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The Truth
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Truthseeker
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 8:01 pm    Post subject: The Truth Reply with quote

FORTE EST VINUM, FORTIOR EST REX, FORTIORES SUNT MULIERES:

SUPER OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS.





http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur


So does replacing the informal "you" with the formal "one." Example: "One enjoys the pretension a great deal."



In all fairness, though, Truthseeker's link is a fairly interesting read. I'm not sure it changes my already skeptical-yet-mildly-approving opinion of Moore, but it deserves contemplation.



Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


In all fairness, though, Truthseeker's link is a fairly interesting read. I'm not sure it changes my already skeptical-yet-mildly-approving opinion of Moore, but it deserves contemplation.




Yeah, but isn't this old news? I remember reading this stuff even before I saw Bowling. And, anyhow, how shocked should one be to discover a political polemicist manipulating information to suit is ideological needs? (But, of course, only liberal polemicists do that, right?) (Incidentally, did you notice how almost all of my sentences end with question marks? Neat, huh?)
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Hardy piece is old news (I started getting spam with links to it when Bowling won the Oscar). There are at least a couple of essays arguing from the other side you should also read:



-----------------------

A Defense of Michael Moore and Bowling for Columbine



"This is an open letter to David Hardy, author of "Bowling for Columbine: Documentary or Fiction?", probably the most comprehensive among many rebuttals of the Oscar-winning documentary. Critics have now gone so far as to call for the revocation of the award. Their chances are small, however, as their arguments rely on polemic, exaggeration and misrepresentation -- in other words, on the same techniques which they accuse Moore of using." (read more...)

-----------------------



Michael Moore also has a piece on his own site:



http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/wackoattacko/



But his site seems to be down right now.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.25.2004 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="the night watchman"]
beltmann wrote:
Yeah, but isn't this old news? I remember reading this stuff even before I saw Bowling. And, anyhow, how shocked should one be to discover a political polemicist manipulating information to suit is ideological needs? (But, of course, only liberal polemicists do that, right?)


Old news indeed. I'm not sure there's a charge in the piece that we hadn't heard before, although the breakdown of Moore's technique is more detailed and refreshingly specific.



We've talked before about the wide variety in non-fiction purpose, and I'm not opposed to Moore using the medium to write editorials. Even if some of his claims are dubious or unfair--and I certainly think a few tactics are questionable--he's no more guilty of manipulating propaganda than, say, William F. Buckley, Rush Limbaugh, or George W. Bush. (I was going to name George Will, but then I remembered I really like George.)



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 05.25.2004 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing I find most intriguing is the way in which his direction and editing can change his personality quite a bit. In every live interview I see him in, he seems like an idiotic pig, with no intelligence whatsoever. However, in his movies, no matter what your political belief, he has an amazing ability to not only make you think he's serving justice, but to like him. Even though every other part of me loathes the guy, as a filmmaker (not documentarian), he has a forcefully convictive style. And seeing that I would find ways to abhor ALL of his arguments in Roger and Bowling if it weren't for this, I'd consider the skill to be quite miraculous. However, I cannot see Fahrenheit 9/11 working; the material is too particular for his own good. The only time he seems to be "on to something" is when he tries to draw parallels, depsite usually staging elements of such sequences. Here, to my understanding, he's directly pointing a finger in a overblowing and nonchalant way. Also, from what I've heard, his material isn't anything new or shocking. As much as I do hate him though, it almost seems like if he actually succeeded, things would feel right. In my conservative eyes, he has yet to do so. As of yet, all he has done is developed some kind of liberal cult following. In his opposition's eyes, all this will do is make him seem like more and more of a fool as time goes by.
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Tooky Cat
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
he's no more guilty of manipulating propaganda than, say, William F. Buckley, Rush Limbaugh, or George W. Bush.




That's a good point. Moore's an extremist who used extensive editing to his own advantage, but what political person doesn't? Granted he takes it to a bit of an extreme, but even the news media that feeds the American public facts about the world around us is guilty of toying with footage and conveniently leaving things out.



My problem with Moore isn't his editing, it's his in-your-face tactics that seem to try to make anybody watching his movies feel like an ignorant idiot.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tooky Cat wrote:
My problem with Moore isn't his editing, it's his in-your-face tactics that seem to try to make anybody watching his movies feel like an ignorant idiot.


Or at least those that disagree with him. I've always felt that he brazenly caters to the converted, as if there's an unspoken bond between Moore and his fans, congratulating each other for not being among the "ignorant idiots." That sounds much harsher than I actually feel about Moore--as I said above, I mildly approve--but that back-slapping tone sometimes gets on my nerves.



Eric
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Tooky Cat
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of Moore's points, I just don't agree with the manner in which he presents them. I respect him for shamelessly promoting his ideas and opinions, but not when he shoves them down our throats.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. Even if you disagree with Charlton Heston, does that make insulting a pround, old, and Alzheimic man who isn't expecting any dabate at all, not to mention leaving a picture of a girl who died as a result of a gun on his property, and BLAMING him for it? I'm sickened, as his liberal cult screams "yes." Even though I wouldn't say Bush manipulates facts nearly as much as Moore (even though you're right about Limbaugh), but even if I were to believe such, he chooses to acknowldge the fact that his opinions are strictly personal. Moore wants to insult everyone who disagrees with him. This is the problem. What good are movies that simply solidify your fan base, but make everyone else hate you more? They're serving no purpose--meaningless--even if they're entertaining. That's what he is: an entertainer. His serious to be a political commentator fails with this, more or less embarrassing him. But, to tell the truth, the more embarrassed he should be, the better, in my mind.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
What good are movies that simply solidify your fan base, but make everyone else hate you more? They're serving no purpose--meaningless--even if they're entertaining.


I see your point, but I'm not sure it's quite so black-and-white. I think it's disingenuous to say that Moore's movies appeal only to a pre-existing fan base; I know countless individuals that I'd describe as apolitical who found themselves seriously thinking about violence in America in the wake of Bowling for Columbine. And there's certainly worthwhile purpose in Moore's movies introducing large portions of the filmgoing public to the pleasures of documentary cinema. If nothing else, that's a valuable function.



It also seems abundantly clear that Moore's recent work--Bowling and Awful Truth, plus the books--has not merely satisfied a pre-existing fan base but exponentially enlarged it. By "everyone else," I think you really mean those that are pre-disposed to hate Moore. Most of the people I know who loathe Bowling loathed it even before they saw it--is it any surprise that the movie confirmed their worst suspicions about Moore? If you go looking for a muckraker, you'll find one. While the quibbles about Bowling are sometimes justified, I think what's often overlooked is that Moore asks the kind of serious questions that so few filmmakers do--bare minimum, he jumpstarts important discourse. That alone makes his work meaningful (even if we disagree with his conclusions or methods).



Eric
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
By "everyone else," I think you really mean those that are pre-disposed to hate Moore. Most of the people I know who loathe Bowling loathed it even before they saw it--is it any surprise that the movie confirmed their worst suspicions about Moore?


I had an interesting experience with that. I had literally no opinion on gun control a year and a half ago, walking into the movie for pure entertainment. At the time, I had sort of found it, but I had a reverse reaction--instantly thinking Moore was an idiot from the moment he walked into the Michigan bank. So, I suppose you'd accredit him for allowing me to develop an opinion on the topic, and realize the debate in the area. (It was only five months prior to Iraq that I began to really follow politics). However, all Moore did was touch the surface, and present a one-sided version to the complex issue. I found The Fog of War to be much more inspiring and thought provoking in terms of complexity. We understand and appreciate McNamara's point of view because he's experienced issues; Moore is like a simple-minded virgin to the world when he doesn't come across the right way. So, just to bring the point across, it doesn't take pre-disposal to hate him.
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matt header
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I greatly enjoyed Bowling for Columbine, although I agree that it wasn't as in-depth or as fascinating as Fog of War. And I think Moore's intentions -- if not always his execution -- are noble. When approximately 90% of yearly action movies address gun control only by saying that weaponry is a surefire way to reap vengeance, activism of Moore's sort -- even if it's didactic, polarizing activism -- is priceless. It would, I suppose, only be fair for a radically conservative muckraker to fire back at Moore on similar arguments. (Rush Limbaugh does not count, based on the fact that he is a ludicrous fucking idiot.) I found fault with the Charlton Heston moment in Bowling (him lying the picture down on the cement seems an example of the scapegoating he condemns in the film), as well as the Dick Clark assault, which seems a brash excuse to wave a celebrity onscreen simply to cause a stir. Yet even these moments make one think about the subjects Moore tackles: If Charlton Heston isn't to blame for the girl's death, who is? If Dick Clark isn't to blame for all the poor working mothers out there, what is? Yes, McNamara is experienced and more sagacious while Moore can appear an outsider with the luxury of critiquing others, but they're different kinds of documenting: McNamara's self-analysis is, of course, an internal study, filled with doubt, guilt, self-defense, pride, and all things that come with realizing one's mistakes and glories; Moore's analysis is external, filled with cleverness, grandstanding, humor, morality, and all things that come with hindsight and the ability to not be involved. Neither is more appropriate or more noble. Although Moore certainly succeeds at making his non-fans hate him even more with each successive film, the only way he could not do so is to soften or bend his decidedly liberal arguments, turning him into somebody entirely different.



Although I'm extremely excited about Fahrenheit 9/11, I'll admit it's somewhat because I agree with most of his arguments and imagine I will concur with most of Fahrenheit's points. Someone who differs from me in politics will inevitably be less excited, but there is still value in disagreeing, even hating, a movie's arguments before even seeing it, as has already been pointed out: becoming infuriated at what someone says forces you to analyze what you already think, which is invaluable.



As a sidenote, the news media is increasingly becoming what I mentioned earlier: biased reporting from the opposite field, glorifying the war effort in Iraq, manipulated by "the powers that be" to hail all things American. In the governmental report detailing the torturing of Iraqi prisoners, there were more than 200 points addressed. According to Jim Miklaszewski, Pentagon correspondent, the info that made it into the press comprised all of twenty or so points; the other 180 or so were "confidential," unallowed into the airwaves by the government. Imagine what else could be in there! When the Bush administration increasingly uses censorship and propaganda to pull wool over our eyes, Moore's sort of grandstanding becomes even more vital.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.26.2004 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll admit Moore's placing the photo of the young girl in Heston's front lawn was tasteless, but I don't think he was singling out Heston for blame. (Correct me if I?m wrong, but I don?t recall Moore saying anything like ?This is your fault, Chuck.?) The act struck me as spontaneous, and I think he was making a visual metaphor to point out that Heston's inability to make a rebuttal in the face of Moore?s arguments and criticisms was symptomatic of larger national problems. Yes, Heston is an old man, and wasn't expecting to be debated in his own house. But he is the president of NRA. Shouldn't the president of such an organization be more than a figurehead; shouldn't he be capable of defending his position and the position of the NRA at a moment's notice; shouldn?t he be capable of more than just rhetorical chest-pounding and preaching to the choir at appointed times and places? Hell, shouldn?t the president of the NRA know who Michael Moore is? The fact that Heston failed in that responsibility, Moore suggests with the photograph, represents a larger failure in the nation?s recognition and analysis of its own problems.
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