Rumor has it, in addition to amending the constitution to define marriage solely as an act between a man and a woman, good old George Dubya wants to amend the “Old Testament” as well, removing “Thou Shalt Not Lie” from the Ten Commandments and replacing it with, “Thou Shalt Not Question the Policies of Thy Current Administration.” Who knew?
Michael Moore’s scathing documentary (not mockumentary) about the Bush Administration arrived on DVD this week, and to see whether or not you should rent it, I’ve devised this simple checklist.
You will hate “Fahrenheit 9/11” if:
You think Anne Coulter’s books are well researched.
You think it was “Christian” for the Christian organization Focus on the Family to publish Michael Moore’s home address in their newsletter last July.
You thought Chris Hitchens’ Slate article “Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore” was logical and well argued. The man once did a negative piece about Mother Theresa, for crying out loud!
You think Fox News is fair and balanced.
You think liberals run the media.
You think Michael Moore’s weight affects his abilities as a filmmaker.
You believe Bill Clinton being forced to publicly testify under oath about an affair with his intern was justified, whereas having a sitting president testify under oath about the most devastating attack on the continental U.S. in front of the Sept. 11 panel is not.
You think Bush’s refusal to testify in front of the Sept. 11 panel under oath is not something that should raise suspicions.
You think France and Germany represent European anti-Americanism, because they wouldn’t join our Coalition of the Coerced, I mean, “Willing,” and invade another nation pre-emptivly and unprovoked.
You actually ordered Freedom Fries by name.
You think criticizing a wartime president — no matter how many oil-producing nations he decides to attack, and no matter how many civil liberties are lost at home — is unpatriotic.
You think it’s a good thing that G.W. sees the world in simple terms.
You think it’s only coincidental that Bush’s first cousin at Fox News called Florida for Bush in 2000, that Bush’s brother was governor of the state that had problems in the voting process, that the chairman of Bush’s Florida campaign was also the one responsible for decisions concerning the vote recount and that Bush’s father appointed the Supreme Court judges who gave his son the election.
You believe the memo entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the U.S.” reflects a historical document and not a warning.
If you who agree with 0-6 of the above statements, I think this movie will be a worthwhile experience for you. If you agree with 6-10 of them, you have already made up your mind concerning the upcoming election, and no rabble-rousing muckraker with nasty clothes and beard stubble is going to change that. All you can do is turn on Fox News and continue to believe Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction. If you agree with 11-14 of the statements, all I can say is, I’m sorry. So you’re the ones who actually read Anne Coulter?
Moore’s latest is a polemic against George Bush, against the climate of anti-intellectualism and false patriotism encouraged by his administration that insists people should blindly follow, without question, this wannabe Dictator of the United States. That the film seems hastily put together in parts is unfortunate, though its message couldn’t be clearer: George Bush should not be re-elected!
Surprisingly, the DVD’s special features are sparse, with no feature commentary or filmmaker interview. What it does have, though, are additional scenes, all of which either add welcome bits of humor or leverage to some of its weaker arguments.
My chief complaint with “Fahrenheit 9/11” is that it shows a carefree pre-war Iraq with children laughing and giggling. Moore never mentions the atrocities of Saddam Hussein. By juxtaposing this utopian society with footage of the bombing of Baghdad, Moore suggests we bombed a peaceful, happy nation.
One of the DVD’s extended scenes, “People of Iraq on Eve of Invasion,” shows this footage and more, including interviews with adults and children going about their daily lives. The Iraqi citizens talk earnestly about how they don’t want war to come to their country, that they don’t want an “invading force” to cross their borders. By extending this sequence prior to showing the bombing of Baghdad and the deaths of an as-yet-determined number of civilians, a far more realistic portrait of pre-war Iraq is shown.
Of course, the DVD also includes more from Lila Lipscomb, the conservative Democrat who lost her son when his Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Iraq. The loss of her son is indeed tragic, as is the loss of every life in this, or any, war. But Moore focuses on her suffering so long it begins to feel opportunistic and exploitative. What about Republicans who have lost family members in Iraq? Do they still trust the president? Sadly, these questions are never asked or answered.
Other extended scenes of interest include, “Outside Abu Ghraib Prison,” “More from Abdul Henderson,” the marine who went to fight in Iraq and came back openly protesting the war, “Arab American Comedians,” Condoleeza Rice’s testimony in front of the Sept. 11 commission wherein she contradicts herself at least twice and “Bush After His ‘Visit’ with the 9/11 Commission,” a stellar example of how this man jerks around reporters on a regular basis.
There are plenty of people who say they refuse to spend money on Moore’s film. It is your responsibility to stay informed, and Moore provides another side of some very important issues facing our country right now. If you don’t want to spend the money to rent the DVD, then that’s your business and your money. Just know that the money you could have used to do so is going to be far less than the tax increase you’ll be hit with if our president is re-elected. Oh, that’s right, his tax cuts are for the lower and middle classes too.
I guess people will believe anything these days.