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All Hail Moore
NY Times ^ | June 26, 2004 | DAVID BROOKS

Posted on 06/25/2004 9:48:59 PM PDT by neverdem

In years past, American liberals have had to settle for intellectual and moral leadership from the likes of John Dewey, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. But now, a grander beacon has appeared on the mountaintop, and from sea to shining sea, tens of thousands have joined in the adulation.

So it is worth taking a moment to study the metaphysics of Michael Moore. For Moore is not only a filmmaker; he is a man of ideas, and his work is based on an actual worldview.

Like Hemingway, Moore does his boldest thinking while abroad. For example, it was during an interview with the British paper The Mirror that Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.

"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy]," Moore intoned. "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."

It transpires that Europeans are quite excited to hear this supple description of the American mind. And Moore has been kind enough to crisscross the continent, speaking to packed lecture halls, explicating the general vapidity and crassness of his countrymen. "That's why we're smiling all the time," he told a rapturous throng in Munich. "You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How's it going?' We've got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down."

Naturally, the people from the continent that brought us Descartes, Kant and Goethe are fascinated by these insights. Moore's books have sold faster there than at home. No American intellectual is taken so seriously in Europe, save perhaps the great Chomsky.

Before a delighted Cambridge crowd, Moore reflected on the tragedy of human existence: "You're stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe." In Liverpool, he paused to contemplate the epicenters of evil in the modern world: "It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."

In the days after Sept. 11, while others were disoriented, Moore was able to see clearly: "We, the United States of America, are culpable in committing so many acts of terror and bloodshed that we had better get a clue about the culture of violence in which we have been active participants."

This leads to Michael Moore's global plan of action. "Don't be like us," he told a crowd in Berlin. "You've got to stand up, right? You've got to be brave."

In an open letter to the German people in Die Zeit, Moore asked, "Should such an ignorant people lead the world?" Then he began to reflect on things economic. His central insight here is that the American economy, like its people, is pretty crappy, too: "Don't go the American way when it comes to economics, jobs and services for the poor and immigrants. It is the wrong way."

In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Moore helped citizens of that country understand why the United States went to war in Iraq: "The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich."

But venality doesn't come up when he writes about those who are killing Americans in Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win." Until then, few social observers had made the connection between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Paul Revere.

So we have our Sartre. And the liberal grandees Arthur Schlesinger, Ted Sorenson, Tom Harkin and Barbara Boxer flock to his openings. In Washington, a Senate vote was delayed because so many Democrats wanted to see his movie.

The standards of socially acceptable liberal opinion have shifted. We're a long way from John Dewey.

Perhaps inspired by Moore, I got a fact wrong in my previous column. Bill Clinton did not win the evangelical vote in 1992 and 1996. I had relied on a report that was later corrected.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Government; Japan; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: New York; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: davidbrooks; fahrenheit911; michaelmoore; moore
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1 posted on 06/25/2004 9:48:59 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

David Brooks gets one thing right: the pendulum on the Left is swinging towards a hatred of all things American and Moore is the vanguard of this new mood.


2 posted on 06/25/2004 9:52:52 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
Brooks cuts with a scalpel. A thousand cuts with a scalpel.

IMO, Moore will go the way of Chris Farley and John Candy.

3 posted on 06/25/2004 9:55:04 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: Bonaparte; NYCVirago

Check the correction at the end. At least Brooks makes timely corrections.


4 posted on 06/25/2004 9:56:13 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

"Like Hemmingway...?"
Really now.


5 posted on 06/25/2004 9:57:28 PM PDT by henderson field
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To: goldstategop

Based on this article, it seems like Moore is the counterpoint to Bush which must comfort certain restless anti-Aericanism. Otherwise, what do we tell people around the world - we're invading for our freedom? Moore's point makes more sense - it's like NAFTA, but global. Bush's point: freedom, is not really selling anywhere... except Micronesia, they love it.


6 posted on 06/25/2004 9:58:13 PM PDT by ReaganLives2001
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To: neverdem

Fu$k you new york times You have nor idea of what you printh.


7 posted on 06/25/2004 9:58:59 PM PDT by Ethyl (,)
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To: neverdem
Check the correction at the end. At least Brooks makes timely corrections.

Thanks for the ping. I'm glad he corrected that -- I knew those figures were wrong!

8 posted on 06/25/2004 9:59:44 PM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: goldstategop

"The Left is swinging towards a hatred of all things America...?"
They have for years.
That's the problem.
We're just starting to wake up to it.


9 posted on 06/25/2004 9:59:54 PM PDT by henderson field
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To: sinkspur

That's an insult to Farley and Candy


10 posted on 06/25/2004 10:00:36 PM PDT by Optimist (I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here.)
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To: sinkspur
IMO, Moore will go the way of Chris Farley and John Candy.

If he gets much bigger, he just might. He's certainly a good example of morbidly obese, without trying to explain a body mass index.

11 posted on 06/25/2004 10:01:17 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

12 posted on 06/25/2004 10:03:35 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK ("In America, our origins matter less than our destinations, and that is what democracy is all about")
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To: ReaganLives2001
Based on this article, it seems like Moore is the counterpoint to Bush which must comfort certain restless anti-Aericanism. Otherwise, what do we tell people around the world - we're invading for our freedom? Moore's point makes more sense - it's like NAFTA, but global. Bush's point: freedom, is not really selling anywhere... except Micronesia, they love it.

You missed the point of the article.

We didn't go into Iraq for our freedom; we went into Iraq for THEIR freedom.

Michael Moore is a heart-attack-waiting-to-happen-punk. He hates America, in its present form.

13 posted on 06/25/2004 10:03:45 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: neverdem
But venality doesn't come up when he writes about those who are killing Americans in Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win."

I was thinking of sending that quote to every journalist who says that Moore is patriotic. Yeah, he's so patriotic that he cheers when terrorists kill our soldiers!

14 posted on 06/25/2004 10:04:34 PM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: Ethyl

Excuse me, but did you read the whole OpEd? Are you a fan of Michael Moore?


15 posted on 06/25/2004 10:04:37 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: Optimist

Not really when you consider Farley and Candy died because their morbid obesity played a factor in their deaths.


16 posted on 06/25/2004 10:05:31 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (John Kerry: An old creep, with gray hair, trying to look like he's 30 years old.)
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To: NYCVirago
Yeah, he's so patriotic that he cheers when terrorists kill our soldiers!

And in his warped reality, "our soldiers" are baby killers and murderers.

17 posted on 06/25/2004 10:07:40 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (John Kerry: An old creep, with gray hair, trying to look like he's 30 years old.)
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To: All
Until then, few social observers had made the connection between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Paul Revere.

A mainstream news employee, John Miller of ABC "news," did an interview with Bin Laden in May, 1998 (the year Al Qaeda declared war on us)

A fawning Miller told Bin Laden, "You are like the Middle East version of Teddy Roosevelt."

So add Teddy Roosevelt to Paul Revere as people leftist pig vomit see in Al Qaeda. Likely the Senate Rats will be swooning with more comparisons tomorrow.

18 posted on 06/25/2004 10:08:36 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (Benedict Arnold was a hero for both sides in the same war, too!)
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To: neverdem

I'm thinking it's "Ethyl" as in alcohol.


19 posted on 06/25/2004 10:09:31 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: neverdem
WE are "possibly the dumbest people on the planet", Mr. Moore? Funny how the dumbest people on the planet are also the richest, most advanced, most ingenious people on the planet. The inventors of most of the conveniences of modern life. The only people to land an astronaut on the moon. Yup, we're pretty stupid.

It's also funny how all these foreigners vote with their feet to come here, while fat-boy Moore has to go over there to trash us. Heck, he thinks he has the right to dictate who Canadians should vote for in their own election. Perhaps he should move there if he hates Americans so much.

Michael Moore is a big fat idiot. Michael Moore hates America. It must really suck to be Michael Moore. It's pretty clear that he hates himself, too.
20 posted on 06/25/2004 10:10:17 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
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Short and unsweet. I hate Moore. I'm not a hateful person, but I hate him. And O.J. Simpson, I hate him too. The sight of them makes me sick.


21 posted on 06/25/2004 10:13:21 PM PDT by Jenya (Gore, he's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody)
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To: neverdem

You all have it wrong. Just let Moore keep inspiring the Euros to not be like the US economically, militarily, etc. I think he makes a damn better entertainer as a European leader than a US quack.


22 posted on 06/25/2004 10:13:38 PM PDT by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK

Excellent quotes from Kerry. What do you call such fancy HTML? Does it qualify as a website, or is it just a program?


23 posted on 06/25/2004 10:14:06 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: Ethyl

I think you misunderstood...this is a satirical piece ..."tongue in cheek" as they say....It is very anti-Michael Moore


24 posted on 06/25/2004 10:14:28 PM PDT by woofie ( Ya gotta know who ya is and who ya aint ...cause if ya dont know who ya aint ,ya aint who ya is.)
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To: neverdem
"You're stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe."

What a terminally pathetic slob. The only thing I'm ashamed of is that we still produce the likes of Michael Moore.

25 posted on 06/25/2004 10:16:26 PM PDT by Dolphy
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To: neverdem

I am all for the Left embracing the Corpulent Cinematographer -- it says more about them than about those they oppose.


26 posted on 06/25/2004 10:16:29 PM PDT by walford (http://utopia-unmasked.us)
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To: neverdem

M M could afford to live in France now with the smart people.....unfortunately they look down on fat Americans


27 posted on 06/25/2004 10:16:34 PM PDT by woofie ( Ya gotta know who ya is and who ya aint ...cause if ya dont know who ya aint ,ya aint who ya is.)
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To: neverdem

This was delicious....almost as delightful as Hitchen's shredding of Moore :-)


28 posted on 06/25/2004 10:16:58 PM PDT by Tamzee (Noonan on Reagan, "...his leadership changed the world... As president, he was a giant.")
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To: neverdem

29 posted on 06/25/2004 10:17:33 PM PDT by nunya bidness ( You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.)
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Well, so far Moore's been "Google-tagged" to number 15 for the word, "Hatriotism."

Anyone else care to change their tagline to match mine below and make Moore number one?


30 posted on 06/25/2004 10:18:26 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">Hatriotism)
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To: dead

LOL


31 posted on 06/25/2004 10:19:19 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: Jenya
I guarantee you this ALSO will backfire on the RATS, especially on that EVIL FAT PIG MOORE!
32 posted on 06/25/2004 10:19:30 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

33 posted on 06/25/2004 10:19:34 PM PDT by nutmeg (God bless President Ronald Reagan)
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To: neverdem

WHY IS THIS CRAP EVEN POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE?


34 posted on 06/25/2004 10:20:33 PM PDT by no dems (Does the Bush/Cheney camp monitor the Freep website?)
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To: fat city
You all have it wrong.

How? You don't like this satire?

35 posted on 06/25/2004 10:21:35 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Dr. Gobbles AKA “Slobba the Gut” is seen as an embarrassment even to some members of the left


36 posted on 06/25/2004 10:22:03 PM PDT by tophat9000
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To: no dems
Read it again. It's not a positive piece. It sarcastically summarizes all of Michael Moore's greatest hits --- going overseas to insult the intelligence of his countrymen. A prime example of Hatriotism.
37 posted on 06/25/2004 10:22:22 PM PDT by conservative in nyc (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">Hatriotism)
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To: neverdem
"Like Hemingway, Moore does his boldest thinking while abroad."

Hemingway also "ended" himself.....

M&M should do the same.
38 posted on 06/25/2004 10:22:55 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: conservative in nyc
.........It's pretty clear that he hates himself, too.

I disagree. He is totally and completely in love with himself. A la the 'Toon.

39 posted on 06/25/2004 10:23:13 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: ReaganLives2001
"Based on this article, it seems like Moore is the counterpoint to Bush"

Kinda like how Satan was the counterpoint to God?

Only Lucifer, in all his splendor, probably wasn't overweight. And he shaved before worship.

40 posted on 06/25/2004 10:24:00 PM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: Dallas59

41 posted on 06/25/2004 10:24:06 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: neverdem

"It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."

I hope the corpulent a-hole doesn't slip and go anti-semitic on us...THAT will make him the darling of liberal-land.

Oh, I forgot, he'll get a free pass anyway.


42 posted on 06/25/2004 10:24:19 PM PDT by Felis_irritable
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To: no dems
WHY IS THIS CRAP EVEN POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE?

Uh, I guess you didn't read the article. It shredds moore into a million pork rinds.

Unless you are a fan of pro-hezbollah moore, then I can understand your outrage. Kinda of like a vampire seeing the Cross.

43 posted on 06/25/2004 10:24:23 PM PDT by Dane
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To: no dems
Because it mocks Lumpy Riefenstahl pretty well.

Why do you think it shouldn't be here?

Did you read it?

44 posted on 06/25/2004 10:25:12 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Fiddlstix
He is totally and completely in love with himself. A la the 'Toon.

Nah. You can say a lot of bad things about Clintoon. I don't think he ever actively loathed this country to the extent Michael Moore does. Michael Moore is projecting his hatred for himself, and dislike for himself onto our good nation. He thinks WE'RE dumb because HE'S dumb. Well, at least he's half right. Michael Moore is a big fat idiot.
45 posted on 06/25/2004 10:27:42 PM PDT by conservative in nyc (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">Hatriotism)
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To: cateizgr8

ping


46 posted on 06/25/2004 10:27:54 PM PDT by wingnutx (tanstaafl)
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To: neverdem

The rabid left doesn't get it. This will backfire. While this moview appears to the fringe it will make the center uncomfortable.

Sort of like voicing your opinion you like watching animals on Discovery channel and then finding yourself in the middle of an Animal Liberation Front terror rally.


47 posted on 06/25/2004 10:29:17 PM PDT by tbeatty (I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat salad.)
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To: NYCVirago
But venality doesn't come up when he writes about those who are killing Americans in Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win."

I won't forget him making that quote, just like I won't forget Kerry's testimony that all those serving in Vietnam in 1971 were committing war crimes.

48 posted on 06/25/2004 10:29:18 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem
"Hey Representative - Take one of these pamplets, free if you donate a sack of cheeseburgers"



49 posted on 06/25/2004 10:30:49 PM PDT by craig61a
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To: neverdem
Michael Moore Democrats.
Kerry
.....
50 posted on 06/25/2004 10:31:10 PM PDT by JamesP
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