catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Gagging on Pop Culture: M Moore and Leni R.


Jul 29 2004
07:15 am

:( Leni Riefenstahl is the Michael Moore of her time. Michael Moore is the Leni of our time And I am gagging on this thot.

(Do internet search to read up on the charming Leni.

And note—-if you watch sports footage like I do, you owe a debt to Leni. However, she is noted for more than stunning, innovative sports footage. Her greatest claim to fame (some dare say “infamy” is that She was a great film maker & thus a great motivator/mover/shaper of people—.)

But research for yourself. Make up your mind based on decent research…not on my statement. I am so sick of adults just engorging whatever is on the screen. Have we all not heard of film editing, of juxtaposition of shots as a way to move the audience’s feelings? Have we all not heard of manipulat9ing the half truth to make it seem all true? And what of justaposing events to imply connections that may well not exist???

I went to the Highland, IN theatre the se F911 with a friend.

In the first few minutes, I saw what was the pattern for the whole MMoore Farenheit 911 film. Skillful film editing—-long flash card shots of Pres. Bush flashed repeatedly As in the case of Dan Quayle, every weird shot of him was flashed onto the film..
(Sesame Street meets Sat Nite Live Satire) and blatant Moore assertions, oversimplifications, perhaps even lies or that more sinister form of propaganda—-half truths were molded (thru brilliant film editing) into gasps from the audience of “I didn’t know that!!!”.

I thot “This is so obvious—-surely this adult audience will recognize cheap shots, and grotesque film editing when they see it.” WRONG! Rational thot and logical thinking are not part of most of our mental equipment.

The older persons (most of them) sat stoically & said nothing. Probably older Dutch americans, And possibly some with Eastern European parents who came from formerly Communist or Nazi Eastern Europe—who have learned something about the power of propaganda.

Then, I heard moans & gasps “I didn’t know that!” as the Moore movie worked its “magic”.And laughter at the repeated, repeated “stupid Bush” shots. Repeated, repeated, for bigger & bigger laughs.

As we exited the theatre, I wanted to scream

“Do your research! Don’t accept this man’s sinister implications of Bush & Bin Laden love fest1 Don’t accept that he did nothing in office but vacation (as if the White House doesn’t follow a president everywhere). And yes, you saw child body parts. And happy, dancing Iraqis “before” our invasion. Do your research!!"

But one older woman (probably not a shrewd thinker) said “Michael moore has a website where he can answer all questions.”

And I note that the biggest responders were those in their 20’s & 30’s. Lack of rational thot….They just accepted the Moore message….all or much of it. Much growing laughter at the “stupid bush” shots.

Just open your pap fed 20th century mind…and let it all go in….Outright accusations (of which there are few)—-Moore implies the most sinister things, tho)…and lots of smears, assaults on personality, & ridicule.

I took many notes for research on various sites (reputable news sites with ranges of slants left or right). What of his claims, insinuations? What (if any) are all valid, partly valid??? I threw out my notes. I can check reputable sites (both left & right) to find answers.

But I could not even relive the Moore propaganda experience thru my notes…Too many fell for his cheap film editing & for his gross half truths. And I gag over that. Have we learned nothing from the 20th Century??? I do not need the Moore experience to do rational research about the current issues.

And for those of you who either or Christian or who otherwise believe that rational dialogue should discredit (or credit) any public politician, if you worship at the feet of Moore’s greatness, why??? Remember Dan Quayle? Destroyed (at least for now) by montages of stupid film clips, by MISQUOTING him (I actually read the misqote in context of the whole statement) . Well, this film goes even farther.

Why is this type of barrage—-assault on the emotions of the listener—film twisting in pseudo documentary style so bad? Why do I not bother to research its claims point by point???

Why? Let’s say someone disagrees with you. If you and that person hold that rational thinking is at least somewhat important, ytou might discuss issues—-& learn from each other
“as iron sharpens iron so one man or woman sharpens another”.

But what if that person assaults all that you are. They insult & mock you & twist everything you say & do out of context. Why throw your pearls (rational dialogue) before swine???

Basically, you are one big idiot ( to them). Would you even bother with rational dialogue? Maybe you would be kind to that person, but you might avoid dialogue, because they will hide behind their pet ideas and “rants” as articles of their “faith” not up for questioning.

Let’s think, folks. And do research on both left & right reputable news sites.


Jul 29 2004
08:08 am

: :? I hastily typed in my comment above. Basically, my key points are the same

“Recognize propaganda when you see it. Recognize the difference between substantive debate and slander.

Research issues before you decide—-on reputable web sites, etc. both right & left).

But the husband needed to get on the computer before I could edit. (My equivalent of “the dog ate my lunch”.)

A few minor clarifications I did not sharpen up by editing the above message before sending:

When I refer to the 9/11 Highland, IN audience, I correctly mention most of the older persons were probably Dutch american or probably adult children of those who survived Eastern european Nazi or Communist regeimes.
Thus, both groups have some savvy & do not immediately accept the shining, attractive media package at its face value (unlike the rest of us). [/b:a8931a2436]

I want to clearly state that
(as I would guess by their lack of positive response to the MM propaganda package)
—-that I thot they were drawing on their experience with propaganda & half truths in times past. Maybe they would research some of Moore’s points, but they were not approving the package.

Thus, one did not hear the applause at the repeated, repeated repeated “stupid bush” shots. One did not hear most of them gasping “I didn’t know that!” .

Maybe they remembered the slander against Quayle.A politician destroyed in t he early 90’s not by rational dialogue, but by media slander & montages of “stupid quayle” film quips & out of context quotes.

Maybe some of the older, more skeptical audience segment remembered the excesses of the 1950’s McCarthy era. And maybe both groups of older people went to school when rhetoric and logic were taught officially or unofficially…as a check to emotional responses —-logic, research, etc. as the best way to “test drive” new & exciting ideas.

But Baby Boomers on downward..from birth, we are exposed to image shaped campaigns everyday in advertising, TV, etc.. Flash, Flash, Flash. Edit. Flash. Market one’s ideas to the audience’s feelings.

FEEL good about this product, person, choice thru clever image manipulation. HATE this product, person, choice thru equally clever image manipulation.

Feelings can easily trump boring, dry fact in the mind of a media-driven person,

(unless one suffers personally from believing propaganda & learns to kick the tires & check under the hood & test drive someone else’s images before accepting them as one’s own).

The pre TV generation (or the gen that, like my mom, did not experience daily images from TV till adulthood) wont quite as easily be manipulated.

At least, that’s my hope —-and PRAYER>


Jul 30 2004
01:26 pm

first, i’m not sure comparing leni riefenstahl with michael moore is entirely accurate. you could perhaps make the connection, as you have done, through identifying both directors as propagandists; however, such a comparison would serve as merely a surface level comparison and would not remotely address the content of each director’s films. while riefenstahl promoted the nazi party’s racist ideals and used film to effectively indoctrinate the german people into thinking jews were subhuman, moore is imploring people to want a better world for themselves and their neighbors.

also, riefenstahl had the third reich behind her films (i.e. – political power). what actual political power (i.e. – party machine) is behind moore? even democrats don’t want to be associated too closely with him. riefenstahl was supporting the status quo, the power behind corrupt governments; moore is challenging the status quo, exposing the corruption of government.

second, the facts of moore’s film are not really in dispute; most were reported in major newspapers, albeit under the radar of mainstream news coverage. what you’re disputing are moore’s conclusions based on those facts. but you have not chosen to engage the facts he presents and to present an alternate conclusion to those facts, which indicates, perhaps, a few preconceptions of your own about both president bush and michael moore. so, while many in the audience accepted moore’s conclusions without critically thinking about his presentation, it seems as though you have dismissed these conclusions in the same manner.


Andrew H
Jul 31 2004
06:24 pm

First, thankyou Laurencer for pointing out Moore’s reliance on mainstream media (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post) for most (nearly all) of the facts presented in the movie. I have spent much time in the last weeks defending the film and the motivations of a film-maker such as Michael Moore. Allow me to present a little of that side. As preamble though, I watched the film in an edgy theatre in Denver, CO. The friends of mine on one side are staunch Bush supporters who I begged to go with me and in pre-film chatter revealed that they did not even know the names of their states Senators nor their own district’s representatives, much less the ideas/principles those politicians focused on. On the other side of me were some young strangers who were not Bush supporters (to put it really nicely) who were all involved in social work and politically aware and knowledgable. It is not hard to guess who enjoyed the movie and who didn’t. I, personally enjoyed the movie and the contrast of my fellow viewers.

Now, I like to point out that it was not the intention of Moore to report the news in a “fair and balanced” fashion, rather it was his intention (as I understand it) to challenge and go much deeper than dare the major networks and cable news operations who do have that first intention. Judging this as his intention, I definitely claim that he was successful in doing so. He dared to make connections between politicians and corporations and foreign power brokers that dig into some of the dirtiest dirt in our undemocratic and economically despotic political system. Have any broadcast or cable news shows taken time to report on the families of victims of war who are questioning the motives of the wars? Have any of these shows questioned the lower socio-economic majority of the military and the opposite majority of lawmakers in the U.S.? Have any news shows reported on the ridiculous harassment of peaceful organizations gathered to stand up for peace (a kingdom value) by the Homeland Security Admin? (I know a member of Peace-Fresno who was highlighted in the film and he too relishes in the laughability of the investigation into his office and the lives of other members.) Have any news shows dared challenge the status quo that is ruling our country and our media outlets in such a form? As far as I am aware, most popular news shows have not even dared examine the nature of the victims of U.S. means of warfare (Iraqi and American both) in such a fashion as Moore did.

I had to go so far as to ask one of my friends who was extremely upset about the movie if he was more upset by the fact that our president was mocked in the movie or that those Iraqi children had their limbs blown off and our country does not even count the Iraqi victims of the war? These are the questions that a movie like F911 brings up and well it should. This isi not a movie to be ignored or written off as worthless. Not it is not perfect of the 100% objective truth. What is? It is an excellent use of one of the most popular medium in America to challenge so many previously unchallenged problems that currently plague our nation and thus the world. Let us aim for political consciousness that is based on principles not on partisan loyalties.