Friday, September 21, 2018

FAHRENHEIT 11/9 - A Film Every (sentient) Citizen Needs To See

Let me say I was glad to read John Anderson's bogus, distorted WSJ review of Michael Moore's new film  'Fahrenheit 11/9' before going to see it with wifey earlier today.  Reading Anderson's claptrap before  actually seeing the movie on the big screen showed me in retrospect the WSJ clown didn't know WTF he was talking about. Indeed, I was led to conclude the author didn't actually see it but instead resorted to canned fishwrap the WSJ likely had on hand for previous Moore films - with a few tweaks and updates added.

But both Janice and I agreed, that contrary to Anderson's balderdash, i.e. that Moore "hasn't made an honest film since 'Bowling for Columbine (2002)'", this latest effort rings  with veracity in every scene, every segment.   To first set the stage here, the title derives from the fact Trump was appointed president at 2:29 a.m. on November 9, 2016.  Hence, "11/9"  The opening scenes show (in juxtaposition) the Hillary party in Philly - expectantly awaiting the confirmation of history (first female president) counterpoised with the initially dour atmosphere at the Trump camp - accompanied to the opening music from the 1976  film  'The Omen'.

As November 8th transits into the wee hours of November 9th, the real horror story begins  This is as first Ohio, then Florida fall to Trump, followed by Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan -  and we see the scenes from Hillary's would be victory party now looking like a wake. Oh, and all her supporters' stricken faces appearing as if Satan himself had incarnated in their midst, as we behold in the reactions:  sobbing, convulsions,'s all there. For Janice, this was the most difficult part to watch.

The story then burrows into the particulars of the assorted horrors to which we've now been exposed, especially leading up to Trump's coronation.   From the unholy depiction of infamous Michigan criminal governor Rick Snyder (a Trump wannabe billionaire) - who brought on a "slow rolling ethnic cleansing" of Flint, MI -  e.g. by cutting off its water supply to Lake Huron and replacing it with the toxic Flint River (leading to thousands of cases of lead poisoning), to Obama himself actually showing up in Flint to sip its toxic water in a PR gag . That actually provided cover for Snyder, and left a hall full of African -American Flint citizens appalled.  That faux pas also tamped down any 2016 election response from Flint's minority voters - likely helping to toss the industrial Midwest state to Dotard.

Then there were the scenes of Flint subjected to a live fire exercise, with the Dept. of Defense using abandoned ramshackle bldgs. (in minority neighborhoods)  to unleash  bombs and mortars to practice "urban warfare".   A sad and sorry decision sanctioned by good ol' President Obama.  The scenes at the Dem Convention were also enraging as well as illuminating as we beheld each state, VT, RI, WVa, etc, respond to the delegate roll calls by shouting out false delegate totals, i.e. for Hillary, when Bernie actually took the states. Wonder why so many Bernie supporters never bothered to show up to vote, there you have it after that charade.

Moore also features segment after segment showing NY Times headlines pumping and humping for centrist or capitalist positions, including inveighing against "socialists".  None of the Times clips Moore interjects were fake or touched up.   Yes, The Times has been more out in the open with its criticisms of Trump now, but not always. (And they even botched it up again with a half -baked story misrepresenting a Rod Rosenstein sarcastic jab -  to Andy McCabe of the FBI -   re: putting on a wire, i.e. to get Trump using the 25th amendment.  All the Times butthead reporters did is provide ammo for Mueller's enemies and give Dotard a bogus excuse to fire Rosenstein.  Press like that we don't need, if they can't discriminate the sarcastic from the real!  N.B. The Times reporters who broke this malarkey also admitted tonight the sources they relied on weren't even in the meeting where Rosenstein reportedly made that remark.)

That is the other underpinning theme of Moore's film, the degree to which the corporate media - especially the electronic voices of CNN, NBC,  ABC, CBS had all been in bed with Trump from day one.  All the outlets saw a classic   way to keep viewers' eyeballs glued to their broadcasts while they're ratings soared and they raked in money. As former CBS head Les Moonves was heard saying: "This may not be good for the country but it's great for CBS!"  Yeppers,  profits over country.

The effect, as Moore shows, was to give Trump a gazillion hours of free advertising and air time, that helped his campaign immensely. How could it not?  At one point in the film, perhaps one of the more disgusting in the media segment, we see the gathered network lapdogs and cameras all surrounding an empty stage set for a Trump appearance, salivating with bated breath while Dotard keeps them waiting for more than a half hour.  The people's voices and protective "fourth estate"? More like trained dogs, so when Trump barks 'Jump!' they asked 'How high?'

Of course, as with other Michael Moore films, some levity was interjected at specific points, usually when the viewer is almost too distressed with Trump World's antics. One such example is after Moore tries to make a citizen's arrest of Michigan's governor Rick Snyder - but ultimately has to be satisfied with spraying his property using Flint river water,

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Now, let's look at some of John Anderson's complaints.

- "One of the chief plaints of 11/  9  - in which he trashes Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, The New York Times.  the entire Democratic establishment - is about the media's slavish attention to Mr. Trump in a movie devoted to Mr. Trump"

But see, the movie was not "devoted to Trump" but rather foursquare devoted to exposing all the ways our system broke down to pave the way for his bogus selection (by the Electoral college, see     .e. g.
So, from Obama's Flint MI hijinks, fake drinking its river water, and ordering a live fire exercise on Flint abandoned buildings, to HRC keeping a low profile in key Midwest states (WI, MI), to the D-establishment rigging the game against Bernie using the superdelegate system (and even more recently Dem centrist Steny Hoyer telling a young Colorado candidate from the 6th congressional district to get with the program) we see none of Anderson's "plaints" have a leg to stand on.

The last complaint about the media's slavish attention to Trump when Moore's film is about him is particularly enraging, given it conflates two separate elements: The media's genuinely giving Trump millions of hours of free air time during the 2016 election, vs. Moore making a single 125 minute film - of which maybe 20 mins. at most treats Trump's antics - but in a negative way, to inspire citizen response. That is why I refer to the film as an anthem to action, for progressives to get off of their butts and VOTE November 6th.  Moore's basic message  is simple: Don't "hope" for Mueller, or the press or (name your hero) to save us amidst the Trump nightmare. Get off your butts and do your part going to the polls this  November!)

- "There's more than a little bait and switch going on in Fahrenheit 11/9 and it raises the question of exactly what Mr. Moore is, other than a propagandist. He's not a journalist except of the aggregator variety."

But aggregators are critically important because they deliver point of view and a needed perspective. In this case of how our country is being adversely affected in multifold ways  The aggregator then in many ways is like the scientific researcher, say in solar physics preparing a paper on solar flare formation-  who first provides an array of  historical background snippets and examples.  These then pave the way to showing the value of the current work,  say offering a flare model based on current sheets, while also delivering an overall perspective of the flare phenomenon.

In the same way, Moore's collection of scenes - from the Snyder "emergency plan"  takeover of the Michigan cities of Pontiac. Detroit, Flint  and Benton Harbor, to the Flint water debacle itself, to the media's slavish treatment and use of Trump for ratings, to the striking teachers of West Virginia, and the Parkland school tragedy and kids response- all weave toward a coherent whole, a point of view that helps us understand what's going on in this country. 

If one looks at similar other efforts by aggregators, e.g. Josh Fox's 'Gasland II',   e.g.

One sees that the same method applies. To save time, and not have a 1,000 hour documentary, one selects the most meaningful examples and stitches them together in a coherent whole to forge a viewpoint.   The name for such a person who does this sort of thing then, whether Josh Fox or Michael Moore, is a documentarian.

- "Almost the entire movie is lifted from other sources, and then edited in a way that makes his enemies look as foolish as possible."

This complaint is really, truly imbecilic, because what he describes - at least in terms of using other sources- is exactly what the aggregator Documentary maker does!   It's what Josh Fox did too in 'Gasland' and 'Gasland II'.   So one wonders what planet Anderson inhabits.  As for the editing, there isn't a damned thing wrong with it, having myself seen many of the same scenes, e.g. of the lead catastrophe and brown water in Flint, on the nightly news.  Did Moore have the prescience to put the scenes together in a cogent way? Yes, of course! So what?  That is what he's there to do in order to underscore the account and provide a coherent theme for the movie, i.e. that we are in fire alarm mode with Trump's residency.  Besides, as Anderson then finally admits: "It's not as if Moore has no leg to stand on. ..his was the most prominent liberal voice warning of Mr. Trump's appeal to Midwest voters."

Jeez, on behalf of Mike, thanks for small favors, you blockhead!

And as if to support my contention he's a blockhead:

"And if Moore is going to castigate Mrs. Clinton for her various electoral missteps - shouldn't he mention that despite losing the Electoral College she won the popular vote."

He DID mention it, you fucking dolt! In fact,  he devoted a whole 6 minute segment to it.   This featured the "baby coffins" full of the states' electoral votes being carted in for final verification and counting with Moore's voice over noting "and that should be the end of this"  and "the one who gets the most votes  (Hillary) should be the one elected president"  - as is done in every other democratic nation, He also points out that the EC is a carryover from the "slave master" days.  He leaves little doubt that because of this asinine anachronism the Dems have seen presidential hopes crushed at east twice (including in the Bush v. Gore farce in FLA in 2000).

The most sensational  (and powerful)  tour de force is near the end showing Hitler in one of his many rants but mouthing Trump's own words, directed to his idiot base.  There is also a segment of the last days of the Weimar Republic before Hitler brought it down,  alternating with images of what's happening today, i.e. in separating the children of immigrants.  We also see Hitler using many of the same mass mind appeal techniques Trump is employing now   Pay special attention to the interview with Ben Ferencz - a Chief Prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials- and the fears raised now, especially in the Trump separation of children from immigrant parents which holds eerie similarities to how the Nazis did the same in their concentration camps.

Anderson - providing more evidence he never actually saw the film (or at least the whole film) also kvetches about the "casual reduction of Trumpites to Nazis."   But  Moore does no such thing. What he does is use a graphic showing the progression (regression?)  of putative democracy to despotism and how Trump hits every marker on it just as Hitler did, beginning with the lack of respect for minorities and outgroups like Muslims.  (The presentation features interspersed clips of assorted white Americans attacking black people in different venues, such as on golf courses and on buses) Also extending to vilification of the press and reporters as well as attacking the judiciary.  The very sort of things Hitler did leading to the Reich laws.   So the analogizing of Trump to Hitler is not off the mark at all.

Incredibly, Anderson also bitches about Moore's choice of a film poster,  e.g. "the poster for the film is a highly unflattering shot of the president's rear end, midswing at  golf course."  So WTF?  You want Moore to be dishonest and touch it up or photo shop it, fake news style? If you have a beef with the poster tell Fatty Arbuckle Jr. to lose a few pounds. (Oh, and maybe spend less time golfing at his properties!)

The most idiotic comment of Anderson's I saved for last, writing of Michael Moore:

"Some might even say he's the left's version of Donald Trump."

No, see uh... Michael Moore has a functioning brain!

The very fact a paid hack like John Anderson couldn't handle this film is reason enough to see it.  But in terms of content and insights (some of which not even Janice was aware of) any citizen who misses it will regret it, especially in the run up to the midterms.

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