted by a coordinated campaign to demonize loud liberals.

* Does anyone who's not already on the inside give a damn about George Soros or ACORN? Republican campaigns included pictures of Chuck Schumer and Byron Dorgan in some of their ads last year, as if anyone who doesn't follow politics closely would know they are by recognizing their faces. Some GOP operative recently said, derisively, that Michael Steele was turning out to be like "Howard Dean cubed," as if Dean hadn't been an incredibly successful DNC chair. Their villain stories are becoming totally impenetrable.
posted by aaronetc at 2:19 PM on March 7, 2009


The Right Wing Noise Machine is giggling with happiness that anyone would even think to "balance" Rush with Moore. Rush lies and insults. Moore, even if you don't like him, is telling the truth. Truth and lies--these are opposites.
posted by DU at 2:25 PM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd nominate Tom Ammiano for having a sense of humor, both for his response to the Wave Magazine Replicant test, and the "I haven't slept with so many men since the 70s" comment during the CA budget crisis. There are other examples of conservatives with a sense of humor, although not any who make a career out of it that I can think of.

Barney Frank is also quite funny if you pay attention. I was watching Hardball during the Clinton-Lewinsky era. When Chris Matthews asked Barney Frank a question about Lewinsky, Barney Frank had the perfect comeback: "I, for one, am not an expert about leaving stains on dresses." I thought it was one of the funniest things I've ever heard from a politician, but what was even funnier was watching the joke fly over Chris Matthews' head.
posted by jonp72 at 2:31 PM on March 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


OK, there is one right-wing humourist who's often worth reading: P. J. O'Rourke. I haven't seen much from him lately. I know he's been recovering from rectal cancer; but I also hope that like most THINKING right-wingers, he's been forced by the current issues and 8 years of fail to reflect seriously on what he really believes.

I was going to say that O'Rourke is the only conservative who is actually laugh-out-loud funny, in my finding (well, Bill Kristol is hilarious, but I don't think that is intentional). O'Rourke has made no secret of his dislike for Bush for not having implemented conservative ideals:

"Bush has been a pretty miserable failure on that front... the Republicans are offering a Newer Deal, a Greater Society. Where the hell did this come from? And there's no other word for it but failure: failure to control spending, failure domestically and failure in Iraq."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:39 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


My first exposure to Michael Moore was seeing "Roger and Me" and "Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint" in a film course; my professor was very clear that she was almost obligated to show them for their impact on documentary style. Her chilly distaste was also clear. She insinuated that he was a fraud because his persona was working class despite his having been a professional journalist, which certainly spoke volumes about what she knew about journalism and what she thought of the working class. More than that, it was a failure of packaging -- he was shambolic, a hot mess, fat and sweaty and poorly dressed, prankish, dickish. She was far more easily offended by his stylistic flaws than by the images he filmed of evicted people getting their shit thrown out in the street. Progressive people in that particular academic culture came in two acceptable flavors: Birk-wearing acoustic-strumming soft-spoken deeply irrelevant people, or well-dressed well-heeled super-confident slightly less deeply irrelevant people.

Being a progressive person for the last 20 years has been a nightmare and for a long time Moore was pretty much alone in trying to bridge class factions while not being a fatal bore. Everything about him is huge: ass, ambition, ego, heart. We needed him. We're neck-deep in the social failures he's been documenting throughout his career while the wealthy still sing the same old song about trickle-down economics and optimism and hard work. They save the real viciousness for their lap dogs, the Limbaughs and Coulters who've wished sedition on us all and death for innocent people -- you know, actual sins. I'm more than happy to have a flawed sweaty puffed-up and fucking furious Moore aiming like a cannon at them all.
posted by melissa may at 2:57 PM on March 7, 2009 [30 favorites]


He lost me when he went after the Alzheimer riddled corpse of Charlton Heston in Columbine.

You know what, fuck that. If Charlton Heston was well enough to serve as the head of the NRA, he was certainly well enough to answer some questions in front of a camera at an interview he previously agreed to. He shouldn't get to run around doing what he wants and then as soon as it's convenient go "Oh, sorry, Alzheimer's."

Also I used to like P.J. O'Rourke until about the point that I noticed he does pretty much the same thing as other conservative humourists, only with a little bit of wit. It's still mostly "ha ha, poor people!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:22 PM on March 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


I like MM, don't find him "grating", and have enjoyed his films immensly.
posted by telstar at 3:50 PM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


as if being impolitic has any bearing on whether someone speaks the truth.

Being impolitic makes the truth sound stupid and/or disingenuous and hurts the very cause of truth itself. Michael Moore makes the truth look like lies and makes it harder for everyone else who cares about doing the right thing.

Michael Moore doesn't suck because he is a liar. He sucks because he is a complete jackass who hurts the causes he documents by diverting the attention from the cause and on to his buffoonery. The fact that, between his bouts of speaking truth to power, he fills the gaps with disingenuous posturing doesn't help much, either. When a "documentary" maker's filmmaking, editing, and narrative style make reasonable people's b.s. detectors go off every few seconds, it tends to not only dilute but to also discredit the very important truths that that filmmaker tosses into the mix. Don't get me wrong: I generally support the causes that Michael Moore seems to be trying to support through his filmmaking. But he hurts the causes. He's like the super stoned deadhead guy who shows up at a congressional hearing on legalizing medical marijuana and starts screaming about how pot's not as dangerous as alcohol and interrupting the whole hearing.

What Michael Moore does is stunt journalism, and it should be shunned by non-stunt journalists everywhere, regardless of how "brave" Moore is when he correctly points out that George W. Bush has led the U.S. down a path of lies to one of the lowest points in its history.

When Moore opens his mouth, I don't think "that guy's lying." I think "that guy needs to shut up before he ruins whatever cause he's on about now." He accomplishes for the Left what Sarah Palin accomplished for the Right: Making the cause look foolish. And you can bet there's not a democrat strategist alive who doesn't recognize that one factor, small though it may have been, in Obama's victory was the absence in the public eye of Michael Moore during the election.

Now, to apply that to Rush Limbaugh, just take everything I just wrote and delete all of the stuff about speaking truth to power, very important truths, correctly pointing things out, and really any mention of the truth. Limbaugh isn't even a stunt journalist. He's just a stunt. He doesn't just make my b.s. detector go off--he provides a constant 100% saturated signal to which said detector can be reliably calibrated.
posted by The World Famous at 3:51 PM on March 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Except that Michael Moore isn't a journalist. Journalists, rhetorically speaking, pretend to come at their subjects from an objective angle. They are merely flies on the wall, reporting what passes before their eyes.

Moore is a documentarian, from a long line of socially conscious documentarians. He is closer to an op-ed writer than a journalist. He takes a point of view. He wears his agenda on his sleeve, he doesn't lie and dissemble about it like Fox News with their slogan of "fair and balanced." He acknowledges his angle and opinion.

Don't get journalism and documentary confused, they are different things, and come from different traditions, historically.

I think Moore is very important. His biggest mistake is a certain lack of subtlety and a bombast that can be off-putting.

But, to be honest, if he was making less bombastic films, he wouldn't be doing the box office business he is. He is the single most successful documentary filmmaker in history.

A movie like "Sicko" can get more eyeballs to see the problems with the U.S. Healthcare system than 100 less bombastic films made by others would. He's standing up there on his soapbox, and he's changing people's minds. We need him, for all his self-importance.
posted by MythMaker at 4:17 PM on March 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ahem - after reading this, I want back off slightly from my endorsement of P. J. O'Rourke.

Hey, guy's gotta make a living, sure, but that piece is like he's channelling Ann Coulter.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:41 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


He sucks because he is a complete jackass who hurts the causes he documents by diverting the attention from the cause and on to his buffoonery. The fact that, between his bouts of speaking truth to power, he fills the gaps with disingenuous posturing doesn't help much, either. When a "documentary" maker's filmmaking, editing, and narrative style make reasonable people's b.s. detectors go off every few seconds

Yeah, that's why his films are so popular, it's because people can't stand 'em.

Realistically: just because you don't personally like someone's style doesn't mean that no one else does either.
posted by delmoi at 6:26 PM on March 7, 2009


Yeah, that's why his films are so popular, it's because people can't stand 'em.

I did not mean to imply that Moore's style makes it so that nobody likes him or his films. Just like Limbaugh, Moore has a sizeable audience who are happy to overlook (or who don't notice) the shortcomings of his approach--because they support the agenda, because they find it entertaining, because they think it's a trustworthy source of information, or for some other reason.

Realistically: just because you don't personally like someone's style doesn't mean that no one else does either.

I am well aware that some people like Michael Moore's style. I respectfully disagree with their opinion, in part for the reasons stated above.

I would, in fact, submit that Moore's popularity is attributable at least in part to the fact that there are lots of people who actually like Moore's cause-damaging jackassery style--many of whom probably disagree with me that Moore is hurting the cause and who may not even notice the dishonesty that bothers me so much. In fact, though I do not have hard data to back this up, it seems from my casual observation of popular culture in the last few years that documentaries that are outrageous spectacles preaching to the choir tend to be far more commercially successful than others (with the notable exception of An Inconvenient Truth, which preached to the choir, but was not an outrageous spectacle). To the extent that Michael Moore is trying to be a commercially successful entertainer, he does not suck at all. He has honed his craft and found a nice market for his product. And on that front, he is remarkably similar to Rush Limbaugh, who has also honed his craft and found a nice market for his own jackassery.

The market to which both of those entertainers direct their efforts and which provides them with their comfortable livelihood can fairly be referred to as "the choir." But if either of them had any sincere intention or desire to actually affect social change according to their respective principles, they would be well advised to turn around and start preaching to the congregation, and to do it in a way that might not send people fleeing from the pews.

As to Rush Limbaugh, I do not for a moment believe that he has any desire at all to make the world a better place--even according to his own personal definition of "a better place." But Moore is different: It seems to me that Moore might genuinely be a believer in what he preaches, or at least in some of it. And if that's the case, I can only conclude that he does what he does the way that he does it either a) because his desire to sell movie tickets and DVDs outweighs his desire to be effective and honest or b) because he really doesn't understand how much he hurts the cause. I'm leaning toward b), paired with my theory that Moore's ignorance of the damage he causes is precipitated by his ego.
posted by The World Famous at 6:54 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


P. J. O'Rourke. I haven't seen much from him lately.

He was just on Bill Maher last week. My god, that man is not funny. Its incredible. Hes like an embarassing uncle at thanksgiving trying to get in a couple groaners out while the adults try to talk.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:38 PM on March 7, 2009


One difference between liberals and conservatives in America today would appear to be a sense of humor. On the left, one finds...

99% of the time, anyone who says "Left is this _____ Right is that _____" is a complete moron. Both much of the same in my opinion, the public mouthpieces anyway. Except for humour. You've got it completely the wrong way around.

Jesus, with a list as long as your arm: STUFF YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF OR WE WILL GET ALL FROWNY.

Fags, women, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, window lickers. Woops, did I say fags? That's not allowed! Says so on the list. The Left has a sense of humour????!!!

Stewart is an absolute genius. Bill Hicks was pretty good. Imagine how much better they would be if they had the balls to poke fun of everyone.

Tom Tomorrow is a preachy, unfunny dickhead.

Probably making the mistake of notLeft = Right and vice versa. But in a hurry right now! Hope you get my point.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:26 PM on March 7, 2009


That's not allowed! Says so on the list..
Hope you get my point.


Yes! I did!
You don't know what funny is.
posted by 235w103 at 10:10 PM on March 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


Trey Parker and Matt Stone are way funnier than any of the "leftist" comedians mentioned.

So funny, in fact, that their politics seem to go right over a lot of people's heads.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:41 PM on March 7, 2009


Jesus, with a list as long as your arm: STUFF YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF OR WE WILL GET ALL FROWNY.

Fags, women, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, window lickers. Woops, did I say fags? That's not allowed! Says so on the list. The Left has a sense of humour????!!!


You're allowed to make fun of whoever you want, just as you are allowed to say whatever you want.

You are not allowed to be exempt from the consequences of your actions, which is what you are actually demanding, because you are a child.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:55 PM on March 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Trey Parker and Matt Stone are way funnier than any of the "leftist" comedians mentioned.

So funny, in fact, that their politics seem to go right over a lot of people's heads.


They're only funny when they avoid politics; this is largely because their politics are limited to "fuck anybody who cares about anything but themselves." I mean, christ, this is who you're claiming have useful ideas about politics:
Stone and Parker told me they'd previously seen the G.O.P. as a relief from the big-government liberals, particularly the ones preaching to America from Hollywood. "We see these people lying, cheating, whoring," Stone said. "They're our friends, but seriously, they're not people you want to listen to."

The religious right used to be a better alternative, Parker said. "The Republicans didn't want the government to run your life, because Jesus should. That was really part of their thing: less government, more Jesus. Now it's like, how about more government and Jesus?"
They're idiots, man.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:58 PM on March 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Woops, did I say fags? That's not allowed!

HAHAHAHAHAH so FUNNY! so EDGY! are you here all week? yes, we will tip the waitstaff, guy.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:35 PM on March 7, 2009


You are not allowed to be exempt from the consequences of your actions, which is what you are actually demanding, because you are a child.

The fah? Were you frowning when you wrote that? I think you were.

Great example, drjimmy11. Those guys are amazing. Like the writers of The Simpsons, I wouldn't class them as Left or Right. They pull the piss out of anyone who deserves it. But because they are also very crass and shocking and all too often drink from the cup of STUFF YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE FUN OF OR WE WILL GET ALL FROWNY, I think lots of people miss their genius.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:38 PM on March 7, 2009


yeah, PG, nothing more annoyingly smug and dopey than a "south park republican," except maybe parker and stone's embrace of the dillweeds who think that watching "team america: world police" is being subversive.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:38 PM on March 7, 2009


The Simpsons, at least in the first nine years (I can't really speak about the rest, because I stopped watching except for the occasional check to see if it still sucked after that), was pretty solidly lefty. I'm not sure how that's even up for debate.

The fah? Were you frowning when you wrote that? I think you were.

The fact that you think you've scored some kind of point or been funny is itself hilarious.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:52 PM on March 7, 2009


The fact that you think you've scored some kind of point or been funny is itself hilarious.


Sure I scored a point. I argued that the Left don't have a superior sense of humour. Which I think was ornate insect's point.

And all I could really garner from your nonsensical reply was "Oh yeah? Well you're just a big baby!"

[Presently I'm licking my pointy finger adding points to my pretend points tally. Pointy.]

posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:15 AM on March 8, 2009


You see, people on the Left walk like this, whereas people on the Right walk like this.
posted by The World Famous at 12:42 AM on March 8, 2009


Anyone who thinks Hicks or Stewart would've been funnier if they took the piss out of gay and black people really misses the point of Hicks and Stewart's humor. Unless, of course, you think gays and blacks secretly run the whole show. Which is an easy mistake to make, of course.
posted by birdie birdington at 1:11 AM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fags, women, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, window lickers. Woops, did I say fags? That's not allowed! Says so on the list. The Left has a sense of humour????!!!

Okay, you know, I'm curious. Can you tell one joke about any of these groups that is funny if you're not homophobic, misogynistic, or racist?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:32 AM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


uncanny hengeman is a shackledragger, that's an entire country filled with the offspring of Alf Garnett and Margaret Thatcher. Be gentle, he's effectively arguing from within the 1970s
posted by fullerine at 7:29 AM on March 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, Mr. Moore, when you argue that the difference between you and him is that the American people agree with you, well, I think you're missing the point.

Actually, you folks are missing his stated premise. He clearly states he's responding to this:
But some commentators (Richard Wolffe of Newsweek, Chuck Todd of NBC News, etc.) have likened this to "what Republicans tried to do to the Democrats with Michael Moore."
and then says, guess what, my views are popular, whereas his aren't. Don't really see it as an aggrandisement if someone else mentions him first.

In terms of policy the country is much farther to the left then it was in 2000
If you're looking at raw numbers, the US has been significantly left of the political right on a whole lot of issues, both economic and social since the 1990's; I don't have cites on me - Slate.com had a feature on this - a plurality of the populace believes in some form of gun-control, pro-choice rights, civil unions (not marriage though) and even healthcare. But the problem, as always, is that the United States has never been a majority-minority nation; as long as the plurality of political districts believe in something, policies don't see a change.

That's the real shift that's happened in the last elections; it's that people in more counties seem to have given liberalism a shot. This is conjecture, but I'm quite certain there wouldn't be a significant increase or decrease since 2000 in _national_ numbers on any of the big-button political issues (except Iraq, which naturally wasn't big back then)
posted by the cydonian at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2009


Here's the problem with the "Michael Moore hurts the causes he supports" position -- a big piece of what he's doing is shining a bright light on things that the mainstream media isn't. And he does it from the heart, from a place of human empathy, rather than cold, hard facts. He wants his viewers to FEEL the problems, not just think about them.

You may not like this approach, but as I showed above with box office numbers, he gets the eyeballs. Your argument is that if his approach isn't perfect, it shouldn't be done in the first place. I'd argue that getting more people aware of these issues is incredibly important, and he is amazingly successful at it. As successful as any documentarian has EVER BEEN, if we're just looking at raw numbers of people watching his films. He raises awareness of every issue he touches on, and genuinely starts a national conversation about these issues.

Where's the problem in that? You'd rather have him make safe, A&E Channel-style dry boring documentaries that 200 people watch about these topics? Give me a break. Think of him more like Brecht, he's stirring the pot. He's an artist, not a reporter.

The minus to his approach, frankly, IMHO, is that he gives a lot of raw meat to the Republicans. Because he doesn't dance around his topics, because he wears his point-of-view on his sleeve, he gets attacked as being a propagandist. Fair enough. But his success means that the Right is going to attack him regardless.

But more subtly wouldn't get the eyeballs he does, which gets more awareness of the issues, which changes the world. He's an activist of the highest order.
posted by MythMaker at 9:04 AM on March 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


OK, there is one right-wing humourist who's often worth reading: P. J. O'Rourke. I haven't seen much from him lately.

He was on Wait, Wait a few weeks ago. It was funny.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:36 AM on March 8, 2009


Newt Gingrich "piles on" Limbaugh in declaring his pro-failure strategy to be brainless. (Just because economic collapse worked for the Democrats, at least they didn't stoop to planning it). Clearly Newt Gingrich has outsmarted Limbaugh here and saved himself for later, because if we don't succeed under Obama, the Democrats and the entire nation can blame Rush Limbaugh, because he foolishly gave them the excuse they needed.

(Note that Gingrich officially declares the era to be "over" for Reagan, perhaps because Obama is now going to out-borrow and out-spend Reagan by a factor of two, minus the fraudulent tax cuts and stupid deregulation. Smart distance there. Limbaugh says it will tear them apart, because they've been using Reagan Democrats to get elected all these years.)
posted by Brian B. at 11:10 AM on March 8, 2009


this is largely because their politics are limited to "fuck anybody who cares about anything but themselves."

How is this not a right wing idea? Dude, face it: Trey Parker & Matt Stone are right-wing libertarians.
posted by dydecker at 11:15 AM on March 8, 2009


What is a window-licker? I thought it was that piece by Aphex Twin.

Also, uncanny hengeman? As Miss Woodward back in my Grade 3 class drummed into us all, you only need to use one exclamation point or one question mark at a time. Using more doesn't add anything to your statement.
posted by jokeefe at 12:41 PM on March 8, 2009


Trey Parker & Matt Stone are right-wing libertarians.

Yeah, but I thought the topic under discussion was humour. I think if Parker and Stone had meant South Park to be funny, they would have put a joke in it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:42 PM on March 8, 2009


it's about time that we recognize that some people had it right all along
... it's about time that "i told you so" should start to carry some real weight, because you know what? some of us told you so ...
- Hat Maui

Michael Moore is simply saying what so many of us are too polite (?) to say to all those who tried to intimidate us for 8+ years. We are -- and WERE -- right.

And ... if anyone thinks he/we shouldn't rub that in, then maybe s/he needs to watch what's really going on. It isn't over. The locusts may just be resting underground till their next attack, but we can still hear shrill whisperings ...



... at this moment in Hawai'i swarms of 'people of faith' are descending on the State Legislature to protest passage of the Civil Unions bill (the assault has been 50-1 against, according to the lawmakers) ... Meanwhile, the voices of these 'new missionaries' seep deeply into other economic and educational decisions being contested ... they are still here ...



... thank god for the Michael Moore's of this world!
posted by Surfurrus at 12:57 PM on March 8, 2009


I was under the impression that Barack Obama won primarily because it was thought that he would do a better job handling the worsening economy than John "fundamentals are strong" McCain, not because America actually agrees with progressive politics. Sure, his fans were vocal and many, but let's not forget that he still won by a very small margin that was simply not quite as very-small as the previous few elections.
posted by !Jim at 1:28 PM on March 8, 2009



I was under the impression that Barack Obama won primarily because it was thought that he would do a better job handling the worsening economy than John "fundamentals are strong" McCain, not because America actually agrees with progressive politics. Sure, his fans were vocal and many, but let's not forget that he still won by a very small margin that was simply not quite as very-small as the previous few elections.


Don't buy into the hype you hear spun anywhere. John McCain did not have a strong chance of winning the election. Nate Silver is the guy with authority on this:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/todays-polls-and-final-election.html
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/what-mccain-win-looks-like.html

posted by Mikey-San at 4:04 PM on March 8, 2009


... let's not forget that he still won by a very small margin...

Actually, you can forget that.
Obama Popular Vote Margin Largest Ever for Non-Incumbent
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:11 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, you know, I'm curious. Can you tell one joke about any of these groups that is funny if you're not homophobic, misogynistic, or racist?

One of Chris Rock's stand-up routines on women is ball tearingly funny. But I think it's titled "marriage" on the Youtube search when I watched it a few months ago.

Eddie Murphy was a real talent before he became a fart joke in a fat suit. Check out his 3 stand-up albums. He has a good go at women, homosexuals, and his screamingly funny routine on his dysfunctional family's annual BBQ (cookout) is really about black people – I think my man Eddie would agree.

Carson Kressley and one of the other queers (the "product" dude) from Queer Eye were rummaging thru a fella's wardrobe and they found some fishing gear. Next scene one of them has put a lure in his mouth and the other one has the rod and is going "Look! I caught a fag!"

Not exactly comedians, but I thought I'd chuck it coz it made me smile, and it contained the dreaded F*G word, yet was aired on prime time TV in Oz. Extremely high rating show in Australia in its day.

One day, a particularly odious associate of mine was complaining about the plaudits given to the movie Philadelphia. The gist of his argument was "How could anyone like a movie about fags?"

Your argument is kinda the same in reverse. There are no funny jokes about homosexuals that aren't homophobic? Big call, sizzlechest.


Hey, thanks for playing nice everyone.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:38 PM on March 8, 2009


... let's not forget that he still won by a very small margin...

Actually, you can forget that.
Obama Popular Vote Margin Largest Ever for Non-Incumbent

Sure, until you recall that the U.S. population is growing. One paragraph below the one you referred to:
If looked at in percentage terms, however, Obama's 7.0-point margin is really fairly middle of the road, having been bettered 26 times overall and by 12 non-incumbents
posted by !Jim at 5:35 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are no funny jokes about homosexuals that aren't homophobic? Big call, sizzlechest.

Also upon reflection, anything homophobic cannot be funny? It's impossible for you to briefly spirit that hard ass of yours away to Comedy Land and maybe have a chuckle about things? Vive le difference, and all that.

Gee, this comedy caper is more serious and frowny than I thought.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:44 PM on March 8, 2009


Don't buy into the hype you hear spun anywhere. John McCain did not have a strong chance of winning the election. Nate Silver is the guy with authority on this:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/todays-polls-and-final-election.html
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/what-mccain-win-looks-like.html
I think you misunderstood my argument. It's clear that in the final month (?-I don't remember for certain, and couldn't find the right link) or so of the election, Obama pulled ahead. My point was that the reason for this was that during the few months leading up the election, the economic problems were sounding more and more severe, and increasingly affecting the "real economy", and that people felt Obama was more equipped to handle this situation.

I'm pointing this out because I feel like there's a certain degree of self-congratulating going on amongst the democrats, which to a degree is deserved, but I feel it would be a fatal mistake to assume that 2012 and 2016 will be easily won owing to a nationwide swing to the left. Given the party's track record in selecting candidates, 2016 is particularly worrying.
posted by !Jim at 5:52 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would agree that Moore lacks subtlety. That seems obvious. His faux-ignorant "You mean it's free?" schtick in "Sicko" was pretty grating and over the top after a while.

But if you recall what frothing right wing pundits were saying after "Sicko" came out, it was along the lines of OMG HE WANTS US TO BE LIKE CUBA. I mean, with these people, you have to use a sledgehammer.
posted by fungible at 6:30 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's right about the strategic failure of the right wingers. Attacking him just gives him a larger audience. And as a buisness manager for a medical practice I can tell you that he was right on point in Sicko. Especially about Humana. That company is awful.
posted by kellytom382 at 6:56 PM on March 8, 2009


Also upon reflection, anything homophobic cannot be funny? It's impossible for you to briefly spirit that hard ass of yours away to Comedy Land and maybe have a chuckle about things?

No, homophobia, racism, and sexism aren't fucking funny. Your jokes reinforce the harmful norms about gender, race, and sexuality that contribute to the state of the world in which women are maltreated for being women, people of colour are maltreated for their race, and non-heterosexuals are maltreated for their sexuality. And it's not just jokes- it's exploitation, violence, and death.

This shit is not fucking funny, and you are filth for thinking it is. No society that aspires to any level of decency should tolerate it or you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:05 PM on March 8, 2009


you are filth

We don't really need this here.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:15 PM on March 8, 2009


QED
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:34 PM on March 8, 2009


We don't really need this here.

Pieces of crap like this may not be the ones tying the Matthew Shepards to fenceposts or dragging the James Byrds behind trucks, but they are the ones who tell the Shawn Berries and Larry Brewers and John Kings and Russel Hendersons and James McKinneys that it's okay to do so. This isn't about jokes. This is about the constant drumbeat of dehumanization and vilification that makes hate crimes and Proposition 8 and all of that possible.

The violence doesn't take place in a vacuum. The denial of civil rights doesn't happen in a vacuum. They occur in a society in which women and homosexuals and blacks and transfolk are told, constantly, that they deserve to be the targets of ridicule, discrimination, and violence for their gender, race, and sexuality. Every joke about what bitches women are, every joke about how fags are so fucking dumb, and every joke about how them black fellas sure do love them some watermelon is ultimately a contribution to this violence, and I will be dead and buried before I pretend that racists, homophobes, and misogynists deserve anything but constant execration and denigration.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on March 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


A man calls the waiter over at a Chinese restaurant.

"This chicken is rubbery."

"Thank you very much."
posted by dydecker at 8:09 PM on March 8, 2009


This got a lot of laughs from some fairly progressive people:

"Why did the black person steal a TV?"

"Why?"

"Because he's black!"
posted by Snyder at 11:52 PM on March 8, 2009


If looked at in percentage terms, however, Obama's 7.0-point margin is really fairly middle of the road

Which is not even remotely like "a very small margin."

As for your claim that the economic news pushed Obama ahead right at the end, here"s what Silver, who turned out to have the most accurate predictions, had to say one month before the election:
Today's Polls, 10/4

With the first set of tracking polls out to incorporate at least one full day of post-debate interviewing, there is no indication that John McCain and Sarah Palin have made progress in closing their gap with Barack Obama.
In other words, Obama did not "pull ahead" in the final month; he'd been there for a while.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:57 AM on March 9, 2009


you are filth

Pieces of crap like this


Blimey! All because I had the temerity to ask you to chillax and have a laugh.

Hey you! Mr Black Man. STOP GETTING ON WITH YOUR LIFE AND GET FROWNY WITH ME! I think I detected a hint of watermelon in that joke. Stop laughing at yourself, I said! Gather 'round and feel sorry for yourself while I point and blow my bugle.

This isn't a vacuum, man! This watermelon reference will lead only lead to one thing: VIOLENCE!!! Look how frowny I am, so it must be true. WE'RE TALKIN' MOTHERFUCKIN' WATERMELON HERE! [Maude Flanders voice] Won't somebody think of the Black Man?!


Hey, jokeefe, did "Miss Woodward back in your Grade 3 class drum into you" the logical fallacy of sarcastically poking fun of mental midgets and arguing by analogy? Woops. Looks like I scored the trifecta.

I posit that you and your ilk are actually the problem here, Pope Guilty. The idea of an annoying, meddlesome white "gatekeeper" such as yourself is picking up steam in Aboriginal communities in Australia. Not sure if there's an American term for it. But it's so you it's just scary. :)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:16 AM on March 9, 2009


The bold and all-caps and excess exclamation marks make you look pretty hysterically funny, for sure.
posted by harriet vane at 3:28 AM on March 9, 2009


jesus christ both of you take it to meta
posted by Mikey-San at 3:44 AM on March 9, 2009


both of you take it to meta memail
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:57 AM on March 9, 2009


AFAIK, the only group that voted significantly differently from their traditional allegiances was the latinos. Black people voted democrat and white people voted republican. Latin people swung toward the democrat direction. I have seen a breakdown of the figures for the recent elections in the US that demonstrates this, which I unfortunately cannot locate at the moment.

America needs more Moore and less milquetoast compliance.
posted by asok at 6:39 AM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


>P. J. O'Rourke. I haven't seen much from him lately.
He was just on Bill Maher last week. My god, that man is not funny.


He can be hilarious. I think Holidays in Hell is still in print, and is O'Rourke at his best. In that, he's kind of like a somewhat-righty Hunter S. Thomson. He does a good job of taking the piss out of EPCOT Center and Jim Baker's old Heritage U.S.A. fundie theme park.

If there's any hope for the Republicans and true conservatism it's probably in the guise of P.J. O'Rourke. I seem to remember him being fairly quiet about Repub candidates lately, hopefully due to embarrassment, although it might not be. If he's got a couple of pages of raving Bush fan fiction out there on the web somewhere I will take back what I've just said about him.
posted by JHarris at 7:46 AM on March 9, 2009


I have seen a breakdown of the figures for the recent elections in the US that demonstrates this, which I unfortunately cannot locate at the moment.

There's some info on that at PoliticalFilter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on March 9, 2009


.... Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain ...
posted by hortense at 11:43 AM on March 9, 2009


Racist humour that is also polically correct comes courtesy of Stewart Lee whose "You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Lee" is fucking hilarious. He does another bit on 41st Best Stand Up Ever. Don't assume that you can't make gay jokes. Pretty much every gay comedian in the history of ever does nothing but(t). Laughing along with a gay comedian when you're straight doesn't make you a homophobe unless you are actively cackling and rubbing your hands with glee at those pesky homoseckshuals getting their comeuppance. Which in turn sounds rude.

Omad Djalili's entire schtick revolves around taking the piss out of Iranians. Am I a racist because I laugh along with him? No. I get that he is being self-effacing and giggle along. If a comedian who is white, male and middle class makes a joke it could still be funny (unless it's Jimmy Carr).

I have laughed along with all sorts of comedians and whilst some comedy is a bit fucking terrible in hindsight (Eddie Murphy's diatribes on homosexuals, particularly considering his "giving a tranny a lift" thing in 1997 for one) there is no need to assume an evil intent unless the comedian is obviously a twat (i.e. Carlos fucking Mencia).

I actually asked a question on AskMeFi about Left Wing humour vs Right Wing humour and barring Dennis Miller there wasn't a decent suggestion. This might be the wrong place to ask but simply enough there are no functional equivalents. I have laughed at some of Bill Engvall's material but his humour isn't political, just observational stuff.
posted by longbaugh at 12:27 PM on March 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I posit that you and your ilk are actually the problem here, Pope Guilty. The idea of an annoying, meddlesome white "gatekeeper" such as yourself is picking up steam in Aboriginal communities in Australia.

I never ceases to amaze me how defensive people get when they're informed that, in the 21st century, "jokes" about race/sexual preference/gender aren't really cool. Pointing that out makes you the asshole; not them. You are the humorless prig. You're the problem. What surprises me even more is that people actually back down from a counter-argument that basically says, "I'm not a jerk, you are!"

You know what? Some "jokes" just aren't universally funny, and if someone expresses distaste for an attempt at humor that makes a race/sexual preference/gender the butt of ridicule, seems the grown-up thing to do is to apologize and move on. A caps-lock-bold-italics-multiple-exclamation-points caraciture? Not so much.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:36 PM on March 9, 2009


So says you. Here is Marisa’s list of things you aren’t allowed to joke about because it is not cool. Fantastic argument ya got there. One that can go on in circles for ever, it would seem.

Jeez sorry about the bolds and the !!! and the CAPS, people. That all you got? But – all snark aside – will take it on board and try and use them less.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:12 PM on March 13, 2009


Hey, jokeefe, did "Miss Woodward back in your Grade 3 class drum into you" the logical fallacy of sarcastically poking fun of mental midgets and arguing by analogy? Woops. Looks like I scored the trifecta.

What the hell are you talking about? I asked what a window-licker is; I honestly don't know, I've never heard the term outside of Aphex Twin. It's an honest question.
posted by jokeefe at 9:29 PM on March 13, 2009


You also gave me a punctuation lesson in the very next sentence, that's all I was referring to. Triples all the way man!!!

Anyway: window licker: It means a mentally disabled person. You ever seen those mini buses full of mentally disabled people travelling to the park or wherever? It refers to their supposed habit of slobbering all over the windows as they watch the world go by.

So your man Mr Twin made a song about a disabled person using very un-PC terminology. I've only seen the film clip once, but didn't the family have some sort of freak hidden in their basement?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:21 AM on March 14, 2009


It really doesn't help your bid to seem like the reasonable one when you're defending making fun of mentally handicapped people.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:59 AM on March 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


You need the punctuation lesson, as shown by your use of multiple exclamation marks and question marks.

I've only seen the film clip once, but didn't the family have some sort of freak hidden in their basement?

You're thinking of Rubber Johnny, which is about childhood illness, and which is horrific/mesmerizing.
posted by jokeefe at 1:15 PM on March 14, 2009


I swallowed my crayon.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:54 PM on March 14, 2009


« Older Riding with the first cowboys – in 3500 BC....  |  Video of Buzzcocks in Concert,... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments