The Monday morning water cooler buzz is all about the unfathomable success of Michael Moore’s newest film, Fahrenheit 9/11. The film has become the first documentary in history to debut at #1 on the box office charts, and has broken Michael Moore’s own record for top-grossing documentary.
The success is warranted. Whether or not you agree with Michael Moore’s politics (and they’re there) or his tactics (which are true to form), this is an amazing film that elicits a powerful emotional response. Personally, I spent over half of it in tears. Not because of any party affiliation I have or don’t have, but because I’m an American, and the powerful portrait of injustices done to fellow Americans (and fellow human beings, even) painted in the film pained me beyond compare.
One of the best articles I read about the death of President Reagan hailed him as the first President to get away with murder with a fanny-shake and a smile. His acting career carried on through his presidency, leaving many people unsure who, in fact, was running the country. Many people remember the Reagan years as those of tremendous prosperity…but you had to be prosperous first. My family remembers them as years of extreme poverty, unemployment and underemployment, as did many of our neighbors in the inner city. Following suit is George W. Bush (or his puppet masters), crippling and controlling people with an agenda of fear of one another and the world at large, and getting away with murder. The American people write off the danger that Bush’s administration poses to the United States and the world and laugh at his stupidity. Laugh. At their president. At the man who is killing and removing the freedoms he purports to be protecting for his fellow citizens, both domestic and global, daily and with virtually every legislative move he makes. At the man who turned 9/11, an event of unparalleled tragedy in the whole of U.S. history into a war on a WORD, rather than on a nation or even a group of individuals. In giving him the power to do that, we have given him the power to do anything, and he’s taken it while we watch late night television shows that poke fun of how unbearably moronic our leader is. As long as that means we won’t question what’s really going on, he (or his puppet masters) will play that role. Bush’s presidency is like a staged reality television series, and the viewers have been duped. We laugh at how ridiculous it is, but we still sit in front of the television, watching passively, in mock-horror at our inability to look away.
Here’s Michael Moore, putting a face (A LOT of faces, actually) on the “War on Terror”, asking the questions no one else is asking, and selling out theaters all over the United States. Which says to me that people WANT to know what’s going on. Which says to me that people who DON’T agree with Michael Moore are seeing the film. Undeniably, the film isn’t flattering of Bush or his family. It also isn’t flattering of the Democratic party. It’s a passionately patriotic film that chronicles the outcry of many groups of people for a populist, strong, honest leader that is doubtlessly devoted to all of the people of the United States.
Find that person. Vote for them.