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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

In light of this:
Fahrenheit 9/11, director Michael Moore's unflinching satire on George Bush's administration and the American right, has broken box office records in the UK.

I can't help but quote this:
What's disturbing about Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 is not their anti-American views. To be anti-American is Moore's right; and in an era of media homogenization, to expose audiences to radical opinions about the country is not such a bad thing. When James Madison was drafting the First Amendment, what he had in mind was the protection of views of those at odds with their own nation; and protection of unpopular or outrageous views, since they would be the ones most likely to trigger the censor. No one has done anything remotely like censoring Moore, whose work now appears in shopping malls, backed by big-corporate money. Madison would approve--of the exercise of freedom, at least.

What's disturbing about Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 is that both are classic propaganda. Events are shown out of order, suggesting conspiracy by confusing audiences about the sequence of events; events are shown out of context, edited to create an appearance differing from actual events; scenes of horror are intermixed with scenes of normalcy, suggesting all is horror; viewers are given no way of knowing what is fact, what is opinion, and what is made up.

By the way, did you know that James Madison once attended a secret meeting? Did you know that George W. Bush has quoted James Madison, and that the indexes of several books contain both the names Bush and Osama bin Laden, and that Saudi sources have awarded billions of dollars in contracts, and that Saudi financial dealings have been the subject of investigations, and that a subsidiary of a company a Bush family member once held stock in did business with another company that had an office in Saudi Arabia, and that George W. Bush has never denied these links between him, billions of dollars of Saudi payments, and secret meetings with James Madison? That's a sample of the kind of thinking in Fahrenheit 9/11.
I don't think I'm going to bother seeing it, I've heard all the conspiracies and all the more serious criticisms of the Bush before and I certainly don't need them when I go to the cinema. But think about what animates those who do go, knowing exactly what they'll be getting, knowing exactly that they won't be challenged the least in their world view? Something I was just musing about the other day . . .


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