Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Not What You Want: Take The Skinheads Bowling

We're just going to stay off the subject of my cat until there's some sort of development, because I am freaking pretty bad at this point.


CDHSarah has a really good job interview tomorrow, so I went running around with her today, to Target mostly, where I bought Bowling for Columbine, some socks, and neat pens.

That basically means I'm broke until Friday, but I'm not doing shit between now and then anyway other than going to the doctor, and they'll wait to get paid until I do. Kill Bill is $10 per volume, and when I go buy the sheets I was scoping today the Bills may make their way into my collection, but I knew just buying Vol. I would leave me all pissed off.

So I'm watching Michael Moore prop up pictures of little dead girls on Moses' lawn, and it's weird.

Michael Moore is like a kinder, gentler O'Reilly. He has an agenda and sometimes my natural "Question Reality" meter kicks into high gear while watching his product. (He also thanks Yoko Ono, which is awesome. Shut up. No, really, shut up. Yoko Ono is crazy, but bitch is fabulous doing it and I aspire to do the same.)

I mean, a lot of what he says is right, and he has to be bombastic and somewhat of an ass to get funding to make films that counter the prevalent American media. A lot of it's sobering, and unlike He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Called-A-Journalist, he doesn't make ad hominem attacks or assertions based entirely on fabrication. But he does stretch the truth, and stretching the truth, even in the defense of liberty, is a vice. A lot of his sequences -- especially the open-a-bank-account-get-a-gun sequence -- are sort of the left-wing equivalent of abortion videos.

Doesn't mean he's wrong, or should be stopped, or that I won't buy his movie (because I totally just did). I just take him with a grain of salt because he's so incredibly didactic.

That said, the "What a Wonderful World" (the Louis Armstrong version) American political overview montage is still one of the most moving, brilliant pieces of filmmaking I've ever seen.

What is very interesting is the commentary, which instead of some solipsist, narcissistic deconstruction by the main players, is narrated by interns and PAs who worked on the production, who have a more diverse palette of opinions while still being fairly liberal across the board. I'm having a lot of fun with this commentary.

Best quote thus far from the Intern Commentary:

"This is how I get my news; I get it from Chris Rock, The Daily Show, and Henry Rollins."

Plus they keep joking about how things are "so American", like the abandoned boats behind the Michigander hunters.

Right on. In the end, I'd still rather be preached to by Moore than any of the other autodidacts currently cluttering up my worldview.


I am hanging out, and I have no great conclusion, so good night for now.


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Special Sauce said...

Good luck with MK, my fingers are still crossed, and I'm sending successful thoughts to CDHSarah too, hope she gets the job.

You've just made me want to borrow Odie's copy of BFC. I never saw it, mostly because I tend to share your opinion of Mr. Moore, and because I was afraid I'd have to start throwing things at the TV because I'd be so pissed.

Sounds like a plan for tonight. Thanks for the heads up. :)

At 9:37 AM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

Give it a shot, and email me when you're done (or post it here if it's not ET business). I'm interested, especially to see what you think of the WAWW sequence, since, you know, we share the same genes.

I love Moore. I do. I don't think I get that across. I think he's great, I think he's providing a service no one else provides -- who else other than Frank Zappa back in the late 80s is reminding us that we're not too young to run for office?

I know that in a country where bombastic liars have pretty much taken over the discourse that it's more EFFECTIVE to be MM that, say, the lovely Molly Ivins. (Not that she's ineffective, but you get my point.) And every documentary film is to a degree the art of manipulation. It's just that Moore is so didactic (because he cares so deeply), and I'm naturally reticent to join in that kind of expression.

But he is amazing. Watching him come around from behind the signing table at his visit to Denver after the movie's release to comfort a girl whose friend he had mentioned by description but not name (the "guy in the white shirt" who kept returning inside Columbine HS to help the wounded) showed me that, unlike O'Reilly, unlike Limbaugh, he really does care about what effect he creates.

I'm just cautious, but I don't think this movie will make you want to throw things. (He even edited out the part where Moses (Charlton Heston for you youngins) said something that a lot of people could have considered virulently racist, because he didn't want to look like he was completely destroying someone who, if the movies are to be believed, only postdates God Himself by about 30 years. That I didn't find out before the entry -- the interns pointed it out, because they were talking about how the whole interview almost got axed because Heston is so ancient and it looked a bit mean-spirited.)

Warning, ET; don't eat heavily before watching this movie. It's not as bad on that factor as Farenheit 9/11, but there is limited grue (again the WAWW sequence) and disturbing footage from the school's cameras.

No more spoilers. Hit me back!


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