emma b. says

Thursday, August 05, 2004

So There

In our last missive we complained about our inability to articulate, today we got into a long winded emailgument with a friend F, it started like this:

(in response to a forwarded plea to Michael Moore to make a film about Israel)

I'm all for it, - this is a decades long foreign policy debacle in dire need of solving. Conveniently, (and probably much to Israel's delight) the enormous caca the current administration has taken in the middle east will divert our attention from this ongoing problem probably for decades to come. The United States has much to loose in the severing of this relationship, not just from Israel's ties to this country (civilian/military contracts) but because of its post - 9/11 strategic importance as part of intelligence community. I suspect in the interests (or at least the guise of) national security, future administrations will be hold this relationship inviolate.

I suppose a good place to start is an "even handed" organized front to stop supporting the wrong business interests globally - including Israel.
As much as F/911 will make Michael Moore an incredibly wealthy man (such that he will be able to fund his own projects), you can only imagine the phenomenal amount of domestic resistance, especially outrage by Hollywood if he embarked on such a mission. I think that domestic Jews will see to it (directly or indirectly- Do you think Eisner was really concerned about Disney interests in Florida?- you have to ask) that his good reputation as a muckrakering hero is completely destroyed.....or worse yet, just plain "taken out".....

I still haven't seen F911 and tend to think that Moore is a self-promulgating blowhard fame whore. That said, I think it is important that he made the film, if for only one reason... Movies are the mainstay of the 18-25 demographic who are the largest block of non-voters, I am hoping that the film will encourage them to get off their video-game playing duffs and vote.

I do not think that Moore is the man to make a film about the Israel/Palestine morass... First of all the ADL would have his hide, thus far he has had the support of the Spielbergs of Hollywood. Secondly, his touch is indelicate. Witness the rise of anti-Semitism in France, and anti-Arab sentiment in this country, just this morning an Imam was arrested for allegedly plotting to buy missiles... Why did they arrest him, because he bought a plane ticket. Or that crazy woman on the plane who thought a group of Syrian musicians were a terrorist group. This is not just about an American protectorate, it is about the ephemeral whims of religions and cultures and the twin demons of ignorance and intolerance.

I think what should happen is that the world court should try both Sharon and Arafat together for crimes against humanity, but that is unlikely. Moore should stick to what he is doing - HMO's and the Florida ballots.

What I think is likely is that our relationship to Israel will remain unchanged and that the leaders of Israel will die off of old age, taking with them the last vestiges of the second WWII and Arafat will die too (of ill health likely) and the moderates will be able to finally come together and reason will prevail as it will be survival's imperative. That is what I pray for.

I don't think Moore is a self-promulgating blowhard fame whore at all. I completely share his rage. He is an American- nothing subtle about Americans. You have to wack'em between the eyes with a 12 pound sledge to get their attention. WE are a nation of fame whores. That's the macabre theater of the cult of celebrity this vain roman empire has become. MM just operates within that construct. He is a constructive geek. So what if he resorts to a little bafoonery? - he is entitled. Instead of being hunched over 3 pc's in his cubicle geraud-mapping some hot scantily clad chick in a fight sequence, his raison-d-etre is exposing smug corporate blood suckers hell bent on building an exclusionary kingdom that doesn't include 95% of this country. Imagine where we would be if he didn't rattle this country's psyche???......So please, send him positive vibes and mail him vitamins.

We are a super power with an ever-diminishing collective IQ. 85% of Americans couldnt locate Iraq on a world map. So we're out of the running on precipitating change. Ignorance and hatred breeds and begets the same. There are new generations of bible thumper-raised demon spawn and technology numbed disenfranchised youth being weened from caring for fellow humans. The value of a human life has taken a huge nose dive. "Acceptable Human Loss" once a term whispered in secrecy behind closed doors, is bandied about by the media like game scores. The intolerance between Christians and Moslems is a centuries old issue. The only way our attention might be brought to focus on this problem, is the near cleansing of the human race by catastrophic meteor strike, upon which all systems might be questioned or purged. A "Ctrl-alt-delete" so to speak.....

I dislike MM, I find him boorish. But, I have respect for what he does, I think rabble-rousers are generally dislikable, but they serve a just cause. I was pleased that he got distribution and pleased with his gumption.
I share in the anger, it makes me tired. Everything seems so very tenuous that I am leery of anything that might fan the flames of the zealots wanting to take up arms. Bigots of every stripe and color, from abortion opposers to a legion of militant queens all awaiting that bright moment to load their and kill for their cause.
I find it so disheartening, all of this mindlessness. There is no reason why people in this country should set adrift by a map. Isn't it terribly ironic not to be able to read the one thing that can show you where you are? Did you ever read Eco's Island of the Day Before?? Isn't it ironic that all of that treachery that went into charting the definitive map, the parallels and finite dividers of longitude and latitude are wasted on this fresh nation, this new world of TV eyes and unsated appetites.
I am no better, I would like to turn my back and play solitaire on the computer until my eyeballs turn to dust.
So what do we do? We New Yorker reading, lefty leaning, like-to-think-I-am-an-intellectual types to do? We send each other emails full of eloquent discontent, we forward those emails to our congress people, we listen to NPR even though the sound of GW's voice at 7AM gives us collective heart burn, we get angry, we sometimes sit on the toilet while tears of helplessness course our cheeks, we give what money we can, to the DNC, to the Kerry campaign, to Glide memorial, to Doctors Without Borders, and we don't go to the RNC, we leave that to others, the other type of rabidity, we let them wear their rap sheets like a badge of courage, but don't want to experience first hand the glory that is the welt inflicted by a rubber bullet. The point is, that real change will only happen when people like us take to the street, and then and then there is so very, very much to be done.


There is much to do I agree, but we lefty leaning, like to think I am an intellectual types CAN do something. The revolution does not have to take place on the streets
where disputes are settled with quick tempers and rubber bullets....But we cant sit around and ease our consciences with cafe talk.
What if one person stopped buying magazines that are overly advertised, or that run ads selling humvees? Or even wrote the publishers blasting them for their lack of social conscience for running ads that sell cars that get 5 miles to the gallon? What if we stopped celebrating (even for giggles) vulgar celebrity? Showing admiration for quick millionaires who buy and drive Bling Escalades with plasma tv's? What if every one who truly did not need a car sold their car? How many of YOUR friends drive a big car/SUV (never mind the bullshit "Ive got kids" argument - what's the point of protecting them if you're destroying the planet simultaneously???) How many have you questioned for doing this? What if we each show a little more restraint in consuming? What if we asked car dealers why they doesn't sell alternative energy cars? Stopped buying things we really could survive with out? What if we stopped paying for cable that carried garbage content? What if we start supporting better sources for news? Do you ask others what they watch? What if we shame any person we encounter who hasn't voted into voting? What if five minutes a week discussing Sex in the City were spent on who is voting for who next? Questioning the status quo and avoiding being part of the problem. This CAN be done without a hell of a lot of effort or sacrifice. This is a war that intellectiuals could win one person at a time. Its using your style and intellectual influence in a positive way. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to find one person outside our world to challenge. To ask them to ask. Politics is not an elective - we should live it and breath it. Its more than opinion - its personal action. Its challenging on a one on one basis.....That's what will turn the tide.

at this point he rang up and we declared a moratorium on the debate... and a deep seated desire for a drink. I was going to niggle on the SATC comment, seeing as how the show has ended, and everyone needs a little levity, but I get the point.