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Moore and Emotionalism
There is cool-headed, informed
opposition. And then there is Michael Moore.
several accounts of last weekend's peace marches -- and the arrest totals,
here and there initiated by the same sort of civil disobedience that lends
illegitimacy to the idea of the peace march -- it finally occurred to me
why the whole mess has proven so personally bothersome. It's not so much
that the protests have existed, thick as some of them have been with anti-Americanism,
or even the ignorance so often put on grand display there. Anti-Americanism
and ignorance cross this desk every day; in news, in correspondence, in everything.
It's quite a bit of nonsense, all in all, and if left unchecked to do it's
damage, I'd have suffered a heart attack long ago.
Not to be outdone
in the annals of childish emotional fits and self-congratulatory back slapping,
the Academy Awards. Actually, with each winner given just forty-five seconds
to bask in their own wonderfulness, there wasn't a whole lot of dissent beyond
"Hey gang, let's have peace and all that jazz." (No problem there; I want
peace, too.) Celebrities opposing the war and speaking of peace isn't the
problem, the strident elitism employed in the course of their opposition is
the problem. Knowing that they are not more informed than the Pentagon would
serve all of them well.
was the exception; he is often the exception when the mood of the moment is
quiet civility. I should say I have rather enjoyed pockets of Moore's work
in the past, but I have not read Stupid White Men (a topic so vast you could
have sworn the book would have been much, much longer), and I have not seen
the film for which he won his first Oscar, Bowling for Columbine. Moore garnered
a partial standing ovation before taking the stage and getting to the point:
"We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. [Huzzah!] We live in
the time where we have fictitious election results that elects [sic] a fictitious
president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious
reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts
[sic], we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on
you! And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your
time is up."
It just so happens
I agree with Moore on the color-coded warning system: it's the silliest idea
Republicanism has managed in quite some time. As to the rest we are left
to wonder if Moore 1) believes John Kennedy's election results to be fictitious,
given the bought-and-paid-for irregularities in Chicago, 2) was aware that
the duct tape and plastic sheeting thing was a bad ad-lib suggestion and
not official policy, 3) the Dixie Chick (her name eludes me, but all women
have names, that doesn't mean I'm obligated to know them) is no different
from any other celebrity protest, in that it's irrelevant to policy, and 4)
dropping precision guided bombs and driving tanks are decidedly secular experiences.
Even mtv.com (not a Republican vehicle, it should be said) got the right idea, noting Moore's act ("spittle-flecked ululations") was "so over-the-top, that even the Oscar crowd -- his natural constituency, you might think -- erupted in a storm of boos." The point is that one does not engage in spittle expulsion in casual conversation, unless he's had a stroke. Unchecked and blind rage takes you there; within blind rage there is no reason, no chance to consider, only react. Goddammit Moore, if there can be such a thing as a conspiracy to put George W. Bush into office and a conspiracy to get Bill Clinton out of office, there can be a conspiracy among outlaw Arab States and terrorist organizations to one day attack and cripple the United States. The war proceeds in hopes of avoiding such a thing, and to restore freedom to Iraq. The sooner we at least acknowledge these, the better.