Name That Critic!

You might be surprised...

Michael Moore's Farenheit 9-11 was doing a brisk business for the 10p.m. show at the local cineplex Sunday night, which tells me that the public is hungry for someone to make sense of the events of recent years. It's too bad that Moore has been annointed the Great Explainer because he has only an attitude without a coherent point of view. That attitude mostly consists of paranoia, and it actually explains (and foretells) a lot.

It accounts for the American public's complicity in its own problems. The grossly obese and slovenly Moore is a poster child for WalMart shoppers everywhere, for their childish addiction to cheap goodies and lack of impulse control. Like the public he represents, Moore has no cognizance of the larger problems behind the churn of recent events, for instance the public's own surrender of its allegience and personal sovereignty to giant corporations and the cheap blandishments they offer in return for slavish loyalty. All you get from Moore is shopper's remorse. He's never gotten over the fact that his hometown of Flint, Michigan, sold its soul to General Motors, and eventually got fucked for doing it.

The Flint that Moore revisits is a slum partly self-made, full of people too busy watching $50-a-month cable television to paint their houses or even clean up their yards. Moore is angry that the great paternalistic institutions of American life have stopped being good Daddies, and so his ire and paranoia eventually fasten on the chief big daddy of all, the President. The fact that George W. Bush is a pure product of the Daddy class and its agencies feeds Moore's sense of betrayal -- but doesn't lead to any more understanding of the public's predicament. For instance, Moore dwells on the attempt to run an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Does he suppose the oil would only benefit a few fat cats driving Hummers around Houston?

I say Farenheit 9-11 foretells a lot because as conditions grow more desperate in post-peak-oil America we will see politics grow more delusional -- especially grass roots politics. The poor shlubs who Michael Moore represents will demonize politicians who fail to keep up deliveries of cheap gasoline and bargain merchandise, and in their wrath they'll eventually elect maniacs who will make George W. Bush look like a paragon of prudence. Like the flag-waving angry mother of a dead soldier Moore portrays blundering in rage around Lafayette Park in Washington (a pitiful Moore set-up), the American public will choke on its inchoate grievance as reality withdraws all the presumed entitlements to the world's highest standard of living.
Michael Moore gives me the chills and the creeps. I see America's future in his ponderous, slovenly, lurching figure, stalking congressmen with his video camera and his childish rhetorical questions. I see a nation of feckless, clueless overfed crybabies building up to tantrum. It will be a long, destructive tantrum with no times-out and it will prevent the nation from getting on with life under the new realities of the 21st century.


If you've ever been tempted by the siren song of conspiracy theory, here's a bracing antidote. One of the more dismaying traits I've noted in my fellow humans is their love of the broad brush.

So often I've seen people assume that because person A advocates cause X, they must be in perfectly harmonious agreement with with all those other wicked X-ers. I should know, I've done it myself.

We would all do well to remember that the "other side" is not a monolithic tissue of evil. "They" are no more capable of unity than "We" are. Which gives me hope. It's like that old saw about having friends you don't know about, in places you never imagined.

On the other hand, the enemy of my enemy isn't necessarily my friend. Or a good speller.

Behold our mystery critic, unmasked.

posted by Justin on 07.06.05 at 12:07 PM


OTOH REALY -- America is not as hopeless as he thinks. Post oil peak we might be, but we'll find something else. We always do. We're also post horse-and-carriage peak, but we manage.

But it's human nature, not just American, to buy into ANY type of conspiracy theory. Why do you think the DaVinci code sold so well? And people believe it?


Portia   ·  July 6, 2005 5:19 PM

Would someone please tell Mr. Moore that was a GAS pipeline they wanted to run through Afghanistan, not an OIL pipeline?

That's "pethetic" for you: a materialistic spoiled brat who can't even keep his materials straight.

Raging Bee   ·  July 8, 2005 11:21 AM

Lord Pork Pork (as Dean Esmay calls him): a fat spoiled brat? But I have to say I prefer even Lord Pork Pork over Howard Kunstler from what I've seen of him. Indeed, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Hmmm.... about it all....

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