Fahrenheit 1973?


I am being misunderstood!

A commenter is upset not by something I have done, but by an idea I had recently. When I read that there were going to be more beheading videos, it occurred to me that some of the beheaders might feel, well, inspired by Michael Moore and his antics. After all, he did compare them to America's early revolutionaries, and he did say, "and they will win."

Those are words of encouragement and inspiration by any standard that I know of.

And I am tired of the beheading videos. At least as tired of them as some people (like Michele Catalano) are of certain 1970s songs....

So what I did was simply to opine that maybe -- if the beheadings continue (as threatened) and if I continue to link to them -- I ought to dedicate them to Michael Moore.

Anyway, the commenter takes me to task in an almost lawyerly manner:

Moore's comments were about the insurgents in Iraq. Of the videos you mention, only Nick Berg was beheaded in Iraq. Pearl was beheaded in Pakistan, and Johnson was beheaded in Saudi Arabia. The connection you are making of Moore's comments about Iraq to the beheadings that are occuring outside the Iraq insurgency is uninformed and ridiculous.
Connection? Come on, it's a DEDICATION! To inspiration! While it is true that Moore's comments only praised the Iraqi insurgents, isn't it possible that others were also inspired? That they might share at least some of the goals of the Iraqi insurgents? Here are Paul Johnson's beheaders, in their own words:
“This American hostage got what he deserved,” the statement said. “He tasted what many Muslims tasted from the fire of Apache helicopter attacks.

“We are moving forward to fight the enemies of Allah and to avenge our brothers in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and the Arabian Peninsula.

“To Americans and to infidels united in a war against Islam, this is retaliation and a lesson to those that come to our country: This will be their fate,” it added.

Hey and what about South Korean Kim Sun Il -- also beheaded in Iraq? Why doesn't he count?

Ever heard of artistic license? I know I don't rank with Ronstadt or Moore, and this is only a lowly blog, but sheesh!

True, my idea was not original. Quite shamelessly, I copied Linda Ronstadt -- who dedicates "Desperado" to Michael Moore. And now, because I do try to answer criticism, I have forced myself to read the song's lyrics. In all honesty, I still don't fully understand the connection between Moore and this stuff from 1973:

"These things that are pleasing you will hurt you somehow"

"you only want the things that you can't get"

"Open the gate"

"Let somebody love you before it's too late"

Some critics might argue that the connection Ronstadt is making between Michael Moore and Desperado is itself "uninformed and ridiculous." Actually, Frank J. has speculated that Linda Ronstadt might be attacking Michael Moore. The following excerpt is limited to the phrases I selected above; to do justice to Frank you should read the whole thing:
These things that are pleasin' you(fried cheese)Can hurt you somehow (high cholesterol; heart attack)

you only want the ones that you can't get (no matter how much money he makes, he can't get what he really wants: everyone to mindlessly hate President Bush)

open the gate (again the image of some fence supporting Moore's weight is just too ridiculous)

You better let somebody love you, before it's too late (too late being the inevitable heart attack from eating fatty foods and shouting angrily all the time)

So come on! As Moore himself would say, it's just a DEDICATION.

Any artist should know what artistic license is all about.

Dude, where's your head?

UPDATE: Rachel Lucas weighs in on "Desperado":

Every time I have ever been in a place where that song has come on and most of the people around me started acting like total dopes, as though the song was a brilliant piece of musical workmanship, I've wanted to just die.
With that in mind, let's contemplate Michael Moore's syllogism:
1. "Every American loves 'Desperado'"

2. "Americans are possibly the dumbest people on the planet."

If Moore believes these assertions are logically consistent, it's fair to ask whether even he likes the song. Linda Ronstadt ought to be concerned.

posted by Eric on 07.28.04 at 09:58 AM


The Fat Slob from Slobberville? ha! ha! You can call me that, too.

I like fat. The Rev. Dr. Billy James Hargis ("for Christ and against Communism") was extremely fat. I have always associated fat with conservatism, authority, power, and sadism. Fat women are often very sexy to me.

Here's a joke about my favorite fat man:

G. K. Chesterton once said to George Bernard Shaw: "Looking at you, people would think there was a famine in England."

And Shaw replied: "And looking at you, they'd think you were the cause of it."

A WHALE of a good comment, Steven!

Eric Scheie   ·  July 28, 2004 5:26 PM

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