Sunday, June 27, 2004
The Passion over Fahrenheit 911
Liberals are fawning over Michael Moore's "mockumentary" Fahrenheit 911 with a religious furvor akin to Catholic zeal for Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ. Does anybody else find the sentiments expressed in this review by Stewart Klawans for The Nation oddly familar to those expressed by Christians exiting the theater after seeing Gibson's dramatization?:
You don't much monitor your own reactions. But then, as you leave the movie house, you might notice that the sidewalk chatter sounds oddly muffled, the traffic looks a little blurred, as you begin to realize that your attention has not come outside with you; it's still in the dark, struggling with the feelings that Fahrenheit 9/11 called up and didn't resolve. Are you outraged, heartbroken, vengeful, morose, gloating, thoughtful, electrified? Moore has elicited all of these emotions and then had the nerve--the filmmaker's nerve--to leave you to sort them out. . . . I think there are two bundles of messages in Fahrenheit 9/11, one political and one emotional--and while the first is about as ambiguous as a call to take up pitchforks and torches and storm the castle, the second is too complex to unsettle those in power. It works to unsettle you. It's what makes Fahrenheit 9/11 a real movie.
In lieu of the Stations of the Cross, watching Michael Moore reveal that the Bush administration engineered the war in Iraq with the sole motive of making profits off Arab oil and Halliburton labor contracts is something of a religious epiphany. ;-)
The reason I don't like Michael Moore is NOT because he's anti-Republican -- it's entirely possible to offer criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the war in a reasonable and civilized manner. The problem with Michael Moore is that he so effectively contributes to the dumbing down of the Left by his willing indulgence in radical conspiracy-theorizing and vulger anti-Americanism, as recently exposed by David Brooks ("All Hail Moore" New York Times June 26, 2004).
Here's Moore on how he really feels about Americans:
"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy] . . . We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing. . . .
"That's why we're smiling all the time. You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How's it going?' We've got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down."
Here's Moore on the complexities of the U.S. - Iraqi conflict (in an interview with the Japanese press):
"The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich."
And here's Moore -- in his message posted on his website, April 14, 2004 -- on the Islamic fundamentalists who are ambushing our troops and beheading hostages:
"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win."
This coming from a self-proclaimed "filthy-rich multi-millionare" who portrays himself on screen as a scruffy blue-collar "man of the people" while living in a posh apartment in Manhattan and demanding up to $38,000 in "speaking fees" for a single engagement at Kansas University.
In related news, Ralph Nader accused Moore of selling out his friends for the Democratic Party Establishment in an open letter to his website.