03-24-2003, 09:46 AM
Hi everyone. I work at a movie theatre, so I kindof HAD to watch the awards last night (phone calls... it's a huge pain not to watch them). A couple things happened that I think are relevant to everyone. First off, "Spirited Away" got the best animated feature film award. If you ever get a chance to see this movie, please do so. It's by a famous Japanese animator, Hayao Miyazaki and it's wonderful. The second thing, more importantly, is that Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" got the best documentary feature award. I think that this movie should be required viewing for everyone in America, it's that important. Anyone with even a passing interest in conflict theory, violence, or gun issues needs to watch it. It's not just about Columbine, it's about America's obsession with the gun and using it on other Americans. In his acceptance speech, Michael Moore also said from pretty blunt things about what he feels is the "fictitiously elected president" who sends Americans to die for fictitious reasons. Very shocking stuff. Anyway, I just thought I'd let you know what happened if you missed it. Anyone else watch what happened, especially Moore's speech? What did you think?
03-24-2003, 07:39 PM
Didn't see his speech...but from his past actions, I see him more as an opportunist out to apease ego and make a dime on the true victims of society.
He seems to only state the obvious, albeit in a creative manner. Where are the solutions? It is easy to point out the faults and problems with society, but hard to come up with solutions.
The good thing about what he does is that maybe he makes people think about things.
I'll stick with humanitarians such as Jimmy Carter for advice about solving problems!
03-25-2003, 03:36 AM
I mentioned my take on Michael Moore's speech in another thread, but in case you missed it:
"YOU GO, MICHAEL!!! SHOW US HOW IT'S DONE!!"
All the blacklisting and silencing around the Academy's is a disgusting parody of free speech, and a terrible silencing of artists and art.
And Kevin, have you actually SEEN Bowling for Columbine? "Obvious?" I don't think so. He makes a lot of good connections in our society's root motivations, unexplored by anyone else, in quite the same manner.
04-16-2003, 04:10 AM
This is what he wrote next...
>My Oscar "Backlash": "Stupid White Men"
Back At #1, "Bowling" Breaks New Records
April 7, 2003
It appears that the Bush administration will
have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime
in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude -- and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.
So, where are all those weapons of mass
destruction that were the pretense for this war?
Ha! There is so much to say about all this, but I will save it for later.
What I am most concerned about right now is
that all of you -- the majority of Americans who did not support this war in the first place not go silent or be intimidated by what will be touted as some great military victory. Now, more than ever, the voices of peace and truth must be heard. I have received a lot of mail from people who are feeling a profound sense of despair and believe that their voices have been
drowned out by the drums and bombs of false
patriotism. Some are afraid of retaliation at work or at school or in their neighborhoods because they have been vocal proponents of peace.
They have been told over and over that it is
not "appropriate" to protest once the country
is at war, and that your only duty now is to
"support the troops."
Can I share with you what it's been like for
me since I used my time on the Oscar stage
two weeks ago to speak out against Bush
and this war? I hope that, in reading what
I'm about to tell you, you'll feel a bit more
emboldened to make your voice heard in
whatever way or forum that is open to you.
When "Bowling for Columbine" was announced
as the Oscar winner for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, the audience rose to its feet.
It was a great moment, one that I will always
cherish. They were standing and cheering for
a film that says we Americans are a uniquely
violent people, using our massive stash of
guns to kill each other and to use them against many countries around the world. They were applauding a film that shows George W. Bush using fictitious fears to frighten the public into giving him whatever he wants.
And they were honoring a film that states the
following: The first Gulf War was an attempt to reinstall the dictator of Kuwait; Saddam Hussein was armed with weapons from the United States; and the American government is responsible for the deaths of a half-million children in Iraq over the past decade through its sanctions and bombing. That was the movie they were cheering, that was the movie they voted for, and so I decided that is what I should acknowledge in my speech.
And, thus, I said the following from the Oscar stage:
"On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn
and Michael Donovan (from Canada), I would like to thank the Academy for this award. I have invited the other Documentary nominees on stage with me. They are here in solidarity because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction because we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where fictitious election results give us a fictitious president.
We are now fighting a war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fictitious 'Orange Alerts,' we are against this war, Mr. Bush.
Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you.
And, whenever you've got the Pope and the
Dixie Chicks against you, you're time is up."
Halfway through my remarks, some in the
audience started to cheer. That immediately set off a group of people in the balcony who started to boo. Then those supporting my remarks started to shout down the booers. The L. A. Times reported that the director of the show started screaming at the orchestra "Music! Music!" in order to cut me off, so the band dutifully struck up a tune and my time was up.
(For more on why I said what I said, you can
read the op-ed I wrote for the L.A. Times, plus other reaction from around the country at
my website www.michaelmoore.com)
The next day -- and in the two weeks since
the right-wing pundits and radio shock jocks
have been calling for my head. So, has all this ruckus hurt me? Have they succeeded in
"silencing" me? Well, take a look at my Oscar "backlash":
On the day after I criticized Bush and the
war at the Academy Awards, attendance at
"Bowling for Columbine" in theaters around
the country went up 110% (source: Daily Variety /BoxOfficeMojo.com). The following weekend,the box office gross was up a whopping 73% (Variety). It is now the longest-running consecutive commercial release in America, 26 weeks in a row and still thriving. The number of theaters showing
the film since the Oscars has INCREASED, and
it has now bested the previous box office record for a documentary by nearly 300%.
Yesterday (April 6), "Stupid White Men" shot
back to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This is my book's 50th week on the list, 8 of them at number one, and this marks its fourth return to the top position, something that virtually never happens.
In the week after the Oscars, my website was
getting 10-20 million hits A DAY (one day we
even got more hits than the White House!).
The mail has been overwhelmingly positive and
supportive (and the hate mail has been hilarious!).
In the two days following the Oscars, more
people pre-ordered the video for "Bowling for
Columbine" on Amazon.com than the video
for the Oscar winner for Best Picture, "Chicago".
In the past week, I have obtained funding for
my next documentary, and I have been offered
a slot back on television to do an updated
version of "TV Nation"/ "The Awful Truth."
I tell you all of this because I want to counteract a message that is told to us all the time -- that, if you take a chance to speak out politically, you will live to regret it. It will hurt you in some way, usually financially. You could lose your job.
Others may not hire you. You will lose friends. And on and on and on.
Take the Dixie Chicks. I'm sure you've all
heard by now that, because their lead singer
mentioned how she was ashamed that Bush
was from her home state of Texas, their record
sales have "plummeted" and country stations
are boycotting their music. The truth is that
their sales are NOT down. This week, after all
the attacks, their album is still at #1 on the
Billboard country charts and, according to
Entertainment Weekly, on the pop charts during
all the brouhaha, they ROSE from #6 to #4.
In the New York Times, Frank Rich reports
that he tried to find a ticket to ANY of the Dixie Chicks' upcoming concerts but he couldn't because they were all sold out. (To read Rich's column from yesterday's Times, "Bowling for Kennebunkport," go here:
He does a pretty good job of laying it all out
and talks about my next film and the impact it
could potentially have.) Their song, "Travelin' Soldier" (a beautiful anti-war ballad) was the most requested song on the internet last week.
They have not been hurt at all -- but that is not what the media would have you believe.
Why is that? Because there is nothing more
important now than to keep the voices of dissent and those who would dare to ask a question SILENT. And what better way than to try and take a few well-known entertainers down with a pack of lies so that the average Joe or Jane gets the message loud and clear: "Wow, if they would do that to the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore, what would they do to little ol' me?"
In other words, shut the f--- up.
And that, my friends, is the real point of this film that I just got an Oscar for -- how those in charge use FEAR to manipulate the public into doing whatever they are told.
Well, the good news -- if there can be any
good news this week -- is that not only have
neither I nor others been silenced, we have
been joined by millions of Americans who think
the same way we do. Don't let the false patriots intimidate you by setting the agenda or the terms of the debate.
Don't be defeated by polls that show 70% of
the public in favor of the war. Remember that
these Americans being polled are the same
Americans whose kids (or neighbor's kids)
have been sent over to Iraq. They are scared
for the troops and they are being cowed into
supporting a war they did not want -- and they
want even less to see their friends, family,
and neighbors come home dead. Everyone
supports the troops returning home alive and
all of us need to reach out and let their families know that.
Unfortunately, Bush and Co. are not through
yet. This invasion and conquest will encourage them to do it again elsewhere. The real purpose of this war was to say to the rest of the world, "Don't Mess with Texas - If You Got What We Want, We're Coming to Get It!" This is not the time for the majority of us who believe in a peaceful America to be quiet. Make your voices heard. Despite what they have pulled off, it is still our country.