Fahrenheit 9/11

This is the Fahrenheit 9/11 post. Fear.

Christopher Hitchens wrote the first big piece.

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of “dissenting” bravery.

“He’ll just try anything once and see if it floats or flies or gets a cheer.”

“But I offer this, to Moore and to his rapid response rabble. Any time, Michael my boy. Let’s redo Telluride. Any show. Any place. Any platform. Let’s see what you’re made of.”

Jason Kottke: “One of the charges leveled against Bush — and probably every other politician in the US — is that he’s constantly putting spin on everything to obscure or manipulate the truth. I can’t help but think that Moore is doing exactly the same thing in the opposite direction.”

Tony Pierce calls Moore “his dog”: “bitching that you, Michael Moore, aren’t 100% accurate in this movie is like complaining that there’s no way that scores of storm troopers couldnt pick off Luke, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Han, C3-PO or R2D2 as they made their way to the Millenium Falcon during that first Star Wars movie.”

AKMA on his POV.

But Fahrenheit 9/11 is a propaganda piece, no less or more honorable than other modes of propaganda — and if I had to choose among Moore, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly, I suppose I’d choose Moore. I don’t have a strong predisposition for or against him. I agree with Moore that Bush is a miserable excuse for a President, and I’m pained by the transparent hypocrisy of the Republicans who hounded Clinton over his petty lying and his infidelity, but who turn a blind eye to Bush’s shameless sham leadership. The right-wing media mongrels revolt me, and I’ve winced at their unchallenged prominence on commercial media. When I watched Bowling For Columbine, though, my satisfaction that finally someone was contesting the ground of media visibility, was mixed with regret that Moore took the low road of meeting spin and lies with, well, distortion and deception. Christopher Hitchens can issue grandiose challenges, but those miss the point as much as do Moore’s partisan defenders. While Hitchens daringly brandishes his rhetorical dukes, Bush’s aimless, unjust war inflicts casualties on hundreds of Iraqis and dozens of Americans and the Coalition of the Coerced.

William Norman Grigg comments on the sold-out show he went to: “There were no screaming Bolsheviks (one viewer had an anti-animal rights T-shirt) or marijuana-scented bohemians in the crowd. This wasn’t the sort of crowd you’d see at a Phish concert, or storming McDonald’s at an anti-WTO rally. There were Wal-Mart customers, people who probably listen to country music (even Toby Keith), and even vote Republican. And they were PISSED — quietly, but palpably. A would-be political prisoner Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing. And well overdue.”

The Movie Blog comments on the box-office performance.

Variety has just released their projected box office figures for this weekend and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 has come out on top with an estimated gross of $21.8 million. In just one weekend this film has surpassed the total domestic take of Moore’s Bowling For Columbine, which was the highest grossing documentary of all time until now.

J. H. Hubert says, “Michael Moore is still a jerk.”

Keep in mind that this movie’s success will give Moore more influence over the minds of the American people. When he wants to speak again, through another film, he will have the country’s full attention.

And when, perhaps thanks in part to this film, John Kerry is elected president, what will that film be about? A devastating critique of welfare statism? Of course not. In all likelihood, it will be something like an attack on the alleged evils of Wal-Mart. And given Moore’s undeniable talent as a propagandist, to the mass-man who does not understand economics, that film will look every bit as credible and persuasive as Fahrenheit 9/11.

John Haber: “Finally, audiences who end up seeing his picture are sure to get the same thing he provided in Columbine, a jagged, pseudo-documentary that may amuse, but could never convince anyone who did not enter the theater sharing the director’s conspiratorial view of the world. Rather than admit that the film is little more than another work from a humorous, but low-talented hack, Moore’s fans must continue to inflate the importance of his unimportant movies, if only to avoid being judged as an army of suckers.”

Moxie’s breaking news: “despite the fact that a couple million people went to see the {Michael Moore Bowel movement} movie doesn’t change it from ignorant propaganda to a legitimate documentary.”

Aaron Swartz posted a transcript if you are curious about the movie’s epileptic qualities.

Tony Pierce collected many reviews. Later in his review, “Faherinheight 9/11 receives five stars, the busblog’s highest rating.”