Monday, June 21, 2004

One Comparison I can Live Without I used to be somewhat guilty of what I'll eventually get to myself, but even then my feeling was that it was inappropriate. In the coming days, despite the right wing thugs best efforts, Fahrenheit 911 will debut at several hundred theatres (monumental for a documentary) and make more money than any documentary ever. There are a couple reasons for this. First, Michael Moore, whatever you think of him, is a very good film maker with his own particular style. Erol Morris, is also a gifted documentarian, and in the less comedic style. But all documentarians, all good ones, are doing it in their own voice and with their own viewpoint. Morris is probably about as far left as Moore, but he's not so up front about it. The Fog of War is a great documentary, compellingly told, but the underlying message I took away from it wasn't that difficult to discern. We are going to fuck up in Iraq for the same reasons we fucked up in Vietnam. Morris probably didn't know that in particular would be the message when he began the documentary, but he certainly felt it by the time it was being edited. Watch The Sorrow and the Pity, about France during the German occupation, there is also a viewpoint there as well. And there is also one in Shoah, in most any documentary. So this sturm und drang (why do German words work so well for Right Wingers?) about Moore's viewpoint is silly. There is little excitement about a documentary that has no viewpoint -- if there wasn't a viewpoint, what is the point, how does the filmmaker have any impetus to do it well? At least you know EXACTLY where Moore is coming from. But on to the thing that really irritates me. A comparison between Moore and Ann Coulter. There simply is no comparison. One is a person of strong political views that uses comedy as his vehicle, the other is a viscious lying hack who projects her obvious self-loathing as an excuse to make money. One is a partisan, the other simply in need of substantial psychiatric assistance (and I'm no psychiatrist so I can diagnose all I please). So when people used to equate Ann Coulter and Michael Moore I used to shrug my shoulders. Well, no more, Attaturk ain't playing that game. Moore is comparible to P.J. O'Rourke, Coulter is simply a more masculine Lord Haw Haw. And now it is time for me to wonder what would happen if those two mated. Eek. Bad thought, bad thought. More therapy on the way.
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