Just saw Michael Moore's movie. Very impressive.
I was expecting a loose, wallowing, sloppy mess, similar to some of his previous work. Instead, I was treated to a much tighter, much less self-indulgent, much more patient and thoughtful work. Kudos to MM, and Hazzah! for the Republic.
Amongst my reactions:
- Rather than being shocked or disappointed at the Preznit's failure to act once told of the attack on WTC, I found myself feeling sorry for him. He seemed to be clearly disengaged from the reading with the kids activity. Instead, he seemed aware that he should be thinking Serious Thoughts and perhaps Doing Something. I mentioned this to Kathleen who pointed out that those were exactly the reasons she found it so damning. Had he stayed engaged with the kids, or not shown any understanding of what he was told, then he'd be aloof, neglectful. Rather, he was perfectly aware of the potential gravity of the news, and rather than deciding on a course of action (even if that course was to continue the reading activity), he seemed palpably unsure what to do. Probably the right view.
- Intense anger at the crappy lives we subject far too many of our countrymen to. Notably the gaggle of young black men who are ripe targets for the Marine recruiters, who seemed so bright, so thoughtful -- in short, so capable of contributing to society, yet likely destined not to realize anything like their true potential. Also true of Lila Liscomb, who's been abused horribly by the economic tumult in her region, and whose grief over the pointless loss of her son would touch the hardest heart.
- Strong sense that, contrary to the Conventional Wisdom, this film can and will change people's minds. There's developed a strand of CV that says the film is largely preaching to the choir, and that few marginal voters and no Bush supporters would have their minds changed. Crap. I don't see how one could absorb the information in this film and not come away with the sense that the Preznit lied us into Iraq, and that we are failing miserably in the basic blocking and tackling of so-called "homeland defense."
- An overwhelming desire to do something so that the young black guys (ripe pickin's for the Marine recruiters), Lila Liscomb, and hell, all those poor soldiers in Iraq, even those two dumb bastards trolling the parking lot at the down-market mall -- all of them-- could hold jobs that gave them both adequate income as well as real respect and dignity. Do Something like start a business that could grow large enough to make a real difference.
Double dare any comments on this one...