God in the Machine

Literally "God in the machine", Deus Ex Machina originally referred to Greek plays, where the "gods" would be lowered onto the stage with ropes in order to provide a quick resolution to the story. Today, Deus Ex Machina refers to any improbably and/or overly convenient character or mechanism that comes out of nowhere and saves the character(s).


"I don't get it, Big Dan..." -George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Monday, May 24, 2004

My take on Michael Moore

This site inspired me to do some actual thinking about MM, who up to now I have viewed as mostly irrelevant, but in a large and well-known way. Thanks to Rosemary for pointing out the site.

Now, my take on filmmaker Michael Moore: I think he's a Puritan.

What? He's a what? Did Big Dan just call Michael Moore a Puritan?

Well, yes I did, and I mean it in this way:

When you're in high school and they ask you why the Puritans came to America from England, what do you say? You say "Religious Freedom," right?

Well, you're wrong. The Puritans were among the most religiously INTOLERANT, possessive, exclusive and stiff-necked people you've ever met. They thought they knew the Truth, and that they could therefore enforce that view of Truth under penalty of law. Many a religious man and woman were tarred and feathered, abandoned in the wilderness, or just plain killed because they disagreed with the Puritans on religious views.

What they wanted was religious freedom for themselves and nobody else.

Michael Moore is a Puritan.

He defends his biased, unfair, spiteful slander AND libel, guilty on both counts, by crying foul and "first amendment! first amendment!" at every turn. He insults and launches ad hominem attacks in cinematic form, then retreats to safety behind his "right to free speech." I happen to agree with some of what he has said about gun control, but to point to the NRA and blame all of society's ills on guns, then point to Bush and blame all of society's ills on Bush, etc and etc, is not only absurd but plain silly. The vile he does it with only adds to the fire.

So Moore says he's all about freedom of speech and he'll say what he damned well wants to and cry foul when, say, Disney wants to put away his potentially incendiary and ill-timed rhetoric in a dangerous time for our country.

But what happens when someone uses their right to freedom of speech to justifiably criticize Moore himself, on cinematic, thematic or other grounds?

This happens: "At one point in his speech, Moore suggested that the oil company should kill an employee for every soldier who dies in Iraq."

This happens: "Moore is the latest manifestation of what white liberalism means today. Until the white left becomes accountable to the oppressed they claim to represent, they will continue to mislead," Osayande charged during his presentation entitled, "With Allies Like These You Don't Need Enemies: Racism, War and the White Left."

And this happens, quoted at www.bcheights.com: "At the Michael Moore event, many Republicans and conservatives, including myself, were in attendance, despite the fact that we strongly disagreed with Mr. Moore's comments. Now, at this time, UGBC had hosted two high-profile speakers that did nothing but defame, insult, and spit on both our party and the values that we hold essential to life and government. When we raised our concerns about the one-sidedness of UGBC's speaker schedule, instead of supporting our calls for a more fair and balanced dialogue, The Heights (in the articles mentioned above) accused us of "complaining," "squawking," and "whining.""

In short, Moore and the Moorites are Puritans. They want freedom of speech, but not for everyone. Just for those who agree.

See? Puritans.

I'm fine with people who disagree with me, but this guy isn't even willing to "agree to disagree." That's what we call Puritanism. Another word for it is fundamentalism, and you don't often see it on the Left, but there it is.

Attack, attack, attack, then cry foul when anyone dares respond.


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