Fictition Isn’t a Word

I try to be as apolitical as I can. I don’t really enjoy discussing politics, and I know that many of my own convictions and beliefs, while strongly held, are at odds with what many people, including many close friends, believe. And that’s OK with me.

But I have to mention this whole Michael Moore thing. I agree with Josh that Moore is “one of the few people who I believe sincerely hates America, including all that it has ever stood for and everything it currently stands for.” But let me be clear: I don’t dislike Moore because of his politics; I agree with him on some issues (but not many). I dislike him because he’s dishonest.

Andy Ihnatko is one of my favorite writers. I trust what he has to say, because he’s honest. So I was interested to read about his investigation of the facts laid out in Bowling for Columbine. Andy wrote: My research is still preliminary. I’ve found so many problems with the accuracy of the film that at some point, I just had to throw up my hands and start at the beginning of the film and work my way forward. So let’s start with the title of the movie. Moore notes that the two kids who committed the Columbine massacre had attended a bowling class before attacking the school and asks why so many people blamed music, movies and video games for the tragedy. From the same logic, why not blame bowling? Read Andy’s full essay for more.

Another article says, Every single scene in Michael Moore’s films are like this. They seem to be intelligent; they seem to reveal some deep inner truth, but after a few moments of scrutiny, they fall apart. If you’ve ever taken an organic chemistry class, you know that there’s always a guy who sits up front and looks like he knows everything. You also know there’s a difference between looking like you know everything and actually knowing everything. Michael Moore is an expert at looking intelligent, not at being intelligent.

In accepting his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, Moore went into his famous rant: I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to – they’re here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it’s the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much. Regardless of your politics, your Oscar acceptance speech isn’t the time to rally the troops or denounce the president. It’s when you say “Thank you!” and leave gracefully.

Now, his latest project, Fahrenheit 9/11, is scheduled to be released on June 25, which happens to be my tenth anniversary. Fahrenheit 9/11 — doesn’t that name ring a bell? It sure did for Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451: He is a horrible human being. Horrible human! He also states: Michael Moore is a screwed [expletive deleted — this is a family site, thank-you-very-much], that is what I think about that case. He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking me for permission. Tell us how you really feel, Ray.

At any rate, you may recall that Disney, the parent company of Miramax, took a pass on Moore’s new project last month: Miramax Films announced yesterday that it would not be distributing the film. This was a day after Walt Disney Co., which owns Miramax, made a public statement that it would prevent Miramax from releasing the documentary. And Moore, predictably, went into a huff about censorship, which really wasn’t at issue, since the government wasn’t involved.

But Disney’s move gave Moore an excuse to draw some more attention to himself. In doing so, he claimed that Disney had just dropped the bomb on him, and he feigned surprised. But then, Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it. Oh, so that’s how it is. We have a word for that. It’s lying.

You may like Michael Moore. You may enjoy his work and agree with his politics. Hey, that’s cool with me. Just be honest, all right?

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