Twice Watched Tales 

Another look at an American classic

Now that most everyone hates George Bush as much as I do, it's as good a time as any to take another gander at Fahrenheit 9/11, don't ya' think?

But before we go about lining up a Michael Moore retrospective here, I need to acknowledge my bud Bob Berserquier for filling in last week. I haven't actually had a chance to read his piece yet, seeing as how the day it came out, I was on the road to some place called Puyallup for Thanksgiving dinner with my little brother's family. But I'm sure that whatever Badger came up with was delightful.

So thank you, Roberto, for the guest column and thank you, too, Steve, for the fine Thanksgiving Day spread, which I'm sure will be very tasty even though I haven't actually eaten it yet--seeing as how I'm writing this long before I leave for Puyallup so's I won't have to screw with it when I get back.

And as you can see, there's a certain time-frame discrepancy going on here, which should explain why I bring up Michael Moore's controversial movie now. Understand, in my present context (pre-Thanksgiving-in-Puyallup time, which is an hour behind us even on its good days), it was just a few days ago that one of the toughest hombres in Congress, retired Colonel Jarhead John Murtha, announced we should "redeploy" American troops the hell outside of Iraq in the shortest order possible, seeing as how the stinking war is probably the most mismanaged cluster-muck our nation has ever stuck its foot in--not to mention the growing national awareness that it's also likely the only logical result of a pattern of deception and fraud that permeates the White House like mildew on a New Orleans mattress.

As we have learned, though, a fella doesn't dis this White House without retribution from high places. And, true to form, administration mouthpiece Scott McClellan immediately morphed Murtha into the wackiest wing of the Democratic party by likening him to that most demonized of all Democrats, Michael Moore. Ever since Fahrenheit 9/11 became the most widely seen documentary to ever hit the wine and cheese houses, administration goons have focused on Moore as the apogee of Bush's opposition, hoping that even the most tenuous association with the jolly filmmaker would neutralize all other dissent.

But what the goons forget is that many millions of us admire Moore and regard Fahrenheit 9/11 as the definitive history of Bush's first term. After all, none--not one--of the allegations made in the movie has been shown to be false, and as revelations continue to unfold on how dishonestly these rotten buffoons led us to war and how ineptly they have handled it since they got there, Moore is beginning to look more prescient all the time.

So rather than protest McClellan's comparison of Murtha with Moore as just another cowardly attack on a true warrior (as opposed to the armchair type so prominent among Bush's circle of dimestore tough guys), let us consider this an opportunity to elevate Moore to his proper place in the debate. Truly, Moore and Murtha both are of that special breed of patriots who understand the worst threats Americans face often come from our own halls of power, and both are courageous enough to confront those threats, even if it means a withering assault on their good names and characters. They are each warriors in their way, and each should feel honored to find themselves on the same enemies' list.

But, you ask, how would another look at Fahrenheit 9/11 contribute anything to this present situation? We've been there, done that, haven't we? The footage of the shameful spectacle in Florida? The chronicle of how Osama's kinfolk were shuffled out of the United States on 9/11 before any questions could be asked? The records of how the bin Laden family were among the coziest of business associates with the Bush clan? The exploitation of disadvantaged youth to fight a corporate war? And who could forget those classic seven minutes when Bush blinked his way through My Pet Goat while waiting for someone to tell him how to react to the worst bit of news in America history? We've all seen it, yes?

No, we haven't all seen it. If you'll remember, a great portion of the American electorate refused to see it. They bought into the blitz of unfounded criticism from the circus masters of the Right and they dismissed the movie as seditious and loony. They scorned it and its maker. They pretended they knew what was in the film and they responded with pretend rebuttals ... but they didn't see it. They didn't have the guts to see it, then.

But that was then, back when Bush had just enough people on his side to win an election (maybe). There were still enough who believed in the WMD myth, who believed in the Saddam-al-Qaeda connection, who believed that we are being led by honorable people ... and who were foolish enough to believe anything that came out of Bush's mouth. And thank God, those days are over. There are now more Americans who believe in alien abductions than there are who believe that George Bush is an honest man.

Yet, we have not come far enough. There is still a nagging 35 percent walking among us who support the smirking chimp, and by my estimate, that's 25 percent too many. Bush, along with every neo-con crony and corrupt corporate tool on his payroll, has earned no more than a 10 percent approval rating--and I only give him that because one out of every 10 in almost any demographic is so incorrigibly stupid they are beyond reach.

So, friends of America, dust off those Fahrenheit 9/11 party invitations. Petition The Flicks and see if they can set up a Michael Moore Film Festival designed specifically for sensible conservatives. And now that the Christmas season is upon us, why not stuff those stockings of your right-wing relatives with box sets of F-9/11?

I believe they can be gotten to, that stubborn 25 percent. I believe that with a little nudge, they might abandon all trust and faith in Bush. After all, he has failed conservatives as thoroughly as he has failed moderates, independents and liberals.

And for those wondering why we should kick a man when he is so down--why we should make such an effort to shred the last vestiges of this abyssmal failure's following--the answer should be obvious. After five years of moral and intellectual vacuum, it is increasingly clear that whatever's bad for Bush is good for America. It only follows that whatever's worse for Bush is even better for America.

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