Sunday, July 11, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11: much ado about nothing

So I have finally seen F..rt 9/11 and here I am, trying to sum up my impressions
about this propaganda flick. I had been warming up to it for quite a while.
I knew I wouldn't like it - the Bowling for Columbine, my first Moore's movie,
was a total sham, distortions and lies galore. So I knew it would in a similar
vein, blatant bias and cheap shots. Yet, deep down, I was somewhat cautious
to dismiss it altogether, perhaps, I thought, there would some very moving,
'speak for themselves' kinda scenes. That's why I finally decided to contribute
my buck to Moore's vast fortunes in spite of the great aversion to such a deed.

Yet, the reality again proved to be more unpredictable that I had reckoned.
I didn't hate Moore more before, nor I felt any particular zeal to try to disprove
his points. Speaking the Mooresque all I wanted to say was "yeah… whatever,
dude..", which can be roughly translated into English by just one word: BORING.
The movie was bland and tedious, often hectic and even those morbid moments,
the crying mothers scenes didn't make any impression on me. Perhaps, the spoiler
was the fact that I had known all along how much Moore hates Bush. In the movie,
he tried to make it subtle and sinister but to me it looked like a worn-out
trick performed by the old clown who had run out of his magic.

The other thing that doomed the movie was that Moore was tackling really serious subjects at
times, such as the position and power of the Saudis in America. This is a real
issue and one can make a big bang by having it uncovered. But you can't just
fit into a 15 min. screen time slot. It's too complex. Footage alone is not
sufficient in this case and Moore had to resort to a voice over to get the point
through. And he did, but it sounded so condescending and didactic, kinda "I
am afraid you can't figure out what I mean so here it is…" that it made it me
cringe. There has been a lot of work done vivisecting F 9/11 so I won't go into
details as to what exactly Moore got wrong. Christopher Hitchens has summed
it up well what seems to be Moore's guiding principle:

[to] leave out absolutely
everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish
that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish
flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ…

Instead of a conclusion. My favorite example of paranoid idiocy from the movie:

the assertion that the reason people were allowed two lighters and four matches
on the plane has something to do with tobacco companies that had allegedly lobbied
the government to keep their profits intact.


Hitchens' article Unfairenheit 9/11

Brendan Nylon's article
(a collection of links on Moore included)

Mark Steyn's review Fantasy and "Fahrenheit
(must subscribe to the Jerusalem Post (it's free though) to read
the article

Another article by Steyn on F 9/11 at the SunTimes

F 9/11 Transcripts (with comments)part 1 and
part 2

Some liberals are not impressed with Moore's either. An article by Gregg Easterbrook

A Newsweek article More Distortions From Michael Moore


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