Thursday, July 08, 2004
Michael Moore's Little Oysters
PSOMETHINGS.17. Since the latest InstaPunk piece that mentioned Michael Moore, some of his followers (would those be Moorites, Stiletto-Heads...? You pick it, though we prefer Oysters) have finally figured out how to make entries in the Boomer Bible Forum. This is fine. We welcome input from readers and are happy to discuss your views on the topics we touch on in our decidedly opinionated blog site. Forum participants are by no means unanimous about the mouthy output of InstaPunk, but the regulars share a penchant for backing up their opinions with facts and ideas they've gathered through their own research.
In this milieu, the Oysters stick out like a sore thumb. They enter in high dudgeon, dragging their flamethrowers and gatling guns behind them, and leap immediately into combat without a glance at where they are and who they are attacking. We thought it might be fun to show you a couple of the Oysters at work, along with some Forum responses, to acquaint you with the fact that you also have an opportunity to mix it up with the punks. Unlike Moveon.org and DemocraticUnderground.com, we don't ban people for disagreeing with us. We ban people for arbitrary and capricious reasons, and then we bring them back for more jousting. But our preference is for people who can contribute some insight and who know how to frame a real argument. Bomb throwers try our patience, but even they will receive a thoughtful response. Now for our examples of recent dustups.
One Oyster wrote us:
Let me say that I do disagree with your 6/25 analysis of the Moore movie/doucu/polemic as "an act of fiction, a work of fiction." There is no fiction in Halliburton, or in the Carlyle Group, the collusion with the Saudis on oil by GWB Sr. and JR. THAT IS NOT FICTION. It is treason and collaboration. You are ignorant of the law and of the Nuremberg policies and legal precedents from WW II Germany. You and Ashcroft. Too bad. Indeed.
Have you no shame??? 3,000 dead in NYC, 200 dead in the Pentagon, 75 dead in Pa., 900 (almost) soldiers dead in Iraq???? Is that enough "fiction" for you??? Please reconsider the film and your comments.
This drew the following response from our own 'Sigma':
In the first place, I did not use the word 'fiction' in my discussion of F911.
That said, I propose that you don't seem to have a very clear grasp of what fiction is. Using facts in artful ways to bolster a conspiracy theory for which there is little or no evidence does qualify as fiction.
The congressman who was edited to look speechless at Moore's question about sending his son to war is a good small-scale example. In fact, that congressman had a nephew serving in the military and told Moore about him. When Moore drops that bit of film on the editing room floor, he is lying by omission and promulgating an untruth.
Clearly, he has inveigled you into unquestioning acceptance because he drapes his other untruths, half-truths, and empy accusations around the kinds of facts you reference so stormily: the fact that Halliburton exists, the fact that the Carlyle Group exists, the fact that the 9/11 attack happened, the fact that the Iraq War happened. So what. None of this easily recognizable 'truth' tells us anything about whether the Bush family colluded with the bin Ladens. To do that, you'd have to examine the evidence in detail, including the chronologies of association between the Bushes, Cheneys, etc, with the organizations you contemn and determine whether they even could have participated in the decisions you believe occurred. Fact checkers have done this pretty meticulously with regard to Moore's F911, and the 'facts' make Moore's accusations look silly, malicious, and, yes, largely fictitious.
I'd be interested in hearing the credentials that back up your pompous lecturing to me about history. I doubt you've read a tenth the history I have, and if there's any 'shame' to be apportioned in this discussion, it goes to the correspondent who lists names and calls them facts. Learn how to think before you start getting rude with grownups.
This infuriated a second Oyster, who rallied to his colleague's defense:
Many thanks on your fairytale reading of fiction, and your most cavalier interpretation of war crimes.
Oh yes, you failed to mention oil & Saudi Arabia, and the Lobbying by GWB & the Halliburton group. How very convenient. Years of secret ties to the Saudis & the Oil Cartels.
You don't mention either the flight of the Bin-Laden clan AFTER the attacks in NYC. Totally illegal and traesonous. Have you no shame??? Did you know that Waffa Bin-Laden left NYC a WEEK before the attacks and hid in London??? And you, Wise Scholar, dare to suggest NO CONSPIRACY? Absurd fairytale? No. Hardly, a type of fiction. Pure fact.
We will not rest until this is all over. You can read your history until doomsday. You can choke on facts. You cannot change the underlying conspiratorial truth of this situation. You are just so put out and jealous of Michael Moore's success, you might explode. Treason will NOT go unpunished. Halliburton and Carlyle and other DOD contractors will ultimately face the Nuremberg line. of prosecution. You will not stop the march of history with your diatribes against Michael Moore. Treason will always find its way to the dustbin of history.
Once again, Sigma replied:
Oh goody. The crazy idiots are here. Come on in, everybody. I love to hear from the intellectual base of the hard left. And I do mean base. I'm amazed they can even spell Nuremberg. Questions they can't answer:
Why did Richard Clarke take full responsibility for the decision to fly the bin Ladens back to Saudi Arabia? He's clearly no apologist for Bush.
If Bush and the Saudis were really in cahoots (that means 'conspiring' for you geniuses who have trouble spelling 'treason'), then why did the Saudis refuse to permit any support for the Iraq invasion from U.S. installations in Arabia?
Who is it that's making all the money on oil in your conspiracy scenario? Prices at the pumphead are sky high, oil companies are announcing reduced profits, and control of Iraqi oil is, and has been, under control of Iraqis. Starting a war is clearly so much cheaper and easier than backing down at no cost, letting the U.N. remove the sanctions from Iraq, and letting the free flow of Iraqi oil reduce prices, thereby accelerating demand and profits. (Or were you foreign policy/economics experts too stoned to listen the day they covered the demand-supply curve in economics?)
I'm sure it's much more fun to squeal about war crimes than to do any real research or thinking. Much better to go see a movie and accept every frame of it uncritically.
Jealousy isn't quite the word for the way I feel about Michael Moore. I admire his film editing skills but despise his whole fake populist act.
Now, unless the cretins have something NEW to say, no more response is needed. Variations on the same illiterate diatribe do not count as making a contribution to the discussion.
But another of our number, known as Pawntificate, offered a better and more typical response, one that can be used as our standing invitation to all who read InstaPunk and feel tempted to join the fun:
I'll attempt to rise above the bitterness and presumption of your posts. Have you read the Snopes account of the Bin Laden flight? http://www.snopes.com/rumors/flight.htm
If not, do so. It suggests a very different interpretation of the flights - not treason or conspiracy but a reasonable and generous offer to preserve innocent people from facing the risk of an American people enraged and willing to avenge themselves on anyone they felt to be guilty by association. Its not a pretty thing, but at least one such murder did occur.
I ask you, what should the government have done? Arrest anyone with the last name of Bin Laden? All people from Saudi Arabia? All muslims? Or turn a blind eye to any lynchings that might occur?
Accusing the government of treason is a mighty big thing to do. In previous times you would only say such a thing if you were willing and eager to sacrifice your own life to bring "justice". Are you? Or are you just a cowardly adolescent grasping at Michael Moore's arrogance to make you feel morally superior to anyone and everyone?
Prove your point. Astound us with your depth of insight into constitutional law. Exegete the Nuremberg trials for our benefit. Demonstrate the vast interconnected conspiracy you speak of. Answer the myriad objections that have been leveled against F911. I will listen. But your essay had better be pretty damn impressive, because you've insulted a close friend, and it's taking great restraint to respond to you with any measure of respect.
Once I've read this great, life-changing work that I know you are anxious to share with us, then I will be glad to continue our conversation.
Do you want to come play with us? Yeah, it gets rough, and personal, but we enjoy the challenge. As the illustrious junior senator from Massachussetts would say, "Bring it on."