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Monday, 28 June 2004

Politics

Nader

I was standing in line to see Farenheit 9/11 and somebody was selling T-shirts which said, a "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." Not true. For pete's sake, if you're upset at Bush, take it out on Bush, don't turn on fellow leftists. But on the other hand . . .

What is Nader thinking? He's not Green. He's not building a third party movement. He's not even spending any money. He's not trying to win. He's not going to win. He's not representing a party or a principle or anything. He's hurting the Greens, even. I voted for him once and I would have voted for him again if he were a Green and if he were serious. But he is neither of tose things. Is he on drugs? Does he just want to see his name in the paper? Is something wrong with him? Do we need to have an intervention?

Farenheit 9/11

the experience of seeing it in a leftist town

Saw it at the Grand Lake on the opening night. They are not enforcing the R rating, which is very nice. There was a carnival-like atmosphere waiting in line. Folks were registering people to vote. I signed up for an absentee ballot, finally. Other folks were holding anti-Bush signs. The theatre has politics on 1/3 of it's marquee since the coup, so it seemed the best place to see it. Many other people apparently agreed, as the movie sold out every single showing on the first night and the line to get in streched around the entire block. I showed up an hour early and was not too close to the front.

An Oaklander is in the movie. He said something about Bush being an asshole at his gym and the FBI showed up to question him. Moore interviewed him at Lake Merrit. You can see the theatre in the background of some of the shots. woot.

Content

The movie is very nearly news, but has some editorial content. But much less than any of Moore's other movies. The points he makes are well documented. He shies away from controversial assertions. The non-controversial points speak for themselves. You don't need to say "Bush knew" to say "Bush exploited this." It's very well done. He addressed many important points. The movie does not have misleading edits. The only thing I would have changed is identifying administration officals all the time, cuz, yeah, I don't watch TV news, I have now idea what Wolfowitz looks like. The movie is solid. Much more solid than his previous movies, really. I reccomend it.

Al Gore

I finally read the text of Al Gores democracy speech. (You can read it at Salon after watching a short ad. bleah) And the question: Where the hell were you during the last presidential election, you creep?! Yeah, all the points you make now are right on. But how could you just stand by and watch Bush steal the election? Why did you tell Jesse Jackson not to lead people down to Florida not to protest? Why couldn't any of your colleagues in the senate co-sponsor a bill to challenge the election results? Why did you just stand there and watch African Americans get disenfrachised? Or was that it? Was it worth giving up the election for racism? Or, did somebody promise you something? Did you self-destruct for the hell of it? did your whole party just curl up and die? Or was there wheeling and dealing? Why did you do it?

The Supreme Court

Apparently it's ok just to hold citizens with no charges. I think the court may be unaware of some amendments to the document that they're supossed to interpret. Seriously, what the hell? This court is one of the worst that we've ever had. This is the worst president that we've ever had. Things are bad enough the very sensible and moderate Jon Caroll is starting to question whether the next election will be our last.

I'm going to say we're in a constitutional crisis. It is widely ignored. This, maybe is not a new thing. It started with Reagan. But it's gone farther now. Al Gore's analysis is quite good. I would add, tho, that the supreme court is highly partisan now and doesn't seem to care about the constitution at all. I can't see a way out of this except for civil war, really. I mean, if the election isn't stolen, Kerry might fix things, but I have low hopes. And a civil war, well, the biggest gun folks can get is 50 caliber. That could take down a helicopter. But the military will side with Bush. And I don't see him hesitating to bomb blue states. He didn't seem overly concerned about inciting North Korea to nuke the west coast. So, really, um, we're doomed.

5 comments:

Jean Sirius said...

why would the military side with bush? he's got them into an unwinnable war, he cuts benefits, he lets amateurs call the shots...

i think it's not wishful thinking to imagine they'd, at the very least, sit it out.

Les said...

Well, even if the military sits out, the folks who actually own the 50 calliber rifles, for the most part, aren't leftists. Maybe we should start collecting arms.

Ellen suggests that Nader's goal is to influence the democratic party leftwards, since he's clearly not trying to win. That would explain the running mate advice and his running at all. By being a radical, he's forcing the dems to address leftist concerns. So I guess he's ok. But I'm still not voting for him, even tho he's picked an awesome running mate.

Anonymous said...

yep, you are right on about nader. I couldn't agree more.

I thought Fahrenheit 9/11 was good, much more balanced than Moore's previous movies. He did still give his opinion about a lot of things, use music and some cuts to get his points across, but more than any other film he let the facts speak for themselves. The parts in Iraq were great, exactly what people need to see to realize that war isn't like a video game.

Al Gore seems like such a plasticman to me, he pisses me off.

How much profit does Moore make on these movies vs how much he donates to causes to help what he wants to help?

Timanna said...

this is unrelated. . .but you should put up your Dyke March photos!

Jesse said...

seems like Nader would be very resistant to an intervention. many of his highest profile supporters last time around (such as Michael Moore, Cornel West, Winona LaDuke, Jim Hightower, etc.) are staying away this time, and i imagine many tried to convince him to stay out, but he really doesn't hear it.

there is something wrong with Nader. he's stubborn, single-minded, and perhaps a wee bit delusional. we can only hope that the Kerry campaign handles him well, as they've begun to do.

my impression of Farenheit 9/11 was that is was all news, but the opinionated, editorial, clever sort of news that i find the most appealing. much like Errol Morris (though Moore is nowhere near as artful as Morris), Moore is an expert at editing lots of information into a narrative that wouldn't otherwise exist. so this movie's narrative is perspecitival, and practically fictional, but it isn't a lie, it's a perspective. i think there were a few specific instances where Moore was more directly misleading, but on the whole, Farenheit 9/11 was a neat movie.

meanwhile, one could connect the Bush family to Gore or Kerry even more robustly than Moore connected them to the Bin Laden family. Gore didn't contest the 2000 election because he cared more (or somebody cared more) about consolidating the power of the elite to which he belongs, than he cared about losing the election, disenfranchising thousands of black voters, and abandoning democracy. Kerry might fix things, but it'll take a lot of prodding. still, i think that a massive effort to mobilize people to vote for incrementally more liberal leaders over the next 30 years might be the only way of avoiding the sort of un-winnable revolution you project is imminent.