I read it, Nard. Thanks. Typical Moore.
i just did a huge essay on censorship in public school libraries just a few weeks ago. i havent got the grade back, but there was some interresting stuff. i proved that censorship is stupid anyway, i got some really cool bibliography cards that anyone wants to check out. one has the 100 ost challenged and banned books. did you know they wanted to bann "the little engine that could" because of the engine's gender? and from the criteria ive seen for banning books (satanism, witchcraft, homosexuality, what they call "too hard for students to understand", etc.) they would have LOVED to ban the illustrated man.
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
What do you do with generations down the road that forget what a swastika means? But let's say, a few do know. Would those that try to ban its display be a case for censorship?
What's different then the young radical kids who paint swastikas on placards and marches them around the neighborhood because they think it is a symbol of their own freedom and sense of anarchy?
I think the motion picture, "Pleasantville" is one of the most dangerous movies ever made, especially for a younger generation. It's offensive to me on every level. Years ago, it would have been censored for many reasons. Today, a generation not only doesn't even know why, but probably wouldn't accept the reasons either....!
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 05-09-2004).]
Pleasantville IS an interesting film. I liked the premise: The world turns from black and white blandness to eye-catching color in the midst of a "romantic" awakening. Kind of like the lyrics to Paul Simon's great song, "Kodachrome".
The problem for me (and perhaps this is what Nard is alluding to?) is that EVERY single instance of "awakening" was tied to sex. The idea that an intellectual "romantic" awakening could occur outside of sexuality was apparently foreign to the producers/writers. Even in art, it was the public display of nudity (a display that wouldn't pass muster in the US today), and the literary awakening was in "Lady Chatterley's Lover". Perish forbid that the awakening in art could be a Van Gogh landscape or that the awakening in literature could be seen in a novel like "The Brothers Karamazov".
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 05-09-2004).]
Actually, that article you posted about Moore, Nard, only tells about half the story. When Moore was one month into filming, his agent was called into a meeting with Eisner. As your article said, Eisner said right then that he would not distribute the film. He was angry with Miramax for backing it. Moore fully expected production to be halted right then and there. Instead, Disney continued to finance the filming, spending over six million dollars. Also, when Moore met with Miramax, they assured him that the film would be distributed. (I guess this gives us a glimpse into Disney and why they are in such dire straits--the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. But I digress....) Under those circumstances, Moore finished the film. Recently a Disney executive sat through a screening. He had nothing but positive things to say about the film, and gave no indication that it would not be distributed. Now, I have no love lost for Michael Moore, and in fact am one of the people from this board who e-mailed him to protest the name he had selected for the film. I also did not like what he did at the Academy Awards. But I do think Disney/Miramax gave him totally mixed signals in this case. As I said, that company must be more screwed up than any of us can even begin to know, judging from how this was handled. Even the way they announced they were blocking the distribution in the past week was convoluted. Eisner came right out and said he feared the movie would jeopardize the tax breaks Jeb Bush had given Disney. One day later another Disney exec said the real reason was because Disney "caters to families of all political stripes and that many of them might be alienated by the film." If all film production companies stopped a film because one group or another would be alienated, we wouldn't have any movies produced ever! I'm sure he will get it distributed by some other company, and I will make a point to see it. In fact, I look forward to it.
[This message has been edited by lmskipper (edited 05-09-2004).]
Why is it that so many people here are against Moore? Have you all seen his movies? He's as american as one can get; he fights for unions and against the transfer of jobs to third-world nations. I cannot understand what common people like us (for I don;t think anyone of us here is a multi-millionaire) have against him after watching such movies as Roger and Me or The Big One. His Bowling for Columbine asked a lot of questions that should be asked about guns in the states (ie; was it really necessary for K Mart to carry assault rifle bullits in its store?). His outburst during the Academy awards was perfectly justified, for the war was going on and it was essentially a unilateral action and it was not sanctioned by the UN and it was based on wrong accusations and it was brutal and everyone who went after Saddam was lying through their teeth. His call for Bush to step down was perfectly logical, and made the world see that not all of America was mad. So what's the deal?
[This message has been edited by Translator (edited 05-10-2004).]
We obviously have different points of view on just about everything you listed. I don't expect you to understand or be sympathetic to my antipathy toward Moore. In my view he is a demagogue -- and I don't like demagogues on either end of the political spectrum. He takes extreme, "either-or" positions on everything, uses evidence selectively, and uses others -- in many cases -- to achieve his own agenda. (Two instances have already been cited -- the Academy Awards speech and his use of Bradbury's title against Bradbury's wishes.)
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 05-10-2004).]
Neither do I for that matter, but to talk sense into people who are lacking the tools to critically judge various positions, one must sometimes use demagogy. Only the public can change things in a democracy, and the public, as you once argued yourself, is lazy and stupid. To appeal to their reason is useless, for they have none. Hence comes demagogy and an appeal to their senses, with the hope that they will do the right thing not based on reason, but based on emotions. So I agree that this is a cheap tactic, but it's the only one that works, and Moore should be commended for realizing just that.
I never said the public is stupid and lazy. I said there is a tendency of the public to be stupid and lazy. To appeal to the lowest common denominator via demagoguery is cynical and demeans us all. The best path is to appeal to the highest in people and try to get them to stretch themselves. The low path is to assume they are stupid and then cynically and arrogantly use shallow, dishonest tricks to persuade them to one's own perspective through appeals to emotion, anger and prejudice.
I think you misread my earlier posts on my views of the public (or, perhaps I was not clear in my own choice of language). I admire many persons. There is much good in humanity. It is that to which I think we ought to appeal. Moore does not make such an appeal. It is more work to base one's arguments on reason and balanced evidence, but it is worth it. A "victory" won on the basis of demagogery is a shallow and dishonest victory. It is this I oppose in Moore.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 05-10-2004).]
I do not condone Michael Moore's actions at the Academy Awards and definitely do not approve of him naming his latest documentary
after F-451. But, I reserve all judgement until I view his latest effort. This is America, after all, and we are allowed to voice our diverse even extreme opinions.
As far as censorship goes, I was very upset when Nightline with Ted Koppel was "censored" in my part of the country. I was not even allowed to hear the reading of the names of the brave soldiers killed in Iraq. Something is very wrong here. I feel like my "big screen" is trying to control what I see and how I feel.
[This message has been edited by Green Shadow (edited 05-11-2004).]
I don't personally see what the distinction between there being a tendecy to be lazy and stupid and the actual fact that the masses are lazy and stupid is considering that in this particular situation the public is indeed lazy and stupid, with the tendency or without. Moore is not appealing to the tiny minority of intellectuals for two reasons. One is that the intellectuals are nearly all on his side already, which means that he doesn't need to appeal to their reason, and the second is that the intellectuals, even if they were all of them against him (which is definitely not the case), comprise a small percentage of an otherwise lazy and stupid public. Once again, in a democracy, it is the votes that count, and to effect a change one needs to have the voter's support. By appealing to the lowest common denominator of the masses, Moore is doing all of us intellectuals a favour by actually getting the support from those who matter (votically speaking). I also don't agree that an appeal to emotions is dishonest and shallow, since it is only the fault of the masses if they haven't the sense to stop being persuaded by shallow and jingoistic messages. Us intellectuals obviously see through such tricks and scoff at them; the stupid and lazy masses are taken in by them. The fault lies not with the orator, but with the audience for following him. Hence, although I may not like an appeal to emotions, and may consider them cheap and shallow and totally wasted on me as a person, I do not critisize the speaker for using them on people who are simply too stupid and lazy see through them. Once again, I agree that this will be a shallow victory, but when dealing with shallow people (the masses), one cannot take the noble and reasonable means. History supports me, Mr. Dark. Change is brought about by the masses, and whoever controls (or steers) the masses, controls the outcome. If the outcome is good, as in this case it promises to be, then I'm all up for it. The method by which the steering is done is proportional to the intellect of the people to be steered. Nothing can change that.
As for censorship, how many films of artistic integrity with no political meaning whatsoever do not get distribution each year? THOUSANDS! Is that censorship? No. Remember the crazy guy who came here a few months back saying that he was trying to publish this "great book" but he was being censored? Well, we followed his links, and discovered that his "book" was crap, and his racist, so-called "punk rock" messages were merely not woth publishing. Sometimes it feels nice to think that our rejection slips are a form of censorship and that our creations are "too much for people to handle" but most often, the truth is that there simply isn't a market for it. If Disney doesn't wish to do business with Moore, then why should they have to? Isn't it censorship to tell Disney that they have no right NOT to distribute the film?
As for Moore, I dislike him and his work based on the fact that he is an irresponsible journalist, and a poor arguer. I thought "columbine" was a little better than "roger and me" but the latter really bothered me. He is entitled to his views, and I do not disrespect him for THAT, but his arguments are so incredibly one sided, that they are not even worth listening to. If he could present a good argument (which he does) and then follow that with a strong counter-argument against his case (which he pretends doesn't exist, or at least is not at all valid) followed by a strong rebuttal of the counter-argument, then he would actually be presenting a valid debate. Plus, the man has absolutely no class. Among many other things (like the oscar mess), he almost physically assaulted Charlton Heston who had been gracious enough to grant Mr. Moore an interview in his own home. Shameless! Well, there you have it.
Translator: Another senseless argument only tengentially related to Bradbury.
(1) I don't classify myself as an "intellectual". I have some education and have done a lot of reading. But I'm not sure I want to be "an intellectual", (as you repeatedly refer to yourself) if it involves a sense of superiority over the "masses". In my mind, a true education doesn't lead to arrogance and elitism; it leads to humility, and a desire to do good.
(2) Education and integrity are better ways to reach those who are not well-versed; rather than dishonest, one-sided, emotion-based jingoism. We simply disagree on this.
(3) Contrary to your assertion, the "orator" (a term too exalted to apply to Moore) DOES have a responsibility for what he says. This is a total cop-out on your part. If I'm in a dark theater and yell "fire!", and people are injured in the rush to escape, I am responsible, not those "stupid" enough to respond to me. We simply disagree with this. Those who create art, those who write, those who seek to influence others, ought to do so with a sense of responsibility toward the truth. To get up and ignore truth, open-mindedness, and reason, is not something "leaders" and "influencers" ought to do.
(4) Your claim that history is always on the side of the masses is not always true. It is easy to get "the masses" excited about something, but often the masses are far better at tearing down and destroying than they are at building. Individuals are the great builders, inventors, artists, musicians, architects, teachers, writers, etc., -- not the masses.
(5) Also, I disagree with your categorization that the vast majority of intellectuals are on Moore's side. I think liberal intellectuals are on his side and conservative intellectuals are not. It is simply not the case that liberals are automatically intelligent, while conservatives are automatically stupid, provincial or uneducated -- a supposition liberal intellectuals make with an annoying regularity.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 05-13-2004).]
1)an intellectual is not someone you can choose to be or not be; it is someone you become after gaining some education and reading a lot of books (assuming normal human development and no mental accidents). I have never said that intellectualism involves a sense of superiority over the masses; I did say that one ceases to be swayed by cheap and jingoistic messages. But one, by becoming an intellectual, loses some things as well (namely innocence) that come with untutored minds, which means that there can be no talk of superiority - the two kinds of people are simply different, and respond differently to stimuli. My personal disdain for the sort of method Moore employs is at the same time coupled with an amazement at the heart and feelings that the masses exhibit when subjected to empassioned appeals. I sometimes curse the books and authors I've read; I wish to god (though I'm an atheist) that I could be a simple farmer in some little hole in Poland, without the knowledge of anything outside the confines of my would-be little village. I do not think myself superior to the masses; in ceratin respects I think myself inferior (of course, when it comes to understanding, say, a game of chess, the plot and implications of a book, and other things where reason, not feeling, is important, I do think myself superior). I don't know what True education means, by the way, for I don't know what True education is. I know that I've been educated, heavilly I must say, but whether it was True or not, I do not know (I'm reffering to formal education right here).
2) Formal education and integrity are indeed better ways to reach those who are not well versed. However, we are discussing a real thing here. It takes, I believe, a number of years to properly educate a person (I'll drop the "formally" in front of education), but the problem is, if the things go on as they do, there may end up no people to educate (ie - some people might get rathere pissed off at Americans and drop a nuke or two in the key places), or many innocent people will die in the meantime (ie, what if America declares war on Iran and Korea? How about Libya? Maybe Cuba? "Hey - Canada never joined the Coalition of the Willing; let's do a little annexing north of the border!"). There is no time, Mr Dark, and Moore is using whatever tricks he can to kick the insane out, and bring someone else in who may mend at least some of the damage done up to this point. Sure, in the long run I too hope Moore will appeal on the base of reason (which he, by the way, does as well. His movies are not all emotion-based - there is plenty of reason in them for those who choose to see it). But not know. Time is too precious.
3) Although you make an interesting point here, Mr Dark, once again you are wrong. In a democracy, there is freedom of speach. The freedom of speach is based on the assumption that each individual person has a brain, and will either listen to what someone says, and believe them, or not. If you yelled fire in a theater, and I was there, I would look first whether there was indeed a fire before I broke and run. You might simply be a drunken bum who knows not what he's saying. If there are people around you who are as gullible as to trample each other from a single unsupported word from you, then all I can say is that it's their fault if they break their necks in that run. In fact, I'm amazed that they're still in America, for I imagine they would have already moved to Mexico after hearing that Hussain has nuclear capabilities, and can launch the missiles at America within 15 minutes (especially with Bush assuring everybody that Hussain is about to do that). I agree about the truth part. But then, why did you include it there? Are you saying Moore is lying (and I mean intentionally lying, not accidentally missing something, as is normal with human nature)? I'd like to see some of those lies. Be a good sport and show me some of them.
4) I still stand by my assertion that history is behind the masses. I agree that they are very good at destroying and tearing down things. I also agree that it is individuals who create art, and are all the other things you mentioned. But that has absolutely no relation to my assertion. Whatever the masses want, masses get. That is my claim. Whether the things the masses get are "good" or "bad" (whatever those words mean) is irrelevant.
5) I am right by saying that the vast majority of intellectuals are on Moore's side because A) There are far more liberal intellectuals than conservative intellectuals in America - nearly all the intellectuals I know from there are liberal, and I know many. B) Even if there were more intellectuals of a conservative persuasion in America (which I seriously doubt), there are also intellectuals in other countries. These countries, as you may have witnessed by their abstinence from the war on Iraq, are not conservative, which leads me to the assumption that their intellectuals are also not right-winged (In case you point to the countries that did participate, and ask whether the intellectuals of those nations are perhaps conservative, I can tell you that both Britain as well as Poland had an overwhelming majority of people who were not supportive of the war, and that there were gigantic protests in both places to oppose their respective government's unpopular decisions to join the US in invading Iraq).
As you can see, Mr Dark, the argument is not senseless, and it is related to Bradbury, albeit tangentially (via Moore, Fahrenheit 911, Fahrenheit 461, all the way to Bradbury himself). But, if you want, we can bring this down to Ruled Paper, and continue it there. It's up to you (why do I feel that you'll say that you don't want to argue this any more...)
[This message has been edited by Translator (edited 05-13-2004).]
Ultimately, a believer in God...and a believer NOT in God... will forever encounter an unmeasurable expanse, one from the other: their ideologies, their thinking, opinions, and destiny. Since both tap into different sources, the language collides. . .
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