As I read the reviews here of the film, I see many comments of the type "I think like that..." which is further evidence of certain aspects of the hard-right mindset than it is about problems with liberals. One can debate about whether something is "funny" or not, I found this film funny for about 5 minutes, the rest was boring and some of it downright offensive. First, as full disclosure, I am a liberal but am NOT a fan of Michael Moore. I agree with much of what he has to say but I think he loses the power of some of his arguments by being overly provocative I also find him unpleasant as a personality. But when we look at this film, we see the basic problems of the conservative mindset, everything is a caricature, everything is so simple good guys vs. bad guys. One could argue that these could be a caricature of the movement itself, but from the reactions here, it would seem that those who liked the movie see it as "socking it to those liberals..."
First let's look at the basic premise of the movie: Mike Malone wants the 4th of July Holiday banned because he, in his heart of hearts, hates America. Um, again, I don't particularly like Moore, but should a caricature not have some remote basis in fact? Watch Sicko, watch Fahrenheit 911, watch Roger and Me. Where exactly is a hatred for America and patriotism? Exactly in which scene does this occur? What does he say to suggest this? In fact, this is the typical reductio ad absurdum strawman that conservatives love to build - so-in-so is bad! He is fat! He hates America, he loves terrorists. Don't listen to him or respect him. Take Moore's last film, Sicko. Moore discusses the millions of Americans who are not give adequate help by the health care system. He touches on cases of people who have none. He compares and contrasts France and Cuba. Now instead of having a substantive discussion, where conservatives say 1) I disagree with Moore BECAUSE.. 2) Moore's point on X is wrong BECAUSE... 3) The facts he presents on health care in Cuba are not true BECAUSE... instead we can engage in these childish stereotypes and name calling INSTEAD of addressing the fact that 46 million people, including children, have no health care in the US. Yeah, let's laugh at the fat man who hates America..it's easier than addressing the issue at hand, some people are literally dying because they got laid off or because their insurance company won't cover them. Thus, the whole premise of the film is so flimsy and ridiculous. To the conservative mind, saying it is bad that millions of hard-working Americans have no health care means you hate America. Objecting to a disastrous military policy in Iraq means you hate America.
And the stereotypes abound from there. Michael Malone is taken through history a la Christmas Carol and shown that it is wrong to hate America...One of my favorite examples is how he is shown by the example of the Civil War that not all war is bad. Now let's dissect this a bit: stereotype: all liberals are against all war no matter what. As stupid as the stereotype that conservatives want war all the time. Fact is, this is not true, many liberals SUPPORTED the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban was housing bin Laden, who was directly associated with the murder of our citizens. But just because you object to the Iraq war, you are against every war in all cases. Yeah, right. The civil war...let's think for a nano-second about that: that war was fought by people opposed to slavery in the Northern States against the conservative South. I won't go into the complex argument here about what each party Republican and others were very different then but I will point of that those "red" states that went Bush in 2004 almost exactly matched the "slave states" during the Civil War. Sure, we are supposed to believe that those very conservative states where they sill want to fly the confederate flag today were the ones who were anti-slavery? Yeah, sure.
And then of course, we have the portrayals of Muslims and Mexicans in the film. To the conservative mindset, all Muslims, be they from Morocco to Iran to Afghanistan to Indonesia, to Sudan, to America and Europe and Turkey are all the same...they all dress the same, all talk the same...all are potential terrorists who hate America.
And everything else is a silly stereotype too. Rosie O'Donnell is a fat lesbian with strong opinions. So therefore, she should be laughed at and ridiculed, not worthy of having an opinion.
And for those who say, "It's a comedy, lighten up"... um, I just found it not funny, from scenes at Ground Zero (real classy) to cheap physical humor (look at that fat pig Moore eat all in sight...) it is light on the humor and heavy on the conservative fantasy
And for those eager to say it is like Airplane, um, no. Airplane was funny because it was completely absurd. There were silly jokes, many groups were parodied in a gentle way. Here it is all about building the strawmen and then trying to build a parody around that. Kind of like making a "liberal" film where George Bush is out on some hunting range, shooting down Muslims for sport....Conservatives would not find that amusing and it would be as absurd as the "Michael Moore hates all of America" premise..
And for those ready to proclaim "typical liberal response", you should know I expect to also pan Oliver Stone's film "W" when it comes out. Although I loathe Bush, it is also a series of silly stereotypes which does not bring the dialogue forward...
154 out of 267 found this helpful