Musings of a Mad Mouse

Current Song on my mind: Masters of War by Bob Dylan

Lyrics: Thoughtful

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 today. I am familiar with Michael Moore's oeuvre: I've seen Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine. I know he's a documentarist in the loosest of terms. When I go to his movies, I'm not expecting fair and balanced commentary.

I try to approach him the way one approaches a painting. I ask "What was he trying to accomplish? Did he accomplish it? What more could have or should have been said?".

Michael Moore's style is to toss out a lot of different facts and points, like a fisherman casting a line, and hope some of them catch. Parts fell flat, such as the army recruiting scene, but parts still echo in my mind.

One of the scenes that affected me was the soldier who said, "When you kill a person, you kill a part of your soul." As I read the Bible and become more devout in my faith, the idea of war seems an anathema to Christian teachings. I can't picture my Lord Jesus, who prayed for his enemies even as they drove nails into his hands, leading an army of tanks and dropping bombs on a bunch of civilians who had the misfortune to be born into the wrong civilization at the wrong time. It doesn't strike me in the character of Jesus, who stood up for the weak and powerless and rebelled against those who would seek to oppress, to punish a populace at the mercy of tyrannical leaders.

Did the movie accomplish its goals? Yes, when it let the footage and the common folk speak for themselves. I found it fell flat when Moore tried to read peoples' thoughts (What was George Bush thinking?).

One of the best parts was towards the end where he pointed out that often the people who have the least are the first ones to step up and defend their nation. You can clearly hear the admiration and pride in his voice.

Bottom line: Is it a polemic? Yes. Is it still powerful nevertheless? Yes.