Saturday, June 26, 2004

Matt Labash (Weekly Standard): "he could easily seek employment as an Al Jazeera cameraman"

Matt Labash ("Un-Moored from Reality" Weekly Standard July 5-12 2004):

Moore offers a full hour's worth of Bush-centric conspiracies so seemingly random, disjointed, and pointless that one's ticket stub should come with a flow-chart and a decoder ring. In my line of work, when you hear this strain of rhetoric, it's usually from a man in a sandwich board touting the apocalypse or Mumia's innocence, pushing stacks of literature at you while standing on the wrong side of a police cordon. It doesn't typically come from someone whose premiere is attended by half of respectable Democratic Washington, and whose film won the coveted Palme d'Or prize at Cannes. . . .

. . . if we're going to play connect-the-dots, a few questions are in order. For starters, are we really supposed to believe that 9/11 and the ensuing wars were a collaborative profiteering scheme between the bin Ladens, the Bushes, and defense contractors? Furthermore, will Moore's DVD director's cut elucidate Bush ties to the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, and the Freemasons? Who knows? Who cares? Moore doesn't seem to, as he speedily moves on, making another tray of fudge.

When Moore takes us to Iraq, on the eve of war, he shows placid scenes of an untroubled land on the brink of imperial annihilation. With all the leisurely strolling and kite-flying, it is unclear if Iraqis are living under a murderous dictatorship or in a Valtrex commercial. In Moore's telling of the invasion, the shock-and-awe is less high-value-target/smart-bombing, more Dresden/Hiroshima. According to the footage that ensues, our pilots seem to have hit nothing but women and children. If Moore's documentarian gig were to fall through, he could easily seek employment as an Al Jazeera cameraman.