Movie Night: Fahrenheit 9/11

MoviesFirst of all, the most important observation: No, I’m not actually in Fahrenheit 9/11. I did manage to spot a few coworkers (including Loose Ends star Nello DeBlasio, in what may be his big-screen debut, if being on for maybe 20 frames in the background of one shot counts), but alas, it would appear that I positioned myself poorly on the original shooting day.

But as for the picture itself, I must say that — while perhaps not the finest example of the art of filmmaking, it does stand as the single most important picture of the year, if not the decade. As for criticism, much can (and has been) leveled against it, from the picture’s disjointed structure (is its primary substantive focus meant to be the stolen 2000 election, the Bush-bin Laden family connections, or the motivations for waging war in Iraq?) to Moore’s skewing of (still substantively accurate) facts (that Bush spent 42 percent of his time in office before September 11 on vacation may be technically true, but that figure does include weekends). I myself found fault with the film’s glossing over of the role of the neoimperialist agenda and its proponents in leading to the Iraq invasion, instead focusing on why we did not invade rather than why we did. But to spend too much effort concentrating on those flaws is at best misunderstanding or at worst willful self-deception.

What is made abundantly clear is this: George W. Bush is not only the most incompetent person ever to hold the office of the presidency, but his actions are motivated purely by self-interest, with no regard whatsoever for the interests of the United States of America. I’ve often given little George a bit of a pass, if only because his obvoius idiocy has made him the target of flagrant manipulation by the soulless vultures around him; that lenience ends now. Are Bush’s cronies and handlers — Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Harris, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, et al. — worse than he is? Most assuredly. But Bush is the only one of them ultimately answerable to the American public. Their relative level of evil may be different, but even as the least of them, Shrub does a pretty indisputable job of tipping the scales in that direction. I don’t believe in the existence of Hell, but if I’m wrong, this vile excuse for a human being has long ago earned an express ticket. However, since (even as an ordained minister) my ability to effect such a sentence is limited, I will do whatever I can to ensure that the lot of them spend the rest of their miserable lives behind bars (I hear Gitmo may have room pretty soon).

Removing Bush from office is no longer a matter of preference, but a matter of survival. This regime has made the world a phenomenally more dangerous one, not only failing to stem terrorism, but actively worsening it. By his actions, he has made American citizens not only the subject of worldwide derision, but the targets of a great many more extremists than when he took office.

Does Moore endorse another candidate? Not even in passing. This film is most emphatically not a pro-Kerry piece. What it is is a thought-provoking work, an absolute must-see. Argue, dispute, counter as you will — please do — but do not ignore it. I’d be exaggerating to say that your life depends on it (I knew how I was voting well before I saw this movie), but I don’t believe I’m exaggerating by suggesting that our collective lives do depend on our addressing the issues raised therein.

Bravo, Michael. You’ve done your nation a far greater service than anything George Bush has done or could ever dream of accomplishing.


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