Fri Oct, 08 2004
Michael Moore Can Go Drop Dead
Here's a safe bet: when I don't have anything to say here, I'm not going to say anything. I'm just telling you.
This morning, I got an e-mail from an old and dear net.friend. She told me about going to see "Farenheit 911". I was sorry to hear that.
Feature films have a long tradition in my family. My parents were always mad about going to movies, and that experience is among my earliest memories. Somehow, though, I fell out of the habit. The last film that I actually went to see in a theater was "Schindler's List". These days, I usually just lurk around the market in until any given film plops down in front of me on a premium cable channel or the odd DVD floating around or whatever.
And the thing that I'm telling you is that "Farenheit 911" is about the very last film on earth that could drag me back to a theater, and even at that, it wouldn't work. (Of course: it's quite possible that my friend ended up in front of this film just as casually as my practice has been in recent years. I don't know.)
My friend relates her horror at watching Bush reading "My Pet Goat" to the kiddies, "just doing NOTHING for 15 minutes even after being informed by Andrew Card." I'd like to point out that nearly everybody in the world has gotten the name of the document in question quite wrong, and that the time-span at issue is less than half of what my friend asserted in her e-mail.
But that's just me quibbling over facts, which is something that never occurs to a disgusting slob like Michael Moore.
At least half the living-room jumps up in outrage: "But they're inconsequential facts, Beck!" Well, I say that there is no such thing as an inconsequential fact, in context, and the largest context of the matter here includes this fact: we're talking about a person (Moore) and his whole cultural axis, to whom facts do not quite rise to the level of playthings.
At any rate, I have a question for everyone who gets the willies at the idea of Bush sitting around the school-kiddies' classroom for seven minutes after the second strike in New York. Are you ready? Here goes:
What would you have done?
Try to understand: no sort of blithering generality is going to work, here. I want to know explicitly and specifically -- step by step -- what you would have done in those seven minutes.
Lots of people have made great fun of the look on Bush's face in that time, citing these externals as evidence of his incompetence. I have a question for my friend, as well as anyone else willing to think about it: when was the last time you saw someone else drawing completely unwarranted and wrong presumptions about you based simply on how you look?
I want you to think about that really hard, Meaghan, because I'm asking you. Do you understand?
Nobody knows what was going on in that man's mind in that time. They are, however, willing to take up assumptions of a sort that I would bet none of them would tolerate from anyone else in their own case.
And this, from people without serious respect for facts.
Pardon me while I say they're all utterly despicable assholes.
What would you have done in that time? I submit that you have no earthly idea, because you don't know the very first thing about marshalling the enormous authority that Bush carried in that moment. You wouldn't even know what phone number to dial first, and, certainly, neither would a crumb like Moore.
You describe to me your "sick feeling", Meaghan. "Bush knew." I'll just say that you can believe that if you want to. I've been around long enough to understand that an idea like that, once lodged in the mind, is nearly impossible to dislodge. The principle goes like this: "It is impossible to reason a person out of a position that they have not reasoned themself into."
Beyond all that, there's this, in your e-mail: "America is in much worse shape than I ever imagined." Oh, I don't know about that. If that's really true, then I'd say it's only because of a small failure of imagination. However, my own imagination doesn't run to anything like "Bush knew."
Recently, Martin McPhillips wrote to me in e-mail his confidence that the electorate will, this year, "let us get back to the normal business of rapid decline as opposed to leaving open the possibility of immediate catastrophic plummeting decline."
Look: I don't need a rampant fuckup like Michael Moore to tell me how bad things are, Meaghan. That goddamned shitbag is ready to lie all day long in favor of commie health care. Figure it out. I knew how bad things were long before he came waddling along, and I don't give a clap-ridden fuck what he has to say, at this point.