Thursday, July 01, 2004

Michael Moore can be really irritating and sanctimonious. Many of his points are unconvincing, especially all that stuff about the Bushes' relationships with the Bin Ladin family. He often makes it way too easy for his opponents to discredit him. His stunts are rarely funny and can often seem Hempstead or cruel. For some reason, his movies always have lots of annoying banjo music. He preaches to the converted. He is one fat, ugly dude.

None of this takes anything substantial away from Fahrenheit 9/11, a truly moving, maddening, powerful piece of work. I may not have learned anything new from watching it, but the film is impossible to dismiss. I knew that the things that our government is doing are pure insanity, but I hadn't been exposed to the costs of these actions in any sort of visceral way before this. The images in Fahrenheit 9/11 aren't leaving my head anytime soon.

When I was in high school, I worked for a few summers at this camp for people with disabilities in the mountains in Western Maryland. It's literally right across the street from Camp David; you pass the entrance on your way up. My brother Jim is two years younger than me, and he also worked there for a few years. A couple of years ago, Bush became the first president since Eisenhower to visit the camp. There are scenes in the movie of Bush shaking hands with veterans as Moore's voice-over talks about how he's tried to drastically cut veterans' benefits. And at the camp he smiled and played with these kids, and then worked to cut their benefits. I wonder if he even sees a contradiction there. I wonder if he notices. I also wonder what I would've done if I'd still been working there then. My brother stood in front of this guy, this piece of shit, and shook his hand. I wonder if I would've done the same thing. Probably.