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QotD: Michael Moore

Question: What do you think of Michael Moore?

My Answer: I think that he does what he wants, which I respect in and of itself. I don't respect the work he produces, however. I've said time and time again: if he had been able to produce an actual documentary that detailed "bad things" about George W. Bush, I may have voted for Kerry*. Instead, his "documentary" (which was almost nothing like a documentary) swayed me the other way. "If this is all they've got on Bush, this lame made-up bullshit, then fuck 'em."

The Democratic party, the "party of the people" they say, should really distance themselves from the likes of Michael Moore. He isn't helping you folks get elected! Michael Moore is a dingbat, and the more I read and learn about the fellow, the more I dislike him as a person. I respect him for doing what he wants, and I respect him for stirring the pot, but I completely disrespect the way in which he does it. Even he should realize that his efforts are not having the effect he desires. Unless, of course, he simply wishes the effect to be "people give me money."

I think the Oscar he won for a documentary should be rescinded. Bowling for Columbine was no more a documentary than Fahrenheit 9/11. Awarding him any documentary award is a tremendous slap in the face to those who produce actual documentaries and not tabloid-style trash.

* Moore's documentary accounted for about 20% of my decision to vote for Bush. Comments that don't talk about Michael Moore and instead talk about Bush or Kerry or one party or another (etc.) exclusively will be removed. Stick to the topic.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

22 Responses to "QotD: Michael Moore"

  1. I'm trying to move beyond politics so I'll be short.

    I think Michael Moore plays an important role in our society. He raises the points of the left in a very vocal manner. He gives a voice to a segment of our population. Does every liberal completely agree with him? Of course not.

    I would say Erik, that if Michael Moore was able to affect your vote then you need to think about the power that you're giving him over you. If you're okay with him being able to elicit emotions from you then that's okay I suppose.

    Personally I was more affected by Lila Lipscome, but then I have familial reasons to be swayed by a mother mourning her dead son, and I'm okay with that.

    One of the things that I find myself thinking after everything is all over is how I have allowed my emotions and opinions to be manipulated by all parties. I suppose it can be okay to be swayed by these powerful opinions that we have been subjected to for the past two years, but without some perspective I think it's too easy to let negativity take a center seat.

  2. Gary, that was short?

    He gives a voice to a segment of our population.

    The lying portion? The slanderous-without-cause portion? The portion that has to mislead to make a point?

    I would say Erik, that if Michael Moore was able to affect your vote then you need to think about the power that you're giving him over you. If you're okay with him being able to elicit emotions from you then that's okay I suppose.

    His crap lead to analysis and thought. Because he was vocal, he affected my vote. That's not a bad thing, nor something about which I should (or do) feel ashamed. He put a point-of-view out there and I analyzed it, researched it, and came to my own conclusions. He isn't able to "elicit emotions" other than a desire to determine the actual truth, not "the truth according to Michael Moore."

    Lila Lila Lila. You fell prey to a cheap ploy and you're here to tell me that Michael Moore has power over me? Please, Gary, let me show you pictures of dead baby rats so you can oppose medical research.

    There's a big difference between "letting" someone control your emotions, conscience, and will and deciding for yourself based on something you've seen or read (and the research you did afterwards).

  3. Moore is an Amerian hero... 🙂 if docutaimnets are fun and they tend to include more fact than fiction... they may be sliced together in such a way that toug your emotions a certain way but all good movies do that. And then if you comare Fahrenheit 9/11 to the Swift boat stuff of the '04 election cycle Fahrenheit was nearly 100% fact while the swift boat stuff was nearly 100% nonsense. Yet most Americans belived the Swifties. Why? It has nothing to do with truth or facts...

    Its like Oliver Stone says about his critics... they just point at one or two flaws or assumptions made but they forget about the the 100 or so true facts.

  4. Oliver Stone doesn't purport to make documentaries, and F911 was decidedly nowhere near 100% fact. Nowhere near it.

  5. I liked F 9/11 because it showed a lot of video footage without being sanitized by US media. I was outraged at Iraqis hanging up the burnt bodies of US citizens. I was equally outraged at our soldiers poking at a dead man's boner. We needed to hear from the grieving mother who lost her son. We needed to see the kids playing before our invasion turned their world upside-down.

    He gives a voice to a segment of our population.

    The lying portion? The slanderous-without-cause portion? The portion that has to mislead to make a point?

    The same can be said of conservative talk radio. I did a lot of work in ecology and now work in environmental and public health and it pisses me off everytime Rush Limbaugh starts talking like he knows anything about environmental or health matters. He and Pat Robertson, who's Christian ideas revolve around getting rich and tax cuts, were the ones who drove me away from the Republican party. I'm glad to be a liberal in a party that better reflect my moral values.

  6. Bowling for Columbine was terrific. It was filled with small vignettes that were both funny, and thought provoking. That's not to say everything was terrific, certainly there was also a lot of filler that didn't work.

    But the scene where he goes into Kmart with the cameras rolling, walks up to the ammo counter and asks the two 17 year olds behind counter if he can buy out the the entire stock of 9mm bullets is absolutely priceless. There's something so very funny about watching a corporation at its most incompetent.

    I haven't seen F9/11.

    Phil

  7. No Oliver Stone doesn't make documentaries... but quote goes towards his works like People vs. Larry Flynt, Nixon, JFK, and Born on the Fourth of July. All pure enternament films... but people lash out at him over one or two small mistakes... and the mistakes tend to be based on perception. Thats all I'm trying to say.

    I personally have seen 9/11, read the counter claims, then read Moore's notes... All of the events happened... its just a matter of slanted slicing... Its what I would have expected going into the movie. Also consider 9/11 is basically tammed version of the BBC reports covering the `00 elections and 9-11. Is that good or bad I don't know...

    [Ed: deleted some nonsense about Swift Vets, which has nothing to do with Michael Moore.]

    Also I'm more of a Fan of Rodger and Me and TV Nation than Im a fan of Bowling for Columbine or 9/11.

  8. I'm not a fan of Michael Moore. I think he raised good points in Bowling, but then doesn't let those points stand on good cold hard facts. I watched Bowling from Columbine and there was nothing that great about it. The facts I knew beforehand and the ambush style interviews that really proved nothing were lame.

    After that I was not ready to spend a cent to watch F 9/11. I haven't even watched FahrenHype 9/11 even though I have ready access to a copy. Since I think that if I am making a decision for myself I better hear both sides of the story first.

    I accept that what he has done can be called a documentary, just like the tabloids are news. I think that Michael Moore's bottom line is making money and making a stink and having his name in the headlines. He panders to the disillusioned young adult crowd, who who are disillusioned cause they look to him for their reality.

  9. We needed to see the kids playing before our invasion turned their world upside-down.

    You realize that those same kids are playing in Iraq somewhere now as well, don't you? And you also realize that a lot of those shots weren't even recent, and even more of them weren't even shots from Iraq. Right? You do realize that, don't you?

    Oliver Stone doesn't purport to make documentaries. Michael Moore does. One or two mistakes is one thing, sixty or more is an entirely different thing.

  10. Gary, that was short?

    For me yes. I don't generally weigh in on things that I have a strong opinion on in under 800 words.

    The lying portion? The slanderous-without-cause portion? The portion that has to mislead to make a point?

    Erik, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depends greatly on our own point of view.

    His crap lead to analysis and thought. Because he was vocal, he affected my vote. That's not a bad thing, nor something about which I should (or do) feel ashamed. He put a point-of-view out there and I analyzed it, researched it, and came to my own conclusions. He isn't able to "elicit emotions" other than a desire to determine the actual truth, not "the truth according to Michael Moore."

    Well, if you're fine with that, I'm fine with that.

    Lila Lila Lila. You fell prey to a cheap ploy and you're here to tell me that Michael Moore has power over me? Please, Gary, let me show you pictures of dead baby rats so you can oppose medical research.

    Somehow I think if I were a rat shown depctions of dead baby rats your analogy would be spot on.

    There's a big difference between "letting" someone control your emotions, conscience, and will and deciding for yourself based on something you've seen or read (and the research you did afterwards).

    My opinion differs.

  11. Actually, Oliver Stone did make one documentary that played on HBO called 'Comandante.' However, his films are filled with so much of his own world views, you come away with more of that than his subject matter sometimes.

    As for Fahrenheit 9/11, I finally saw it a few days ago but I'll hold my opinion on that film for a later date.

    As for Michael Moore, I like him. I think he's much too extreme at times for my taste, however. I find Moore to be very passionate, and I think that's what leads to his undoing in his films. That's his weakness, I think. That strong passionate push to make people see something that he does makes him miss several steps in the process. I respect what he does, but I'm not always pleased with the end result.

  12. I appreciate what he was doing to try and persuade swing voters, but he went about it all wrong. There really are many, many things you could nail Bush for, but Moore really kind of "sold out", by showing the viewers what they wanted to see.

  13. Erik, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depends greatly on our own point of view.

    Truth is an absolute. Hiding behind "opinion" in order to avoid being told something you think is false is a cop out.

    If you're of the "opinion" that there is not a big difference between being controlled by someone and making an informed, researched opinion, then you seem like the perfect voter! That's sarcasm, in case you missed it.

  14. Truth is an absolute. Hiding behind "opinion" in order to avoid being told something you think is false is a cop out.

    Actually, it's a quote taken from 'Return of the Jedi', and one which I do happen to believe in. There is no absolute in this universe. Heisenberg, Schrodinger and Bohr have shown us that.

  15. Gary, c'mon. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle has absolutely no bearing here, and throwing out the names of other scientists doesn't help you either. I'll let the other two slide for now and simply remind you that I majored in medicinal chemistry. Subatomic particles that are both waves and particles (and on and on and on) have little if anything to do with the discussion.

    Further comments on Nils Bohr or the Heisenberg principle (etc.) will be removed as off-topic. You've answered the question already.

  16. I think Michael Moore just wanted the change. He made a film espescially for that purpose. I wouldn't call it a documentary. I don't know why he received the Oscar in that category. He is not driven by objectivity. But I like to see how his movie still push the peoples buttons. Which is, by the way, the absolute truth, hehe.

  17. After having seen both Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 911, I have to say that Michael Moore has done a great disservice to your country. While I have to admit that I found especially Bowling for Columbine quite entertaining, I also have to admit that those "documentaries" have contributed to lots of Anti-Americanism over here - and I don't like this very much.

    I am one of the greatest Bush-bashers myself but I don't like all that negativism towards all Americans that people tend to develop lately. You have lots of really great people over there who really deserve respect *despite* the fact that I think your president is a moron. Nevertheless, he was elected by the majority (at least this time 😉 ).

  18. It is true that absolute truth does exist. But, if anyone claims to know it I'd be wary of their confidence. Absolute truth is something we probably can't perceive because of all the inherent bias we are given through our sensorary perception and our thought processes.

  19. I liked Bowling for Columbine and have no problem with it receiving an Oscar. As far as I can tell the statistics cited were accurate, and it did a good job of just showing what people actually said and did.

    Farenheit 9/11 was a bit thin on material and seemed like it was rushed into the theaters before it was really done. Some parts seemed somewhat questionable, and large portions could have used more supporting evidence. There was too much of Moore just talking about stuff, whereas BfC had relied more on footage of other people saying and doing things.

  20. Michael Moore does not do documentaries. His work should not be categorized as so it's just that people are too dumb to know the difference. He does op-ed pieces. "Fahrenheit 911" is way too biased to be considered an objective look at facts. "Bowling for Columbine" made me think and had some good points but in the end brought up questions he never bothered to answer and made very loose connections between variables. "Roger and Me," I thought, was pretty factual actually (he's gone in a bad direction in the 15 or so years since then, at least then he was trying to tell the whole truth). It was also our first look at Michael Moore's annoying (even if slightly humorous) stunts.

    If you want to see a very good recent documentary see "Super Size Me." It has a team of doctors, a controlled environment, and numbers to back up what it is telling you. It is funny but deadly serious at the same time. Oh yeah, and btw, it's true.

  21. Michael Moore is just Ann Coulter for the left. Both are raving lunatics. Both can be quite entertaining if you don't take them too seriously. Basing your vote on the opinions of either of them is totally and completely insane.


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