Weep for Me: Two Mikey Moore movies in a week


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AZRickD
August 16, 2004, 12:23 AM
With all the debate going on about "Farenheit 9/11," I decided it was my civic duty as a gun rights activist-hobbyist to check him out.

First, "Bowling for Columbine"

I rented thisfor background and to see if I could see a pattern in his style. There was.

I won't go into detail about the misinformation as that has been done by David T. Hardy (http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html).

Bowling for Columbine wasn't only about guns. It was a mish-mash of cheerleading for various liberal and leftist philosophies and causes. You see, it wasn't the fault of the mother for leaving her son at a crack house (never mentioned it was a crackhouse, btw), it was the fault of "Welfare to Work." Lots of references to Flint, Michigan and closed factories. I guess Mike hasn't gotten over his battle fought in "Roger and Me," his first mockumentary. I'm wondering if "Roger and Me" had the same campy music played 180 degrees out of phase to belittle the subject.

Moore wanted to know why Americans were so violent. He said that Canadians had about as many guns as Americans but just didn't resort to violence. They were more laid-back and still left their doors unlocked. Even those few who were burgled still left their doors open. I thought Moore might get to the heart of it, but, as the movie went on, I found he just didn't have the heart.

Moore used a mix of direct interviews and heavily edited news broadcasts or news-talk interviews. One included an interview Moore did with the producer of COPS, who described himself as a liberal's liberal. In an intro to his interview segment Moore played several short clips of black men being chased down and cuffed (to a tune reminiscent, but not identical to, "Bad Boys"). Moore joked in voice over something like, "thanks for introducing America to black males," or was it "COPS brings white and black together."

Moore asked why this liberal producer had so many clips of black men being arrested. The producer was embarrassed. He really couldn't say. They needed action and the action was where they found it. Moore asked if there might be a COPS were white collar criminals have their homes broken into by SWAT and thrown on the ground. The producer said that those types have lawyers, don't tend to run, and wouldn't make good TV.

Here Moore was still dancing around the core of the problem. And it would continue.

Toward the end of the movie, Moore did his famous interview with Charleton Heston. Folks who have described the interview said that Moore was unfair to Heston, that he was addle-minded, in pre Altzheimers. Such was not the case. Heston seemed to have his wits about him. But Heston had the same problem answering the questions that Moore had asked everyone else -- why is American so violent. When Moore began taking pot shots at the NRA, Heston, and gun owners in general and stuffed a picture of the dead Michigan girl (killed by the first grade boy from the crack house), Heston had had enough (and was far more polite than I, or most here would have been). He calmly said that there was an impasse and that the interview was over. But Moore rudely kept asking questions. Then Heston left his chair and walked down the hall with Moore pleading with Heston to stay, as if Moore's feelings were hurt...and he couldn't understand why Moses was leaving, "Aw, please. C'mon, Mister Heston. Please, the little girl... Please..." Moore may have not deserved an Academy Award for his "documentary," but he should have been nominated for Best Actor. Trust me.

All in all, Moore couldn't bring himself to confront the issue. If someone wants to learn something about behavior, one has to do some basic epidemiological demographics. Lots of murders? Give me a cross-tabulation on race, sex, age, urban vs rural.

He didn't. He could have...I know he knows that answer, but he lacked the intellectual honesty to let the audience in on the big secret.

Remove *urban* minorities (mostly black and hispanic), and suddenly American looks a lot like Canada. What are rural blacks and hispanics up to? They are just about as law-abiding as their white rural counterparts.

Moore didn't bother to check this out.

Now on to Farenheit 9/11.

With shaking hand I plunked down $6.50 for a matinee ticket. I could have bought a ticket to some other movie, but that would be wrrronnnng.

I walked inside the 18th theater and found it to be the smallest one I had ever been in at that multiplex. Inside were six others. Four more joined by the time the movie began. I sat in the same row as a middle-aged guy who felt it necessary to comment with loud guffaws, audible "tisks" and various shouts of "fascist" and "stupid Republicans." The others were quiet throughout.

This movie had the same feel as "Bowing for Columbine," including the movie starting out back in Flint, Michigan, yet again. A little more glossy in some places. A little crisper editing, but essentially, the same thing. Only this time the target was George W. Bush.

The problem is that Moore made no attempt to allow for rebuttal from the other side. He had interviews with his side to support his position (I won't elevate it to the status of argument); he used media clips from his side to support his position. Little from the other side and each time those were played with silly or overwrought ominous music, and then followed up by someone from his side rebutting. Yes, Moore claims that he invited those on the other side to be interviewed but they declined (rightly, it seems given his editing). This is dodge. Moore went through many feet of news interviews conducted by others for both his side and the other side. He *could* have used those clips which argued the other side, but he wanted to make it appear that there was no argument.

So, it makes it diffucult for an open-minded person to draw a rational conclusion based on the evidence because rational conclusions require two sides to the debate (a ratio). There was none here.

But there is more to Moore's movie. Even though the movie started out in Michigan, it had to go to New York, right? It's about 9/11, right? Well, it's about 9/11 as much as "Bowling for Columbine" was about guns. It was about all those things Moore wanted to attack Bush on.

But, there were all that footage of those planes flying into the Twin Towers. Explosions. Death. People jumping out of windows. Cops and firefighters dutifully going about their tasks. How would he handle that? Wouldn't that incite the audience which might distract them from the message to follow?

Apparently, Mike thought so. After several minutes of introductory scenes, it was time to go to NY and September 11th, 2001.

The screen went black. The sound of an airliner whining at full thottle. Screen still black. The sound of and explosion. Screen still black. People screaming. Screen still black.

Moore handled the powerful imagery of the hijacked planes being used as missiles by not allowing them to be seen. Clever eh? He can always say that the clips had been seen so often that this was actually more powerful and artistic, I suppose. My guess is that four weeks from now, Katie Couric won't be showing this footage either (ya think?).

I could go on, but I don't think I really need to since much has already been written and I just wanted to give my general impressions. The crying Flint, Michigan (kid in a crack-house) mother in "Bowling for Columbine" was replace by the crying Flint, Michigan mother (son killed in Iraq). Attack on Heston replace by an attack on Congressmen with not enough children in the army. Missing the picture of minority crime was replaced with missing the picture of Islamofascist terrorism. Same target in both, conservatives, only this time it was more focused on Bush, and trying to get the Democrat base agitated. This is the SOLE purpose of F-9/11.

It was not for true debate. And it was not a scholarly work. It was agenda-driven from the start. A scholarly, peer-reviewed work is mandated to take each of the opposing side's arguments and address them. Moore didn't do that. He didn't want to. It was not his purpose here.

But as I sat there, yesterday, August 14, 2004, I could only contemplate that the movie already feels painfully out of date for anyone who had been following current events. The 9/11 Commission had issued its report, debunking much of the text of Moore's movie.

Will any of it matter? Maybe, but not as much as Moore had hoped. Now if he took his 100-million dollars and funded an anti-Bush 527 and bought airtime, that might make a difference. F-9/11 is red meat for the leftist choir. I don't expect it to sway much of the middle.

Rick

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Combat-wombat
August 16, 2004, 12:44 AM
IMO, the worst part in Bowling for Coulumine was when Moore placed that picture of the little girl on Heston's doorstep. What a sappy load of crap!

reagansquad
August 16, 2004, 05:28 AM
You know... I just watched BFC the other day, and I didn't see the point. He never encouraged any form of gun legislation. He just pointed out a bunch of problems.

hjaeger
August 16, 2004, 01:39 PM
Imagine the same scene in an anti-BFC piece...Moore walks away from the guy doing the interview, and the interviewer/main character holds up a picture of Anne Frank, which Moore ignores, and puts it down on the doorstep...

foghornl
August 16, 2004, 03:37 PM
TWO Mikey Moore movies in a week ? ? :what: :what:


Man, you are some glutton for punishment, eh?

Even thinking about viewing Mikey Moore twice in a year has me circling the floor while barfing my last 48 hours of food.....

R.H. Lee
August 16, 2004, 03:47 PM
I'll leave the analysis and debunking of offal to others who are so inclined. I prefer to ignore if possible, or defeat, when necessary, foaming at the mouth psychotic leftists. YMMV.

boofus
August 16, 2004, 05:00 PM
I think I'd rather poke out both my eyes on BBQ skewers and then eat them before watching his load of crap. Nevermind the politics, the man is disgusting. Just his appearance invokes the fresh aroma of really bad body odor.

alan
August 16, 2004, 08:26 PM
Last time I looked, NOBODY was under ANY COMPULSION WHATEVER to view any of Moore's work.

Now then, by the simple tactic of not going to the theatre, one might perhaps miss something interesting, that's the chance that one takes. One does have the satisfaction of NOT contributing to Moore's income, and then there is the possibility, the liklehood that time spent watching his drivel could have been spent in more worthwhile ways, for instance, reading a good book, or walking in the park.

Mulliga
August 16, 2004, 08:46 PM
I suggest the public library.

Sindawe
August 16, 2004, 08:48 PM
Myself last week, since one of my chat buddies in Portugal saw it and she wanted to talk about it.


OH.MY.GOD!

I could not stop laughing, the flic was SOOOOO FUNNY! Yes, I know Mickey did not plan to make a Pythonesqe comedy, but he did anyway. The vain attempts at ironic set up (The missle dude talking about WMD in front of the missle assembly floor), the 'creative' editing of data as AZRockD points out, and the brief snipped of 'South Park: The Movie' were just too much.

Then he started in with the cartoon about 'Nervous White People'. My poor cats were really freaked out by all the laughter and rolling about on the floor I was doing.


I only hope F 9/11 is just as amusing. :D

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