It Wasn’t Me That You Out-Smarted

Farenheit 9/11 is coming out in Ireland next week and I no doubt will be trapped in the middle of a Michael Moore canonisation festival. I loved Michael Moore when I was a kid. I remember TV Nation. Watching it on BBC2 with my older brother used to make me feel grown up and mature and the stunts he pulled back then truly demonstrated the fact that the periphery of society consistently gets left behind.

And that is what I like about Moore. If he is for anything he is for the little guy. He is very funny and very clever and I have no doubt that he gets up and goes to work trying to make the world a better place.

Downsize This was a formative book in my adolescence. But it was formative in this sense that it led me on to better things. It got me interested in politics and justice and made me hungry enough to learn about politics and justice.

After beginning that, I couldn’t help but look back on Moore a little more suspiciously. His arguments were entertaining but they weren’t very rigourous. He could always make me smile but he never made me want to do anything, except maybe protest. Ultimately, Moore’s books and the later TV shows were always entertaining but they never proposed solutions.

So I am at the stage where I know what Moore is. He is tabloid. He is a really amusing classmate that you love to hang out with but would never consider working with on a project. He’d deliver a sloppy, error-laden, unfocused work that reads well but leaves you saying, “So what”? Maybe you might want that in a partner but you are never going to top the class because he simply isn’t rigorous enough.

The world is a cynical place. Mainstream media, especially in America, self censors and so portrays a version of the world that suits their ideological viewpoint. Basically the landscape Moore works in is one where journalists tell the story that they agree with at the expense of ideal objectibity. Moore’s landscape is the thing that he fights against, the thing that feeds his success and the thing that most closely forms his work. Ultimately, Moore is the same as Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. He is an ideologue who tells his own story to reassure people who agree with him.

He is not interested in laying all the relevant facts out on the table for inspection. Instead he weaves a very amusing, if discordant tale out of some of the facts. His facts are his ingredients. The cake tastes good but the anti-war crowd need something meatier to make their case with. It isn’t wrong for Moore to appeal to the emotions; these are passionate subjects. It isn’t wrong for Moore to be polemical; he doesn’t pretend to be anything else. But Moore is ultimately doing the same thing as this lady, but his makeup is better and so he is more attractive, especially to European eyes.

If Michael Moore looks attractive to us, maybe we should start questioning our culture.

Read the total reviews here.
A conservative, but an anti-war conservative takes Moore’s factual errors for a visit to the harsh light of day, where you can examine them. Hopefully, reading this will show you that while Moore’s heart is in the right place, his tactics are inadmissable.

The most effective criticism of Moore has already happened and it has come from Anti-Moore himself, Christopher Hitchens. Read it here. I would much prefer to hang out with Moore than Hitchens. Moore is funny and intelligent and charming, in my eyes. To me, Hitchens is arrogant, haughty and cruel (as evidenced by his fascism claims about the Passion of the Christ) but ultimately, he is always consistent and he values objectivity, even if I don’t always agree with his conclusions.

Go read it. Its real journalism.

Your Correspondent, Got Lost In This Game

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